This post contains a spoiler from the season finale of "Mad Men."
Watching Robert Morse's bittersweet exit from this weekend's episode, something about the raspy performer's singing voice felt familiar. I knew about his signature turn in the 1967 film version of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" and his illustrious career on the Broadway stage. But I couldn't quite place why his song-and-dance number stirred up such specific nostalgia. But some light Googling revealed that Morse was the voice of Jack Frost in the 1979 Rankin Bass holiday special "Jack Frost," a yearly staple of mine and many childhoods.
Some are still debating "Mad Men" creator Matthew Wiener's decision to end this half of the show's ultimate season with such a surreal touch as a song and dance routine from a ghost. And, as much as the current culture of close-reading would like me to search for some deeper connection between Morse's attachment to an ever-so-slightly grim, second-tier character from Christmas myth and his character Bert Cooper's untimely death, the two almost certainly have nothing to do with each other. But the actor's natural ability to radiate whimsy and youthful mischief served the character of idiosyncratic, shoeless adman Cooper extremely well during his life on the program. I was so glad to see him spotlight those qualities on his way out.
Neil Drumming is a staff writer for Salon. Follow him on Twitter @Neil_Salon.