Cigar Aficionado

Going Mad Men

Anyone watching “Mad Men”? I don’t mean the current presidential campaign, but the new series on AMC centered on the advertising industry circa 1960 (Thursday at 10 p.m. also on demand with TV Encore).

It’s pretty well done. Very good art direction (feels like the era) and a pretty punchy plot (if a little soap opera-ish). Producers take pains to emphasize how different the era was: no political correctness, indifference to safety issues, a gulf between men and women in the work place, lots of style and everyone smokes and drinks—all the time.

I was a only kid at the time, but that last part seems pretty accurate, except that it seems to me that cigars are a little under-represented on the show. My memory was of lots of cigar advertising and shops and a pretty good assortment of guys who smoked cigars or pipes. The one time I have seen someone smoking a cigar on the show, it was set up wrong (coming as a segue from a line about how they can smoke cigarettes as much as they want).

Of course, the ad agency that the show is set around has a cigarette account (they supposedly come up with Lucky Strike’s catch phrase “It’s Toasted” in the first episode, ignoring that the slogan really predates 1960 by more than 40 years), so maybe that explains the cigarette emphasis. But does anyone remember different—that there were way more cigars?

"Do you smell a really interesting CA article? I am old enough to remember smoking in the white coller New York workplace (I joined in 1979). Smoking was legal, but I don't recall seeing anyone smoking cigars in the office. I do recall signs in restaurants and bars saying that only cigarette smoking was allowed, not cigars or pipes. I personally think that we got a clue from one of the episodes of this show about when cigar smoking in close quarters in public ended - WWII. Movies from the 30s had cigars, 50's not so much. I know that with a some rather easy research this question could be answered, and it would be very interesting to us cigar smokers to know when "we" had to go underground. Good question.John" —September 30, 2007 03:00 AM
"Yep,more cigars in stores, at ball games and around the house on poker night. More lower end brands in stores and shops." —August 16, 2007 16:19 PM
" I'll have to agree on Mad Men has a show. It pretty good and they do need to add some more cigar smoking in it. Instead of all the cigarette smoking." —August 14, 2007 09:34 AM