Sam Katz’s Après-Christmas Party Party

When I arrived at DDB in the mid-’60s, I was put in Dave Reider’s group, where I joined Evan Stark and a quirky man by the name of Sam Katz. Sam was a very good writer, although rather than known for his ads, he was famous for a brawl at the Teheran with another quirky copywriter, Alan Mond (but that’s another story).

Anyway, each year, after the DDB Christmas party, Sam would invite a bunch of us over to his Murray Hill apartment for his own party. Well, one year, while about fifty of us were partying in his living room, Sam walked out of his bedroom wearing a coat and carrying two suitcases. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and walked out. We all just stood there, kind of dumbfounded.

I asked his best friend, a man from the research department (as I remember), named Frank Bernadino (or something like that), if he was going on vacation. “No,” Frank answered, “he’s moving to Sweden.” As I stood there with my mouth open, Frank went on: “He’s marrying a girl he met a few months ago in Malmö. Sam got a job there. He asked me to close the apartment when everyone left.”

Who in the world, I thought, would leave his home, forever, in the middle of his own party, with about fifty people there, eating and drinking and carrying on?

Sam Katz, that’s who.

Mike Mangano
DDB Copywriter