Ann-Margret Vs. Peggy Olson: It's On
While Episode Three of Mad Men had plenty of musical moments to remember -- from concertina recitals to blackfaced showstoppers to baked a cappella-offs -- its second episode had just one. In a darkened boardroom, we were sent via Sterling Cooper WABAC Machine to 1963 for Ann-Margret's uncharacteristically shrill performance of the title song to Bye, Bye Birdie, upon which they were to base their campaign for Patio diet cola. Against a blue backdrop, the Swedish-born sex kitten and infrequent Flintstones guest star pined for the Broadway-musicalized version of Elvis, (who she'd ironically be blue-balling in Viva Las Vegas the very next year), along the way earning the respect of deeply closeted Charles Strouse fan Sal Romano, and a slap from Peggy Olson, who observes, "Let's assume we can get a girl who can match Ann-Margret's ability to be 25 and act 14."
Ann-Margret was watching:
"My daughter-in-law called and said: 'Did you know that you're on 'Mad Men'?" says the 68-year-old actress, who will be honoured in Toronto next week by the charitable organization Best Buddies Canada.
"I said no. So I looked and I was just so shocked, so surprised. How very flattering. My goodness."
"I just was sitting there wondering: OK, when is the other shoe going to fall," she says, noting she'd only ever watched one episode of "Mad Men" before that.
"When are they going to say something bad? It's a very strange feeling, to see myself. I was sitting there so nervous!"
Here's the full number, and a late-'70s Johnny Carson performance of "I Got the Music in Me" for good measure.
· Ann-Margret 'shocked' to see herself in 'Mad Men' [Canadian Press]