If Mad Men Were a Blaxploitation Movie

Slate's Culture Blog
April 10 2014 1:26 PM

If Mad Men Were a Blaxploitation Movie

Mad Men has long been criticized for its hesitant approach to race, so it’s unsurprising that over the last few years there have been various parodies and riffs on Matthew Weiner’s fictional world from a black perspective. The output ranges from insightful to silly to a bit underwhelming, but a new parody of the series may just be the funniest yet.

The “trailer” for “Don-O-Mite” is a four-minute long bonanza of sharp Blaxploitation references turned on Mad Men details: Our pitch-perfect narrator introduces us to characters like Black Peggy, Pete “the Soup Man” Campbell, and Sugar Hills Holloway, each a perfectly hip rendition of their Mad Men counterparts. The trailer is an ad for an ad agency, Leroy & Clarkson, but that’s probably the reason it works so well: The writing is clever and knows its Blaxploitation roots, while the performances, costumes, and set designs are impeccable. It’s hard not to find the agency a little endearing when they create something as dyn-o-mite as this.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.