mad men

John Slattery, Sarah Silverman, and More on Their Favorite Mad Men Memories

Photo: AMC

In honor of the series finale of Mad Men this Sunday, we polled a number of actors, writers, and directors on their favorite Mad Men memories. Their answers range from the obscure (that time the elevator disappeared) to the show-defining (that time we found out Don is not actually Don). Ahead, Sarah Silverman, Danny Strong, John Slattery, and many more share the moments that stayed with them.

“Season five, when they’re at the museum and Sally gets her period, and she pulls down her pants in the bathroom and there’s blood in it. I don’t think I’ve ever, in any R-rated movie, in anything, seen period blood, especially a girl’s first period, and they show it. And it’s so good — that episode was so brilliant and that was a moment that was so indelible for me — to show that part of what every woman experiences on television was pretty far out. I thought it was so awesome.” —Sarah Silverman

“When I punched Roger Sterling in the balls. I mean, he had it coming. That’s right.” —Danny Strong

“I love when they, in the dark of night, moved the office to their new office. They had to steal all the files. And for one moment they all got along, and it felt optimistic. That was like a happy time for me. There were just digging in and doing the work, and all the pettiness went out the window.” —Matt Walsh

“The elevator doors opening up, and then the elevator isn’t there, and then they close again.” —Timothy Simmons

“It would have to be when you find out that Don’s not Don. What? Then who is this man?” —Sam Richardson

“There’s a scene when Joan is with Sterling. I feel like it’s in the rain, but it’s maybe not. But it’s at night. And there’s just this moment where you know that they love each other. I think it’s when she tells him she’s pregnant. She’s in white. It was a gorgeous scene.” —Anna Chlumsky

“I love that scene where Peggy goes to the party with Zosia Mamet’s character, where she’s exposed to that different political world for the first time. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I think she’s so phenomenal. She’s not afraid to share her own opinions, even at the expense of losing family members or the respect of her peers. She’s not afraid to fight and claw her way to the top.” —Rachel Brosnahan

“I loved, there was a period when she wore, like, really simple skirts and really simple button-down shirts, and it was kind of like a little uniform. There were dresses that she wore that were prettier and more interesting and more fashion-forward, but I actually liked when they were really simple and, like, a regular working woman. I took this purple dress, the purple long-sleeve dress that she wears when she leaves SCP to go to CGC and says good-bye to Don. I love that scene.” —Elisabeth Moss

“One of the boldest things we ever did was having Betty Draper wear the same dress in two different episodes because people don’t do that. Betty has a closet, she has an outfit that she wears in certain situations, just like men and women do, and I’m proud that we committed ourselves to that.” —Matthew Weiner on one his favorite fashion moments

“My favorite memory was seeing the first episode of it, before it became de rigueur for TV watching, and thinking I’ve never seen anything like this on TV. It’s captures the period so well, and it’s so complex and interesting, and just the first exposure I had to it hooked me.” —Chris Noth

“When Joan’s husband threw her down and raped her. The evolution of smoking, drinking, and how women are treated. It was beautiful, without being terribly didactic and hitting you over the head. It just showed you what was what. And I lived that, I was a kid in my 20s; I’m 73.” —Robert Klein

“I loved when they had the mower in the office and the guy got his foot cut off. That was really funny. [Laughs.] That made me laugh. Lots of blood spurting.” —Emma Myles

“The way they handled the death of Bert Cooper’s character with the song and dance thing, because he’s a Broadway actor, he was in tons of shows. That was an incredible moment. But really, my God, Elisabeth Moss’s arc with the baby was incredible. I think Roger Sterling doesn’t get enough credit. You know, there have been episodes that [John Slattery] had directed that were fucking incredible.” —Constantine Maroulis

“‘The Suitcase’ episode was great, of course, everyone loves ‘The Suitcase.’ That’s one of the rare shows where I’ve never thought, Oh, they’re a little off this season. I just show up and I’m excited to see them.” —Justin Kirk

“One of my favorite scenes was because of the outfit. It’s in the Kennedy-assassination episode. Pete decides he’s not going to go to Sterling’s daughter’s wedding, but we’re all dressed up to go. I’m wearing the most amazing blue dress. A great moment is season five or six, the episode where they’re leaving to start their own company.They come to talk to Pete, Trudy leaves the room, but when Pete starts to say the wrong thing, you think she’s gone, and then you just hear her say, ‘Peter, can I just talk to you for a second from the hallway.’” —Alison Brie

“It’s special because it takes me back to the early ‘60s — ‘cause I’m that old. I mean, I was very young, but I remember it. The difference, the drinking while pregnant and smoking while they’re pregnant, and the way they treated women in the workplace was just really jolting. But I think the juxtaposition of living in the now and watching that — and also, the acting is superb. And the relationship of Don and Peggy, which I really love. It’s just … it’s probably the best show on television, I think. It really is. I’m going to miss it. It’s like a death.” —Mario Cantone

“It’s got to be watching her walk down the corridor, really, I think. Christina Hendricks. Any moment she has.” —Douglas Hodge

“I liked when the daughter got all bitchy and hated her mom.” —Norman Reedus

“Just all of those women. I mean, not that the men aren’t so incredible, but I’m just such a fan of getting to see those actresses every week. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re in the great outfits that they’re in, ‘cause I love the clothing so much from that period. But it’s just an amazing group of women that I feel excited to have in my DVR. Especially Elisabeth Moss.” —Lily Rabe

“I always like it when somebody, you know, breaks out in song, especially a dead person, because it reminds me of The Singing Detective, which is one of my favorite television shows of all time, the original British one, with Michael Gambon. And I remember, like, the guy with the beard, and he dies, and then there’s kind of this dream sequence because they’re all on LSD, amphetamines, what have you, and he breaks into song in the office.” —Natasha Lyonne

“I love the bit, it was really early on, when Betty comes out with the shotgun and points it up and shoots birds. It’s so great. [Laughs.]” —Rose Byrne

“One of my favorite moments was that moment outside in the car with [Don and] his kids, outside of his childhood home. I loooove me some Sally.” —Allison Williams

“I love all the Don and Sally story lines. When she showed up at his office two seasons ago, I thought that was the most moving [thing I have ever seen].” —Andrew Rannells

“Given how much I liked How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, that final musical number [with] Robert Morse couldn’t be beat for me.” —Michelle King

“Two moments. One is when the kid runs out with the plastic dry-cleaning bag over his head and the mom gets angry. We think it’s because he’s going to be killed, but no, it’s because he might wrinkle the dress. The other time is when they go on a picnic and they keep throwing their trash all over the park. It was so ‘50s.” —Robert King

“Talia [Balsam] and I shot a scene that never aired, and I wish that they’d unearth that thing. It was a scene in a car, and we were coming home from a dinner. The first dinner in that first episode, with Don and Betty and Roger and Mona, where they kind of go their separate ways after dinner and then debrief in the car and talk about how ridiculously attractive they were. And it’s a really funny scene between Roger and Mona that, for time or whatever reason, they never shot. And I think it would’ve been a really good introduction into the character of Mona. Man, I wish … we should go back and shoot that, I think.” —John Slattery

“For me, it was going to get the daughter at the commune.” —Talia Balsam

“I haven’t followed it that closely, but I enjoy the whole thing. I think it’s got very good actors. I enjoy Jon Hamm a lot, too. I think he’s attractive. I didn’t like it when the beautiful blonde put on weight. What’s her name? Jennifer? January Jones. I thought she was so gorgeous, and they had her put on all that weight. And I was really unhappy, and I thought, Why would they do that to her? I know it’s all acting and everything. I saw a picture of her recently, and she looked good again. Stunning. And I thought, Ugh, she’s married to a cad. But it’s good stuff.” —Jacqueline Bisset

“As a viewer, I was just so blown away by the Peggy/Don episode that was just the two of them. I know that Mad Men was revolutionary television for a lot of reasons, but as an actor, that was kind of just an acting showcase, and the kind of stuff that gets me excited. And then [as an actor on the show] I had fun throwing the TV out the window.” —Rosemarie DeWitt

Sarah Silverman and More on Mad Men Memories