I've been on a vintage Playboy kick over the last few months. I procured (by undisclosed nefarious means) a (digital) copy of Playboy number 1 (and a few other old issues). I also put the Playboy After Dark DVD box set on my Netflix queue. The box set actually contains two different Playboy shows, the late 1950's show Playboy's Penthouse from Chicago, and the late 1960's updated version Playboy After Dark shot in LA. I really didn't give a shit about the later show (don't really care about the whole late 60's vibe, music, etc.), but Playboy's Penthouse was great. You see a really young Hef hanging out in his apartment (really a T.V. studio) with performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Cy Coleman, Lenny Bruce, Sammy Davis Jr., etc. I really liked the Lenny Bruce and Sammy Davis Jr. sketches. Worth the time adding it to your queue (or maybe you can find it on You Tube?) for these performances alone.
While today all you see is an old man hitting on girls made of plastic (microchips here and there?), but it's no small wonder (hahaha) the effect Playboy had on America. It's a miracle that Playboy and Hef are actually still around. Although tame by today's internet porn standards, Playboy Magazine shook the cultural status-quo back then and not just because of the nudity. He was one of the first people out on the front line in the war for racial equality, First Amendment and anti-censorship rights (before the Tropic of Cancer and Howl obscenity trials), abortion rights, sexual freedom, and social justice. It seems that the articles were actually worth reading. (Come to think of it, going through all this old Playboy stuff is probably what planted the seed for me to do this site.)
Well, yesterday (and much to my amusement) when I was flipping through the Village Voice I saw an ad for a new documentary entitled Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel. Definitely going to be checking it out. Trying to "procure" it through my normal means, but I may have to actually procure a ticket to see this in the theater or at least wait to Netflix it.
Check out the trailer below, check out the film, and let me know what you think.