mad men

The Beards of Mad Men Reviewed

This week, the world mourned the loss of Jon Hamm’s glorious beard, which he was forced to remove by the cruel, fuzz-averse bosses at Saturday Night Live (where he returns as host tomorrow). But Hamm isn’t the only Mad Men star who’s spent the show’s hiatus growing a chin curtain — did you see the cast at the SAG Awards last weekend? They looked like Fleet Foxes! Last night we called up Michael Gladis, who plays Sterling Cooper’s whiskered copywriter Paul Kinsey, and had him explain the epidemic: “On the show, everybody wants to imitate Jon Hamm,” he told us. “But in real life, everybody wants to emulate me.” Since he’s Mad Men’s foremost authority on beard-growing, we asked him to evaluate the facial hair of his co-stars.

Gladis: “Jon Hamm can grow a beard in two hours. He probably grew that beard in the time it took to drive to the SAG Awards. Seriously, he has to shave twice a day on set. He doesn’t get five o’clock shadow, he gets a five o’clock beard.”
Gladis: “It’s a handsome beard, isn’t it? It’s a handsome beard on a handsome man. I didn’t ask him why he grew it. I think he’s just enjoying the opportunity to do something different before he goes back to work.”
Gladis: “I always shave my beard as soon as a season of Mad Men ends, and then I’m so appalled at my baby face that I immediately grow it back. I can’t stand the sight of my bare skin anymore. It probably takes a month to five weeks to grow. Much slower than Jon Hamm.”
Gladis: “My favorite thing about Aaron Staton’s beard is that it’s like a black and white cookie. If you look really carefully, half of it is kinda blond — it’s like an albino, pigmentless beard — and the other half is brownish, blondish dirty-blond beard. It’s split right down the middle.”
Gladis: “Hey, it’s a beard. There’s hair on his face. What do you want?”
Gladis: “I’d love to see Bryan in a beard. I haven’t seen him once with one yet. It’s crazy [that he won’t be back this year]. Will I be back? I don’t know. People are just going to have to watch season four to find out.”
Gladis: “He’s on his way to Alaska, so he needs that for insulation. He’s on a boat right now, so he really needs it to stay warm. What is he doing there? I’m not at liberty to say.”
Gladis: “I’ve only seen him with a beard on the show. I think he grew it [for the SAG Awards] so people would recognize him. That was a joke, by the way.”
Gladis: “Rich Sommer isn’t capable of growing a beard. I think he has retarded facial hair.”
Gladis: “He grew that to be like me. Note that he started appearing in beards right after Paul Kinsey comes back with one [in season two]. He grew it right after me. I have no problem calling him out on it.”
The Beards of Mad Men Reviewed