In light of some brave adventurer finally shattering the cursed amulet that protected the soul of Hugh Hefner for all those years, I thought you’d like to see another Playboy from Hef’s golden age of swingerhood. This isn’t a Hefner tribute per se: none of the Playboys that I have access to really shine a spotlight on Hefner better than the others. His presence through the magazines is heavy and his editorials are long enough that any issue will give you an equal opportunity to learn the driving force behind the empire. Hef was not enigmatic at all – his writing was carefully stated and well informed, eloquent, but direct. From reading his responses to reader mail and editorials, it comes across clearly that he chose sexual freedom as the hill to stake his life’s work on because A) he genuinely appreciated sex and B) he genuinely hated censorship.
Our cover girl this month is frequent Playboy cover model and girlfriend of Hugh Hefner in the early 60s, Cynthia Maddox. Cynthia was also the Assistant Cartoon Editor at this time. You work that overtime girl!
Aside from that very impressive span of names, look at that great design on the side with Brigitte Bardot’s eye.
In this month’s reader mail: think of the youths!, some insufferable twit goes on a rant about James Bond that I’m sure makes him super popular at parties, a James Bond fangirl goes on for uncomfortably long about how much she loves 007, and – damn! I missed the Peter Sellers interview!
Don Draper, no!
I love seeing reviews of iconic classics published in their own time. Barbra Streisand at this time was known mostly as a nightclub singer and for appearances on late night TV shows. Her relative obscurity here is made clear by the reviewer’s jumble of comparisons, whereas post Funny Girl she would ascend to a level of stardom entirely in her own category.
Malt liquor champagne! You don’t say! So classy!
I don’t know what response that one guy was expecting when he wrote to Playboyto complain that he was uncomfortable with his girlfriend modeling nude.
The Playboy Philosophy feature was Hugh Hefner’s editorial section in which he would usually elaborate on some angle of sex and freedom of speech. This one was unusually long, seven or eight pages, so I’m only sharing a few highlights. This is Hefner’s takedown of the writings and philosophy of Kellogg, the guy who invented corn flakes in order to stop America from masturbating. Put into context, Hefner is critiquing the puritanical attitudes to sex of his parents’ generation. Much like here we are, in the year 2017, pulling apart the sexuality of our parents’ generation.
The last paragraph of this is probably inscribed on the walls of every bedroom in the Playboy Mansion.
Well, that’s…really something.
UPDATE: Because the Internet really is an incredible thing, I found a full transcript of the Dali interview for those who are interested in the rest of it:
Let’s clear our heads with a wholesome romp on the beach with your hottest friends! Drink out of gigantic beer steins? Pardon my prudery, but the pictures I’m not including here are ones with the girls losing their bikini tops while playing in the water. I like that one of the games just ends with everyone chugging beer.
And no, I don’t really understand the seemingly random cartoon at the bottom. Cynthia probably thought it was random and badly placed, too, but couldn’t say anything to her boss.
Obviously the coolest man with the sexiest car and the blondiest blonde.
And speaking of work…here’s a piece on women and sex in the workplace by a woman who should damn well know what she’s talking about – Helen Gurley Brown, who was about to become editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan for the next 30 years. Please read this in your head in your best Christina Hendricks-as-Joan Holloway voice.
Party jokes time! I love this terrible feature. Reminder that these jokes are all submitted by readers, 100% of whom are gross gross men. The cartoon of the little naked lady is actually iconic to Playboy, as I have learned, and she is called a “femlin” by the artist that created her, LeRoy Neiman. She is supposed to invoke a risque little imp creature, only 12 inches tall, hence why she’s having issues controlling her ice cream cone in this month’s issue.
And our Playmate of the Month for June 1964 is…MELBA OGLE.
Melba enjoys hiking, biking, butchering meat, and taking pictures without her clothes on.
I need this book so bad!! I’m trapped in a homemaker’s all-purpose rut of ho-hum cookery!
I have no idea. But I love the art style.
Ok, fine, I laughed at this one.
This is Little Annie Fanny, by the creators of Mad magazine, and it is waaaay over my head with the satirical 60s references. I got as far as the creepy Richard Nixon caricature in the top right panel and after that I’m lost. The goal of the comic seems to be “Commentary, weird jokes, Annie gets naked at the end.” Real involved stuff here. The colors in this are just gorgeous. Apparently this series ran in Playboy for over twenty years.
“Men are in fact often dominated and all but enslaved by young women, but they don’t appreciate having to acknowledge it.” Uh…what.
I absolutely love it when an old magazine still has its subscription card intact. Wonder what the addressee would do if I mailed this to them?
And to take us out, here’s the poet laureate of our childhoods, Shel Silverstein, making snarky captions (“far-out channel captions”) about penis size and hitler ordering from a Jewish deli. Admittedly, most of them are actually pretty funny, even for today.
Tune in next week for a look at one of my absolute favorite magazines in my archive’s entire collection:
MAN’S MAGAZINE, THE MANLY MAN MAGAZINE FOR MANLY MEN WHO LIKE BLOOD AND GUTS AND TATTOOS AND STUFF