‘Mad Men' puts ‘Zou Bisou Bisou' in millions' heads

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Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) sings to husband Don during his surprise birthday party. - Mad Men - Season 5, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

A little ditty turned out to be the big talk of Sunday’s “Mad Men” premiere.

Showing a lot of leg – and chutzpah – the new Mrs. Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) delivered a sexy serenade to her husband at his surprise 40th birthday party, purring the early ’60s French pop song “Zou Bisou Bisou.”

The French-Canadian chanteuse’s performance made the unflappable Don Draper blush and his co-workers’ jaws hit the floor, while the Twittersphere lit up and countless viewers were infected with an earworm that sounds like Scooby Dooby Doo.

“At the time, I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m new on this show and the first thing I have to do is an entire song-and-dance routine for the whole cast of “Mad Men,” ‘ ” said Pare, who catapulted from a peripheral character last season to center stage in Sunday’s premiere. The two-hour episode drew a series-high 3.5 million viewers.

The Montreal native’s prior singing experience had been “around the bonfire, in my car and in the shower,” she said. Pare rehearsed the “Zou Bisou Bisou” number for nearly two weeks.

Loosely translated as “Oh You, Kiss Kiss,” “Zou Bisou Bisou” was originally sung in English by Sophia Loren. British actress Gillian Hills recorded the French version in 1961.

Pare’s rendition almost instantly became available as a single on iTunes, and AMC’s “Mad Men” website is selling a limited-edition, 7-inch vinyl record. How retro.

Lori Rackl, TV critic

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