Pay No Attention To That Man Behind the Curtain

The amount of attention focused on all things Mad Men is extraordinary. All of a sudden these “nobody” actors appeared on a little watched network to be the stars of a period drama that was vastly different from the popular shows on television, and we just can not get enough. Their faces cover magazines; they receive awards and nominations; and they inspired a recurrence of 1960s fashion. But with all this hype about Mad Men, I can not help but wonder about the man behind it all.

As I was skimming through the September issue of Rolling Stone plastered with the faces of some of the Mad Men characters I have come to know, I was surprised to find that the article within was actually focused on the creator of the show Matthew Weiner rather than the famous stars we tune into each week. Interestingly though, the separate characters we see on screen comprise the full person of Matthew Weiner: “In his head, the characters on the show are all reflections of himself. Not just Don Draper - every single part” (Konigsberg 46). Mad Men serves as a form of therapy that enables him to release everything he feels as well as talk about his family, parents, fantasies, enemies, and fears (Konigsberg 46).

So who is Matthew Weiner? Well, he wishes he had the sexual confidence of Joan, refers to himself as a mini-Pete Campbell during his high school years, and painfully admits that he was once a jealous and cruel person (Konigsberg 46). Also, he is no Don Draper, at least personality-wise. Where Don would handle any situation with ease, Weiner finds himself uncomfortable in such situations, evidenced by his obvious fidgeting (Konigsberg 43). However, both Draper and Weiner are constantly dealing with the question of who they are, a question that all of us have asked a some point or another. In a sense, Matthew Weiner is Mad Men.

So, while you get to know Don, Peggy, Joan, Pete, Betty, and the other characters, realize too that you are ultimately getting to know Matthew Weiner. It turns out that we are paying more attention to the man behind the curtain than we thought.

Links referenced: Konigsberg, Eric. “A Fine Madness.” Rolling Stone 16 Sept. 2010: 43-49. Print.


  1. I've only heard the most incredible things about Matt Weiner, especially about his incredible attention to detail that largely makes the show what it is. As for not being Don Draper - he may not be as smooth but really who is? I was looking for finale reviews and I loved this little quote from NY Magazine:

    "When asked about season five, Weiner exclaimed, “Don’t start asking me about next season. Let me enjoy this! Let me enjoy 10 minutes of this!”

    Source: http://www.bloginity.com/blog/2010/10/19/mad-men-finale-interview-creator-matthew-weiner-tells-all/#ixzz1337Nj9Uo

    I also found it a little funny that they haven't technically been renewed yet for a Season 5. Talk about a cliffhanger.

  2. isn't his son in the series as well? i think he plays pete. based upon what weiner said in the interview casting his son as pete could be a sort of "freudian slip" on weiner's part. he casted his son, probably the closest thing to himself, to the part of the most troubled and awkward character on the show. coincidence? i think not

  3. This post is very interesting. I never knew this side of Matthew Weiner, about how he puts who he was,is, and who he wants be be in his characters. Makes me wonder why he put his son as Glenn in the series?