Mad Men

 Audio Guide

Mad Men

Narrated by David Bushman, Television and Mass Media Curator for The Paley Center


Transcript

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner calls The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling who wrote for early TV anthology shows produced in New York, his favorite television show. And to spot the influence, take a look at the first season episode “The Wheel”. Making a pitch for Kodak’s new slide projector called the “Wheel”, Don launches into an emotionally devastating presentation about nostalgia– “The pain from an old wound,” he says– concluding with a picture of him and his wife smooching and telling the clients that the projector is called not the “Wheel”, but the “Carousel”. It’s hard to interpret this as anything other than an homage the Sterling-penned Twilight Zone episode, “Walking Distance” about a stressed-out New York ad exec who, in Serling’s own words, “wishes he had never outgrown the parks and merry-go-rounds of his youth,” so travels back in time and winds up chasing his younger self around a real carousel, only to learn, “you can't go home again.”