Oprah's 'Mad Men'-inspired '60s-themed episode: Putting the 'O' in Retro

Mad-Men-Oprah_lOprah is on a roll. The Whitney Houston interview, the closing-downtown-Chicago spectacle, Mariah Carey’s upcoming performance — it’s almost like she’s the most powerful woman in media or something. But next week, she’s making a weird choice and doing an entire Mad Men-geared 1960s episode, complete with “what would have been her ‘Favorite Things’ from the 1960s,” according to a press release.

Wheee doggies. I wonder if the O is going to cover the whole decade, or focus on the parts Mad Men has covered already (just through June 1963 so far). I’m hoping the favorites include The Feminine Mystique, which was released in 1963; the Beatles, zip codes, The Sound of Music, the right to counsel, Vatican II, space exploration, and, you know, civil rights. At least those are some of my favorite things from the 1960s.

Given Oprah’s previous lists of favorite things, though, there’s definitely going to be more fashion and food items making the cut. Pillbox hats? The minidress? Foodwise, the 1960s saw the emergence of Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published in ’61, and The French Chef started airing in 1963), a newly expansive array of breakfast cereals (Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, Product 19, Total, Kaboom, Frosted Mini-Wheats), and the rapid rise of the aluminum can.

PopWatchers, gaze into your Oprah crystal ball: What do you think her favorite things from the 1960s will be?

Photo credit: George Burns/ Harpo, Inc.


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  • John Davis

    There are so many wrong things I could say about the prospect of being a black woman in 1962 that I am not even going to try :) So I hope Oprah has fun with it.

    • susan

      How about a woman in general? Think she’ll talk about that at all?

  • Jen

    John, I was thinking the same thing. Why is a black woman glorifying the early 60’s? Oh that’s right, because Oprah’s white.

    • fancypants

      do not start with that mess. there is no way to “act white” or “act black”. oprah is a strong proponent of the black community, obviously.

    • Ignorant Comment Patrol

      Congratulations! You win today’s award for the most ignorant comment!

  • flicketyflack

    Well it’s cool Oprah’s getting on the ‘Mad Men’ bandwagon at least but I also wonder how she is going to make that episode work. In an ideal world she would be able to make some interesting connections between the 60s and today as far as attitudes and rights go, whether we’re talking about gender, race, or sexual orientation. But we’ll see. I expect things like the Jackie O. hair and her fashion archetype will be featured and possibly connected to Michelle Obama.

  • sina

    All these comments are exactly what I was thinking when I first read this. She could have just had them on the show and interviewed them because I can’t see what in the world could be her favorite things from the 60’s that would be entertaining and that the cast of Mad Men could share in. Basically it’s the civil rights and all the GREAT things to come from that. Or she could use Diahnn Caroll’s show Julie. It was the first show to feature a Black woman that wasn’t a maid but she was a nurse taking care of her child by herself.

  • John Davis

    Jen – Don’t get me wrong. I love the cars, music and fashion of the 60’s but if I had to live in the 60’s I would take the first bus north. Oprah would probably be involved in the civil rights movement. I really look forward to how she handles it.

  • Suz

    Typical of Oprah to make the show be about HER instead of her guests.

  • enzoiscool20

    The 60’s WAS the beginning. Remember the MOD SQUAD and how it was cool to have a black friend. Remember Black Power! That all started in the 60’s and Oprah would have been a big part of it so I think it was a significant time for black people except that 40% of our troops in Viet Nam were black and only 17% of the population was black – that’s kind of screwed up.

  • Ceballos

    So, if she’s going to be true to the period, will Oprah be cleaning the set and taking care of the children or operating the elevator?

    (Seriously though, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to check this out.)

  • fancypants

    Yea. As a black woman I always give someone the side-eye when they claim the 50s or 60s was a great time to be alive. Umm…not for all of us.

    But, OTH, Jon Hamm looks so fine in this picture. love him!!

    • Lisa Simpson

      Ye, he does. And I think it will be great if Oprah takes the opportunity to address the changes that happened that decade. So many people have just trashed it as nothing more than hippies and drugs. So much more complex.

      • Tarik

        I agree! As a black man I always say no thanks to the idea of being around in those days. With that said I do look forward to this Oprah episode. I love Mad Men.

  • jfms777

    Yeah right. I can picture Oprah walking onstage–dressed like “Beulah.”

    Yeah righ.

    • Sina

      LOL!!….Beulah, HA

  • Kate

    Oh my God this sounds like so much fun. I love Oprah. She always a breath of freah air in this terrible world. I’d be so depressed without my Oprah fix every afternoon to show me there’s some light on this planet.

  • susan

    It should be Bella Abzug. But it WILL be Jackie Kennedy.

  • Liam

    Over the past year she has lost between 7 to 8 per-cent of her audience so, she is using “stupid stunting” to get attention and gain new viewers. In the long run it’s not going to help. To the younger audience Oprah is the person that their mom’s watched and not them.

  • yeahandalso

    It’s not as if Mad Men isn’t a show that addresses race issues. Obviously they are not the focus of the show but they are dealt with. Just last week brought up the issue of whether or TV company wanted to advertise to black markets, and last year Paul dated a black woman and went down south to protest with her.

    Also, just because Oprah is black doesn’t mean she must bring that up with every episode. If she wants to do a whole show on 60’s food and fashion let her, I’ll watch it.

  • chattypatra

    My favorite thing from the 60’s? Me! Hahaha. Seriously, though, she could cover the Apollo 11 mission. I also hope she talks about the classic toys that came out in that decade: G.I.Joe, Twister, Etch-A-Sketch, Operation, and the Easy Bake Oven.

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