Let’s Read Photoplay, September 1979!

Photoplay is considered to be the granddaddy of the film fan magazine, which started in 1911 as a promotional outlet for the film industry. Photoplay initially focused on short stories that were virtually the fan fiction of their time, then tinkered with the format to increase the attention on the lives of celebrities, which drove sales through the roof and eventually set the course for every celebrity gossip tabloid that followed it. Photoplay’s era through the 1950s as a respectable, sturdy source of Hollywood insider information was the kind that could drive up enough publicity to make or break a movie star. At its peak, the magazine published regular features from Hedda Hopper, Louella Parsons, and other immensely popular gossip columnists of the time. Unable to keep up with competitors and the flood of fan magazines that it inspired, the magazine folded in 1980.

So Elvis had been dead for two years by this time, and it’s at the point in the tabloid slows news cycle where they’re still doing whatever they can to keep him on covers because Elvis (young, pretty, nostalgia-stirring Elvis) still moves lots of magazines. So the “Elvis was my bff” story is not much to speak of.

I forgot to edit out the address from the sticker. Sorry, Ms. (Regemnitter?). I assume you are dead by now.

“I am growing like a tree. But, like, a tall thin one, with smooth bark. Like, uh, like an aspen. Or like, ooh ooh, like one of those decorative metal tree-things that rich people put in their foyers. Yes, that’s me. Gloria has one sitting under this dreadful ostentatious antique mirror in her mud room, and I swear one of these days she’s going to go off again about how close she is to the president of the museum board and I’ll stab her in the eye with one of those stupid metal branch — oh, I’m sorry, what were we talking about again?”

Tag yourself: sexiest overbite, reluctant sex symbol, dye job, or spinster survivalist?

Yeah, John “I believe in white supremacy” Wayne was a great example of America. Ugh. He died in June of 1979, so the emotions were still running high. Meanwhile, it’s 2019 and Jane Fonda is still out there being both a Hollywood icon AND getting arrested at protests and I think it’s safe to say she came out the winner here.

Tell your stupid boyfriend to buy our condoms already! We’re tired of nagging him and he just screens our calls!

The people who write these articles are masters of spinning one sentence worth of actual information into multiple full paragraphs of bullshit. It’s kind of amazing.

“[Prolamine], even at normal doses, ‘may trigger psychotic behavior or life-threatening damage to the blood vessels in the brain.'”

I’m going to leave the commentary alone about the relationship with her father, but I will point out that Mackenzie Phillips married a dude that she knew for three weeks, literally a month after this was published.

This is sad. I am sad. Let’s move on to making fun of an ad.

Oh god, I can still taste the chalky fake fruity residue in my five year old teeth.

“Artoo-Deetoo and C3-PO” will never not look weird to me.

Mark Hamill makes bad dad puns. Ever a delight, Mark Hamill. Ever a delight.

“She’s not unliberated” is a really weird way to put that. If only 1979 could see 2019 where Leia’s face is on signs at women’s rights marches.

Mark and Marilou are still married over 40 years later!

The “Paul Simon is not good enough for Carrie Fisher” shade is strong here.

“Both these young Americans” — what.

I have so many questions. First, how haunted is this teddy bear? Super crazy haunted, right? Like if you tried to burn the thing it would just show up on your bed the next morning? Where is it now? How many garage sales has it been through where it has lost any meaning as something once belonging to Elvis? Or has someone kept it in a sealed airtight chamber, like a holy relic, for the last 40 years?

As you can tell, the Elvis article will not be winning any prizes for hard-hitting journalism any time soon.

Witness the notoriously named Ayds “diet candy” – because nothing makes you skinnier than something with the “trusted name of Ayds”!

Was there supposed to be lyrics to the CHiPs theme song?

I tried to think of some lyrics, but I just ended up singing the names of the actors to the theme over and over again.

Erik Estra-daaaa!
And Larry Wil-cooooox!

Raquel Welch is looking forward to a change of pace from her usual brownface roles to try her hand at redface instead. Yeesh. It came out as a made-for-TV movie in 1982 as The Legend of Walks Far Woman. You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. I would not recommend it.

Please don’t set your adorable dog on fire with your cigarette! He looks very flammable!

Yes, describing a 14 year old as a “sexpot” is perfectly appropriate. What creep-ass weirdo wrote this — MICHAEL MUSTO? SERIOUSLY?

“She still has a protective mother who won’t let her go on dates [but is totally cool with the blatant sexualization of her child if it brings in that Hollywood money]”

I looked up “self dynamics” and it seems to be a loose 70s term for self esteem. So I guess it’s probably a pamphlet that just says “You’re out of sight!” and it tells you to repeat it 20 times a day until you feel ready to fulfill those burning sexual desires. Ew.

Sorry, this is just…so gross.

The sheer amount of sodium in this casserole dish could power a Toyota Prius.

My summer bosom overstayed its visa and doesn’t seem interested in going home anytime soon. What even IS this thing? It’s the Mark Eden Mark II IVR, apparently. The ad provides over a hundred words of text but doesn’t actually tell you what it is, which is weirdly admirable. I think it’s either a pill, a big rubber band, or a piece of paper with crude drawings of women in bikinis doing push-ups.*

“That IVR technology was developed by North American Aviation for use in the cancelled XB-70 Valkyrie bomber, at the taxpayer’s expense. In order to recoup those costs, the Carter Administration allowed non-defense applications to be explored, resulting in the commercial deployment of the technology in the Mark Eden MARK II bosom enlargement system (BES).” — courtesy of Robert Maitland, Architect

*Turns out it was a “regimen of exercises using a clamshell-like device with a spring to provide resistance.”


This one hurt my eyes to read, but I made out MAGIC MONEY JAR and I don’t see anything about casting a spell to melt half of my body off so that boys like me, so I’m cool with it.

That beard looks surprisingly good on Travolta. I can’t say the same for Henry Winkler. Sorry Fonz.

What does the face in the reflection tell you, Margaret? What is she saying? Do you hear her name? Her name is Joy. She is Joy. Joy is the reflection on you. When your joy shows, something’s done right. When it’s not right, Joy knows. And it shows.

Richard could only stare in wonder as distant-eyed Maureen tried, repeatedly, to get the cigarette to her mouth but was blocked every time by the stabbing of her abnormally long, flesh-painted, acrylic nails into her lip. Dammit Maureen, he thought, can’t you just let me help you this once?

Thank you for reading! Next time we will be cultivating our feminine allure with Physical Culture October 1948!