Matthew Weiner: ‘Mad Men’ On HBO Would Have Meant A Lot More ‘Nakedness and Violence’

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner did a Reddit AMA yesterday, ostensibly to promote his new movie Are You Here. But, as you can imagine, seeing as Mad Men just wrapped production on its final chunk of episodes and it’s by far and away Weiner’s claim to fame, most of the questions focused on the show: the music, the writing process, the many Bobby Drapers, etc. The most interesting coupling of questions, however, came from a user named ConuardoShankman, who posed the following queries:

Serious question: How (if at all) do you think Mad Men would be different had it aired on HBO as initially considered instead of AMC?

HBO has an insatiable appetite for nakedness and violence so there would have been a lot more of that. That may sound like a missed opportunity for some people but I have enjoyed the restrictions of basic cable. I think it has made the show strangely more sexy by implication and it was never going to be violent. The hero takes a nap in the first 15 minutes of the pilot.

Now, I’m sure most of you degenerates read that and started hyperventilating over the concept of, like, Don and Joan going on a vacation together to a nudist colony, which is perfectly understandable, but I’d like to make two additional points: 1) The hypothetical HBO version of the show would have been far more likely to feature Pete Campbell getting brutally mauled by a bear, and now I’m a little sad about it, and; 2) “It was never going to be violent,” eh? Tell that to poor Guy MacKendrick.

And speaking of former SCD&P employees…

Less serious question: Who would come out on top in a brawl between all current and former employees of SCD&P (and earlier iterations)?

The group from the earlier season had the reach and the rage but the later group has Stan and Ginsberg. Facial hair always wins.

Rizzo and Ginsberg would have made an excellent tag team. Rizzo has the size and brute strength, and Ginsberg is, well, Ginsberg is crazy. It’s like that old saying goes, “Never mess with the guy in the office who cut off his nipple after loudly declaring that the new computer was turning everyone gay.”