There are rumors that seem too weird to be true, and rumors you really hope aren’t true. This qualifies as both.
The British tabloid The Sun is reporting that Paul McCartney has agreed to make a cameo appearance on Mad Men during its upcoming fifth season. The proverbial unnamed source told the paper, “It’s perfect timing because his new music suits the program perfectly … action in the show has now reached the Swinging Sixties [never mind that Mad Men has been set in the Sixties all along]. So it’s only right that the man who was pivotal to that era is involved in the show.”
Only right? Well, there’s the pertinent fact that Mad Men has never had a superstar cameo, and that such a cameo would tend to pull viewers out of the show’s minutely detailed recreation of a specific time and place. For these reasons, it seems highly unlikely that McCartney would ever pop up on the show – and this is even assuming he would be playing a fictional character and not his 45-years-younger self, something the original story doesn’t really specify.
However, the Sun also reported that McCartney is talking to Mad Men about possibly allowing the use of some of his songs for certain episodes. This is much more plausible, though the series tends to employ music to suggest a certain mood, and less as a signifier of the time period. Our best guess is that the Beatles will be alluded to on Mad Men as events warrant, but they probably won’t be heard, and a Beatle definitely won’t be seen.