Don Draper has his brooding, boozy charms, but for us, Mad Men has always been, in large part, all about Pete Campbell. (Trudy: Please come back!) So obviously our ears perked up during last night's mid-season premiere when Pete started complaining about losing a large chunk of his money from the McCann Erickson buyout to taxes, saying, "To hang onto it I might have to buy an apartment building, but then I'd have to be a landlord." To which we say: Do it!
While we were tempted to roll our eyes at Pete's one-percent problems, he did have a conundrum: tax rates at the time would have been a hefty 70 percent for a single filer in Pete's income bracket, as tax blog Don't Mess With Taxes points out (compare that to today's 39.6 percent rate). As for prices, here's one for comparison — 33 Fifth Avenue, a 15-story apartment building in Greenwich Village, changed hands in 1969 for $850,000. Though that's a big chunk of the McCann Erickson windfall, as we all know, buying New York property around that time would turn out to be a very lucrative game, albeit one with a long wait for a payout. (Per the Furman Center's research, overall city prices increased 250 percent in between 1974 and 2006.) But let's take this one step further: a full-on Pete The Landlord spinoff:
Since AMC is in the spinoff business now, may I suggest "The Landlord," centering on Pete Campbell?
Think about how good this could be! Pete sputtering around dealing with contractors, plumbers, and difficult tenants, and maybe even teaming up with Peggy (who also owns a brownstone with tenants in place) for advice on the small-time landlord side hustle. And we all know how well it goes when he tries to do handyman work himself:
If anyone needs us, we'll be working on a spec script to send over to AMC.
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