We've Checked On who's been naughty and who's been nice--but we've decided to lay a holiday present on you anyway. First, the Playboy Interview with Bill Cosby, America's most popular one-man multimedia conglomerate. Lawrence Linderman cornered this genial genius and coaxed him to lift the covers off his guarded personal life. Lonely Guy Bruce Jay Friedman, who has made a career out of defending the personal life, does us all a favor by finally articulating The Biological Need for Boys' Night Out. And for those who are still bewildered by the way love can turn sour, D. Keith Mano explains the five stages of Sexual Passages, demilitarizing our erogenous zones and making it safe for us to fall in love again. Playmate Carol Ficatier, in C'est Moi!, gives us good reason to do so. This Miss December is the best thing to come from France since Miss Liberty.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), December, 1985, Volume 32, Number 12, Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $54 for 36 Issues, $36 for 24 Issues, $22 for 12 Issues. Canada, $35 for 12 Issues. Elsewhere, $35 (U.S. Currency) for 12 Issues. Allow 45 days for new subscriptions and renewals. Change of Address; Send both old and new addresses to Playboy, Post Office Box 2420, Boulder, Colorado 80322, and allow 45 days for change. Marketing: Ed Condon, Director/Direct Marketing; Jack Bernstein, Circulation Promotion Director. Advertising: Joe Mangione, Advertising Promotion Director, Jay Remer, National Alcoholic Beverages Marketing Manager; Brian Van Mols, National Automotive Marketing Manager, 747 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017; Linda Malanga, Chicago Manager, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611; 3001 West Big Beaver Road, Troy. Michigan 48084; Los Angeles 90010, Stanley L. Perkins, Manager, 4311 Wilshire Blvd; San Francisco 94104. Tom Jones, Manager, 417 Montgomery St.
A Slew of high-powered actresses will be vying for laurels when this movie year ends, and Kate Nelligan can now claim a place among the top contenders for her virtuoso stint in the title role of Eleni (Warner). Portraying a courageous Greek mother who died trying to save her children from deportation to a Communist country during the civil strife that divided Greece right after World War Two, Nelligan delivers emotional dynamite on demand. You will wait in vain for any comparable fireworks from John Malkovich, a fine, subtle actor who doggedly underplays even his biggest moments as Eleni's son in adulthood (Andrea Laskaris plays him at the age of nine). Of course, Nelligan and Malkovich have no scenes together, since his role is that of former New York Times reporter Nicholas Gage, whose original Eleni became an international best seller after its publication in 1983. The book was his first-person account of an excruciating odyssey back to the Greek homeland he hadn't seen since childhood to find out why--and by whom--his mother had been executed and to avenge her death.
Life in the Fast Lane: Andrew Morse of Nice Boys has taken a groupie to court, claiming her behavior has caused him to suffer "insomnia, anxiety and depression." Morse said since he met the girl, five years ago, she has followed him from coast to coast and has stood on the sidewalk in front of his apartment, screaming and threatening him. Nice guys finish last, right?
Anne Rice's first novel, Interview with the Vampire, was an altered state of consciousness, a mind-expanding drug. She turned the act of drinking blood into an erotic wonder. Vampires were not monsters but creatures with heightened awareness and strange dietary requirements. We confess to being heartbroken when we finished the book: We could never do it again for the first time. Well, it turns out that we can. Rice has returned with The Vampire Lestat (Knopf). It is wonderful. Lestat rises from his grave in New Orleans, summoned by the music of a local garage band. Noisy neighbors are a problem, it seems, even for immortals. Lestat decides to form a rock band that will summon others of his kind. Don't panic. MTV does not stand for More Toothsome Vampires. The modern thread is only the setup for a walk through time, in which the reader meets Those Who Must Be Kept--the Ma and Pa Kettle of vampires. The best news is that this is the middle book of the Chronicles of the Vampires.
A few squalid fortnights ago, the sports editors of American newspapers, who used to be noted only for losing their lunches and occasionally their wives, all got together and lost their heads. When they did, it reaffirmed my belief that college football is a better game than pro football. More fun to watch. More interesting to follow. More reliable to bet on. Better tasting. Less filling. And even serious enough, at times, to make you hurl your body in front of a moving vehicle if the little animal on your blazer doesn't beat the little animal on somebody else's blazer. Of course, the number-one reason college football is a better game than pro football is that most college players haven't yet learned how to slip down and lose yardage when it's third and two; but this has nothing to do with sports editors.
We may be heading back to a no-no culture, the Land of Naughty-Naughty Boo-Boo, a place of censorship and deprivation where males will be told to deny their very natures--and where they will be punished by the Vision Police for simply being themselves.
Several months ago, in a column called "Bonehead Writing" (Playboy, August), I said I didn't think there was one teacher in a thousand who knew the first damn thing about writing. I called them "lettered fools" and said some other mean things about the way they try to teach their students to boil information and experience into written words. I had a lot of fun saying the things I did, and I still believe they're true. Mostly. However, not long after the column was published, I got a letter that proved the exception. In spades.
Recently, one of my lovers gave me a pair of ben-wa balls, which I had wanted for a long time. I was quite excited by the idea, so as soon as he gave them to me, I inserted them. We were out and about, and as I walked down the street, I could feel one slipping out. Fortunately, there was a hotel nearby and I was able to duck into the bathroom before it fell onto the sidewalk (which might have marred its gold-plated finish). Anyway, I am having the damnedest time keeping them in, and when they do stay in, I don't notice. I was expecting a continuous turn-on, even looking forward to wearing them to the office. So what am I doing wrong? And can they harm me in any way or cut down on my sensitivity during "normal" lovemaking? Please explain what they are supposed to do.--Miss L. G., Berkeley, California.
Never has one tiny bit of quiet created such a deafening roar. How much is there, really, to say about the simple question of whether or not to authorize moments of silence in our public schools? We've already wasted far too many moments of silence trying to distinguish between "private reflection" and prayer, between hiring teachers to teach and hiring them to supervise early-morning "meditation" in public schools; it's high time to reframe the debate, shifting our perspective.
In the finest tradition of reasonable people reasoning together, Santa Monica has apologized for exiling a convicted sex offender to Florida and Miami has agreed not to sue or try to have Santa Monica arrested for kidnaping--even though Florida started it all in the first place by banishing a convicted prostitute to California.
Outside the lecture hall, a group of pickets prowled the sidewalk. They were some local clones of Donald Wildmon's Federation for Decency. The signs looked as if they had been brought out of the attic. Young girls, with fresh scrubbed faces, carried white posters that proclaimed, Free Love is not Free; Illicit sex can You Handle the Consequences?; Would You Bring Herpes Home to Your Wife?; Sexual Revolution has no Winners. Maybe it was the lighting, but the pickets resembled wood-block prints depicting scenes from the turn of the century, when proponents of social purity protested alcohol, male lust and the specter of casual sex with prostitutes and easy women.
Go figure out America's taste in television. Last year, just when the nation seemed hopelessly addicted to prime-time programs that featured equal measures of sex, greed and hair spray, along came "The Cosby Show"--an unlikely series about a black obstetrician and his family--and suddenly, network executives were proclaiming that sitcoms weren't dead, after all. NBC, proud as a peacock at last, found itself presenting TV's top-rated weekly comedy series, while comedian Bill Cosby, riding the biggest wave of his career, had become America's favorite father figure.
Back When movies were movies and men didn't talk about clothes--they just wore 'em--you could tell a man by his duds: There was the trench coat that Bogey made famous in Casablanca, the sheepskin jacket Kirk Douglas wore in Gunfight at the OK Corral, the baggy overcoat worn by Harpo Marx in his films and even the executive suit worn by Jack Lemmon in The Apartment. Well, great fashions, like great movies, always have revivals, and the distinctively masculine clothes of the Forties are back. We asked the sons of Bogey. Douglas, Harpo and Lemmon to pose for famous Hollywood photographer George Hurrell, decked out in our selection of the year's best retrofashions. They also shared with us their own fashion preferences.
Jack Devoe was a Miami pilot who became a drug smuggler. He made more than 100 flights carrying 7000 pounds of cocaine to the U.S. from South America. He had so much money that he founded an aviation school, a commuter airline and five other businesses. He carried his money to the bank in plastic garbage bags.
Since the advent of central heating, clothes have become more than something to keep you warm. And, naturally, people have taken advantage of that fact. Especially women. These days, nothing seems to shock. Fashion--real, out-there, actually worn fashion--has become a laissez-faire market place. Here we see actual night people going about their giddy nightly business. We hope we get invited to the same parties.
Worn Down by the months of arguments, hysterics, threats, pressures, by the endless meetings with lawyers and accountants, by the "What about the house?" and the "What about the car?," by his fruitless efforts to deal with the surrender program of his lawyers and the droning sanctimonies of his wife's psychiatrist (who had also been engaged by his wife to become the kids' psychiatrist) and the final cave-in before the falsely sympathetic judge, who praised him and told him he was a "total good father" and a "total good citizen" and, after all, "the house was for the children" and "the car was for the children" and "the money was for the children"--when it was all over, Mac Light spent a day getting drunk alone in his dismal, malodorous three-room apartment in Chelsea. So be it. He rested. He thought of nothing. He cried a little. He roused himself briefly and pictured the house he had designed and practically built by himself--the large windows, the wrap-around deck, the kids trying out their first roller skates on the deck, the fireplaces, the trees he had refused to have cut down, the bird feeder he had made, the chickadees and the red-headed woodpecker that arrived every single morning at eight for their gift of bread crumbs before he took off for the business. Also, briefly, he pictured a dinner-table scene that was now his ex-family table: trying to eat roast beef while listening to his now-ex-wife's whining sermon about the crooked butcher who had tried to slip inferior beef over on her. She was a great cook. She knew food, what was supposed to keep you alive, what was supposed to do you in, etc. Eating with her was dutiful. He had done it dutifully.
Boys' Night Out--a refreshingly sinful activity. But is it for everyone? The timid soul who buries his head in his hands and says, "Oh, my God, what am I doing to my loved ones?" might just as well not leave the house. The same is true of the Lonely Guy, who is out every night anyway and won't even notice the difference.
If You're French, maybe you've seen this lady modeling lingerie on tall Paris billboards. (Is Paris burning?) If you're a moviegoer, maybe you caught her line to architect John Cassavetes in Tempest ("I loove arsh-tect!"). If you're one of the little animals, maybe you've seen her at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, where she does volunteer work. (She's the stunning-looking human with the lullaby voice.) And if you're none of the above, you're still lucky. You get to meet her now.
I thought I had set off in good time, but this was the shortest day of the year--four days before Christmas. I was in ancient Yorkshire, walking the coast north of Whitby. It was twilight before I had gone ten miles, and at Runswick Bay and Kettle-ness, I found it hard to see my feet. It was that uncertain time of day, just after a winter sunset, when the way is made visible by the pale sky showing in puddles on the muddy path.
If You're a regular Playboy reader, you're familiar with Boston art dealer Charles Martignette's collection of antique erotica. We've featured pieces from his collection--probably the largest in the world--in our October 1980, January 1983 and January 1984 issues. Still, we've but scratched the surface of Martignette's risqué treasures. He adds new items each year, some of the most recent coming from the now-defunct International Museum of Erotic Art in San Francisco. Our selections this month--from a snuffbox to an ornate art nouveau bronze vase--prove, once again, that there is no common object upon which man cannot project his erotic imagination.
Wherever She May be, at home or on the road, actress Carol Channing knows where to get fresh seafood--in a hurry. She phones Legal Sea Foods, Boston, Massachusetts, on an 800 number and places her standard order--swordfish or gray sole. The fish is shipped via air express and arrives promptly, in pristine condition, frigid but not frozen. Expatriate New Yorker Max Lent, now living in Marina del Rey, California, assuages the pangs of nostalgia with a periodic fix from Zabar's, home of New York's best native New York fare. The perishable merchandise--smoked whitefish or carp, kippered salmon, pickled lox, pickled beef tongue--is at his doorstep within 24 hours of being shipped.
Living on a grand scale demands as much panache as it does cash. Without a sense of personal style, cruising the Aegean in a 50-meter yacht is just, well, showing off. As Beau Brummell once observed, no one should ever notice how well you're dressed. No one would ever accuse Barbi Benton of a lack of personal style. In fact, she's one of those people who can live well and make it seem almost folksy. Luxury, for Barbi, is just another word for comfy.
Ah, How I Loved Her. It was an amour fou. Zoom in on Letitia for one moment. Tall, with straight ginger-ale-blonde hair, graceful as an astral projection. Eyes that were, well, Tiffany box blue. In a face so vivid and sensual the glass over her photograph used to sweat. And she was intellectual, witty, eccentric. I first met Letitia at a noncostume party: she wore this big water-heater coil and several brass gaskets on her head. Letitia spoke about Truman Capote. Later she sketched a complex protein molecule cross my cocktail napkin. Later yet, Letitia threw both shoes off, got up on the local Steinway and played Stardust with her feet. Letitia came from Sutton Place and was writing a play that required dice to perform. (For every line of dialog there were six possible responses. Each actor, she told me, would roll and then speak. It made Ionesco seem a social realist.) I was short and insecure: at the age of 19 I thought I needed an intellectual, eccentric woman who would understand (or locate) my finer qualities. I fell hard. But Letitia was steadily dating Rafael, a Hispanic Yale sophomore who looked like Fernando Lamas and did his hair, I think, with Grecian Formula gray to appear more mature. I can be (continued on page 193)Sexual Passages(continued from page 171) tenacious as Simon Wiesenthal, however. For Letitia I became the acrobat of romance. I was an entire ways-and-means committee when it came to love. I wooed her for more than one full year--mostly at a distance. (Even when together, we were at a distance: Letitia was 5'10". I saw much beautiful underchin.) In return, she'd call to chat with me about Kerouac and Webern and DNA. Or drop a pleasant card from Paris. I was rabid with passion by then: I needed a new microchip for my brain, I did so adore her. People would say, "Him--oh, his name is Keith-who-loves-Letitia." And, finally, I stuffed her ballot box, I ran Letitia down. Tribute to my wit and determination and gallant courtship. It also didn't hurt that Rafael had left her for a Brazilian dog handler. A male Brazilian dog handler.
Former yogurt salesman Huey Lewis and the band he fronts, the News, are doing their best to make sure that the heart of rock 'n' roll is still beating. "Sports," the News' third album, sold 6,000,000 copies, and "The Power of Love," their song from the Steven Spielberg presentation "Back to the Future," hit number one soon after it was released. David and Victoria Sheff met with Lewis in his smallish London hotel room. They told us, "He's the only rock star who plays golf and occasionally punctuates a sentence with 'For fuck's sake.'"
From the beginning of Time, Man has been on the move, ever outward. First he spread over his own planet, then across the Solar System, then outward to the Galaxies, all of them dotted, speckled, measled with the colonies of Man.
Are we Really heading back toward the rock-ribbed Fifties, when, as the song had it, love and marriage went together like a horse and carriage? Could be, at least if we judge by the behavior of our Sex Stars of 1985, who've been engaged in a mad rush to the altar. If celebrities are trendsetters, bridal boutiques are in for a banner year.
In July 1984, when Playboy conducted its first nationwide singles-bar survey, an unattached Georgia woman responded with considerable reserve to one of our Atlanta choices. "I can't believe you guys picked that place," she said. "That's not a singles bar. And I should know. My girlfriends and I go there every weekend."
The Trouble with predicting the future is that the present keeps changing. Just look at old Buck Rogers (the space traveler, not the baseball manager). He sure seemed futuristic at the time. His equipment and adventures were based on technology and ideas already in existence. They fulfilled expectations of what the world could be. Today, what seemed futuristic in the Fifties looks like so much tin foil. Now we are aware of many possibilities undreamed of then, and many of the technologies we take for granted surpass anything available to poor Buck.
We'd love to tell you that Sony is about to come out with a new product called the Crystal Ballman. If only a clear view of the future were that easy. But with some imagination and a reasonable knowledge of current electronics, going out on a limb isn't all that hard. Simply, if you can think of it, it'll probably happen. With that in mind, come with us to the drawing board.
"I'm a real high-tech kid," says the star of NBC's Night Court. "Any chance to look at a TV screen, I'll do it. The only problem is, I can't just sit still and watch. I have to be doing something else at the same time. Computers, then, are perfect for me. I get to stare at the screen and do a lot of neat things at the same time. It's very satisfying.
In 1980, Berke Breathed wasn't sure whether he'd be photographing penguins or drawing them. His first choice was drawing--at least, drawing the one bird that now serves as the centerpiece for his Bloom County, one of the best of the socially conscious comic strips to follow Doonesbury. But when the University of Texas photography major tried to peddle his work, he found little interest in satire featuring a talking penguin, a wheelchair-bound hero, a neurotic child, an opportunistic attorney and other odd types, especially when topics range from nuclear disarmament to Eddie Murphy.
"Sometimes, I think I'm living inside that New Yorker cartoon in which the man is saying to the waiter, 'If pesto is passé ... bring us whatever's taken over,'" says Mark Peel, who, with his wife, Nancy Silverton, has earned a national reputation creating foods of the moment.
Although Miami Vice seems to have spawned its share of imitators, with Top 40 music blasting from several TV sound tracks this season, it still has an exclusive on Jan Hammer, the man who singlehandedly composes, arranges and performs the show's moody and hypnotic score, which augments and sometimes even overshadows the more familiar songs.
Champagne sipped from a lady's slipper may be quite Continental, but the right kind of glassware for serving anything from a bone-cold martini straight up to a cognac in the wee small hours is definitely a drinking man's best friend. On this page, we've collected six vessels; each has a specific purpose--though most of them have multiple uses. (Three fingers of single-malt Scotch in a cut-crystal double old fashioned glass goes down just as smoothly as the same amount of well-aged bourbon.) And if vodka is your call, only a peasant would turn down shots, as frigid and frosty as a Siberian winter, served in crystal glasses nested in a container filled with crushed ice. Na zdorovye!
Call it the lunch-hour tanathon. At thousands of tanning clinics springing up nationwide, pale-faced office workers now spend their noontimes supine on blue-glowing tanning beds, baking themselves into nut-brown clones of supertanner George Hamilton. Meanwhile, Hamilton himself, along with such celebrities as Mariel Hemingway, Liza Minnelli and Rod Stewart, frequents the poshest of these new antipallor parlors, Los Angeles' Uvasun on West Third Street, where a 50-minute loll on the golden bed costs $50.
Peter Van Straaten is the leading social satirist in Holland. His daily comic strip Father and Son is considered something of a national treasure. This year, Van Straaten celebrated his 50th birthday by treating Holland to a best-selling portfolio of erotic drawings called Aanstoot. Aanstoot is a Dutch word that translates as "affront." It also connotes an approach to life, a style of being that is sensuous, shocking, reckless. The theme of the drawings is sex in public places, lovers carried away by desire, oblivious to manners, morals, innocent and not-so-innocent bystanders. The risk of discovery lends a razor's edge to the arousal, a jolt to the eye, an affront to the senses. The style of the drawings is impeccable: It is as though Rembrandt had indulged in erotica. Leafing through the 50 or so drawings is an experience that will liberate your libido. Americans may have to wait for a U.S. edition of the book, but the five drawings shown here are an arbitrary selection. How do you pick a favorite erotic Rorschach blot? For the full, uncensored text, send ten dollars to The Sales Department, Arbeidsperes, Singel 262, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Then invite your lover up to your apartment to look at the world's most erotic drawings.