News of the Week: Hamm, Peanuts, and a Free Cup of Coffee

Don Draper’s last stand, how to become a Peanuts character, and more in this week’s pop culture roundup.

Jon Hamm at 2015 Emmys
Jon Hamm at 2015 Emmys

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The Emmys

Jon Hamm at 2015 Emmys
Jon Hamm at 2015 Emmys (Helga Esteb/

I could list all of the winners of the 67th Emmy Awards, but not only would that take up an entire column, you can see all of the winners at the official Emmys site with interviews, pictures and video of what was going on backstage. But there’s one category I would like to talk about.

Jon Hamm finally won! After seven previous nominations, Hamm took home the Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series statue for his role as Don Draper on Mad Men. It was his last chance, since the show ended earlier this year, so maybe that was in the minds of voters when they filled out their ballots. But he truly deserved it. In fact, he deserved it almost every year he was nominated. It was odd he hadn’t won until now.

In his acceptance speech, Hamm thanked several people by their first names but didn’t really explain who they were. Turns out they were parents of friends and other people who had helped him after his mom died when he was 10 years old.

I made a decision that if Hamm lost again and Modern Family won Best Comedy again, I would never watch the Emmys again. But since he won and Veep won Best Comedy, I guess I have to tune in next year.

Peanutizing and Tattooing

Snoopy theme park

A few years ago, AMC and illustrator Dyna Moe created a website where you could create a Mad Men avatar for yourself, a picture to use on social media and other places on the Web. Now the people behind the new Peanuts movie and the people at NBC have created similar sites.

You can “peanutize” yourself at this site, turning yourself into a Peanuts character. I tried to do one, but they don’t have my particular hair pattern, which is bald on the top but with hair on the sides (I tried an all-bald look but ended up just looking like Charlie Brown). NBC’s Tattoo Yourself site lets you see what you’d look like if your body were covered in tattoos, like the lead character of the new action-drama Blindspot.

I don’t want to know what I’d look like with tattoos. Unless they were on my head and in the shape of hair.

The Return of Brian Williams

Brian Williams
Brian Williams
(Everett Collection/

After losing his job as anchor of The NBC Nightly News and serving a seven-month suspension for stretching the truth and fabricating stories — okay, let’s face it, he lied — Brian Williams made his debut on MSNBC on Tuesday to lead the channel’s coverage of the Pope’s first visit to the U.S. This is actually a return to the news channel for Williams. He was the lead anchor when MSNBC debuted in 1996. I still remember the late night Williams broke into regular programming and announced that Princess Diana had died.

Tuesday was a fine debut, and I have to admit it was good to see him again. He’s very good. None of his guests or the other reporters made any mention of Williams being back, and Williams didn’t mention the break at all. It was just a straight-forward newscast and very well done.

Williams will not have a regular show on MSNBC. Not yet anyway. For now he’ll be the lead anchor for breaking news and other important events. It’s part of a complete overhaul of the network.

Apple Watch to the Rescue!

If you had no intention of buying an Apple Watch, maybe this will change your mind.

One of the functions on the watch is a heart rate monitor. Paul Houle Jr., a high school football player in Massachusetts, had a fast heartbeat and was having back pains and shortness of breath during practice. His Apple Watch told him that his heart was beating at 145 beats per minute, around 60 to 80 more than it should be. After talking to his trainer, he went to the hospital, where doctors told him he had rhabdomyolysis, which is when your muscle breaks down and floods your system with protein. He had damage to his heart, kidneys, and liver. Houle says that if it weren’t for the watch, he probably would have just thought it was ordinary aches and pains and would have gone to bed. Apple CEO Tim Cook heard about what happened and called Houle. He not only gave the kid a new iPhone, he also said that when Houle’s ready he can join the Apple internship program.

I think I know who’s going to be first in line for that Steve Jobs movie.


Yankees catcher Yogi Berra attempts to catch a fly ball.
Yogi Berra
Earl Mayan
April 20, 1957

They say that celebrity deaths often come in threes. The truth is, celebrity deaths almost always come in threes (at the very least), it’s just that often the deaths aren’t reported in a mainstream way because the people aren’t ultra-famous.

This past week we lost actor and writer Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the Adventures of Superman TV series; Jackie Collins, who wrote novels about the lives of the rich and famous; and Yogi Berra, New York Yankee catcher and creator of some fantastic phrases.

My favorite Berra quote, though he didn’t take credit for it: “Always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t go to yours.”

Grab a Snickers Bar, Get Insulted

The next time you go to buy a Snickers bar, you might be in for a shock.

Mars, the company that makes the classic candy bar, has created new packaging for a new advertising campaign. Instead of the word Snickers on the front, you’ll see words like whiny, impatient, feisty, grouchy, snippy, and loopy. I know those sound like the long-lost dwarfs, but they’re actually hunger symptoms. Don’t worry: if you don’t want to be insulted by your candy, there will still be bars in the original packaging.

National Coffee Day

Tuesday is National Coffee Day, which is funny because anyone who would celebrate such a day literally has coffee every single day of the week already. But here’s something: If you usually go to Dunkin’ Donuts for your java fix, Tuesday is a good day to go. The company’s giving away free medium hot or iced dark roast coffee to customers all day. If you want to make your own, check out these 15 easy coffee recipes from And since everything seems to be pumpkin-spice flavored these days, here’s a recipe from AllRecipes for a Quick Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Or if you don’t want to go to all that trouble, you could just pick up a jar of Folgers instant. It was good enough for Mrs. Olson:

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Political cartoonist Thomas Nast born (September 27, 1840)
Nast was known as the Father of the American Cartoon.

Ted Williams hits .400 (September 28, 1941)
Will the elusive batting average ever be reached again?

James Dean dies (September 30, 1957)
The actor’s official website has some great info, including rare photos.

The Ford Model T introduced (October 1, 1908)
The Saturday Evening Post ran the very first ad for the car in our October 3, 1908, issue. The ad’s also featured in our special collector’s edition Automobiles in America.

Johnny Carson’s first Tonight Show (October 1, 1962)
Sadly, only 33 episodes of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show (between the first airing through May 1, 1972) exist. The others were erased. Here’s audio of his very first episode.

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  1. Whether or not the new Snickers ad campaign takes off remains to be seen. It does look as though they’ve borrowed a page from Coca-Cola’s ‘personalized’ play book, however.

    Although I pretty much avoid coffee in favor of decaf tea, I really love vintage coffee commercials (especially Folger’s) featuring Mrs. Olson. Here we have a married couple in conflict that he’s not happy with his wife’s coffee making skills.

    He’s unhappy, she’s upset…then the loving, reassuring Mrs. Olson shows up at the door… just at the right moment, quickly takes the wife aside with the can of Folger’s right there, saving the day and possibly the marriage. Fantastic ad all the way around, as are all the others in this ad series!


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