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Hef is Gone

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Thanks for letting us know.

 

I always liked Hefner & his product- a trailblazer for sure.

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You certainly seemed to scoop just about every news outlet I access Dark, unless the news was on the LATE reports, which I don't bother with, and I haven't yet( at this posting) looked at my morning paper.

 

The man was responsible for sating the raging hormones of more than one generation of young men and adolescents, an surely will be missed.

 

RIP Hef.

 

 

Sepiatone

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And let's not forget Hef's love for classic film-he often screened movies at his mansion and was a big supporter of film restoration. Wasn't he a TCM guest?

 

As for his magazine-as a young girl it was exciting to see what I'd develop into (I hoped) and as a grown woman I actually enjoyed the interviews & articles. Really.

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WOW. A real trailblazer. So much has changed since he started his magazine. Pretty tame by today's standards. I heard this last night on a breaking news segment.

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And let's not forget Hef's love for classic film-he often screened movies at his mansion and was a big supporter of film restoration. Wasn't he a TCM guest?

 

As for his magazine-as a young girl it was exciting to see what I'd develop into (I hoped) and as a grown woman I actually enjoyed the interviews & articles. Really.

 

I enjoyed Playboy After Dark because it featured fine jazz musicians,  often black ones,  which helped break the color barrier on national T.V.       

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I saw the news on Yahoo last night just before I unplugged.

Meh. Hef trying to appear cool in the late 1960s-hilarious.

I vaguely remember one of the TV shows. Hef in his tux,

sitting on the couch smoking a pipe, surrounded by some

big boobed ladies while they listened to the philosophic

ramblings of Norm Crosby. Oh brother.  

 

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Unpopular opinion--sorry about it: HH was a little too obsessed with Marilyn. I possess the collection of the first fifty years' centerfolds, and the majority of them look like cousins of MM. Even his black and oriental models have an uncanny resemblance to Norma Jean. PLAYERS--remember that one?--was very successful at displaying the almost endless variety of the black female face; Herr HH should have taken a long careful look at the black PLAYBOY.

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Boy, it would be challenging to try to summarize in a few pithy sentences the impact of Playboy and Hefner on the culture. Some have noted his tendencies to lapse into self-parody and pretentiousness, but I don't think these things diminish the impact of his success in mainstreaming what I would call "eroticism" rather than "pornography" (given its relative timidity when stacked up against genuine pornography). It's reflective of how accepted the magazine was at one time that dads in my neighborhood just had them sitting out on the divan - not all dads, but even in my Bible-belt town, a certain percentage of them - and moms grudgingly accepted their presence or maybe even enjoyed looking at them themselves. And these parents seemed rather willfully ignorant about what their kids and their friends did with these magazines when the parents weren't home! Or maybe they just didn't care. It's a reflection of a bygone era. The cultural pendulum has shifted again. Pornography is more accessible than ever (I can't imagine being the parent of a teenage boy today), but it's back to being very "closeted", very hush-hush, very not discussed in polite company.

 

And of course the eroticism was just one aspect of the magazine, albeit the most ballyhooed one. It was a joke for sixty years to say "I read Playboy for the articles", but boy, there were great articles. Back when one expected certain magazines to have a little bit of everything between two covers, Playboy gave you news, commentary, art, essays, fiction, reviews, articles on trends and technology, the wonderful, lengthy interviews ... and a centerfold.

 

(Oh, and Hef was a Guest Programmer in 2005, no doubt making TCM execs happy by staying entirely in-library with his selections. Looks like he had a Bogie/Bacall fixation, choosing all three of their films together and two other Bogie movies besides)

 

April 2005: Hugh Hefner: Films Chosen: Casablanca (1942), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947)

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I wonder if The Donald had a key?

 

He had to surrender it because his company went bankrupt,it was a corporate account....

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Boy, it would be challenging to try to summarize in a few pithy sentences the impact of Playboy and Hefner on the culture. Some have noted his tendencies to lapse into self-parody and pretentiousness, but I don't think these things diminish the impact of his success in mainstreaming what I would call "eroticism" rather than "pornography" (given its relative timidity when stacked up against genuine pornography). It's reflective of how accepted the magazine was at one time that dads in my neighborhood just had them sitting out on the divan - not all dads, but even in my Bible-belt town, a certain percentage of them - and moms grudgingly accepted their presence or maybe even enjoyed looking at them themselves. And these parents seemed rather willfully ignorant about what their kids and their friends did with these magazines when the parents weren't home! Or maybe they just didn't care. It's a reflection of a bygone era. The cultural pendulum has shifted again. Pornography is more accessible than ever (I can't imagine being the parent of a teenage boy today), but it's back to being very "closeted", very hush-hush, very not discussed in polite company.

 

And of course the eroticism was just one aspect of the magazine, albeit the most ballyhooed one. It was a joke for sixty years to say "I read Playboy for the articles", but boy, there were great articles. Back when one expected certain magazines to have a little bit of everything between two covers, Playboy gave you news, commentary, art, essays, fiction, reviews, articles on trends and technology, the wonderful, lengthy interviews ... and a centerfold.

 

Outstanding interviews.

 

In 1968, 1969 - when I was 18, 19 - I was inspired by the "classiness" of the lifestyle that Playboy projected. Of course, I would soon come to realize that the fantasy was pretty much non-achievable for regular guys like me.

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And of course the eroticism was just one aspect of the magazine, albeit the most ballyhooed one. It was a joke for sixty years to say "I read Playboy for the articles", but boy, there were great articles. Back when one expected certain magazines to have a little bit of everything between two covers, Playboy gave you news, commentary, art, essays, fiction, reviews, articles on trends and technology, the wonderful, lengthy interviews ... and a centerfold.

 

There was a lot of good writing published in that magazine, from authors like Saul Bellow, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, P.G. Wodehouse, Margaret Atwood, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabakov,  John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, and a whole lot more.

 

Oh, and speaking of presidents:

 

bomb2.jpg

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Unpopular opinion--sorry about it: HH was a little too obsessed with Marilyn. I possess the collection of the first fifty years' centerfolds, and the majority of them look like cousins of MM. Even his black and oriental models have an uncanny resemblance to Norma Jean. PLAYERS--remember that one?--was very successful at displaying the almost endless variety of the black female face; Herr HH should have taken a long careful look at the black PLAYBOY.

 

 

Hef was one of the first people to discover Marilyn, when she was still only print/ad modeling--And like Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Arthur Miller and a half-dozen celebrity-photographers, another ship crashed on the siren's rocks.

(Even Groucho Marx still had a thing for her, after claiming he first discovered her in a walk-on audition for "Love Crazy".

 

Over sixty years, it was just taken for granted that Hef liked the Blonde Californian look, even over white brunettes and redheads, which is why Playboy didn't have the, er, diversity that later porn had.

Suppose it's kind of appropriate, in a way, that Playboy finally reportedly got out of the nude-centerfold business a year before Hef finally did.

 

And while there are very few films in which Hef cameo'ed, perhaps TCM could pay tribute with Don Knotts in The Love God? (1969).

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There was a lot of good writing published in that magazine, from authors like Saul Bellow, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, P.G. Wodehouse, Margaret Atwood, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabakov,  John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, and a whole lot more.

 

Oh, and speaking of presidents:

 

bomb2.jpg

 

 

GAG!! :D

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And of course the eroticism was just one aspect of the magazine, albeit the most ballyhooed one. It was a joke for sixty years to say "I read Playboy for the articles", but boy, there were great articles. Back when one expected certain magazines to have a little bit of everything between two covers, Playboy gave you news, commentary, art, essays, fiction, reviews, articles on trends and technology, the wonderful, lengthy interviews ... and a centerfold.

 

Playboy was considered THE magazine for authors to publish short stories, second only to The New Yorker--

 

Alex Hailey got his start doing some of the historic interviews--and publishing the first excerpts of "Roots"--and just about any biographic research on historic figures of the last half of the 20th cty. always turns to the Playboy Interviews for insight.  (Although Jimmy Carter ended up being one of the more infamous examples.)

Bob Guccione's Penthouse tried to compete for "upscale classiness", but Guccione was no Hefner, and their between-articles usually trumpeted political conspiracies on the girl-covers for discussion content.

 

If anything, the classy image of the 60's Martini Swinger is what fractured the porn industry during its "boom" after the 70's revolution, as everyone who wasn't reading it for the articles thought they went over their heads, and those who were reading it for the articles weren't necessarily in it for the centerfolds.

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Yes, there were girlie pictures, great articles....but no one has mentioned the cartoons! Even as kids we found the "granny" cartoons funny and I loved the bizarre humor of Gahan Wilson's cartoons.

Personally, I thought Hef's "smoking jacket" persona was pretty funny too.

 

True story: When in middle school, my best friend Mike's grades were floundering. The school set up a "tutor" from high school to help mentor him and give her extra credits. This 16 year old girl was beautiful, and 13 year old Mike had a tough time concentrating on the books! In the end, he passed the grade and Mike's Mother bought a pretty scarf for him to give his teen tutor as a thank you gift.

 

Years later Mike is at his job at the (all men) Piano Factory. He opens his new Playboy in the lunchroom, flipping the pages. He comes to the centerfold girl and THERE SHE IS-his tutor! And in the centerfold, she has THE scarf in the belt loops of her jeans!

 

Mike has a complete collection of Playboy Magazine, many purchased in bulk at flea markets to help fill in missing back issues. We both have several copies of that "home town girl" issue. 

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I enjoyed Playboy After Dark because it featured fine jazz musicians,  often black ones,  which helped break the color barrier on national T.V.       

Dang.  I only, over the years, seen clips of some of the shows since when it was originally aired it never seemed to be included in any of the local station's programming 'round here.  I'm sure I would have probably enjoyed it.

 

Fixation with Marilyn ?   Y'know, even though she did have a few minor film appearances under her belt by the time Hef launched PLAYBOY, her career was basically going nowhere.  And I believe that her appearance on that first issue's cover and the iconic centerfold helped kick both of their careers into high gear.  I think it fitting that he'll be interred  in the crypt next to hers.  They do have a lot of catching up to do.   ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

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Years later Mike is at his job at the (all men) Piano Factory. He opens his new Playboy in the lunchroom, flipping the pages. He comes to the centerfold girl and THERE SHE IS-his tutor! And in the centerfold, she has THE scarf in the belt loops of her jeans!

 

Steinway in Astoria?

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I just watched this 2008 movie a couple of months ago.

 

Hef gave a fairly touching performance in it - as himself of course.

 

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