Ten years Ago, Playboy -- then a publication of modest dimensions and high hopes -- first appeared on the newsstands. In our premier issue, we had this to say: "Within the pages of playboy you will find articles, fiction, picture stories, cartoons, humor and special features culled from many sources, past and present, to form a pleasure-primer styled to the masculine taste." Viewing that statement in retrospect, it's gratifying to know that, although we've grown enormously in both editorial scope and physical size, we have swerved not one iota from our original concept of what a magazine designed to provide "Entertainment for Men" should be.
Playboy, January, 1964, Vol. 11, No. 1. Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Company, Inc., Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., its possessions, the Pan American Union and Canada, $17 for three years, $13 for two years. $7 for one year. Elsewhere add $3 per year for foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, 232 E. Ohio St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising Director, Jules Kase, Eastern Advertising Manager, 405 Park Ave., New York, New York 10022, MU 8-3030; Branch Offices: Chicago, Playboy Building, 232 E. Ohio St., MI 2-1000, Joe Fall, Midwestern Advertising Manager; Detroit, Boulevard West Building, 2990 West Grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250, Joseph Guenther, Manager; Los Angeles, 8721 Beverly Blvd., OL 2-8790, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager; San Francisco, 111 Sutter St., YU 2-7994, Robert E. Stephens, Manager; Southeastern Representative, Pirnie & Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N. E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
For those of you who dug our puppet pictorial revamping of A Visit from St. Nicholas in last month's issue, we've decided to subject Santa to yet another affectionate roasting on his way down the chimney. This time we've rewritten the original as a return to the old days when language was an ornament as well as a tool. Gentlemen, herewith a properly sesquipedalian rendering of St. Nick for your delectation.
In need of a quick but careful gift for a friend you respect? You can't beat a book -- with this one caution: Make sure you know the dimensions of your friend's mind. This knowledge and a full-fledged bookshop (shun all-purpose emporiums) will do the job. The season is rich in rich volumes that will bring long-run cheer to your bibliophilic buddies and bunnies. Here are a few:
What happened to the custard pie? It's the only slice of slapstick omitted from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Stanley Kramer's three-and-a-half-hour Technicolor Cinerama comedy. The film is as inflated as its title, but it contains such a wealth of wackiness that no one will be left laughless. The plot has been chosen to provide maximum chances for chases: the "wienie" is a suitcase full of $350,000 buried 15 years ago by a crook (Jimmy Durante) who zooms off a twisting California road while fleeing from the cops. Before he -- figuratively and literally -- kicks the bucket (a good sight gag), he mumbles something about the money to some passing motorists, including: harried Milton Berle (who has a harrying mother-in-law, Ethel Merman); truck driver Jonathan Winters; gagwriters Mickey Rooney and Buddy Hackett; dentist Sid Caesar and wife Edie Adams. First they're friendly, then they're frenetic as they try to beat one another to the spot in Southern California where the boodle is buried. Spencer Tracy is the detective chief who's having them all tailed by helicopter and patrol car; Phil Silvers and Terry-Thomas also get well into the many acts; and the list of other stars and near stars is lengthy. It all takes place in one delirium-drenched day: smashups, pratfalls, explosions, fights, fires, and a finale atop a fireman's extension ladder that plays crack-the-whip. Comic genius the film lacks, but if you laugh at only 20 percent of the gags, you'll still be busy.
As a result of frequent and, at first, innocent visits, I have become amorously involved with a friend. Because of me she now seeks a divorce. Her husband agrees to this and has expressed a desire to have custody of our eight-month-old daughter. This is, I think, mutually satisfactory, but I wish you'd advise us on how to overcome the obvious social barriers. -- W. C., Boston, Massachusetts.
Climatic Conditions in March, with newborn spring breezes busily invading every area in the awakening Northern Hemisphere, tend to stir the blood of the winter-weary traveler into similar inclinations. March is the month of peripatetic exploration, the start of a season when the thirst for novel milieus can only be slaked by foot-loose and carefree roving through a variety of attractive locales. "Plan Twenty-two" is a recently organized European travel plan which caters to this wanderlust engendered by the coming of spring. Geared to the needs of the traveler with sophisticated tastes but little knowledge of European byways, the organization provides -- mileage unlimited -- a car, individually prepared maps and itineraries, and prepaid "trip cheques" providing for daily expenses at nearly 100 inns, charming hotels and gourmet restaurants, under the aegis of the famous French Relais de Campagne. The manager of each establishment, as you follow a leisurely route of your own choosing, will at your instruction arrange reservations for you at your subsequent caravansary. There are Relais members in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Liechtenstein and England. You can buy any number of these trip cheques at $22 each, depending upon the number of days you plan to stay at each or any of the member stations.
<p>Few authors of this generation have sparked more controversy with a single book than a former Cornell University professor with the resoundingly Russian name of Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov. "Lolita," his brilliant tragicomic novel about the nonplatonic love of a middle-aged man for a 12-year-old nymphet, has sold 2,500,000 copies in the United States alone.</p>
synopsis:Last month, in Part III of his autobiography, Lenny Bruce continued the story of his post-War attempts to support himself and his wife, Honey, while struggling through the early stages of his career. His part-time stint as a free-lance charity collector in priestly garb having ended with Honey's near death in an auto crash, Lenny began concentrating exclusively on show business. He told how he gradually worked toward his unique style, showing how many of his most famous bits sprang directly from his collisions with the world's hypocrisies. Maturing as a performer, but still obscure, Lenny took Honey to California, where he worked on his father's farm for a few months and then m.c.'d in a burlesque club. It was shortly after this that Honey, now recovered, had a chance to go back to stripping, and left for a short engagement which extended into a longer and longer one that finally ended in divorce. Lenny related how he progressed into gradually better jobs, as a solo act in clubs and as a sometime screenwriter for 20th Century-Fox. He described his final disillusionment with organized religion through his experiences while trying to produce a picture of his own with a religious theme. Finally, he recounted his arrival as an established show-business figure, with prominent celebrities following his act from club to club, and the trade papers giving him increasingly bigger and more enthusiastic notices. Beginning Part IV, Lenny has evolved the successful approach many think makes him the freshest, most important performer of the day -- and he is beginning to get into serious trouble with the fuzz because of it.
The Early Years In 1953 a fellow named Hugh Hefner -- young, ambitious, dedicated to the enlightenment of Western Man -- resolved to start his own magazine. Hefner first considered the creation of a magazine about Chicago, but after listening to the views of many Chicagoans, he gave up that idea in favor of a publication that more accurately reflected the interests of the contemporary American male.
Instantly, walter appel knew what the man across the way was up to. Walter had left his study and come into the living room out of pique with himself, really. He could not keep his mind off Tarsila Brown; he was supposed to be sitting there paying the bills, and all he could think about was whether he would call her. And whether he would did not seem to depend on whether he should. For he knew that he shouldn't. Only a fool had to learn the same lesson twice in six months, a fool or a child, and he made it a point in life to try not to act like either. Tarsila had arrived in New York from London; he had read the news in a gossip column. Would he call her? What good could possibly come of it?
When a drink for toasting is perfectly made, it honors both guest and liquor. Toasts may be ladled from a giant punch bowl or poured directly from bottle or shaker; they may be hot or cold. The well-bred toastmaster makes sure that his potables are always offered in sparkling polished glasses and that his glasses, whenever possible, are of the stem type so that his toasters not only drink the liquor but, in holding it aloft, unhidden by the hand, can drink to it.
It was, exceptionally, a hot day in early June. James Bond put down the dark-gray chalk pencil that was the marker for the dockets routed to the Double-O Section and took off his coat. He didn't bother to hang it over the back of his chair, let alone take the trouble to get up and drape the coat over the hanger Mary Goodnight had suspended, at her own cost (damn women!), behind the Office of Works' green door of his connecting office. He dropped the coat on the floor. There was no reason to keep the coat immaculate, the creases tidy. There was no sign of any work to be done. All over the world there was quiet. The In and Out signals had, for weeks, been routine. The daily top-secret SITREP, even the newspapers, yawned vacuously -- in the latter case scratching at domestic scandals for readership, for bad news, the only news that makes such sheets readable, whether top secret or on sale for pennies.
Unimpeachably correct hostwear is the mantle of success which can dress up your holiday fete -- whether tete-a-tete or extravaganza. This bottle-green hosting jacket of cotton velvet, with matching link-style buttons and black satin shawl collar, is fully lined. Double satin-piped pockets are an added feature, by After Six, $55. Complementing the jacket, shirt of English cotton voile has fashionably narrow pleats, by Sulka, $23.50.
"Unique is an overworked word, but in her case it applies. There will never be another one like her, and Lord knows there have been plenty of imitations." The speaker: movie director Billy Wilder. The subject: Marilyn Monroe, nee Norma Jean Mortenson, an illegitimate child who grew up in a foster home to become the leading lady in her own storybook dream of movie stardom -- a female so famous that her alliterative initials were known as universally as those for Sex Appeal, with which many considered her synonymous.
As you have probably noticed, World War I is rapidly overtaking the Civil War these days in the popularity sweepstakes among writers. It all began two years ago with Barbara Tuchman's Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Guns of August." Since that time the bookstalls have been featuring such new works on The Great War as Alistair Horne's "The Price of Glory," Brian Gardner's "The Big Push," Barrie Pitt's "1918: The Last Act," etc. In addition, Winston Churchill's "The World Crisis" has been reissued, and there is talk in the industry that Erich Maria Remarque's classic, "All Quiet on the Western Front," will also receive reprint treatment.
Reports from Switzerland confirm that the current favorite sport among the Swiss -- mountaineering, yodeling, skiing and beautiful women notwithstanding -- is fonduing. In pursuit of that pleasure, the Swiss have become the outstanding proponents of the fondue fork, the most untile table utensil to come along since a Byzantine princess introduced the first fork to the West. The fondue fork is an extra-long, two-pronged job which the Swiss use to dip chunks of crusty French bread into a chafing dish filled with melted cheese and kirsch. The dish -- still popular and tasty -- is called valais. The newest member of the fondue clan is called bourguignonne, and it towers over the older fondue like the Matterhorn over a molehill.
Every Venturesome American Male, I suppose, likes to think that he could be a successful corporate executive if he bothered to try. The captain of industry in our society commands the open or secret envy of most of us; and if you watch him for a day you may gain the impression that you might, with a little practice, be able to take his place credibly.
The Tension between east and west has many forms and is supported by many very differing arguments. One of the causes of tension is supposed to be that the West has one ideology and the East has another. It is said in the West that the West is Christian, while the East is godless, and that the West loves freedom, while the East practices despotism, and that the West believes in self-determination for nations, while Russia is out for world conquest. A correlative set of beliefs exists in the Communist world: the West is said to entertain superstitions which help sinister influences to gain power; the vaunted freedom of the West is said to be only freedom for the rich and to have no purpose except exploitation. Communist countries call themselves "peace-loving" and are as persuaded of America's imperialism as America is of that of Russia. By means of these opposing beliefs, each side becomes persuaded that the other is wicked and that the destruction of the forces of evil is a noble work which must be performed at no matter what cost.
Being an old hand at looking long and far for potential Playmates, we're always cheered to discover a comely young lass close to home, and they come no closer than our titian-haired Miss January, Sharon Rogers. Sharon graces the Playboy scene as a part-time editorial assistant whose presence we would gladly share from nine to five and then some. She has repeatedly declined our full-time office offers, however, on the unimpeachable grounds that additional editorial work would encroach on her two other metiers. For, besides her afternoons at Playboy, multifaceted Sharon is a schoolgirl in the mornings and a Bunny evenings at Chicago's Playboy Club.
The Title, The Uses of the Blues, does not refer to music; I don't know anything about music. It does refer to the experience of life, or the state of being, out of which the blues come. Now, I am claiming a great deal for the blues; I'm using them as a metaphor -- I might have titled this, for example, The Uses of Anguish or The Uses of Pain. But I want to talk about the blues, not only because they speak of this particular experience of life and this state of being, but because they contain the toughness that manages to make this experience articulate. I am engaged, then, in a discussion of craft or, to use a very dangerous word, art. And I want to suggest that the acceptance of this anguish one finds in the blues, and the expression of it, creates also, however odd this may sound, a kind of joy. Now joy is a true state, it is a reality; it has nothing to do with what most people have in mind when they talk of happiness, which is not a real state and does not really exist.
At some period between Pocahontas and Marilyn Monroe, American womanhood became the Western World's ideal of feminine beauty. No small role in this focusing of romantic-aesthetic appreciation was played by one man, a man whose artistry, meticulous craftsmanship and warmth of spirit have been uniquely coupled with creative energy and prolific output. For almost half a century, Alberto Vargas has been glorifying the American female as no other artist has ever done -- and he's still going strong, as Playboy readers can testify each month. Even as far back as 1943, Life magazine could say of him, "In his 20-year career he has drawn more than 25,000 beautiful women." This would be a prodigious accomplishment for a quick-sketch artist, but for a man whose canvases capture beauty -- line by carefully constructed line -- the feat seems hard to believe.
A Gentleman walked beside a river with his mistress. He was melancholy and silent, for he knew that something was expected of him; but it was difficult to speak because the lady stepped lightly beside him with an inscrutable and serene expression upon her face as if he were not there. Sometimes he suspected that in his absence she gave way to unbounded delight, although it was well understood between them that they were in love.
It is always possible to give a party without playing games. Wingdings with no more aim than to bring people together, ply them with refreshments and leave them to their own devices have sometimes turned out to be fun, but simply gambling that everyone will have a ball at such a gathering is a chancy business at best. The host who wants his parties joyfully anticipated and reluctantly departed plots his guests' amusement in advance.
It seems only yesterday, though actually it was about five years ago, when I was a slip of a boy, that I wrote a thoughtful essay for this journal of enlightenment on the decay of falconry in England, showing how that sport, once a popular craze, had completely lost its grip on the public and had ceased to exist. It is now my pleasant task to add fox hunting to the obituary column and lay my little wreath on its tomb.
Was there really a second Sonny Liston--Floyd Patterson fight? In the rear of my station wagon lies a poster, already curling and fading with age, heralding that event or fiasco or nightmare miasma for the 22nd of July, 1963, in the sacred city of Las Vegas, mecca for thousands of religious fanatics who come to worship their ritual numbers, that first sweet 7, bountiful 11 and magical 21 and to exorcise the devils, snake-eye 2, crap-out 7 and there-you-go-again 22.
Actually it was just another day. I kept at it through the morning and the afternoon but packed up at five. That's when the light gets sentimental at Taormina. I had just gotten divorced. I was off sentimentality. I told myself I painted and lived better that way.
Now is the time for all good men to review 1963's delightful dozen gatefold girls and nominate their favorites for Playmate of the Year. By Homeric standards Playboy could have launched 12,000 ships this past 12 months, for the legendary beauty of Helen would have been hard tested by any one of these Playmates. Surely Ilium would have dedicated one of its topless towers to Christine Williams, six feet of classic architecture, whose loveliness graces the opening page of this portfolio. Last month we published an Editors' Choice of 10 top Playmates from our first 10 years and announced that next December, we will offer a similar pictorial featuring the Readers' Choice. To help you recall your own personal favorites, we'll reprint one year of Playmate pulchritude in each of the upcoming Tenth Anniversary issues; let us know, by card or letter, which 10 from Playboy's first decade you most preferred.
Once there were three young men on the highway to Mecca on pilgrimage. One was a merchant, one a student and the third, called Ali, was the son of a farmer. His companions considered him inferior, for he couldn't read or write and mathematical computation was beyond his ken. They welcomed his company, however, for he was tall and broad of back and would surely discourage not only the importunings of beggars but even the attacks of highway marauders.
Listen, everybody! Daddy Bigbucks has a fantastic idea. He wants to move the party over to his little town house --We're swinging pretty good right here, Annie -- what's so "Fantastic" about moving the party to his little town house?Silly! it's in a South American Town.