Jon Hamm: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked

Don Draper, sitcom hero!

If ever there was an argument against nominative determinism, it's the acting career of Jon Hamm. As philandering ad executive Don Draper on Mad Men he's brought one of the most intense and believable performances in the current TV renaissance of "mysterious, angry white dudes), a quality he's since brought to other film and television roles. We assume he was similarly impressive when he played Winnie The Pooh in the first grade - possibly using some clever ad-speak to convince Rabbit to give him some Honey - and Judas in Godspell at age 16. Surprisingly, for the guy who's the current toast of Hollywood, he didn't take acting at all seriously at first. In fact, save for those two juvenile attempts at it, he'd basically abandoned acting as a viable career.

Luckily for all of us, he reconsidered after moving home to complete his college degree, where he answered an advertisement from a theater company looking for players in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. That role lead to more on-stage work, which lead to a job teaching eight-grade drama classes at his old high school (as repayment for his own stellar education), and then he sort of bummed around in Los Angeles for a while with his BFF Paul Rudd. We say "bummed around", but he did get some work early on in tinsel town - bussing tables and, briefly, acting as set designer for softcore porn films. A little frustrated at his lack of progress, he set his 30th birthday as a deadline to succeed in Hollywood.

The deadline worked, apparently, since he then started snapping up TV work - cameo appearances in Ally McBeal (as "Gorgeous Guy at Bar") - along with very brief role in Clint Eastwood comedy Space Cowboys. It wasn't until Matthew Weiner, initially worried he may be too handsome, cast him as Don Draper that he really appeared on everyone's radar, though. Since then he's been a little more busy, appearing in more television and film roles, of varying quality. When he was a struggling actor there were some great roles and less-than-great roles, too.

This weekend sees the international release of Minions, ahead of its US debut next month. Hamm stars as Herb Overkill, husband of the yellow-jabberers' new master, Scarlett, and to celebrate, here are his five best (and worst) performances.


Tom Baker is the Comics Editor at WhatCulture! He's heard all the Doctor Who jokes, but not many about Randall and Hopkirk. He also blogs at