Jon Hamm, floppy-haired dating-show contestant. It’s not an upcoming role but rather one the “Mad Men” star already played, back in 1996.
And hoo-boy, the hair! Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle” has nothing on this guy, if you trade the ‘70s for the ‘90s.
Footage of a 25-year-old Hamm on “The Big Date” was recently posted online, showing the struggling actor (billing himself as a waiter) as one of three men competing for the attention of 25-year-old Mary Carter, who told host Mark L. Walberg (now of “Antiques Roadshow”) that she loved a good foot massage and was “getting too old” for games.
Competing against stuntman Mark and finance major Marcus, Hamm is beyond laid back, promising Mary that on a date he’d “start off with some fabulous food” and continue with “a little fabulous conversation with a fabulous foot massage for an evening of total fabulosity.”
Dude! Did that come-on work on Jennifer Westfeldt, or had you upped your game by the time you guys got together a year later? The full “Big Date” episode is here, but the entirety of Hamm’s star turn can be seen above.
Shocked by the rudimentary nature of an old-school dating show, kids? For context, Match.com was still in its infancy after debuting in 1995, and “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” weren’t due until the early 2000s, so cut some slack for the old folks. You should’ve seen “The Dating Game” or “The New Dating Game.” Ask Judd Apatow, Steve Martin or Arnold Schwarzenegger about that experience.
It’s not the first time Hamm, now 43, has opened a window on his decidedly non-glamorous life as a newbie actor. A couple of years ago he told Conan O’Brien about living in L.A. without a car (it was confiscated by the city after Hamm racked up too many unpaid parking tickets, he said).
“I rode the bus, and then when I got near where I needed to go, I would Rollerblade,” he said. Hey, it was the ‘90s, people.
“There is not a worse look in the world than a dude skating down Highland Avenue to an audition to try and sell soap,” the future Don Draper explained. “Rolling in, sweaty and stinky, skates on, ‘I’m here.’”
See that interview here, or below. And remember, the final season of “Mad Men” premieres April 13 if you need a palate cleanser after “The Big Date.”