There’s a discussion going on at the IMDb Mad Men board about the name Sterling Cooper. Shouldn’t it be Cooper Sterling, Asks one person, since Cooper is the senior partner? Yes, says another, except that Roger Sterling’s father is the original Sterling and founded the company with Bert Cooper. And yes, says a third person, that’s right, it was founded by Sterling’s father.
I’d never noticed this on the show (although apparently Roberta had). The AMC site has nothing official about this. Their character sketches don’t give any back story that isn’t culled directly from aired episodes, and doesn’t say anything about this. The AMC Mad Men blog (not as good as ours) refers to this idea as a “conspiracy theory.” (Which, excuse me? Is obnoxious and stupid. There’s nothing conspiratorial about wondering about the founding of Sterling Cooper.)
Anyway, the “conspiracy theorist” remarks that Cooper has a framed picture of a young Roger with a man who is presumably Roger’s father. Roberta pointed out to me that Cooper calls Roger “Peanut,” and looks at that picture and says something like “You were so cute back then.”
It’s a whole new area of character exploration and back story that Season 2 might get into; the founding of Sterling Cooper and the influence of Roger’s father. I wonder if they plan on getting more explicit in that direction. It explains a lot about Roger (which I’ll get into in the near future).