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Still Mad About MAD MEN (and Women)!

By Jakob Esaw

It’s official. The stars of Mad Men have said goodbye to the show that skyrocketed many of them to fame—or infamy, depending on how you feel about some of their characters. But what this fan loved most about the show was its ability to delve deep beneath the surface of things. On the outside, everything appeared shiny and clean. Still, as was common in the ‘60s, idealism often masked darker, more cynical truths. Men were career-obsessed, sex-driven misogynists. Women, out of necessity, could be equally cutthroat, or else they would simply be doormats for men to walk all over. I’ll miss this sleek, gritty show that lasted seven seasons and brought us 92 armrest-gripping episodes.
Apparently, a lot of other people will miss the show, too. As a result of this continuing loyalty, the internet has been abuzz in recent weeks about what some of the Mad Men actors are up to nowadays. And that actually got Dish thinking: What are these amazing actors doing now that, for them, the 1960s are officially over?
Of one thing we are absolutely sure: Even though many of them won’t be together every week anymore, the cast of Mad Men will be getting into enough trouble on their own—and some of them will even be reuniting for roles on different shows. At least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe from all the chatter abounding around the internet, plus our own (secret) sources..
Hendricks in Another Period

According to Yahoo TV, Christina Hendricks, who played Joan Holloway on the show, is going in a seeminglynew, and different direction with her acting career. But it seems it’s not completely different, as on June 23, 2015 she’s begun starring in a Comedy Central show that sounds absolutely spectacular. It’s title is Another Period, and Hendricks describes it as an offbeat Downton Abby-style comedy that takes place in Gilded Age America, and centers on the Bellacourt family who are so wealthy, they’re clueless. Hendricks describes them as “filthy rich degenerates—just horrible, horrible people.”
Speaking of horrible people, in 2016, Hendricks will also co-star in The Neon Demon, a horror film about a young model (played by Elle Fanning) who comes to L.A,. but first has to survive the insane jealousy of vampire babes who want to devour her (literally!) so they can digest her beauty. But if that’s too intense for those of you who are addicted to Hendricks in her humorous roles, despair not! Later this year, she will also star in a comedic film entitled Roadies about the people who do the grunt work far outside  the rock ‘n’ roll spotlight.
John HammPerhaps surprisingly to some, comedy is not unfamiliar to most of the actors on Mad Men. Our beloved Jon Hamm is going to appear in the upcoming and much awaited prequel follow-up to the cult classic Wet Hot American Summer (alongside fellow Mad Men actors John Slattery and Richard Sommer). Hamm has also had roles on the wildly popular cartoons Archer and Bob’s Burgers, as well as 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Saturday Night Live. Most recently, he played the apocalyptic and hermitic preacher Richard Wayne Gary Wayne in the hilarious and surprisingly fresh Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which Netflix has already announced will have a second season—thank God! If we were keeping score of such things, we might find that the man who played Don Draper will be remembered just as much for his funny bone as for his smooth-talking, fixed-gaze demeanor that made audiences swoon for the ruthless adman.
Especially on shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jon Hamm reveals his comic genius, delivering lines that are so manipulative that he looks like a plausible psychopath who argues his innocence in the courtroom, where his fate for the abduction of four women is being decided.
One of the more memorable scenes in Kimmy Schmidt has Donna Maria Nuñez, one of the four abductees, shouting in Spanish in the courtroom, “He’s a monster! He deserves to rot in jail!” When it becomes clear that nobody in the courtroom can understand Spanish, Hamm gladly translates, “She said that the bunker was great and she’d do it again.” He plays the doomsday cult leader with such creepy self-assurance that we can see the true Hamm shining through (or is the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne just another side of Don Draper?).

Mad Men

Of course, because it’s Hamm playing the contemptable preacher, he’s almost likeable. Or at least not completely detestable. But isn’t that the danger of charismatic leaders? They convince us to like them despite the fact that we know we should despise them? And isn’t that the lesson that so many characters on Mad Men taught us?
Another Mad Men mainstay, John Slattery is also a familiar face on comedy shows. As mentioned above, this silver-haired funnyman will also appear this month in Netflix’s reprisal of Wet Hot American Summer. Most recently, at the end of June, he played a minor role in Ted 2 as Shep Wild. And, when Netflix finally announces season five of Arrested Development, we can only hope there will be a place for Slattery to reprise his hilarious role as Doctor Norman, the disgraced anesthesiologist who follows Oscar Bluth into the desert to pursue the promise of spiritual healing and other new-age mumbo jumbo. In season four of Arrested Development, responding to the allegation that he is a disgraced doctor who has lost his license, he says, “The bigger crime would’ve been the patient didn’t wake up to testify against me, but nobody cares about the part of the oath that he kept. I’ll tell you this: If that nastiness had never happened, I never would have gotten those prison pen pal letters from the most beautiful woman in the world.”
To this, his female companion in a quite unique slang (called “China Garden”) says, “If he as bad as the state of California say he is, then why did I fall in love with him, huh? Yo, fuck the state of California! Fuck ‘em! Bunch of California fuckers, yeah.”
“As you can imagine,” Dr. Norman says, completely straight-faced, “her letters really stood out.” Slattery had a quite small role in the fourth season of Arrested Development, but his lines were pure comedy gold.
It’s a testament to the versatility of the actors in Mad Men (and an explanation of the show’s lasting popularity) that all of them can play so many different roles. Slattery, Hamm, Hendricks, and so many others helped keep this show fresh and alive for seven seasons. It’s great to know that they will most assuredly have fulfilling careers long after Mad Men finishes, but of course, by then we’ll all be anticipating the premiere of the sure-to-be sequel, right?

Read below to find out what some of the other actors are up to......

January Jones (Betty Draper)

January Jones (Betty Draper) has also had some great comedic roles, including playing opposite Will Forte in the currently running comedy The Last Man on Earth, about a virus that has wiped out much of the Earth’s population. It’s basically a post-apocalyptic road comedy, in which Will Forte’s character Phil Miller goes from town to town looking for survivors of the virus. Dish thinks the show is hilarious—and apparently so do audiences in general, because it was recently picked up for a second season.

Elizabeth Moss aka Peggy Olson

Elizabeth Moss (Peggy Olson) has a full schedule coming up, including acting in High-Rise (2015) about a community of rich people living in a skyscraper condo complex that is strictly divided by class until one muckraking documentarian decides to shake things up. Later this year, Moss will be in Truth, a drama based on a true story about how CBS broke the story of George W. Bush being able to stay out of the Vietnam War because of his family connections and name recognition, all during his presidential reelection. In 2016, Moss will also be in Metanoia, The Seagull, and The Free World.

Later this year, Vincent Kartheiser (who played Pete Campbell in Mad Men) will star in Day Out of Days about an aging actress who has to compete in an industry obsessed not just with beauty, but also eternal youth.

Vincent Kartheiser who played Pete CampbellAaron Staton (who played Ken Cosgrove) will star in The List, a film about a dog trainer whose girlfriend wants what every woman wants: for her man to change. She takes it perhaps one step too far when she hands him a list of specific things she’d like to see him change, which he at first rejects.
Isn’t it great to know that these fine actors won’t be sitting around doing nothing any time soon? And that’s, if you ask me, pretty funny! / Issue 171 - September 2018
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