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Waldorf Stories
Waldorf
Production
Season Four Episode 06
Air date 29 August 2010
Written by Brett Johnson
and Matthew Weiner
Directed by Scott Hornbacher

Previous
The Chrysanthemum
and the Sword
Next
The Suitcase

"The Waldorf Stories" is the sixth episode in Mad Men, Season 4 and the forty-fifth episode, overall.

Synopsis

In the midst of SCDP winning a Clio Award for Glo-Coat, it conjures up certain feelings in a number of SCDP employees. Don pitches a new tagline for Life cereal in a drunken haze, which lands him in hot water. Roger sullenly reminisces over his first encounters with Don. Peggy finds herself stirred when clashing with a new employee. Pete's tempestuous relationship with an ex-colleague is revisited under Lane's own accord.

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Peggy and Don interview Danny. The Waldorf Stories.
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Detail

Don and Peggy are examining the advertising book of a potential employee. who turns out to be Jane Siegel's cousin. It includes ads for Greyhound, La-Z Boy, Budweiser and a bank. All of the slogans for the ads are "The cure for the common (bus, chair, beer and bank)". When asked if he has any actual advertising experience, he name drops Roger Sterling. The young man asks them to give him a break essentially, saying that he's 24 years old, a hard worker and willing to learn. He also asks if Roger talked to them. Don and Peggy bid him farewell.

The waldorf stories don roger laugh danny
Roger and Don laugh at the expense of Danny. The Waldorf Stories.
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After the interviewee has left, Peggy says that it's a relief to see someone worse off than herself. She asks if he's excited for the upcoming Clio advertising awards. He admits it'd be good for the agency because a rival firm, Grey, doubled its value in five years due to awards. Peggy is having trouble working with the new creative director, Stan Rizzo, but Don asserts that she should learn how to work with him and not the other way around. She bids Don good luck with the award; before leaving.

The waldorf stories hellers don roger
Flashback: Roger meets Don for the first time. The Waldorf Stories.
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Roger's talking about silent movie stars Charlie Chaplin, The Tramp and Laurel and Hardy to his secretary, Caroline, as a part of the book he's writing. Don comes in and tells Roger it was a "cute little prank" he pulled by sending in Jane's cousin to be interviewed and they laugh about the inadequacies he showed. They toast to new business and success at Clios at the Waldorf Astoria. They shake hands as we flash back to when Don and Roger met at a fur coats store.

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Flashback: Joan and Roger in the early stages of their affair, The Waldorf Stories.
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In the early 1950s, Don is working at Heller's, a specialty shop dealing in fur coats. Roger Sterling walks into the store, asking about a mink coat for a special lady he has just started seeing. Roger comments on an advertisement, Don noting that it is one of his own. Roger hands Don a card, with Don noting that Roger works for an advertising firm. He asks if he should give Roger a call but Roger says that first off, he'd need 20 advertisements to show him and second off, no, because the card is just so he knows where to call for specific delivery instructions.

When Joan opens the box up from Roger during a rendez-vous, in a hotel room; Roger notices that Don has included a portfolio, noting that Don was "out of line" for including it.

The waldorf stories joan before clio
Joan serving drinks before The Clio's. The Waldorf Stories.
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Back in the present, Roger is in his office, having thought about his first meeting with Don. He calls his secretary in, stating he finally has a story for the work section of his book in progress.

Don, Lane, Peggy, Pete, Harry and Joey sit in a room, waiting for the clients for Life Cereal. Pete, impatient and looking out the door, asks what's keeping them. Joey simply says, "Life." as everyone has a laugh. Joan comes in informing everyone that the good news is that Life businessmen have been grounded in Philly due to windy weather conditions. She claims the bad news is that they only have an hour before the Clios to drink. Joan starts to fix drinks and Joey asks for a 7 and 7. "You have legs" she tells him as she proceeds to fix a drink for Don. Peggy is disappointed that there were only four tickets for the Clios, for Don, Roger, Pete and Joan. Joan asks if she wants a drink but she gets up and says she has work to do.

Stan megan clara the waldorf stories
Stan, Megan and Clara. The Waldorf Stories.
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Peggy runs into Stan Rizzo, the new Art Director, in her office, watching an unaired KKK ad endorsing Lyndon B. Johnson, which he thought up, with two secretaries. She tells them to scram. "Well all the girls are gone. What do you want?" Rizzo laments. She asks if he's using the KKK to sell cough drops but he shoots back that he's still waiting on her to give him something to get his his "juices flowing". They continue their back and forth with Rizzo asking why Peggy finds it so hard to accept that "man's natural state is nude". "Because I'm civilized" she replies. He calls her brainwashed, calling nudity natural and beautiful. When Peggy pushes on him to get his work done, he insultingly asks if she's "on the rag." before leaving to get the work done.

The waldorf stories hellers clios don roger
Don and Roger at the Clio's. The Waldorf Stories.
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At the Clios, the ever annoying Ted Chaough makes his way to Don and Roger, proclaiming "Well, well, if it isn't Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.", asking if they left any drinks for the rest of them. He introduces them to one Major General Frank Alvin. Roger makes fun of Chaough's many-voweled last name. Before Chaough leaves, he mentions that he hopes that the awards don't drag on but attempts to rub it in that they weren't in attendance the previous year. He calls the man, who was with Chaough, General Rufus T. Bullshit, mentioning that he knows him from a rum commercial.

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Joan and Pete have a run-in with Ken. The Waldorf Stories.
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"That was not a business proposition." Pete says, as Joan stares off after someone offscreen. "You catch more flies with honey." she replies. "Oh, great. Actual flies." Pete remarks as he sees Ken Cosgrove make his way over with a man named Philip, from Bird's Eye. Philip let's slip that the "old team" might be getting back together but Cosgrove assures him it's not a sure thing. Philip admits that there's one thing Geyer doesn't have and that's Don Draper, before the award ceremony starts. Pete alarmingly asks if SCDP will be merging with Geyer. Joan merely tells him to talk to Lane. As they sit at their table, Pete tells Don that he ran into Cosgrove and tries to tell him of what he just heard but Don tells him not to talk to him at the moment.

The waldorf stories stan
Stan pushes Peggy's buttons. The Waldorf Stories.
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As the presenter goes on, Duck drunkenly interrupts and tries to talk to him before being ejected from the awards. Roger laughs and admits he misses working with Duck. Don feels like he's already won just watching what unfolded. "Gentlemen, let's pace ourselves" says the announcer, before he begins.

Peggy is waiting for Rizzo to get serious about working as he throws pencils into the ceiling. He admits he feels his best his work will get to be will be just the KKK ad. Peggy whines that Don essentially took credit for her idea with the Glo-Coat commercial, that she came up with the kid behind bars and that he merely put the cowboy spin on it. Rizzo tells Peggy to write down his ideas, which she does, begrudgingly.

The waldorf stories clios joan don roger
Joan holds both Roger and Don's hands. The Waldorf Stories.
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At the Clios, the announcer reads off the nominees for the category of best advertising for cleansers, waxes and polishes. Don asks Joan how he looks as she holds both Don's and Roger's hands. SCDP wins the award and the table celebrates as Don rushes up to the podium. After collecting the reward, an SCDP secretary comes up and tells them the Life Cereal clients had arrived, rented a car and were waiting back at the office. Pete wants to reschedule but Don wants to put a cherry on top of winning the award.

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Don sells a drunken pitch. The Waldorf Stories.
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Harry Crane is entertaining the Life Cereal clients, with Peggy and Joey waiting in the room as well, by telling them a bit of a sneak peek of what's to come in a television show. Don, Roger, Pete and Joan merrily come in, showing off the award. Peggy immediately picks it up and finds it heavy. Roger does a victory lap with the trophy around the table as does Crane and of course, Peggy. Don starts the presentation, saying how Life Cereal has a big name but doesn't want to or should be associated with health because that's not fun. He brings up nostalgia and how life is a scary word to anyone at any age. "How do we make it fun?" he asks before revealing the ad with the slogan "Eat Life by the bowlful." with a kid eating a big bowl of cereal with a big spoon. The clients like the "bowlful" part but contest that it might be too smart for regular folks.
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Peggy tries to confront Don. The Waldorf Stories.
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Don asserts that the kids will love the big bowl but the moms will get the irony. The clients say that the slogan itself is not enough because all the company will here is the slogan and they won't have the image of the bowl. Pete tries to reschedule so Don can work on it further but Don claims he's "got it" and drunkenly starts shooting out more slogans, "Life is just a bowl of Life cereal", "Life is sweet." and "Enjoy the rest of your Life cereal." Pete tells Don they're not expecting him to get it done now but he keeps at it. "Life. The reason to get out of bed in the morning.", "Life. The cure for the common breakfast", "Life, its sweetness never ends" and he repeats the original slogan again, forgetting he said it. The clients actually like "the cure for the common breakfast" and we see Peggy, astounded, that he took that from the interviewee that morning.

Peggy tries to talk to Don about stealing the tagline but he dismisses her and hurriedly goes off to celebrate with Roger and Jane. She tries to talk to Pete but he's busy and needs to talk with Lane.

The waldorf stories roger joan don celebrate
Don, Joan and Roger celebrate. The Waldorf Stories.
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Pete asks Lane if they're merging with Geyer. Lane says no but admits that Ken Cosgrove expressed his unhappiness at Geyer and that Cosgrove and his select clients would be joining SCDP. Lane apologizes for not consulting Pete but he's still angry Lane went behind his back, accusing him of never liking him and always having liked Cosgrove more. He goes to leave but Lane stops him. Lane calls Roger a child and says that frankly, Pete can't "be pulling the cart" all by himself. Lane tells Pete that Ken Cosgrove is "proven, hungry" and that he has accounts. Lane asks if the abundance of accounts Ken bringing over would put Pete at ease but Pete yells the only not plotting behind his back would do so and attempts to storm out again but Lane tells him that he still expects pragmatism from Pete and invites him to the lunch he's having with Cosgrove if his "tantrum has subsided" by then. Pete leaves but not before Lane telling him that it pains him to hear Pete say Lane doesn't like him because Lane really is fond of Pete.

The waldorf stories hotel stan
Peggy gets liberated with Stan. The Waldorf Stories.
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Don, Roger and Joan are celebrating at a bar. Don spies Dr. Miller and tries to take her home but she merely says that she's very happy for him and walks away.

Peggy attempts to phone Don from the hotel room Ms. Blankenship reserved for Peggy and Rizzo, having taken Don seriously when he told her to reserve a room for them. Rizzo comments that he knows Peggy has a special, non-sexual relationship with Don. One that's non-sexual because wallpaper's more exciting than Peggy and that Don wouldn't be caught dead with her in that way. He goes on "I know you're his favorite. I bet he takes you hunting and lets you carry the carcasses in your mouth." Annoyed, Peggy retorts, "Are you gonna work or just stare at pictures of women who can't stare back?" Rizzo defends that she wouldn't understand that the photos inspire him and "open [his] mind with freedom".
Peggy stan hotel the waldorf stories
"Lets get liberated." - The Waldorf Stories.
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Peggy asks why isn't he a nudist if he talks about it all the time. He defends that he would be in a "liberated environment" but not in the presence of the Pope or someone like Peggy. She tells him he doesn't know her at all. Rizzo tells her that she's ashamed of her body and should be. Tired of putting up with his crap, she strips down to her undies to call his bluff. He calls her a fruit cake and she calls him "chicken shit". "I can work like this" she tell tells him, "Let's get liberated." Rizzo states, "Fantastic." Peggy strips down completely first and it's clear Rizzo's a bit shy about it but he strips everything off as well. Peggy gets right to work but Rizzo seems to be a bit distracted by Peggy's assets.
The waldorf stories celebrate joan roger
"You've crossed the boarder from lubricated to morose."- The Waldorf Stories.
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At the bar, a woman asks Roger and Joan if that was Don Draper they were talking to and if he was attached. She heads over in his direction as soon as Joan says no. Roger quietly whines that they don't give awards for what he does, finding guys like Don. Joan tells him he's crossed the line from "lubricated to morose", drink-wise and bids him good night. Roger looks in Don's direction, watching as the woman flirts with Don, bringing us to another flashback.

The waldorf stories drunk roger don flashback
Flashback: Don takes advantage of a drunk Roger. The Waldorf Stories.
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Back in the early 1950s, Don runs into Roger in the lobby of Sterling Cooper, and tries to explain it away as coincidence but Roger sees through this. Don tells him he's left some messages for him but Roger acknowledges that he's ignored them as well as thrown away Don's portfolio. Roger scolds him that including his portfolio was a bad idea but Don asks, "Weren't you trying to get a break once?" Roger sighs and asks where Don's boss thinks he is right now. Don replies that his boss knows that he wants to do what Roger does, be a very important man in a very important agency. Don offers Roger a drink, and though it is 10am, Roger accepts. Over drinks, Don tries to sell Roger on the idea of hiring him.

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Don gets intimate. The Waldorf Stories.
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Peggy and Rizzo are still talking about cough drops but Rizzo is still zoned out. Referring to Rizzo's package, Peggy jokes "Maybe I should dip that thing in some ink and write with it." Rizzo self-consciously tells her to stop looking but Peggy just says that she thought dipping it ink might make "it" go away. Rizzo can't take it anymore and gets dressed, telling Peggy she wins the prize for the "smuggest bitch in the world".

Don is busy getting it on with a woman from the Clios who came up with the jingle for a winning commercial. She goes down on him as she hums the Star-Spangled Banner.

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Betty scolds Don. The Waldorf Stories.
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Betty calls and bitches at Don, awakened by the phone call because he was supposed to be at the house to watch the kids two hours ago. Don doesn't realize that it's Sunday. After telling Betty he was sorry and that he was under the weather, he discovers he's in bed with a different girl than the one from the Clios. He pretends to take a shower so that she'll leave. He has a drink and lies on the couch, sleeping until Monday. Peggy visits the apartment because he wasn't answering the phone. She confronts him about the tagline he used for Life Cereal. He tells her to think of 10 more different tag lines but she refuses, having worked all weekend with "that pig in that stupid hotel room.". She's tapped out. "What hotel room?" Don questions, not even aware of what he told Miss Blankenship to do. Peggy shakes her head. She tells him to bring in the kid and to fix the situation.

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Don wakes to a surprise. The Waldorf Stories.
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Lane informs Pete that Cosgrove is on the way for their lunch reservation but Pete tells him to bring him to a conference room when he arrives.

Peggy and Rizzo show Joey what they've come up with for Vick's, a storyboard about a man coughing in church and soothing his cough with some Vick's. Rizzo states that's pretty much how he pitched it and Peggy agrees, saying she just changed "one little thing", making a size reference with her fingers. Rizzo winces as Joey looks at him questioningly, amused.

Don arrives at the office and tells Ms Blankenship to call the bar they were at, Pen & Pencil, to see if anyone has found his award. He finds Jane Sterling's cousin, Danny, waiting on his couch just as Ms Blankenship lately beeps over the intercom "Your little friend is waiting." Don offers him $50 for the "cure for the common" idea. He aks for a job. Don then offers $100 as freelance work.

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Danny gets a job. The Waldorf Stories.
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Danny asserts he still wants a job. Don tells him he doesn't have to buy it and to take the money. Danny says that he doesn't need money and that he needs a job more. "You wouldn't even be in this room if you weren't related to Roger" but Danny claims that's all he has, his relationship to Roger and his ideas.

Lane brings Cosgrove to the conference room where Pete is waiting. Pete asks if he could speak to Cosgrove in private. Cosgrove's smile fades when Pete tells him he needs to know that Cosgrove can do what he's told. Cosgrove seems to take this in.

The waldorf stories roger confused don
Flashback: Don starts his new career. The Waldorf Stories.
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Peggy is surprised to see that Don has hired Danny. She also hears and sees Cosgrove and Pete together and goes to say hello, telling Danny to wait outside as he started to follow her.

Don informs Roger he's hired Jane's cousin and gives Don back his trophy which he'd left at the bar on the condition Don admit he couldn't have done it without him.

We flash back to the 1950s one last time. Roger is beside himself, angry that Don could not take a hint that he was not interested. Don stops Roger, noting that Roger had hired him the prior day, while they board the elevator, Don smiles while Roger appears confused about his lapse in memory.

Cast

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Suppporting

Guest Stars

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