Oct 272008

Roberta, Matt, Deborah

Roberta, Matt, Deborah

What a night!

You already know the big surprise ending, so let’s go through chronologically.

First, Roberta and I were in the Lincoln Tunnel for approximately 34 hours. You think I exaggerate, and yet.

So, instead of arriving at 7 to graciously set up the room for our announced 8pm start time, we pulled up in front at about 7:50, unloaded, and then I went to park the car. Very Keystone Kops, but fortunately, I found a spot only a block away, so I boogied back and we set up quickly.

At some point on the way over, Roberta thunked herself on the head and said she’d forgotten her digital recorder”no way to do a formal interview. “That means someone’ll show up” she said. Prophetic.

Every table had a basket of (Hershey’s) Kisses (we’re SO cute, right?), plus Utz potato chips. Our waitress (yay, Jessica!) is a fan of the show (the only one at the Phoenix Park who is) and she got jazzed when she saw the Utz. Plus, we had wonderful AMC-provided swag: Do Not Disturb doorknob hangers (“Mad Men…behind every door”) and business card holders (each with Don Draper’s business card, to which we’d added our own).

Our private room looked to seat around fifty, and guests trickled in slowly. Around 9:45 I realized there were no chairs for the last few guests who’d just arrived.

There were so many wonderful Basketcases in attendance. Regulars I know well, like Jackie, Joy, Dimples, and portiaslegacy.



Charming lurkers I was happy to meet, like Jude, Marcy, and Ellen. Newcomers who’d just heard of us the week before (welcome!). Nathaniel of The Film Experience came, as did Rolando of AM New York, who writes the Urbanite and its “Mad Men in the City” column.



There was a moment when I just sat quietly and listened to the deafening chatter. Everyone so noisy, so animated, so excited to chat, and I just soaked it in, like a wave of pleasure. And I thought, this is the best night I’ve had in ages.

A few minutes past nine o’clock we hooked up our Roberta’s sound system and started playing Mad Men trivia. We had some really hard questions.* Betty’s maiden name. Name three clients who’ve left SC. One point for every Whedon connection: Like that. 40 questions, I think. So fun. We had five prizes: First prize went to Glen, who won a small martini set. Second prize was a DVD of Psycho (which, accidentally, was the remake; Roberta thought she bought the original), won by portiaslegacy. Third prize was a copy of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, won by Dimples. We had a tie for 4th between Joy and Marcy, which was great, because we had two Sterling Cooper stickers from Cafe Press. Finally, 5th prize, to Jackie, was a Pez container. Not a period one, but hey, it’s the thought that counts.

The nice thing about having a fan as our waitress is she was totally on top of making sure we were tuned to AMC and that the sound was working right (which wasn’t easy) and so on. Because at one minute to ten, a hush fell over the room, and IT BEGAN.

It’s different with fifty people, y’know? Laughs, gasps, boos, more laughs; there’s something so fulfilling about the shared viewing experience. And of course, the episode was as good as anything any of us have ever seen. Ever. The twists! The revelations! The sex in a bar! Yowza!

And then at 11:01, in walks Matt Weiner, and he’s all like, didja like it?


I had a moment of unreality. For a half-second I had this disorienting sense that I was watching a film of Matt Weiner joining our party.

And then that ended, snap, and we were all hugging like old friends, and Matt sat between Roberta and I, and answered millions of questions from us, from Basketcases, and he asked US questions (yes! we loved it!), and signed autographs (doorknob hangers come in handy) and I gave him a copy of my book and it was totally wonderful. Totally.

Matt Weiner feels like an old friend, like a buddy, like a colleague, possibly like the cool cousin who made good.

Listening to the master

Listening to the master

And in a sense, our comfort worked against us. I was relaxed and my brain wasn’t in interview mode. Like, if I’d have been more star struck, I’d have taken better notes. In a way, I am star struck; he is a brilliant creative force”Matt, I’m totally in awe! But I’m not intimidated, which is nice. You’re always afraid you’re going to drool or something.

Executive decision: I’m taking all the interview stuff, all the stuff Matt told us, and moving it to a different post. Because this one is already quite long.

There will be much more. I am so tired. The right side of my head feels like it’s got Borg implants. But listen, it was like the best night ever BEFORE Matt showed up. You all made it great. You all make Basket of Kisses the joy that it is. So thank you Matt, thank you Theano, thank you AMC, and thank you Basketcases.

*Of which I just realized, we got one wrong. Playtex was the client in the “Maidenform” episode. So those of you who said Playtex during the trivia quiz, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.


  25 Responses to “My head hurts, I'm tired, I'm so happy I could squeak: Basketcases and Matt Weiner”

  1. "our sound system".


    I'm the musician. Who recognized that even in a small space, amplification is an advantage. Who broke it down (I keep everything set up in my living room) and carried it with my bad back and set it up.

    On the other hand, Maidenform was my question, and my answer. So also, I suck. Does mea culpa mean my bad? Cause, seriously. I can name Peggy/Joan's OB/GYN, and where he has a house, but I screwed that up.

  2. NY Times online article says Mad Men homage will be part of Nov. 2 Simpsons Halloween episode.

  3. I'm still taking in everything that I experienced last night (the seaon 2 finale AND the viewing party). It really was a great night and I LOVE living in this city.

  4. Congrats on such a successful party and for meeting the man himself! God, I miss NY.

  5. Matt Weiner turns up at 10:01?

    Hells Bells! Now that's a surprise ending!

    There was no realistic way for me to fly to NYC this weekend, but am glad to vicariously enjoy your fab party. Looking fwd to the formal interview with MW.

  6. Congratulations, lovely Lipp sisters. No one deserves a visit from the Wizard more. 🙂

    I love you two. You (and this blog) are simply the best!

  7. Hells bells is right!

    Why can't ya'll be in Los Angeles?

  8. 11:01, in fact. Right after the show ended. And was there for the encore, with the volume low, so would point at the screen and illuminate.

    Addendum… Oh holy crap. Hey, it's Roberta. And I was at Deborah's house when I wrote this comment, all signed in as her. But didn't realize.

  9. Hey ladies!
    Found your site I'm glad you
    had a good time it was a great
    experience for all. Now I think
    I will netflix the show more!
    hope to see you soon.
    -Jessica "waitress"

  10. Congrats on your successful soiree–such a great photo! You're both lovely! Kicking self for having wimped out.

    I am so strangely anxious about visiting nyc, after finally giving up and moving away 15 years back. Only 90 minutes up the Hudson, but it seems so much farther away!

    all best, 60sd.

  11. You ladies are awesome.

    It's funny because even though Matt is the creator of the show, he's as fanatic about it as we all are… if that made sense.

    Lipp Sistas – Thank you so much for this Mad Men haven. 🙂

    Matt Weiner – Thank you so much for finally giving viewers quality television. 🙂

  12. Dear Roberta and Deborah,

    Last night was so much fun. I enjoyed every part of it; the part where I got to know a few people, the part where Matthew Weiner showed up, and the part where Rolando, Liz and I walked two miles home (three for me).

    Thank you for putting together a wonderful evening.


  13. So many lovely Basketcases.

    Susan, Glen, I am so sorry you left. We didn’t know, or we’d have tried to stop you. We didn’t know.

  14. […] It rocked. Filed under: Movies & TV — Deborah Lipp @ 9:40 am […]

  15. Ah-hah – I *knew* the client was Playtex! That's okay, I love my SC sticker…

    And I loved all the rest of party, so glad I make the trek down from Boston. It was great to meet Dimples, Jackie, and the other "closet 'Cases" like Jerry who came out to celebrate and discuss MM in person, and be in a room of "kindred spirits" who don't judge me for blurting out Betty's alma mater in a bar. Of course, the live commentary by MW (and my hug! *My hug!*) was the highlight, but the whole evening was a blast… excellent soiree, Lipp Sisters!

  16. I was in NYC on Saturday, in the rain, but I'm very, very sorry I had to miss this event.

  17. IS there any MM fans near Baltimore.. we could have a local group for next years finale.. I do miss that collective viewing experience.
    AHHH so jealous!

  18. …I'm so happy I could squeak….

    I will never be able to read anything you write without thinking of this statement!

    It just makes me smile with the wonderfulness of all this…

  19. It was great to meet everyone! I had so much fun last night. (cough) season premiere party next summer (cough)
    Thanks especially to the lovely Lipps for hosting.
    Matt Weiner was SO sweet and humble. He signed everyone's stuff and answered a ton of questions.

  20. Thank you for hosting! It was so amazing to have MW there and great to see alll of you.

  21. I agree! "I am so happy I could squeak" is just unforgettable!

    What a wonderful way to end the season. I am so happy for the Lipp sisters who truly deserve this and so happy for all of us who get to be a part of this. So much fun!!!

  22. Jessica, you were a total rock star. Thanks for everything and I'm so excited you found us!

    maurinsky, that is really too bad.

    Joy, you were fabulous. And for the record, I thought the stickers were the best prizes for a Basketcase.

    Jackie, so glad to have met you!

    portiaslegacy, I'm sorry I didn't have more of a chance to speak with you, but it was so great that you came. You kicked some serious ass in the trivia contest, especially considering you came into it late!

  23. re #17 Briome – yes I am in the Baltimore area and would love to form a MM viewing party. I know no one in my immediate area who watches it!!!

  24. I could not be more envious of your night. Viewing party in Chicago any time soon? Watching the finale alone without anyone to dish with just wasn't as much fun!

    Your site really does rock. How will we all spend the time until season 3 debuts? Dreaming of Hamm, I guess.

  25. Jen L, stick around. We'll be turning S2 inside out a few times.

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