Mad-cap: MAD MEN Went There Like Whoa

Party down!
Party down!

Episode 303, “My Old Kentucky Home” Air Date: 8/30/09

I always watch “True Blood” before I watch “Mad Men,” and I was pretty sure, going into “Mad Men,” that all of the crazy was behind me. I mean, ERIC FLEW! He rocketed in the sky! And… there was a giant egg.

But no. “Mad Men” stepped up and brought a whole new bag of insanity… and overt racism, and opposed to metaphorical vampire racism.

Primary shock of the night: Roger Sterling sang to new-wife Jane, in black face! I couldn’t believe my eyes. And everyone (except Don) at the party was like, “Haha, black face, listen to those racist lyrics, I love it, this is the best!”

Oh 1963, you’re killing me. It was literally shocking. Props to John Slattery for agreeing to do this, because it was really eye-opening. And he does it because Jane loves it. Ugh, another reason to wish he’s stayed with Mona/married Joan.

I think he’s singing “My Old Kentucky Home” (ha, everyone’s doing this song-titles-as-episode-titles thing), which used to have racist lyrics. (Maybe it still does.)

Back in the day, smoking pot was way more scandalous than black face. Oh, we have a little of that, too? Perfect.

Here are the highlights:

-Half of the guys at the office had to come in and work on Saturday, and the other half had to go to Roger Sterling’s garden party. Everybody was “grass is greener on the other side” about it. “Give me your glasses,” Paul said to Harry, re: his complaints. “I’ll go as you.”

-Jane (formerly Don’s secretary) came back to work all fancy-shmancy (not to work, but to visit Roger) just to rub it in Joan’s face. And also rubs the fact that she’s losing weight in Joan’s face… even though, isn’t that a sign of unhappiness?

-Peggy, Paul, Smitty (where was Kurt?) and some Princeton-grad drug dealer named Jeffrey Graves smoked pot. We find out that Paul used to have a major Joisey accent, even though now he talks in an almost-British accent. And is really pissed off that he’s not rising higher (ha, get it) in the company. Also, Smitty (and/or Jeffrey) seems smitten with Peggy. (Ha.)

(When I get home, I think I’m going to do a special post that just lists all of the funny high-speak.)

-Peggy’s secretary (Olive) is old enough to be her mother, and acting like she IS Peggy’s mother. Olive also comes in on Saturday because, “If you’re working, I’m working.” I’m pretty sure I’ve uttered those exact lines before. Olive is none to happy when she realizes that Peggy smoked pot, but Peggy has a great little, “Don’t worry about me” monologue.

-Paul and Jeffrey sing a song from the Tiger Tones, their Princeton a cappella group (well, Paul quit and/or was kicked out). It’s the same song that the alien that bursts out of the stomach sings at the end of SPACEBALLS.

-Don jumps over a bar and meets an old man named Connie who’s attending the Rockefeller wedding next door (“a match made in the board room”). Don says, “I’m at work disguised as a party.” Turns out the Rockefeller thing kind of mirrors the whole Roger remarriage? I couldn’t hear some of the lines over the AC. But it was something about getting married a month after getting divorced.

-Sally stole money from Grandpa Gene, but then felt bad that Grandpa Gene suspected the housekeeper, Clara. (Gene called her Viola, and asked if she knew Viola, and Clara was rightly Pissed.) Sally gave the money back without admitting that she was guilty. Also, Grandpa was making her read a really strange book to him, which involved licentiousness, interior decorating, and “effeminate Orientals.”

-Joan threw a dinner party for her fiance’s medical friends, where at his request she played the accordion and sang in French (!), even though she didn’t want to.  Also, before the party he tried to tell her to go against Emily Post’s seating arrangement advice (tres gauche!), and she ended up settling on a buffet to make him happy. Ugh. Joan’s fiance is breaking her spirit. Break up with him!

-Harry, Pete, Don and Ken went to Roger Sterling’s garden party with their wives (except for poor solo Ken, who didn’t even have a date). Pete and Trudy did an insane choreographed dance, which is apparently what married couples do when they can’t have children. Or something. And Pete wears blue pants with a gray-maybe-brown blazer. It would be too hip if they were jeans, so I doubt they’re jeans. And Harry’s wife is super-thin, and doesn’t look anything like I remembered her.

-Roger wonders why Don is mad at him. “My mother was right,” Roger says. “It’s a mistake to be conspicuously happy. Some people don’t like it.” “No one thinks you’re happy,” Don replies. “They think you’re foolish/full of shit.” I listened to it three times, and couldn’t tell whether he said foolish or “full of shit.” Cool.

-Betty is not happy about being pregnant. She calls herself an “open umbrella,” and says, “I know I look good in my condition, but I’m still in my condition.” Some old guy who works for the governor hits on her, and at the end (after drunken Jane blabs about knowing that Don and Betty were separated), Don finds Betty far away from the garden party tent, in the bushes/dark, and they make out.

All’s well that ends well!

Next week on: Big Gay Sal’s wife knows that something is wrong. Peggy wants to move to Manhattan. And more!


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6 thoughts on “Mad-cap: MAD MEN Went There Like Whoa

  1. And the alien in Spaceballs was singing the same song the singing frog sang in the old Lonney Tunes cartoon. You know, the frog with the top hat who used to be the mascot of the WB? I require you to see it if you haven’t already:

  2. I think it was “foolish”, but they sound so much alike, who can guess.
    Joan wasn’t relly singing, but she sure did a good job faking the accordion. Or was she actually playing?
    I wonder if that’s a real book Sally was reading or did some writer have a real hoot making it up?

  3. While I was re-watching this episode with Jay, he gaped and said, “Hey, I think that Connie is Conrad Hilton.” As in, the founder of Hilton Hotels. They’re both rich men from San Antonio, New Mexico. Fun!

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