Hershey’s, Utz and four other Pennsylvania references in ‘Mad Men’

Keystone State products and places have enjoyed cameo roles on the AMC series.
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If only Don Draper could limit his excesses to chocolate and potato chips.

The AMC series “Mad Men,” which just began its seventh and final season, is set in a fictional advertising agency in the 1960s. New York City is the setting for Draper and his colleagues’ exploits, but Pennsylvania products and places have made a number of cameo appearances through the years.

Here are six of them:

Season 1: Bryn Mawr College

We learn that Betty Draper, wife of leading (ad)man Draper, is from Philadelphia’s Main Line area and graduated from Bryn Mawr with a degree in anthropology.

Season 1: Sunbury

In this flashback scene, the real Dick Whitman has assumed Lt. Don Draper’s identity, accompanying the real Draper’s body back to Pennsylvania. As the train’s wheels screech to a halt at the station, the conductor announces “Sunbury.” Whitman’s step-brother, Adam, spots Dick on the train, which Dick (now Don) can’t bring himself to exit.

Season 2: Wilkes-Barre

Secretary-turned-copy writer Peggy Olson visits her mother and sister, who have helped Peggy hide her accidental pregnancy. They don’t hide their disappointment with Peggy’s decisions, including not attending church services.

“You know (Mom) lies and tells people you’re out of town on business,” Sis tells Peggy. “She has some made-up church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where you go to Mass with a friend of hers.”

Season 2: Utz

Comic Jimmy Barrett is hired to appear in an ad for real-life Utz, which William and Salie Utz started in 1921 in Hanover, York County.

“Imagine my horror when a night on the town turned ugly,” Barrett says. “This is a nice place, for nice people. And the jerk behind the bar, he throws a bowl of nuts at me. What am I, a squirrel? Well, lucky for him I bring my own wherever I go. Am I crazy? I don’t think so. Just you try to stick your face in a can of nuts. Take it from a nut: Utz are better than nuts.”

Season 5: University of Pennsylvania

Divorced from Don Draper and remarried, Betty Francis visits Dr. Horton with concerns about her weight gain. Kudos to the folks at DuelingTampons.com for catching this one, subtle as it is.

Season 6: Hershey’s

In the season finale, Draper wows his guests from Hershey’s chocolate with a made-up tale. “Hershey’s is the currency of affection. It’s the childhood symbol of love.”

But snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Draper confesses to a much less love-filled childhood, growing up as an orphan in a Pennsylvania whorehouse.

“I read about Milton Hershey and his school … ,” he says, “and I read that some orphans had a different life there. I could picture it. I dreamt of it, of being wanted because the woman who was forced to raise me would look at me every day like she hoped I would disappear.”

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