"Winter tames man, woman and beast," according to Shakespeare, a generalization contradicted by the spirited Christmas spirit on this month's cover and by the 354 brim-full pages of untamed entertainment--fictional, factual and pictorial--in this, our biggest issue ever. With a freshet of pieces by Britain's brightest voices and a smashing takeout on Playboy on the Town in London, including the most exciting, most talked-about hub of London's swinging night-life scene, The Playboy Club, this December Playboy reflects our feeling that, at least in its lighter traditions, Christmas is an English feast. So even if only to argue with him, we're glad to have the Bard aboard, and we're sure he'd applaud the transatlantically assembled pleasures within.
Playboy, December, 1966, Vol. 13, No. 12, Published Monthly by HMH Publishing Co., Inc., Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illino is 60611. Subscriptions: In the U. S., Its possessions, The pan American union and Canada, $20 for three years, $15 for two years, $8 for one year. Elsewhere add $4.60 per year for Foreign postage. Allow 30 days for new Subscriptions and Renewals. Change of Address: Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611, and allow 30 days for change. Advertising: Howard W. Lederer, Advertising director; Jules Kase, Associate advertising manager, 405 park Ave., New York, New York 10022. MU 8-3030; Sherman Keats, Chicago manager, 155 E. Ohio street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, MI 2-1000. Detroit, Joseph Guenther, Manager, 2990 west grand Boulevard, TR 5-7250; Los Angeles, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 8721 Beverly Boulevard, OL 2-8790; San Francisco. Robert E. Stephens, manager, 110 Sutter street, YU 2-7994; Southeastern representative, Pirnie a Brown, 3108 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Atlanta, GA. 30305, 233-6729.
America's involvement in Vietnam has brought with it a new wrinkle in warfare: the publicly debated war. No longer is battle the province of military strategists alone; it has become the field on which Senators, columnists, students and the ubiquitous man in the street wrangle and bicker over the consequences of each tactic before the military embarks upon it. We can't help wondering what some of history's decisive battles would have been like if this democratic approach had existed then. Would the Rubicon, for example, ever have been crossed if--in Jimmy Durante's words--"everybody got into the act" beforehand? We imagine Caesar's scribe would have written:
A Delicate Balance is Edward Albee in a reflective, accepting, even sympathetic mood. It is full of bite and invective, but the essence of the play is something a lot more tender than anything he has attempted before. Balance is about friendship and family, the demands that one is allowed to make in human relationships and the disastrous effects of overextending those demands. The family under Albee's scrutiny is a rich suburban couple named Agnes and Tobias (Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn), their much-married, hysterical daughter (Marian Seldes), and Claire (Rosemary Murphy), Agnes' wisecracking, sexy and heavy-drinking sister. Each member feeds off the others, the family being one of several things in "delicate balance." The daughter comes home to take divorce breaks. For the sardonic sister (something of an author's mouthpiece), the family provides a sort of cynic-ure. Agnes is, by her own admission, the fulcrum of the balancing act. She manages to keep things going, while her husband watches knowingly but passively from the side lines. Unsettling the complicated ménage are Harry and Edna, a dull couple who by mutual agreement and for no apparent reason are Agnes and Tobias' best friends. Suddenly scared out of their wits by the realization of their own loneliness and lovelessness, they move, uninvited, into their friends' home, bringing their terror with them. The relationships--friend to friend, husband to wife, host to guest, parent to child--are tested, and proved wanting. The play is somewhat slow starting, and in some cases the confrontations could stand clarification. The unwelcomed guests, as cryptically written, carry echoes of Pinter (who does is better), and Alan Schneider's direction is stagy (the characters keep changing chairs). But the actors, particularly Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and Rosemary Murphy, are in key with their roles, and the play is a sign of marked growth for the author. For the audience, it is a strangely disquieting experience. At the Martin Beck, 302 West 45th Street.
That old trouper Mel Tormé has no trouble whatsoever exploring the pop charts on Right Now! (Columbia). Actually, there is no reason to have expected otherwise; Tormé is one of the top practitioners of his craft. To be found here are Walk On By, Secret Agent Man and Red Rubber Ball, all of which Mel puts in his hip pocket.
In the gastronomical war between the French and everybody else, a sound blow has been struck by the Irish with an olde style bar and grill in the heart of Manhattan called Charley O's (33 West 48th Street). "Solid drink and good food" is the motto and the practice. In decor, it's a designer's version of what a Third Avenue bar might have been if it had been designed by a designer--which is not to say that the atmosphere isn't a bit of all right. There's a drinking bar, an eating bar (a stand-up buffet that is an elegant updating of the free-lunch counter) and a regular dining room. Charley O's--whose walls are decorated with scenes of turn-of-the-century bibbing--is ultramasculine, which means that women love it. Your companions, in portrait, are W. C. Fields and that omnipresent but anonymous movie drunk, Jack Norton, and the sermons on the wall include such quotes as Fields' "A woman drove me to drink. I'll be a sonofagun, but I never even wrote to thank her." The menu is plain food served fancy. Naturally, the appetizers include superb pigs knuckles, as well as soused shrimp, which is what it sounds like. Charley O's bean soup is like you wish your mother could have made. Trencherman fare is the porterhouse steak for two, and the corned beef and cabbage is old sod. There is a daily special, too, such as roast duck and chestnuts or Irish stew with dumplings. Desserts are standards, except for whiskey cream pie, made with Irish whiskey. Sure, and there's Irish coffee, too. Charley O's is not strong on wines, but the imported ales and beers are a blessing. A special feature is the informal--no ties required--Sunday brunch, served from noon to sundown. It includes such stuff as Irish Milk Punch, porridge, Irish bacon and eggs, and Irish coffee. Charley O's is open every day from 11 A.M., for lunch, until well after late supper. A darlin' place.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was the funniest Broadway show in New York for two seasons. It was a deliberately patchy sort of production full of low-comedy routines, as if a road company out of Rome were doing Aristophanes in Bosnia. The movie, directed by Richard Lester, has preserved Zero Mostel as the flummoxed fixer, Pseudolus, a living lesson in how to be hilarious though excessive; and Lester has kept the tatty texture that endeared the stage production. Lester's one mistake (and in a movie so rich with successes, it seems ingracious to point it out) is to insist on a Mack Sennett chase by chariot, which begins by being a zany collection of innovating gags but ends by being about five minutes too long. Otherwise, it's all sniggly, lustful, thigh-slapping hysteria, built on sex, sweat and bowel movements. Mostel is monumental--a bloated wineskin of mad schemes and irrepressible emotions, a slave intent on finagling his freedom via every bad joke in reach. Jack Gilford, chief slave of the household, is magnificent, even in drag, as he delivers a song called Lovely. Phil Silvers, suitably devious as the neighborhood procurer, is burdened with the hazards of his trade--dud virgins and dud eunuchs. And the late Buster Keaton is quietly absurd as the man whose children were stolen in infancy by pirates, and who never tires of searching for them. The cast gives their absolute lowest most, especially in the Busby Berkeley-style production number Everybody Ought to Have a Maid, greatly assisted by a camera with a sense of humor. It's all ridiculous and the point of the plot is that there isn't one. But as Pseudolus warns at the opening curtain: "Morals tomorrow, comedy tonight!"
Günter Grass symbolized his vision of recent German history with a tin drum. Uwe Johnson, another major figure in Germany's literary renaissance, focuses instead on the humdrum. In Two Views (Harcourt, Brace & World), he bangs sehr langsam on the familiar theme of star-crossed lovers separated by conditions beyond their control: Romeo and Juliet meet the Berlin Wall. But instead of winning our sympathy for his lovers' "misadventured piteous overthrows," he damns them both with faint prose. Young Herr Dietbert, a shallow West German photographer who has nervous tremors just asking a girl to dance, maintains his self-image as a suave and soulful Romeo by romanticizing his enforced separation from his beloved what's-her-name. Nurse Beate, the East Berlin Juliet of dispirits with whom he had a cowardly brief encounter Before The Wall, retains only a vague feeling of something gone, as if Dietbert were a sweater she took off five minutes ago. And both of them, in their alternating chapters, are so quarterhearted in their attempts to join each other in West Berlin that even should their two hearts beat as one, it would still add up to a halfhearted affair. Their love survives only as long as separation allows them to excuse their emptiness. Reunited at last, the lovers are confronted with their mutual indifference. Johnson, an East German refugee himself, seems to say that both East and West Germany need the wall to maintain their fantasies of each other and of themselves. But even if the point is valid, Johnson blunts it on his leaden style. The aimless lethargy of the characters soon infects the reader, who yawns right back.
My question concerns women and money, two subjects often linked in more than one way. Occasionally, a young lady and I spend an evening together at my apartment cooking dinner, and so on. We usually go to the grocery store together to select the evening's food and drink. I, of course, pay the tab. However, whenever this particular young lady gets the change, she puts it in her purse and it is never seen again. The sums are never very great, but there is a principle involved. May I ask the lady for the change?--G.C., Tucson, Arizona.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is a kaleidoscope of sights and sounds. During the pre-Lenten revel, you can sleep the morning away lulled by the sound of lapping waves, spend the afternoon chatting with lovely South American señoritas and the early-evening cocktail hour enjoying an over-all view of the city from the nearby resort of Corcovado. But be sure to save your strength--a night on the town at carnival time usually doesn't end until about seven o'clock the following morning. Out on the street, you'll see samba clubs practicing for the big parade down the Avenida Presidente Vargas; and everywhere there'll be masked balls with hundreds of people dressed in brilliantly colored costumes.
Whether Sammy Davis Jr., as so often billed, is really "the greatest entertainer in the world" may be open to debate, but even his critics would admit that no one has worked harder--nor overcome more hardships and handicaps--to earn that appellation. Literally a child of show business (his parents, Sammy and Elvera Davis, toured with a vaudeville troupe headed by Will Mastin, whom he called his uncle), Sammy made his stage debut at the age of one and became a full-time professional when he was three. He had no opportunity for formal schooling and was forced to scuffle for pin money with Mastin and his father during the Depression years. But the younger Davis proved a quick study as a song-and-dance man, and soon eclipsed his elders to become the star of their struggling little act in carnival side shows and those few small-town theaters and night clubs that would book Negro talent in that pre-civil rights era.
This dialog between James Baldwin and Budd Schulberg began spontaneously. They have been friends for years--a relationship that has included fervent agreement and fierce disagreement. There had been one evening long ago when they had argued into the earlymorning hours about the motives of Bobby Kennedy in backing the efforts of James Meredith to break through the color barrier at Ole Miss. Baldwin suspected that Kennedy's was a grandstand play and that he did not care profoundly about redressing the wrongs that have been done to Negroes over the centuries. Schulberg, who knew the Senator personally, argued that Kennedy was much more involved than many people seemed to realize, not merely in the individual issue of a James Meredith but in the national deprivation of the Negro.
Tommy Thomson was tall and broad, white over the temples, always tanned, with real white natural uncapped teeth and an undyed mustache. He was a Scot, and he had been married five times. He was a yachtsman, when he had a yacht, and sometimes he drove a Daimler, sometimes a Bentley. Occasionally he walked, depending on what cash his marital status merited. This depended on the wealth of his women.
"It is only in books that one finds the brilliant amateur detective X; real policemen are obstinate and hardheaded, are slow and literal-minded, are frequently mean and nearly always narrow: They have to be. They are part of the administrative machine, a tool of government control ..."
In the 200 Years since Dr. Johnson first noted that when a man is tired of London he is tired of life, this astonishing, swinging metropolis has amassed even greater evidence to affirm the erudite doctor's perception. To the foot-loose young bachelor on the move, London offers more of the best and less of the worst in virtually every pursuit and diversion known to civilized man. Understandably, contemporary London has been written about, photographed, filmed, televised, analyzed and almost inundated in a flood of phraseology such as switched on, with it, fab, gear and super. But great cities aren't summed up in a phrase; the enigma of London has challenged the descriptive powers of observers all the way back to the days of Caesar. Spenser, Pepys, Boswell, Dickens, Bulwer-Lytton, even Winston Churchill, have attempted, with varying success, to define London's uniqueness--but the protean city on the Thames persists in presenting as many faces as there are artists to limn them.
In a computerized civilization no one communicates willingly. No one feels obligated to treat human beings with civility. The messages a householder receives are curt and cryptic: "F. O. $2.31." "53657 $14." "On Account $366. Adjustments $366. Total due $0.00." "W/T (claimed $1347.12) should have been $1347.12."
When it was reported that a lead mine had been discovered in the Galorian foothills, I was tempted to warn potential speculators that the prospectors had probably discovered, splashed into the crevices in the quartz, a few of the many tons of ammunition we wasted there when Orlik "heroically subdued" the mountaineers, 35 years ago.
Fashions? I pay great heed to fashions. Men and women express themselves, their inner secret identities, through the clothes they create, the clothes they buy and wear, the cosmetics, perfumes and jewelry they use. Even their hair styles reveal their private fancies. It has been interesting, therefore, to observe the feminization of men's clothes in our modern age. Interesting, too, to read the sales figures of cosmetics for men, for such lure may mean a return to a romantic past when men wore lace and velvet and curled wigs, or it may mean a real feminization of modern man, with homosexual substitutes for women. If the latter is the more likely, then let us be concerned, for feminization weakens the fiber of a nation. There is a terrible and evil power in the feminine, and men ought to fear it and try to keep it within bounds, because it is their own weakness made flesh in women. History is full of the tragedy of one man after another who has prevailed against armies but has not been able to prevail against one feminine creature, because to prevail against her meant to prevail against his own deep and unconquerable weakness. Who knows but that Hitler's secret lay in his own inner impregnability to the feminine? And yet, resisting women, he developed his own femininity, which is always weakness, whether it be found in woman or in man himself.
People Over 40, their hair a bit gray, no enthusiasms amidst all the tedious clichés they smother you with, have a way of telling you: "You'll change, young man, you'll change"--to such a point that there isn't a single remark about life, art, politics, history, that isn't accompanied by that refrain. I remember a great utterer of platitudes urged me one day to write out all my ideas in the form of aphorisms, seal the paper and open it in 15 years. "You'll find another man," he told me.
My fellow Southerners honor every deed, every gesture, every battered flag, every gravestone that descends from the Civil War. They have conferred sainthood upon every Confederate from Marse Robert himself down to the lowliest drummerboy. They love and cherish them all--all, except one--Judah P. Benjamin, called "the brains of the Confederacy," who served Jeff Davis as Secretary of War and Secretary of State. Not a hurrah--not a word. Nothing. And the interesting thing about this omission is that Benjamin, being a Jew, naturally out-Confederated the Confederates. Only he put it squarely on the line when he said the South was fighting the arbitrary confiscation of private property, Negro slaves.
Just before this Christmas Playmate pictorial went to press, our yuletide miss called us from the Coast with the news that she'd won the ingenue lead in Stranger in Hollywood, a new dramatic film with a tentative title that doesn't describe Miss December at all: Sue Bernard's been an Angeleno for all of her 18 years and is the daughter of top Hollywood glamor photographer Bruno Bernard (Bernard of Hollywood) and actress-director Ruth Brande. "The house has always been filled with theater and movie people," Sue says, "and after I decided that acting was really for me, my parents encouraged me at every step."
That the words of a story produce in each reader a unique set of emotions and mental images was visually proved when Playboy Art Director Arthur Paul and regular contributing artist Robert Weaver gave one of Bob's classes at New York's School of Visual Arts copies of "The Only Game in Town" to illustrate. Art and Bob were rewarded with a catholic variety of highly imaginative interpretations, from which the seven on these pages were chosen. "We asked the students to be experimental and personal," said our highly pleased Art Director, "and selected the paintings that we thought had come closest to the emotional heart of the story."
There's this Ferrari 250 GT--beautiful job, finished in metallic blue-gray with blue leather upholstery, V-12 engine with three twin-choke Webers. twin distributors and fuel pumps and ignition systems, four-speed all-synchro gearbox, Borrani wheels with four new Avon Turbospeed tires, heater, power brakes, one careful owner from new, an absolute steal at $12,600--and it's just over a foot long. That comes out to about a thousand dollars an inch!
The Increasingly Frequent use of the word "culture" in public controversy and in statements of political and social aims is sinister. It recalls the ceaseless talk about health by the sick and the hypochondriacal, about sex by impotents like D. H. Lawrence and Havelock Ellis. It recalls the perpetual quest for eroticism in decadent societies, where the normal urges have abated or become extinct.
There are Festive Times, round about the holiday season, when you and we and other merry-makers wish the jollification could somehow last and last--as if one wished that time could really be made to stand still. What we here propose as a means of accomplishing this miracle--or coming close to it--is a 12-o'clock party or, more precisely a 12-to-12 one. The idea is this: Thanks to global time zones, it's midnight--or noon--somewhere in the world every hour on the hour; what you, as host, do to prolong the special kind of holiday pleasure that is usually encompassed in a brief span of relaxed and informal partying is to follow the sun round the world, arresting time by celebrating 12 o'clock--wherever it may be--every hour on the hour, for 12 hours. Practically speaking, you serve forth food and drink to your guests hourly, each offering reflecting the ethnic best of some part of the world where the hands of the clocks are pointing straight up. There's no set cocktail time, no set dining time: Your guests may nibble and swig as much or as little as they wish, when they wish, for as long as they wish, and the variety of vittles and potables you proffer will keep the most sylphlike birds and the huskiest trenchermen returning to your bar and buffet to maintain spirits and zesty energy at party peak from first arrival to last departure. Sound like a hell of a lot of work for beleaguered hosts? Rest ye merry, gentlemen: The fun eclipses the toil; preplanning precludes your being a kitchen slavey. The small advance effort repays you thirteenfold in sharing the fun with your guests, rather than merely providing it. And the stopped-clock informality of your fete (the fact that your guests may drop in, drop out--and return--as the holiday mood moves them) guarantees that your party participants, at any given moment, are chez vous because they want to be, not because they've accepted a time-binding invitation.
In the Mid-1890s--when Charles T. Yerkes, the Chicago traction magnate, hankered for a Fifth Avenue mansion to be the peer of, if not actually to improve on, the 11 sensational châteaux of the Vanderbilt family and the equally staggering residences of such Lorenzos of the age as Collis Huntington, the California railroad baron, and Montana's acquisitive Senator William Andrews Clark--times were, for the moment, bad. Yerkes' notion of home was a $5,000,000 establishment, possibly the equivalent in cost of four and a half times as much today, housing one of the most magnificent collections of old masters yet assembled in the United States.
I was young; I was ridiculously, exultantly young; I did not bear malice toward a soul in the world; I was determined to be a success; I made decisions easily, and did not know the meaning of fatigue; I did not believe that anything untoward could happen to me; yet I was modest, too, and people said that I had other good qualities; I only faintly apprehended that in every human being there are two human beings, a player and a counterplayer; I was 23, and my confidence was such that I did not even know that I was confident; and I knew little of the laws of fate or compensation.
Our ubiquitous beard has been a busy bard. Due soon: Dirty Feet, a book of 150 Silverstein songs (including these lyrics and those in last December's Playboy), a volume of verse. Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out and Other Poems, and an LP--Drain My Brain--featuring Crouchin' on the Outside Lookin' at You on the Inside Lookin' at Me on the Outside Lookin' In. Ahead: a movie and a musical whose themes are Top Secret.
Ever since 18th century sailors returned to port with their tales of the loving girls of the South Seas, no gentleman's pipe dream has been more persistent than that of the palm-fronded tropical isle, isolated by a vast ocean and an encircling reef, rich in scents and colors beyond the temperate imagination, and teeming with passionate child-women whose only desire is to lie on the beach and make love. Wanderers who pursue this dream into the southern ocean are usually drawn by the siren lure of Tahiti, crossroads of the South Pacific and island home of some of the world's most forthright females. Like most dreams, this one conceals a sprinkling of fiction, a dash of fancy--and a large dose of fact. The fact is that while Tahiti may mean Gauguin to the art buff, marlin to the sports fisherman, Melville to the littérateur, even poisson cru to the gourmet, its reputation with the world at large is built on a firm foundation of compliant femininity; a reputation by no means undeserved, since the girls of Tahiti have been famous for their amatory proclivities since the white man first touched their island--and them.
These three completely disparate tales of science-fictional imagination are the outcome of an unusual experiment in creativity and chronology. The customary procedure with fiction is for an author to conceive and write a story, which is then given to an illustrator for visual interpretation. In this experiment, we first commissioned a sculptor to create a weirdly futuristic work, more humanoid than human, then sent photographs of it to three masters of the sci-fi genre, who were asked to use it as an inspirational launching pad, letting their imaginations roam through space and time, and with each writer thinking of the picture as if it were conceived for his story--and his alone--and none of them consulting with the other two. They--like you --are seeing all three of these stories for the very first time, accompanied by a reproduction of the sculpture that initiated this unique and uniquely successful melding of graphic and literary artistry.
As the end of the month approached, Katzenherr began to be sharp with his maintenance crews and to press his office girls to complete their progress reports for the main office. It was like that every month. The stresses accumulated. Katzenherr, who was a poet as opportunity offered, took pride in his work because it was socially useful, and pleasure because the House was so vast, so beautifully landscaped and so handsomely decorated. But he could not like his customers.
Almost Every Town in Europe secretly yearns to have a film festival, especially if it has a tourist season to go with it. The presence of a few big stars, a few dozen starlets and a few hundred journalists on expense accounts never did anyone's economy much harm. And there's always the chance of a scandal (Nudipix furor at filmfest) or a minor international incident (Hail of Tortillas Greets U.S. entry: Washington recalls envoy). Given luck and good planning, a little cultural prestige may even accrue. All you need, by way of basic equipment, is a decent projector, a couple of hotels, a not-too-distant airport and a small municipal subsidy. Not long ago I was invited to attend a Grand Cinematographic Concourse in a Mediterranean fishing village with a population of 850. The film chosen for the Gala Inauguration was a Western entitled, according to the official handout, The Balls of San Fernando.
What a day! First hail, Then a freak monsoon and now a thunderstorm; And not a soul has left the stands.A true fan Never leaves the stands.He once left the stands.Well, gee... That was in the baseball season, And we don't Have A baseball team.Three minutes left and the bulls are leading 20 to 17! but don't forget, Folks, Greenback, Wisconsin, Is the pro football capital of this pro football crazy country. And the 60,000 fans here today aren't giving up! No sirree! In this town, They live football, They sleep football, They Eat football!Heeyar! Get your red-hot footballs on a roll--I'm Trying To cheer, Daddy, But it all comes out "Bulb, Team, Bulb"--Get Some thing going, Baby! This game isn't over by a long shot!Tell that all-american end if he signs with me for the next year, I'll give him half a million and all shipping rights to lake Erie.... That's right! Buy him and get back to me!