With the return of Don and company on “Mad Men” , I have decided to do a feature about the men and women who portray advertising execs on television. There has been a long history of advertising on television from “Bewitched” to the newest reality show “The Pitch.” Let’s see if any of these jog your memory.
Bewitched had these two Mad Men, and yes they came from that time period in real life . Larry and Darrin were the brains behind MacMahon and Tate. But hey how do you think Don Draper could have handled being married to a witch? First time he cheated, she would have turned him into a toad.
On “One Day at a Time” Bonnie Franklin was the career woman of the seventies. She was raising two teen daughters while trying to make ends meet after a divorce. Here she is working as a advertising gal with Charles Siebert as her boss and her partner Shelley Fabres.
Before the Oscar, Tom Hanks paid his dues on tv as a mad men turned mad woman on “Bosom Buddies.” The premise was that Kip and Henry would get cheaper rent if they lived in a all girls hotel. Of course, there would be complications as Hanks and future Newhart star Peter Scolari lived in their double world. Holland Taylor of “Two and Half Men”was their boss .
Judith Light made her mark on television as Angela Bower, an advertising exec who hired a man to be her housekeeper on “Who’s the Boss. Angela ran her agency while she fought her feelings for Tony Danza.
Heather Locklear’s Amanda ran her ad agency with an iron fist. No miss nice girl here. She lorded over her employees wearing mini skirts with power suits. Here she is with her fellow Melrose Place stars Courteney Thorne Smith and Andrew Shue.
In the final seasons of “Friends” Chandler was finally realizing his dream and doing something creative. He had started as an intern and worked his way up to being a jr copywriter. Here is Matthew Perry as he brainstorms about the latest thing.
TNT ‘s contribution to ad men was a short lived series called Trust Me. Ed’s Tom Cavanaugh and Will and Grace’s Eric Mccormack played two buddies who worked in Chicago in an ad agency. Unfortunately in the same year it premiered, another show about advertising premiered. It lived , but Trust Me failed.
This brings us to the present time and Mad Men, Matthew Weiner’s tribute to the swinging sixties . The show made stars of all of the major characters and shot unknown Jon Hamm into the stratosphere as man’s man Don Draper.