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Dr. Franklin Ruehl, the television legend who’s gotten a lot of exposure this year as a regular on Tom Green’s Internet show, a corpse on Sunset Tan, polygamist poster boy for GSN’s Without Prejudice and himself on NBC’s Identity, does an actual acting job tonight on AMC’s Mad Men.
“I am a beatnik at a 1960s night club, sitting in the front in this episode entitled ‘Babylon,’” the good doctor tells us. “Because of my energy, the director placed me in the front to capture my reactions to the readings and band. However, it remains to be seen how much, if anything, will be retained and how much left on the cutting room floor!”
Dr. Ruehl’s big break is not without incident…
“When I applied for the role, I mistakenly thought that the title, Mad Men, referred to a mental institution or Hitler’s inner coterie. Instead, I learned that the title is an abbreviation for “Madison Avenue Men,” advertising execs during the 1960s.
“We shot this at the Lacy Studios in L.A. where I had a chance to spend quality time with the studio cat, Lacey, who is 17 and lost an eye four years ago in an encounter with an opossum.
“This was actually the second episode filmed, but was moved back to No.5 (1.5), but appears now to be the fourth one to air. This mirrors the case with Star Trek. The first episode that aired was ‘The Man Trap,’ involving an alien metamorph who drained humans of their salt, yet it was the fourth episode filmed. Execs wanted to debut the series with a fascinating creature, opting for it over the first produced episode, ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before,’ which aired third. That episode featured Captain Kirk’s tombstone reading, ‘James R. Kirk.’ Yet in subsequent episodes, we learned that his name was James T. Kirk, with the T representing ‘Tiberius.’”
Dr. Ruehl, Mad Men, AMC, tonight, 10pm, 11pm, 2am.