Mad Men Monday: Waldorf Stories

In episode 6 of Mad Men, we learn a little more about Don and Roger’s relationship when the agency is excited about Don’s nomination for a Clio Award for his floor wax commercial. Don is ecstatic about his success; Peggy is resentful that she is not receiving more credit for her contribution to the ad.  Roger is feels slighted because  Don seems to have forgotten it was Roger who gave him his big break in advertising.

At Roger’s insistence, Don and Peggy interview Danny Siegel, Jane Sterling’s cousin for a copywriting job. Danny limited talents only extend to one tagline : “The Cure For The Common (fill in the blank)”.  They share a laugh and send Danny on his merry way and prepare for the afternoon’s big event, the Clio Awards ceremony.

The mood is festive as everyone at SCDP is excited about Don’s nomination for the advertising industry’s new award, The Clio. The drinking starts early despite a schedule meeting with LIFE  breakfast cereal company. When they find out that the cereal executives have to reschedule due to transportation issues, the party goes into high drive. Don, who has been drinking more and more, feels all the more inclined to drink, celebrating his success.

Don, Roger, Joan and Pete attend the award ceremony at The Waldorf Hotel, in anticipation of Don winning the award, knowing it will mean more prestige for the fledgling agency. Apparently, Don is not the only one who is drinking these days. A drunken Duck Phillips, heckles the winners and is ‘escorted‘ out of the room. Don’s floor wax commercial wins and a drunken Don kisses Joan (oohs, aahs) and stumbles to the stage to accept his award. Now off to the Pen & Ink for more celebrating (drinking).

Unfortunately, the LIFE cereal people have arrived and are waiting in the conference room for Don to make his presentation. The drunken bunch, lead by Don, arrives and after a victory lap around the conference table, an inebriated Don begins his presentation. The cereal execs don’t like his first idea, so  Jim Beam convinces Don to come up with a few ideas on the fly, one of which is Danny’s line: LIFE, the cure for the common breakfast. They LOVE it!

Roger Reminisces

After the success of David Ogilvy’s book, Confessions of an Advertising Man, Roger decides to write a book of his own. His dictation of  his life are hilarious. With Don’s growing success, Roger reminisces about their first meeting. Five years earlier Roger goes to a fur store to purchase a mink coat for his new voluptuous red-headed mistress. The eager salesman, a young Don Draper longs to be an ad man. He includes samples of his work in the box with Joan’s mink coat, shows up in the lobby of Roger’s building and desperately tries to ingratiate himself with Roger. Eventually, the two men share a few (maybe more than a few) drinks at a bar and Don helps a tipsy Roger back to his office. The next day Don shows up in the lobby again, this time saying that Roger has hired him. Somehow, I get the idea that Roger is unsure if he actually offered Don a job.

Peggy Strips

Still miffed over not receiving the thanks she feels she deserves for her contribution to the Glo Coat floor wax commercial, Peggy tries to tell Don he has stolen Danny’s idea. But Don is in no shape to listen to reason or stand up straight. He questions Peggy about her progress on the Vicks cough drop account. Not pleased with her ideas, Don tells Mrs Blankenship to book Peggy and Stan Rizzo, the chauvinistic new art director into a hotel room for the weekend to work on the campaign.

Peggy and Stan are stuck in the Waldorf, until they come up with something Don will like. Stan teases Peggy about being repressed and uptight, insisting that he is by nature a nudist. Peggy,  sick is Stan’s cracks,  strips butt-naked and dares him to do the same. [congrats to camera people for their artful camera angles]. Stan follows suit, but is not as comfortable as Peggy. Who is this new Peggy?

Don Blacks Out

The next morning, Don calls Danny back to the office to buy his idea. No. Danny wants a job. What about freelance? No. Freelance is not a job [I beg to differ, Danny] Left with no alternative, Don hires Danny.

Mad Men just gets better and better each week.
What did you think of this week’s episode?

Previously On Mad Men

Mad Men: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword

Mad Men: The Rejected

Mad Men: The Good News

Mad Men: Christmas Comes But Once a Year

Mad Men: Public Relations

Photos by Michael Yarish

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About Clara Mathews

Clarabela (Clara Mathews) is freelance web content copywriter, professional blogger and Hugh Jackman fan. In addition to writing about her love of movies at, Clarabela is also a regular contributor to DignityZine.  Follow Just Chick Flicks on Facebook.


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