Roger Sterling lies so much, and so passionately, that I wonder if he even recognizes that he’s lying.
Certainly, adulterers lie, and he has cheated on both his wives. But Don also cheats and lies, and Roger’s is particular to himself.
He said for years that he “discovered” Don, but in Waldorf Stories, we learn that’s a lie.
In Hands and Knees he tells Lee Garner, Jr. that he invited him to Margaret’s wedding and that Lee should blame his secretary for not getting the invitation. Some people have questioned whether that was really a lie, but it’s exactly the lie Roger tells, over and over.
That night he goes through his Rolodex, calling contacts. Now we see the deepest lie; he has not done any work at all; the partners are all right, later, about him not sitting on top of LGJ enough, and about him not finding any other business. Why go through the Rolodex now? Because he hasn’t done so before. And worse, he doesn’t know a “friend” has died, and must lie to the widow about having been out of town to cover for it.
When confronted by the partners about losing Lucky Strike, Roger says he joined SCDP out of “friendship,” which is a blatant lie, and truly the same lie he told Lee about the invitation: I’m your friend, I love you, I’m good to you, See what a good guy I am? That’s Roger’ lie, over and over, and it comes down to “Don’t blame me.” Roger is no one’s friend, as the widow must have known on the phone; friendship is the lie he uses to get by.
Finally, of course, he creates an elaborate web of false phone calls and travel to seal his lying ass-covering, and then whines to Joan about it.