Wikia

Mad Men Wiki

Pete Campbell

Talk0
554pages on
this wiki
Pete Campbell
S6 Pete (03)
Portrayed by Vincent Kartheiser
First appearance Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Final appearance Recurring
Details
Gender Male
DOB 1934
Employer Sterling Cooper Advertising Agency (1958-1963)
Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (1963-present)
Occupation Head of Accounts, Partner
Residence New York City, NY
Relations
Wife Trudy Campbell
Parent(s) Andrew Campbell
Dorothy Dyckman-Campbell
Child(ren) Unnamed child
Tammy Campbell
Sibling(s) Bud Campbell

Peter "Pete" Campbell was born in New York City in 1934.[1]

Childhood

Pete Campbell attended Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts and went to college at Dartmouth, where he was the coxswain of the crew team.

At Sterling Cooper

Peter joined Sterling Cooper in June or May 1958.[2] Pete is eager to impress Don Draper. Don, Pete, and Roger Sterling welcome The Lucky Strike family to the office. Pete, who had found a report about the dangers of smoking in Don's wastebasket, suggests that Lucky Strike advertise to people's "death wish."

Despite the fact that his wedding is that weekend, Pete becomes infatuated with Peggy Olson the moment he meets her. The young execs, led by Pete, hit the gentlemen's club. Afterwards, Pete shows up at Peggy's door. She asks why he came. He leans in, his lips brushing against her bangs. "I wanted to see you tonight," he whispers. Without a moment of hesitation, she lets him in.[1]

Pete returns from his honeymoon; he is excited about his new marriage, but conflicted about his past encounter with Peggy. The men ask Pete for salacious details; everyone else gives him a warmer welcome than expected. Pete approaches Peggy to get in on a meeting with the creative team. Before joining Harry Crane, Paul Kinsey and Salvatore Romano in Don's office, he quietly tells Peggy that he's married now; despite her look of disappointment, she lowers her voice, saying she understands.[3]

One day, Pete's new wife, Trudy Campbell,comes to the office; after introducing her to his coworkers, Pete goes apartment hunting with her.  His salary is insufficient; they cannot afford a good place. He discusses the matter with his father but is shot down, told that he was given his name, and asked, "What have you done with it?" A day later, Trudy brings up the matter with her parents. Pete rejects their offer of help.

Walter Veith, from Bethlehem Steel, meets Pete and Ken Cosgrove for after-hours drinks. Pete calls two twenty-something women to the table and attempts to talk shop about the steel campaign. The next day, the group reconvenes and Walter eyes the mockups. Don tries to sell an "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" theme; Walter prefers the one Pete pitched the night before: "Bethlehem Steel is the backbone of America." Don isn't pleased: "I need you to go and get a cardboard box. Then put your things in it." Pete, trying not to hyperventilate, pours himself a drink in his office. Don and Roger Sterling meet with Mr. Cooper in his office to discuss Pete's termination. Unfortunately for Don, Pete's mother is Dorothy Dyckman, who belongs to the family that used to own nearly everything north of 125th Street. Thus, Pete is the gateway to many of the city's marquee interests. Don and Roger enter Pete's office to tell him he's off the hook; Roger tells Pete that he and Cooper wanted him gone, but Don decided to give him another chance.

Mad-Men-0268 RGB color120309131247

At Pete and Trudy's new apartment, Mrs. Lyman -- their new neighbor -- meets the newlyweds and implores for stories about Pete's Dykeman roots. As Trudy shares the stories, Pete looks to nothing in particular.[4]

Ken writes a short story, "Tapping a Maple on a Cold Vermont Morning," which is published in the acclaimed Atlantic Monthly. Pete, Paul and Harry are not at all pleased with his good news. Pete is determined to get published, so he asks Trudy to go see Charlie Fiddich, a mover and shaker in the publishing world; he also happens to be Trudy's ex-fiance and her "first."  Unsurprisingly, Trudy is very hesitant; Pete, however, manages to persuade her. The next day, Pete arrives back at his apartment.  Trudy has prepared a pot roast and has good news: Charlie offered to publish Pete's story in Boy's Life Magazine. Pete is far from thankful, to which Trudy replies, "I could have gotten you in The New Yorker if I wanted to, I just don't know why you'd put me in that position."[5]

Pete spends his lunch standing in line at a department store's customer service.  He and Trudy had received two identical Chip n' Dip trays as a wedding present; he is there to return one of them. When Pete sees that a young clerk named Rosemary will be helping him, he lights up. Because he has no receipt, she will only give him store credit. Afterwards, Paul, Ken and Harry visit Pete's office; they are chagrined to see Pete holding a 22-caliber rifle overhead. Apparently, he had used his store credit to purchase it. He aims it into the bullpen, checking out the secretaries. The purchase outrages Trudy because he exchanged a gift from her aunt for a "stupid toy."[6]

One morning, both Pete and Peggy arrive early at Sterling Cooper; they are the first two employees there. Peggy enters Pete's office to see if he wants any coffee; he tells her to come in and close the door. "Do you know how hard it is to see you walking around here everyday?" Pete says, grabbing her waist and leaning in for a deep, passionate kiss. Within moments, they're on his couch; Peggy unbuckles his belt and Pete fumbles with her skirt. Later, as both are dressing, Peggy notices that Pete had ripped open her torn collar.  In an attempt to clear the air, Pete says that he hasn't looked over Peggy's copy as he promised. "I have all these things going on in my head, and I can't say them," he adds.

Later that day, while at P.J. Clarke's, most of Sterling Cooper is doing the twist on the dance floor. Peggy notices Pete sitting alone and twists her way over to him. She asks him to dance, but he declines. "I don't like you like this," he says in a hard tone. Her eyes fill with tears as she returns to the crowd.[7]

Sterling Cooper works on advertising the Nixon campaign; Pete brilliantly suggests that they buy many on-air ads for Secor laxatives, saying "We're selling laxatives, Nixon's selling Nixon and Kennedy's watching Mamie's funeral." Roger and Cooper barge in later and ask who is responsible for the purchasing of many un-produced Secor commercials. Harry and Pete timidly take ownership; to their surprise, they get nothing but congratulations.

Pete-Campbell

Pete and the boys are celebrating his success in the bullpen when Peggy walks by. She has put on a noticeable amount of weight, so they make fun of her. "They call a girl like her a lobster," Ken says. "All the meat's in the tail." Pete immediately takes offense and clocks Ken in the jaw. Don and Roger nonchalantly walk by the two young men fighting on the ground.[8]

On the coffee table in Don's office is a pink plastic belt shaped like women's panties with a small control box and electric cord. After they timidly inspect it, they discover that it's intended to help women lose weight; whether it actually causes weight loss is yet to be determined.  As a result, Pete is skeptical about promoting it. "It might be a lightning rod for the government and other people out to kill advertising," he says. The men jokingly suggest that Peggy might be a good candidate to try the "Electrosizer."

After Roger suffers a heart attack and is subsequently hospitalized, Pete, Harry, Paul, Ken and Sal sit in Pete's office and speculate about what might happen to the company. Sal jokes that he already sent out his resume; Harry thinks Don will be offered a partnership. With the mention of Don, the men wonder aloud about whether or not Don likes them; Pete shrugs in annoyance. Harry's prediction comes true; Don accepts the partner position at Sterling Cooper. Pete is the first to congratulate him. Don, elated over his promotion and raise, gives Peggy a raise and the rest of the day off. Pete sneaks into Don's office to sit behind the desk. Just then, the mailroom boy delivers a package for Don from Adam; Pete takes the package home with him.[9] Sitting in the dark in his living room, Pete rummages through Adam's shoebox. He finds dog tags, letters, and photographs.  One photo shows a young Don and Adam riding horses; Pete flips it over and reads the inscription: "Dick and Adam, 1944." Just then, Trudy walks in. She's noticed him sneaking around with that box and wonders why he won't return it.

Pete brings Adam's box to Don in his office; he is eager for a promotion.  When Pete is unable to convince Don to promote him, Pete reveals that he knows about Don's past. According to his friend at the defense department, Dick Whitman died in Korea 10 years ago in 1950. A man named Donald Draper dropped off the map; he would be 43 years old by now. Pete notes that Don looks remarkably good for a 43 year old.

The next day, Don returns to the office and approaches Pete. "I thought about what you said, and then I thought about you and what a deep lack of character you have," he says, adding that he will hire Duck. Pete threatens to go to Cooper, but Don calls his bluff and walks out to give Cooper the news. Confused at how Don would rather lose it all than see him succeed, Pete follows Don into Cooper's office with him. Don tells Cooper he's hiring Duck, then looks to Pete. Pete returns the glance and tells Cooper how Don is really Dick Whitman, a deserter and criminal. "Who cares?" Cooper replies as Don calmly lights another cigarette. "This country was built and run by men with worse stories than whatever you've imagined here."[2]

Pete sits with his father-in-law, Tom, who knows Pete was passed over for a promotion. Pete brings in a pharmaceutical account from Tom's company, Vicks Chemical, called Clearasil. Don admits that he's impressed. Pete's connection -- and subsequent investment in Sterling Cooper -- gets him a bonus from Cooper, along with an Ayn Rand book. While they celebrate this victory, Don tells Pete that because young girls buy the blemish-busting Clearasil, Peggy would be the perfect writer for the account. "Peggy is not even a copywriter," he protests. "She's a secretary." With that, Don calls Peggy into his office and immediately makes her a junior copywriter with Clearasil as her first task. Pete storms out of the room.

A New Direction

References

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki