Mad Men‘s casting department really has a knack for finding buzzworthy, nostalgia-baiting guest stars. Refugees from Gen Y touchstones like The Secret World of Alex Mack, Saved by the Bell, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have been showing up on the series for years. Last season, Pete Campbell — himself played by a veteran of The WB — romanced Rory Gilmore both on and off-camera. This season, Don Draper’s doing the same with Freaks and Geeks‘s Lindsay Weir.
And last night, the show dipped even further into the nostalgia well by bringing in a TV ringer with one of the biz’s worst reputations: Ted McGinley, a man known as the “patron saint of shark jumping.” McGinley played the head writer of To Have and to Hold, the soap opera currently employing Megan Draper. When the actor’s face first appeared onscreen, the Twitterverse let out a collective squeal; when he invited Don and Megan to come home with him and his wife, “smoke some grass… and see what happens,” they gasped in shock. Could McGinley’s appearance — and the specter of the 1970s, which has already ruined Harry Crane’s hair — possibly signal the beginning of the end for Mad Men?