1.8 "The Hobo Code"
Inside ad agency Sterling Cooper, three operators connect calls and listen in. One of them Lois, played by Crista Flanagan (right) has developed a crush on Salvatore Romano (Bryan Batt), the firm's closeted art director.
Lois: "Ciao Ciao". [smitten] My stars!Marty, released in 1955, won Borgnine the Oscar for best actor but in this context it's a derogatory remark, "Marty" as shorthand for homely mama's boy. The sassy operator even manages to make the Italian-American connection. At least she didn't compare Salvator to Norman Bates, right? He was the most famous mama's boy 'round about the time frame of this episode.
Operator #1: Two weeks in, she's already a goner.
Lois: He talks to his mother a lot.
Operator #2: Because he's not married.
Lois: He's in the art department? Well, what does he look like?
#1: Did you see that movie Marty with Ernest Borgnine? He lived with his mother.
#2: Stop teasing her.
Later in the episode, a gay client Elliott (Paul Keeley) who is staying at the Roosevelt dangles a carrot for Sal.
I was in the lounge last night... and I end up having a drink with Robert Mitchum! Actually many drinks. [laughter]I have no idea whether Mitchum was a favorite of the gay community in the 1950s but it wouldn't surprise me to hear that he was. Either way, Elliott is luring Sal to his current night spot with an icon of taciturn masculinity. One episode, two suitors. By the end of the hour Sal has rejected both Lois and Elliott in his own frightened way. Sal has become the unexpected star of this 'Mad Men at the Movies' series, hasn't he?
other references in this episode
Cinema: The Wizard of Oz "I feel like Dorothy and everything just turned to color" and 42nd Street | Books: Atlas Shrugged | Politics: Joseph McCarthy | Music: Miles Davis
special thanks, as always, to Mad Men fansite "Basket of Kisses" for goading this series into being