21 Things You (Probably) Never Knew About 'Mad Men'

Have you started binge-watching or re-watching Mad Men on Netflix yet? If so, these fun little secrets about the characters, the creator and more may give you a different view of the show. Here are 21 things you probably never knew about Mad Men. 

01
of 21

'Mad Men' was originally pitched to HBO--they didn't want it.

Mad Men
Photo credit: AMC

Before AMC locked in the deal to air Mad Men, creator Matthew Weiner showed the script to HBO. And David Chase (Sopranos producer and writer) thought it would be a good match. He even delivered the script to the executives at HBO himself. But according to a Vanity Fair story in 2009, Chase and Weiner said that HBO would take it on if "Chase be an executive producer, and Chase said he had further discussion with Weiner about directing the pilot." Of course, the enormously popular show ended up at AMC. HBO's loss! 

02
of 21

Weiner almost killed off Roger Sterling in the first season.

Roger Sterling
Photo: AMC

Weiner was thinking that Roger Sterling would die in the first season. He thought that John Slattery had another job and he wasn't sure if he would stay on the show. Fans are glad he did! Would the drama have been too much without Roger's humor in the mix? 

03
of 21

Betty Draper really wanted to be Peggy Olsen.

Betty Draper/Francis
Photo credit: AMC

January Jones, who played Betty Draper/Francis, auditioned for the role of Peggy Olsen twice before it ended up in the hands of Elisabeth Moss. Weiner still wanted her in the cast, so he wrote a couple of scenes for her, not knowing where she'd end up. 

04
of 21

It was the 1st network basic cable network show to get a Best Drama Emmy nom.

Mad Men Cast at 61st Annual Emmys
Steve Granitz/ WireImage/ Getty Images

Mad Men, along with the TV series Damageswas nominated for a Best Drama Emmy. This was the first time a basic cable network series had received a nomination. 

05
of 21

Don Draper is based on an actual person, sort of.

Draper Daniels vs. Don Draper
Photo Credit: AMC and Chicago Magazine

At least some of Don Draper's characteristics are based on Draper Daniels, a Chicago ad man who was responsible for creating the Marlboro Man. Daniels' wife wrote a piece for Chicago Magazine that revealed Weiner had acknowledged that Draper was loosely based on Daniels. Some compare Don to Albert Lasker, also known as "the father of modern advertising" and Emerson Foote, the "F" in the ad agency FCB and former chairman of McCann-Erickson. 

06
of 21

Joan's unforgettable walk wan't planned.

Joan Holloway
Photo credit: AMC

Joan's walk that made all of the men in the office take a second look wasn't planned. Christina Hendricks was having trouble moving in the 1960s dress she was wearing, so during her walk across the office in the pilot, she swung her hips simply to try "to get from one side of the room to the other."

07
of 21

It costs close to $3 million to make an episode of 'Mad Men.'

Mad Men
Photo: AMC

According to various reports, each episode of Mad Men costs roughly $2.8 million to make. The 1960s wardrobe and sets aren't cheap!

08
of 21

Lucky Strike's sales were upped because of 'Mad Men.'

Lucky Strike Idea
Photo: AMC

The cigarette brand Lucky Strike that is frequently discussed in the series saw its sales double after it became associated with Mad Men. That means they sold 10 billion more cigarettes.

09
of 21

Only one episode was filmed in New York City.

Mad Men in LA
Photo credit: AMC via EW

Nearly all of Mad Men takes place in New York City, but only the pilot was filmed there. The rest of the episodes were filmed in Los Angeles.

10
of 21

Seven of the show's writers are women.

Mad Men Writers
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Is it surprising that the fate of the ad agency's tough men rested in the hands of mostly women?  Maybe, but it's true. Despite the show's misogynistic and sexist story lines, seven out of nine Mad Men writers were women.

11
of 21

Roger Sterling could have been Don Draper.

Roger Sterling
Photo credit: AMC

John Slattery, who plays Roger, originally auditioned for the role of Don Draper. But it's hard to imagine anyone other than Jon Hamm playing the part! In an interview with ShortList.com, Slattery said Hamm was "annoyingly good" at playing Don. 

12
of 21

Matthew Weiner's son plays the Draper's neighbor Glen.

Glen Bishop
Photo credit: AMC

Weiner's real-life son plays the part of Glen Bishop, the Draper's odd and slightly creepy neighbor who eventually becomes Sally's pal. Weiner wasn't sure that he should give him the part when he auditioned, but his son had a natural gift. "...he really nailed it, and he's a really good actor," Weiner told the Huffington Post.  

13
of 21

Megan's version of "Zou Bisou Bisou" was a huge hit.

Megan Draper
Photo credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

Everyone, including music lovers, was impressed when 29-year-old Montreal native Jessica Pa (Megan, the new Ms. Draper) sang her version of "Zou Bisou Bisou" to Don Draper in the season five premiere. The song eventually topped Billboard's Word Digital chart. 

14
of 21

The cast isn't really drinking or smoking.

Mad Men
Photo credit: AMC

The actors are constantly drinking and smoking on the show, but neither the cigarettes nor the alcohol is real. Don's scotch is apple juice, the martinis are onion juice and the cigarettes are herbal. Christina Hendricks told Esquire that the cigarettes are "disgusting."

15
of 21

Bill Murray's brother plays Freddie Rumsen.

Freddie Rumsen
Photo credit: AMC

Do you see the resemblance? Joel Murray, Bill Murray's brother, plays the off-the-wall alcoholic ad man Freddie Rumsen in Mad Men. Joel also appeared in shows such as Two and a Half MenIt's Always Sunny in Philadephia, CSI: Miami, MotherLover, Shameless and Still Standing. 

16
of 21

Roger and Mona Sterling are married in real life.

John Slattery and Talia Balsam
Dave Kotinsky/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images

Although Roger and Mona eventually play exes during the series, John Slattery and Talia Balsam, whose real ex is George Clooney, are married. And they say it was easy to work together on the show. 

17
of 21

Weiner paid A LOT of money to use a Beatles song.

Photo credit: AMC

In an effort to keep the show's authenticity in tact, Weiner ended the "Lady Lazarus" episode with The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." And it cost him $250,000. Weiner told the New York Times that he always thought one of the show's flaws was that it didn't have a real master recording of The Beatles singing because "they are the band, probably, of the 20th Century." 

18
of 21

Lane Pryce's father is Dumbledore.

Lane Pryce
Photo credit: AMC

Jared Harris, who plays Lane Pryce in the series, is the son of the late Richard Harris. Richard plays Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. 

19
of 21

Pete Campbell is married to Beth in real life.

Vincent and Alexis
Gregg DeGuire/ WireImage/ Getty Images

Vincent Kartheiser plays young account executive Pete Campbell and Alexis Bledel plays Beth, a woman with mental issues who is the wife of one of Pete's train buddies. Although the two enter into a short-lived affair on the show, they've been married in real life since June 2014. 

20
of 21

President Barack Obama watches 'Mad Men.'

President Barack Obama and daughters
The White House/ Getty Images News/ Getty Images

President Barack Obama wrote Matthew Weiner a letter saying how much he liked the show. Weiner had it framed. Obama also used the show as an example of how outdated some policies are in his State of the Union address in 2014. 

21
of 21

In the pilot, the picture of Trudy on Pete Campbell's desk isn't Trudy.

Trudy Campbell
Photo credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

Alison Brie had not gotten the part of Trudy Campbell when the first episode was filmed. So who is the mystery woman in the photo on Pete's desk?