Jon Hamm Was Once an Eligible Bachelor On a Dating Show

Jon Hamm has starred in several beloved shows and movies over the years, and is known for his versatility as an actor. He’s also been known for his good looks and ability to make people swoon, whether in real life or as his smooth-talking Mad Men character Don Draper.

But before he became the in-demand actor we know today, Hamm was a young thespian trying to break in to the industry in any way possible. In 1996, he got his first on-screen work — on a dating show.

Jon Hamm attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | Matt Winkelmeyer/VF20/WireImage
Actor Jon Hamm attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | Matt Winkelmeyer/VF20/WireImage

Jon Hamm’s big break before acting

The Big Date was a short-lived dating show that aired on the USA Network from 1996 to 1997. TV host Mark L. Walberg ran the show and welcomed three eligible bachelors or bachelorettes to vie for a date with the contestant.

A 25-year-old Hamm appeared on the 50th episode of The Big Date alongside a stunt actor named Marc and a finance student named Marcus. Hamm was working as a waiter at the time in Los Angeles and was trying to make a go of it as an actor.

Jon Hamm attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Actor Jon Hamm attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jon Hamm got rejected on ‘The Big Date’

The game started out with a simple question for the three bachelors: how would you impress Mary (the contestant) on a first date?

Hamm’s answer was simple yet charming. “Start off with some fabulous food, a little fabulous conversation, with a fabulous foot massage for an evening of total fabulosity,” he said, smiling, noting her love of feet and feet massages.

Sadly, Hamm didn’t make it far in his episode of The Big Date. Mary the bachelorette chose Marc over Hamm. However, when Salon caught up with her in 2014, she was happily married to her husband, “a beautiful rock star” who performs in various bands.

“I wouldn’t trade my husband for a thousand Jon Hamms,” Sandler laughed.

Jon Hamm attends the Tom Ford AW/20 Fashion Show at Milk Studios on February 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Actor Jon Hamm attends the Tom Ford AW/20 Fashion Show at Milk Studios on February 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Jon Hamm met his partner not long after ‘The Big Date’

While Hamm didn’t find love on The Big Date, he did find a partner not long after that. In 1997, he began a relationship with actor and screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt — a relationship that lasted almost two decades until 2015.

Hamm discussed his relationship with Westfeldt in a 2008 interview with Page Six. “We may not have a piece of paper that says we’re husband and wife, but after 10 years, Jennifer is more than just a girlfriend,” Hamm said. “What we have is much deeper and we both know that. To me, people get married when they’re ready to have kids, which I’m not ruling out.”