When the fifth season of Mad Men took the 1960s-set series into the civil rights movement, the show’s overwhelming whiteness began to dissolve, slightly. A new parody, however, imagines what the show might be like with an entire race reversal.
“Don-o-Mite” ditches Don Draper’s stolen identity for a lead character getting out of jail by… turning an advertising agency around? The plot is kind of half-cooked, but it has a legit Blaxploitation vibe in the way its hero is forced by the police to do something against his will. A promo of sorts for New York-based agency Leroy and Clarkson the short video announces its Foxy Brown-ish intentions right away, with a horn-heavy remix of the Mad Men theme, and proceeds to explore some of the show’s terrain.
Most of “Don-o-Mite” is just an excuse to parade around some vintage bucket hats, turtleneck/suit combos and platforms, but there are also clever riffs on the characters and tropes of the show it’s parodying. Some of the folks we meet have variations on their original names, infused with slang (well-endowed Joan Holloway is rechristened “Sugar Hills Holloway”); but then, of course, there’s Black Peggy. Also, some of the most fascinating scenes in Mad Men are those in which we see the cast selling their ad ideas to clients in the room. When we finally see Don-o-Mite pitch some white executives “Kraft Muthafuckin’ Mayonnaise,” we’re a long way from Don Draper explaining that a carousel is a time machine.JB