Many of us here at Bust’s HQ are enamored by Mad Men. The clothes! The 1960s decor! And let us not forget, the twisting and bold story lines. A few of us got to talking about television and our love for old television programs. Gilligan’s Island came into the mix and we all decided – could our favorite ad execs be harpooned on an uncharted island? Some of these character comparisons are a little too close, if not funny.
Is Mad Men a riff on Gilligan’s Island? Judge for yourself…
Joan as Ginger – Both firey, brazen redheads with strong, memorable screen presence with the gift of gab and wit. The sultry Joan had the swagger and va-va-voom just like Ginger does, with to-die-for costume changes, bright colors, and enough sass enough to put everyone in their place.
Peggy as Mary Ann – Young and wide eyed, this pair of women are equally mysterious. Like the popular phrase in Sterling Coopers campaign, “Marilyn or Jackie,” another pop culture phrase is “Ginger or Mary Ann”? Mary Ann is painted as the more innocent example against Ginger just as Peggy is juxtaposed to Joan as an extreme. Are they innocent? Naive? Or, just erudite gamines waiting to unfold?
Don Draper as The Professor – Charming and mysterious, Don and the Professor are both men of mystery. The Professor holds multiple degrees at a young age, he’s a botanist, a science teacher, and a scoutmaster. Where do they find the time? Particularly with Don’s three martini lunches and mid-day, lusty romps with teachers, beatniks, flight attendants, and, oh yeah, his own wife, Betty.
Roger as the Skipper – Head Honchos running the ship. Enough said. Cooper might like to take rocks glasses and cigarettes from Don’s office, but he’s the captain of a sea of suits.
Pete and Trudy as Thurston Howell III and Eunice “Lovey” Howell – Trust fund kids chock full of whine meet their older counterparts. As a couple, Pete and Trudy are preoccupied by moving up the social ladder, like the island dwellers. Mrs. Howell and Trudy share a fondness for loud and flashy hats as was the belle du jour style. While Howell hardly does any work on the island (paging Bert Cooper), Pete is a shark among the office floor – especially when it comes to vying for head of accounts. (Side note: Roger and Mona would also be an interesting alternative version of the Howells).
Pete as Gilligan – Goofy and aloof, Pete fills this bumbling role well. He’s driven and wants to impress all (along with cutting it to the top), but he often comes off as an over-eager school boy rather than an office crusader. Gilligan, the lovable lackey and the Skipper’s right hand man is often running around. Pete tries to run circles around Don and impress Roger, but does it work? Ken wouldn’t strike too badly as a Gilligan, either.