Follow Friday: Don Draper in the ’80s

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
June 21 2013 9:11 AM

Follow Friday: Don Draper in the ’80s

4c0c3540-98ac-15e5-78c5-fdecc72c4d41_MM_610_JT_0416_019
Don Draper in Mad Men

Photo by Jamie Trueblood/AMC

Given his hallucinations, blackouts, and apparently worsening alcoholism, there’s no guarantee that Don Draper will make it to the 1980s. And of course, Matthew Weiner is likely to end Mad Men before the series gets to that decade anyway. Fortunately for us, John McNamee, a comedian and contributor to the Onion, has created the frequently hilarious Twitter parody account @80sDonDraper. Don is no longer contending with the arrival of be-ins or a hip-swiveling Ann-Margaret; he’s now trying to convince clients that “The sooner you realize this is a post-Paula Abdul world, the sooner we can sell some Casios.”

Aisha Harris Aisha Harris

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

Just as Weiner is obsessed with historically accurate details from the turbulent ’60s, so is McNamee intent on capturing the semi-forgotten ephemera of the ’80s—Draper-style. The account began back in April, with @80sDonDraper selling a client their next great ad slogan while simultaneously capturing some of the largest themes of Mad Men—typical Don. And while others have imagined what the show would look like in the ’70s (a decade that Season 7, which Weiner has said will be the last, may very well spill into), it’s even more fun to imagine that all the cheesy catchphrases and infamous products of the Reagan years might have been cooked up by still a morose, ever mysterious Don.

Advertisement

Even in the 1980s, Draper knows what kids want:

He understands that consumerism is even easier to manipulate in a yuppie world:

He still manages to project world-weary profundity for his potential clients:

And he can still speak to a sincere desire for a kind of collective American identity,when necessary:

If you’re wondering if 1980s Don indulges in the decade’s favorite illegal stimulant, McNamee says ... a bit. “Drink will always be Don’s first love,” he told TV Guide. “Though he does coke the rim of his margaritas.”

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.