The Shmooze

A (Not So) Brief History of Jews in 'Mad Men'

By Anne Cohen

If you’re anything like me, you’re currently anticipating a period of intense mourning: After seven magical, addictive seasons, “Mad Men” is coming to an end. Soon.

Season 7 of the award-winning show may be airing in two parts a la “Breaking Bad,” but it’s a sad reality that by close to this time next year, Don, Peggy, Joan, Roger, Betty, Sally, Pete, and all the other characters we’ve come to know and love (and yes, hate — I’m looking at you, Megan) will be but a distant memory to be revisited on Netflix in moments of nostalgia.

“Mad Men” is nominally the tale of Don Draper, 1960s ad man. But that only scratches the surface of what has morphed into one of the most carefully crafted, framed and nuanced shows on TV. “Mad Men” is the story of America. “Mad Men” is the story of a generation. “Mad Men” is the story of women. And “Mad Men” is the story of the Jews.

It’s no coincidence that the very first episode includes a rather shocking display of anti-Semitism: We’ve hardly even gotten to know Don when a slick, 1959 Roger strides into his office to ask: “Have we ever hired any Jews?” Don’s deadpan answer is even more revealing: “Not on my watch.”

Almost ten fictional “Mad Men” years later, we’ve come a long way. Sterling Cooper & Partners (formerly Sterling Cooper then Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, then Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Cutler Gleason & Chough) has a full-time Jewish copywriter, the ever-neurotic Michael Ginsberg; Peggy has dated a Jewish man; Roger married a Jewish secretary (and then divorced her), and Don has acquired a taste for Jewish mistresses. The company courts Manischewiz as a serious client (and then gets fired). The Jews have arrived. We are, as it were, the perfect example illustrating Don’s signature line: “If you don’t like what they’re saying, change the conversation.”

And so, in honor of our favorite TV show, we bring you the definitive guide of Jewish “Mad Men” moments.

Season 1: Jews are out

1.“Have we ever hired a Jew?”


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Watch Alison Brie Read Craigslist 'Missed Connections'

By Anne Cohen

How do you make Craigslist less creepy? Call in Alison Brie.

The Jewish “Community” and “Mad Men” actress was on Jimmy Kimmel, where the comedian had her read a series of “Missed Connections” entries out loud. They seemed almost romantic.

For those of you who have a life, Missed Connections, as described by Kimmel, are “messages from people who met or saw someone they were attracted to, but for whatever reason didn’t get their number.”

Cue mood music.

[h/t The Daily Dot]

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Israeli Woman Turns Husband's Life Into TV Theme

By Anne Cohen

In what is possibly the coolest birthday card ever made, an Israeli woman celebrated her husband’s special day by turning his life into a television opening theme.

Leigh Lahav inserted herself, her husband Oren, and their friends and family into such shows as “Mad Men,” “Arrested Development,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” ” The Office” and more.

Who knew Herzliyya looked so much like Scranton?

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Mel, Oliver and "Mad Men": A Month of Real and Fictional Antisemitism

By Sarah Selzer

It’s been quite the month for antisemitic comments and conspiracies. Just as the new ADL report reveals the continual presence of antisemitic incidents in American lives and online, a number of comments from celebs have brought the strain of bias back into the spotlight. First there was Mel Gibson’s alleged antisemitic threats against TMZ founder Harvey Levin, (really, Mel. We’re shocked. Shocked!) providing the backdrop for gossip wars between Radar and TMZ, the latter of which oddly claims the threats were negligible.

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Then, hot on Mel’s bizarre and sad heels came the disheartening comments from Oliver Stone ( for which he has since apologized ), complaining about how the Jew-controlled media overemphasizes the whole “Holocaust” part of the Holocaust. This was particularly distressing news because darn it, Stone makes great movies!

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