My thoughts this week are, as you might imagine, consumed with “Mad Men,” and as I was getting lunch this afternoon, I started thinking about the many different copywriters who have worked under Don and/or Peggy over the years. This inevitably led me to try to rank them, and the next thing I knew, I was tweeting that ranking and a bunch of other non-essential ones. Then, after reading Twitter responses and seeing things I missed and/or ranked unfairly, I composed the following completely essential, not-at-all rushed or superficial list of annotated “Mad Men” rankings.
Please commence to arguing in the comments, and feel free to rank other things either more important (Don pitches) or less (Ken Cosgrove pen names).
Non-Don/Peggy copywriters ranked
Ginsberg, Freddie, Smitty (and Kurt), Megan, Kinsey, Ted, Mathis, Danny, Ed, Joey… Lou
Notes: Kinsey is probably suffering from recency bias, and I’ve forgotten the name of the woman who lost her job after the merger with CGC. Freddie also gets bonus points for discovering Peggy. Also, it’s easy to forget after all this time, but Joey has a very good argument to be ranked behind Lou.
Don Draper secretaries ranked (as secretaries)
Meredith, Allison, Dawn, Megan, Peggy, Jane, Miss Blankenship, Lois
Notes: In my original Twitter rankings, I put Joan first, which is unfair. (As a tweep noted, it would be like calling Derek Jeter the best player in Scranton-Wilkes Barre Rail Riders history because he did a few rehab games there.) Allison gets underrated because she slept with Don, but she was a great secretary before then (better than Dawn and better quicker than Meredith), and don’t forget that Meredith was both dumb and tried to seduce Don once upon a time.
Art directors ranked
Sal/Stan (tie), Frank Gleason
Notes: Couldn’t choose between Sal and Stan, so I pulled a Wilbon and pushed. A remarkably stable position.
Peggy Olson love interests ranked
…No, that”s just too depressing.
Notes: Several of you argued for “advertising,” or Stan, or Joyce, but the actual love interests (Abe, Duck, Pete, Mark) are a pretty sorry bunch.
Betty”s BB gun, John Deere riding mower, Pete”s rifle, Peggy”s bayonet, Lane”s fists, Lane’s father’s cane, Joan’s vase, Duck”s fists, Pete”s fists, Chevy exec’s shotgun
Notes: I screwed up the cutting and pasting of this one on Twitter so it read as “Betty’s John Deere riding mower, BB gun” which confused the hell out of everyone.
Don Drapers ranked
Dick Whitman, Lt. Donald Draper
Notes: Pretty self-explanatory.
Bob Benson, Bobby 3, Bobbie Barrett, Bobby 4, Bobby 1, Bobby 2
Notes: Bob is arguably a stretch, but for all we know, he was known as “Bobby” in his younger hillbilly days. Bobby 3 is now on “Once Upon a Time.”
Musical numbers ranked
Bert Cooper sings “The Best Things In Life Are Free,” Megan sings “Zou Bisou Bisou,” Ken tap dances (and raps “It’s My Job”), Freddie’s zipper, Pete and Trudy dance the Charleston, Joan plays accordion and sings “C’est Magnifique,” Kinsey sings a cappella, Roger in blackface
Notes: I was rightly chided for leaving out both “Zou Bisou Bisou” and Freddie’s musical zipper from the initial list. Shame on me.
Pete Campbell accounts ranked
Secor Laxative… everything else.
Notes: One could argue that Ho-Ho was amusing enough that jai alai deserves to not be lumped in with Vick, North American, etc.
Betty stylistic departures ranked
Nightgown + rifle, Roman beehive hairdo, brunette, fat suit
Notes: Also self-explanatory, and it led to a request to rank the uses of the fat suit, in which I ranked Peggy ahead of Betty.
Draper neighbors ranked
Francine, the old people in the Village, Helen Bishop, Arnie Rosen, Sylvia Rosen, Glen Bishop, Carlton
Notes: Largely shuffled around from the original rankings (which omitted the old couple altogether). I still suspect I’m being too hard on Glen.
Facial hair ranked
Stan beard, Cooper goatee, Glen sideburns, Roger stache, Kinsey beard, Ginsberg stache, Danny stache, Ted stache
Notes: Stan’s beard is so glorious, I almost gave it the Secor Laxative treatment. Don’s drunken stubble arguably deserves a spot here (and would at a minimum rank above Danny and Ted).