Ah, the miracle of the Internet. Mid-'90s-era footage of Mad Men
's Jon Hamm has surfaced, allowing us to witness the then 25-year-old on a forgotten USA show called The Big Date
Its setup is cringeworthy enough (there's awkward talk of foot fetishes, for one thing), but what we really can't stop giggling over is Hamm's hair, which is the stuff of '90s legend. Known as the mushroom, the bowl cut, or just plain ol' curtained hair, the floppy, middle-parted fringe look was an inevitable rite of passage for young males in the post-grunge era. Think of all your favorite '90s teen shows — chances are, the lead male was sporting some form of it (including, yes, the mushroom's ultimate poster boy, Jonathan Taylor Thomas).
What's interesting is that Hamm was clinging to the primarily adolescent look at 25, but hey, we discovered that he had good company in Keanu Reeves, who rocked a proto version of the shaggy look at age 27, way back in 1991 (in a deep web Paula Abdul video, no less.
) Watch Hamm's less-than-iconic moment on The Big Date
below, and click through to see who else makes our 'shroom hall of fame.
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.Grungy golden boy Devon Sawa made the mushroom cut almost palatable.
Photo: Alex J. Berliner/BEImages/Rex.No discussion of 90s hair is complete without mention of the almighty JTT. Seen here in 1995, he rocks an experimental longer length, while maintaining the crucial center part.
Photo: c.Triumph R/Everett/REX.Jonathan Brandis' hair remains so recognizable, he is the current featured example of "curtained hair" on Wikipedia. (Yes, such a page exists.)
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.Boy Meets World was chock full of epic 90s boy hair. Here we have Will Friedle as Eric Matthews, pretending to pay attention to one of Mr. Feeny's lectures (but really daydreaming about his Bop!-worthy coif.)
Photo: Courtesy of WB.7th Heaven heartthrob Barry Watson doing his best Keanu 2.0 face.
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.Did we mention that Boy Meets World had amazing hair moments? Here's Rider Strong as bad boy Sean, expertly pairing his overgrown bowl cut with a Hawaiian shirt. The epitome of studied adolescent effortlessness. (Cory Matthews sadly never attempted long hair.)
Photo: Courtesy of ABC.To this day, actor/musician/lifestyle guru Jared Leto specializes in cutting-edge hair. Back in the 90s, though, he was simply Jordan Catalano on ABC's short-run teen soap My So-Called Life. The show may not have lasted, but the impression of his perfectly messy, parted waves still haunts a generation.
Photo: Courtesy of Virgin Records.No list, regardless of context, is complete without Keanu Reeves, and fortunately he brings us a wonderfully relevant 90s hair milestone of his own. In 1991, he randomly starred in the little-known music video for Paula Abdul's "Rush Rush," with flowing locks that transcend description altogether.