Monday, February 1, 2010

Mad Man on SNL: Hamm on wry

Jon Hamm totally does it for us. He's absurdly easy on the eyes. He regularly seduces us on "Mad Men," as a guy so brooding, so emotionally withholding, so fantastically messed up, we'd cut off a finger if the Blue Fairy would just make him real and send him on over. But the clincher – proven by his prior appearances on "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock" – is that he's deftly, disarmingly funny.

Making a repeat appearance on "SNL" this weekend, Hamm didn't just milk easy laughs out of his supercool Don Draper persona (though he did that too). Nope, what really got us hot and bothered was his eagerness to take off his shirt – revealing a body so downright normal it was almost cuddly.

In a digital short early in the episode, Hamm was Sergio, the well-oiled, ponytailed, saxophone-playing manifestation of a Gypsy curse. Tormenting Andy Samberg with his smooth jazz, he loomed over his victim, flaunting visible muffin top. Later, he was Scott Brown, a studly, persistently shirtless fantasy figure in the minds of his Democratic foes. (Gyrating in Nancy Pelosi's imagination, he tells her, "I want to introduce something to the floor. It's called: Your panties.")

Sure, he still fills out impeccable 60s-era tailoring with dapper aplomb, and he won't win any Zack Galifianakis look-alike contests any time soon. But Hamm's easy, sexy "SNL" performance was a reminder that all our incessant pleas for more realistic images of women in entertainment hold just as true for men as well. Whether his body is naturally a little doughier than the average Hollywood six-pack or a result of "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner's famous insistence his cast conform to the less sculpted forms of the show's era doesn't really matter. All we know is that the sight of a real man who doesn't look like he had broth for dinner unselfconsciously shaking his unchiseled moneymaker is hilarious -- and hot as hell.