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Mad Men: Jon Hamm's Penis-Envy Problem

Television
by Jon Friedman
April 8, 2013 11:57 AM
2 Comments
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Is Jon Hamm getting too big for his britches? And yes, feel free to interpret the hidden meaning of that question in any way you'd like. 

Are people simply jealous of his wide reputation for being a very well endowed man. This is surely the strangest case of penis envy Hollywood has seen in some time.

As "Mad Men," the wildly popular and critically acclaimed AMC drama debuted its new season on Sunday night, another, even, well, bigger story that has been dogging the show's star Hamm. It seems Don Draper has a larger problem than moodiness. (Read more about Hamm.) 

As I researched Hamm -- an actor whose work I'm not too familiar with -- I came across something eye-catching. On Rolling Stone's recent cover profile of Hamm, I spotted an intriguing sidebar on the magazine's website.  I read:

"Jon Hamm has a problem most men would love to have: people all over the world are convinced he has an enormous penis. Headlines like 'Jon Hamm's Penis Is Too Big for His Clothes' are popping up and he's quit sick of the whole thing. 

"Most of it's tongue-in-cheek,' he told Rolling Stone. "But it's a little rude. It just speaks to a broader freedom that people feel like they have -- a prurience."

Listen, if Hamm had truly wanted to sidestep this burning issue, he could have told the interviewer to "get real" or "grow up" or "change the subject, punk." But apparently, he was quite willing to roll with this topic. Hamm and his handlers knew intuitively that any discussion of it would overshadow whether, say, Hamm subscribes to the principle of Method Acting.  

But Hamm also has a right to protest a certain lack of privacy. People are speculating that Hamm is too manly to fit the tight-pants look of the 1960s, when "Mad Men" takes place. There are social-media posts dealing with his anatomy. 

Most germane of all: What man, famous or not, wouldn't kill to have this kind of word-of-mouth chatter about his lower regions? Perhaps the man doth protest too much Come to think of it, did Shakespeare, who had an answer for every tragedy ever come up with anything for this particular malady? 

Eventually, critics will star sniping about Hamm's acting or the show's inevitable slump or how it isn't as good as it used to be. THEN, the man will have something to complain about. He should simply shrug off these prattling people. 

For openers, it is a compliment to Hamm that anybody cares about this. Second, it is a testament to the enduring popularity of "Mad Men," which is virtually synonymous with Hamm's brilliant, fascinating depiction of Don Draper. Third -- same as the first: It's a compliment.

Right now, Hamm doesn't have too much to worry about. His career is zooming. "Mad Men" picked up on Sunday night where it left off. The first episode of the new season was as engrossing as ever.

Hamm is a smart guy. He gets it. He seems quite self-aware, judging from what I've read about him. He knows what a lucky stiff he is. 

Surely, AMC could have originally gone with a dozen other qualified actors to play Don Draper from the outset. But Hamm was anointed. He was shrewd enough to know this going to be his big break. He took the ball and ran with it. He should laugh this stuff off.

He understands. As he said in the piece: "I guess it's better than being called out for the opposite." 

Television
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2 Comments

  • Ben | April 11, 2013 10:58 PMReply

    Sadly, think the marketplace and online models are pushign indieWIRE seems to lose its focus and turn into a mix of The Huffington Post meets Variety. For one, I hate the segregated blogs, even though I respect many of the writers and topics: "I only write about politics." "I only write about women in film." "I only write about African American issues." This paradigm creates 2 problems: 1. Independent film was a place where all of the above topics mixed, were nurtured and cross-pollinated. Here, the setup makes everything seem divided and aimed at certain demographics instead of a broader indie film community that celebrates and champions all of these individual subsets and issues. That may be naive. 2. On a slow news day, you can feel each writer shoehorn the daily news into their own assigned beat It often feels forced and flattens the writing.

    I still come here often, but it is not what it used to be. You still have good material, and each of these niche blogs often have solid posts from time to time, but there is an overall sense of flatness and very little sense of "independent" thinking or making. I would like to see more cross over and collaboration among writers. This grew out of the model at the end of the old indieWIRE era where many of the best indie blogs were aggregated into one site. It was a bit confusing in its setup, but felt much more natural and oriented to the community it served. Obviously, the site now goes to a broader base and some of the choices really cheapen the overall quality of indieWIRE.

    BTW, my comment here is not about Jon specifically - I think that would be unfair as this is a new column and he clearly has a strong history. It's more that these segregated and simplified columns and the mission of the site feel like a mis-match. I'm sure I am too focused on what the site WAS, but it's baked into the URL. What "indie" news is included in this article?

  • collin | April 8, 2013 12:41 PMReply

    what a terrible piece of writing, what was the point of this piece?

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