Written before the end of the Emmys and thus subject to the Dewey Defeats Truman clause

Posted on September 22nd, 2008

Six out of sixteen ain't bad.

Last night, Mad Men became the first basic cable series in history to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. It is, inarguably, the best and most accurate fictional representation of ad people. Faint praise, perhaps, since much of the rest appears to have been created by people who've never seen the inside of a real agency. If a show's not about a cop, doctor or lawyer, there's an excellent chance the protagonist is an "advertising executive" whose nebulous job description includes everything from copywriting and account management to illustration and planning. And why are they always wearing suits?

North ny Northwest

North by Northwest

A New York adman outfights assassins, police and a plane equipped with a machine gun. This shit happens to me every single day.

Kate and Leopold

Kate & Leopold

Every cinematic romance has a crisis. Here, Wolverine is appalled that Sally would hawk a product she knows to be disgusting. Even more disgusting: by going back in time, she becomes her ex-lover's great-grandmother.



When a famous ad exec is murdered with a shotgun, the detective investigating her death falls in love with her. It's like Titanic for necrophiles. Also, there were famous female ad execs in the forties?

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Jennifer Aniston can't get promoted at Mercer Advertising because she's more focused on work than her personal life. Yeah, that happens.

How to get ahead in advertising

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

Ironically, my second audition for theatre school was a monologue from The Sex Organ where a creative brainstorms a fully fleshed out ad in about 45 seconds (you know, the way it always works in real life). Richard E. Grant does it much better than I did. Oh, and there's a sentient boil.

Mr Blanding

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Next time you have writer's block, just steal an idea from your sassy black servant. "Darling, give Gussie a $10 raise!" How about giving her your job, you fucking plagiarist?

Crazy people

Crazy People

Jaguar. For men who'd like handjobs from beautiful women they hardly know.

What Women Want

What Women Want

The epitome of the Lone Wolf myth. Mel Gibson works in a large agency full of presumably superfluous co-workers since he creates entire campaigns single-handedly. Also, the way Helen Hunt punches herself in the head whenever she glimpses Mel Gibson's crotch makes me wonder what he'd think if he couldn't hear her thoughts.

Mr. Mom

Mr. Mom

The polar opposite. It takes dozens of people to come up with a single ad. For tuna.

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

Juror #12. Smooth-talking, superficial and prone to phrases like "Let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes." More interested in his Rice Pops campaign than the murder trial.



Pre Don Draper, Darren Stevens was the most famous ad man in fiction. His wife was hot and omnipotent. Why he even went to work is beyond me.

Bosom Buddies

Bosom Buddies

A creative team wealthy enough to start their own agency in season two swears they only became transvestites for the affordable housing. Today, the art director is the most beloved actor of our time while the copywriter once guest starred on Love Boat. Still, kudos on acknowledging the team dynamic.


P.S. E-mail's on the fritz, but I'd love you to contact me via Facebook if you have any additions to the list. I haven't seen Perfect Stranger, for example. Did Halle Berry play Balki or Cousin Larry? Your input would be much appreciated.

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