What links ‘Winnie The Pooh’ with ‘Mad Men’?


Photo by Vera Anderson / WireImage
Photo by Vera Anderson / WireImage

John Hamm, star of ‘Mad Men‘, the hit American TV series about Madison Avenue and a ’60s New York advertising agency, was born in 1971. In that same year the first stage version of ‘Winnie The Pooh‘ opened as a Christmas show for children at the Phoenix Theatre in London. With full approval from A A Milne’s family Julian Slade had adapted the ‘Pooh’ stories for the stage. The show, featured some original songs of the same period by H Fraser-Simson and additional songs by Julian. It starred Christopher Biggins as Pooh and Julian Orchard as Eyeore. It was a hit with children of that time.

John Hamm recently told an interviewer that he won his first acting part when he was just four years old – as Pooh in a stage version of ‘Winnie The Pooh‘. In 1974/75 productions for children of Julian’s adaptation were being staged in Toronto and the United States. Could he have been in Julian’s version of the ‘Pooh’ stories? We can’t be sure but it seems very possible. Only Julian had the stage rights for ‘Pooh’ at the time. If any reader knows more, please tell us.

It’s also an intriguing thought that many of the same English and American children who loved the original production of Julian’s version of ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ are probably now among the thousands of 50 year old adults who have watched John Hamm in every episode of ‘Mad Men‘. It’s a funny old world!