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Before They Were Mad Men: Jon Hamm

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 2.33.34 PM.pngWith Mad Men's fifth season premiering on Sunday, March 25th, we're continuing our feature looking back at the cast before they entered the doors of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. We already showed you clips from yesteryear of Christina Hendricks (Joan), Vincent Karthesier (Pete), John Slattery (Roger), January Jones (Betty) and Elisabeth Moss (Peggy). Today, we wrap it all up with look back at your leading man, Jon Hamm, who plays ad executive Don Draper, the most ikeable, identity-stealing, philandering megalomaniac in TV history.

Jonathan Daniel Hamm (sorry, we had to go there) was a late-bloomin' actor who didn't start landing roles until he was nearly 30 (which, incidentally, was his cut-off date for "making it" in the biz).  After bit parts in Space Cowboys and Kissing Jessica Stein (which starred his longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt), his career picked up steam with a two-season arc on Providence and later three seasons spent on The Division.  But, as was the case for many of his co-stars, things didn't really pick up until he was cast in Mad Men. Here, some highlights from his pre-Draper days.  

Space Cowboys, 2000

The YouTube video title says it all: Same Draper Smirk.  Check out Hamm playing a cocky pilot -- Young Pilot #2, to be exact.

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 12.27.52 PM.pngThe Hughleys, 2000

We deeply wish we could've found this episode on YouTube but no such luck. This still of Hamm in a flannel intently looking at something will have to do.  

Kissing Jessica Stein, 2001

Though he plays a dick in this flick, flirting with Jennifer Westfeldt's titular character during what is obviously a set-up only to announce mid-dinner that he's crazy about someone else, Hamm proved to be a nice fit for the actress in real life as the two have been together for fifteen years.

Providence, 2000-2001

Hamm had a two season arc playing Joanie's firefighter boyfriend, Burt Ridley. In this dream sequence, Syd imagines what they'd be like if they were countryfolk instead of residents in scrappy Providence. The answer? Shotgun wedding. 

We Were Soldiers, 2002

Click to 0:13 for a glimpse of Hamm playing Capt. Matt Dillon in the before-he-went-nutso Mel Gibson flick.

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 1.48.42 PM.pngGilmore Girls, 2002

Embedding was disabled for this clip but click here to see Jon Hamm woo Lorelai Gilmore after they haggle for the last glass of Merlot at a charity auction.

The Division, 2002-2004

Hamm with bangs! Bangs on Hamm! The actor sports a ribbed sweater and decidedly un-Don Draper-esque messy hair as Inspector Nate Basso on this cop drama.  Actress Taraji P. Henson also appears in this scene as a policewoman.

Screen shot 2012-03-22 at 2.50.47 PM.pngSarah Silverman Program, 2007

As with The Hughleys, we were sorely disappointed not to dig up a clip of Hamm's appearance as "Cable Guy" on the episode in which SS thinks she might be a lesbian.


Before They Were Mad Men: Christina Hendricks
Before They Were Mad Men: Vincent Kartheiser a.k.a. Pete Campbell
Before They Were Mad Men: John Slattery a.k.a. Roger Sterling
Before They Were Mad Men: January Jones
Before They Were Mad Men: Elisabeth Moss

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