Maybe the biggest gift Hollywood has given to comedy this past year has been Mad Men actor Jon Hamm. As Ted in Bridesmaids, he’s credited as one of the breakout performances of the film (though he’s ironically listed as “uncredited” on IMDB for the movie). And already reports are spreading that Hamm is in talks for another project with Bridesmaids director Paul Feig and producer Judd Apatow.
But how does an actor make the leap from the secretive period character, Don Draper, to modern-day comedic stud? Apparently, it can be done in five strategic steps. Bridesmaids is no fluke.
1.) It’s elementary: Hamm has admitted that he was cast as Winnie the Pooh in first grade, saying, “I was an early adopter of standing in front of people and looking like an idiot.”
2.) Be the voice: Hamm voiced the FBI investigator in an episode of The Simpsons and the character Brogan in Shrek Forever After in 2010.
3.) Be a big nerd for comedy: Chris Hardwick (Attack of the Show!) writes a very funny blog called Nerdist and he often does podcasts with celebrity friends. Hamm joined him in 2010 and it’s still one of the funniest things we’ve listened to. Ever. He talks about his early influences from Canadian sketch comedy show Kids in the Hall, and comedic greats like Steve Martin, George Carlin and Richard Pryor.
4.) No small roles, just funny ones: There comes a time when one just has to finally come out as funny. So, Hamm’s recurring role as one of Liz Lemon’s (Tina Fey) boyfriends on 30 Rock helped TV fans see the comedic promise of the actor. But even before that, Hamm appeared in a bit role on The Sarah Silverman Program back in 2007 as the cable guy who barters free movie channels for what ends up being a very awkward kiss with Sarah Silverman.
5.) Be a quadruple threat: Act, sing, dance and be funny? Hamm quadruple threated his was through the opening for the 2010 Emmys. And while his second hosting stint on Saturday Night Live gave us some major guffaws, it was his return in 2011 as the live-action Ambiguously Gay Duo that cinched the comedy stud title for us.
Rewatch the Emmys opening and Ambiguously Gay duo sketch from SNL below.