This Month, we're proud to bring you the first installment of the story of Jessica Hahn, the woman at the center of the past year's stormy religious upheaval that dethroned TV evangelist Jim Bakker. Rarely has a major news story been so directly related to the interests and philosophy of this magazine. Bakker, after all, is that all-too-familiar preacher who has raged at immorality and sexual license from the pulpit, then practiced both in private. Playboy has sought for almost 35 years to illuminate and eliminate such hypocrisy and repression.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1987. Volume 34, Number 11. Published monthly by playboy, playboy building, 919 North Michigan avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: In the United States and its possessions, $56 for 36 issues, $38 for 24 issues, $24 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. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to playboy, P.O. box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222. And allow 45 days for change. Circulation: Jack Bernstein. Circulation promotion director. Advertising: New York: 747 third avenue, New York 10017; Chicago; 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago 60611; West coast; perkins. Fox & perkins, 3205 Ocean park Boulevard. Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
Albert Finney, Matthew Modine and Kevin Anderson--Anderson repeating the stage role he originated for Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater Company--score a triple tour de force in Orphans (Lorimar). Producer-director Alan J. Pakula doesn't try to conceal the theatrics of Lyle Kessler's hit play, nor does he ask his three flashy actors to curb their virtuosity. Finney's the kingpin as a Chicago gangster who allows himself to be abducted and held in a ramshackle house in New Jersey by two weird brothers--one a petty thief (Modine) given to bursts of violence, the other a seemingly retarded recluse who's secretly educating himself with good books. The kidnap victim not only turns the tables but becomes a virtual godfather or kindly Fagin, showering his captors with cash and material comforts. What he's really giving them is love, some emotional connection to help them establish self-esteem, and that's the hidden message of Orphans. Most of it is well hidden in a curiously simple format that moves from Pinteresque menace to madcap fantasy to poignant tragicomedy, missing nary a beat. Such adult doses of entertainment are rare nowadays. While these guys may puzzle you some, they won't send you home feeling brain dead. [rating]4 bunnies[/rating]
Actor-Writer-producer-director Robert Townsend made his first movie, "Hollywood Shuffle," with raw talent, undiluted moxie and a fistful of credit cards. Now he's working on a second under a generous Warner Bros. contract. It seemed appropriate to pair Townsend with a self-made street-savvy rap group called Public Enemy.
Like Other social species, the American redneck evolves, and the Audubon of the Eighties, the man who has depicted the redneck in its most evolved state, is John Bloom, a Texas journalist who from 1982 to 1985, under the pseudonym Joe Bob Briggs, wrote a weekly column for the Dallas Times Herald in which he reviewed all those movies that other critics ignore or deplore--such horror/porn slice-'em-ups as the Friday the 13th series and such art films as Bloodsucking Freaks, which Joe Bob declared the best re-release of 1983 and described in lip-smacking detail: "Doc goes to work. First he straps a bimbo in a chair and pulls out all her teeth so 'you won't bite.' Then he decides to do 'a little elective neurosurgery'--power drill through the head while he's hummin' Marriage of Figaro….Sardu gets grossed out…so he tells Ralphus to feed the doctor to the nekkid lady in the dungeon. Pretty amazing scene, specially when they rip out his heart and rub it over their flesh." Part of the fascination of Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In (Delacorte) is just such slash-by-slash synopses of so much arcane sleaze; but what makes Bloom's book a redneck classic to be ranked with Erskine Cald-well's Tobacco Road is the character, or lack thereof, of Joe Bob himself as he expresses, Archie Bunker style, redneck values and prejudices. Eventually, Bloom's weekly outrage provoked a protest of the Times Herald by Dallas' black community, and Joe Bob bit the dust. In the 1946 horror movie Dead of Night, a genteel ventriloquist and his evil dummy undergo a role reversal. It's not a movie Joe Bob Briggs would have seen at a Texas drive-in, but it's one of the scariest movies ever made--and the story of John Bloom's life. Properly read (between the lines), the moral of the Joe Bob Briggs story is, Beware of pretending to be a redneck--because you may become one.
Just thinking about it makes me want a joint, badly. I know, Nancy says we should just say no, but something tells me she spent the Sixties in an Adolfo suit and an air-conditioned room, her head under the pillow. But I was out--in the streets with the panhandlers, sleeping in the field at Woodstock, marching against war, driving a VW on acid, cadging food from folk singers, dancing in Day-Glo, being at be-ins--and now every magazine has politely informed me that it's 20 years later, and I have a hankering for some grass.
Want to know about a day in the life if your Playboy Men columnist? Hey, it's a breeze. I go into the office and take a sauna, get a massage from one of the Playmates, drink some champagne from the water cooler. It makes for a tough morning, but I survive.
I am a 25-year-old male with a problem many men my age and, especially, older ones would like to have: The slightest thought, suggestion, brush or appearance of anything sexually explicit or oriented, or even innuendo, brings my penis to a firm erection. Needless to say, when I'm in movie theaters with a casual or first date, at a night club or simply in a social gathering among friends, such a reaction is not a desired one. For the record, I am, to be modest, getting my fair share of sexual satisfaction from any number of women (though AIDS has sharply curtailed my behavior). What to do? From all accounts, there is nothing-wrong with me physically. I am not perpetually horny but do enjoy a substantial amount of sex. Should I just shut up and learn how to relax more often?--K. A., Chicago, Illinois.
A police officer pulls you over for failing to signal a turn. He does a routine computer check and finds that you're wanted in Los Angeles for murder and robbery. You protest. The police don't listen. Their records tell them that you have committed the crimes. You spend five days in jail until a fingerprint check proves that you are innocent.
He's an enigma, a mystery, one of the most famous men in the world and one of the least known: Daniel Ortega Saavedra, 41, comandante of the Nicaraguan revolution, president of the Nicaraguan republic, coordinator of the directorate of the Frente Sandinista (Sandinista front) of Nicaragua, the man Ronald Reagan risked his Presidency to destroy. Among radical youth in Latin America, Ortega is a hero--a David who helped overthrow the 42-year Somoza dictatorship and who for the past seven years has successfully stood up to the Yanqui Goliath. In the United States, he's perceived as a devil, a man who's inviting Marxism onto the North American mainland, a small-time potentate thumbing his nose at U.S. power.
When it comes to innovative video, Mother knows best. None other than Frank Zappa has just stuck his nose into home entertainment with a new company called--what else?--Honker Home Video. Titles set for release include Video from Hell (an MTV take-off), The True Story of 200 Motels (a documentary on the making of that cult film) and Uncle Meat (from the album of the same name).... Who's the hottest music-video visionary in the land? It's Kent Burton, the 28-year-old stop-motion 3-D animator who concocted the dinosaur segments of Pee-wee's Playhouse. Burton is shifting his Saturday-morning wizardry to Peter Gabriel and a long line of waiting rock artists.... The latest video gimmick comes from Hitachi, which is set to debut its astonishing new VT-2700A Super-VHS VCR, which lets the viewer scan 12 TV channels at the same time.... Panasonic, meanwhile, makes VCR programming ultraeasy with its high-tech bar-code wand, a light pen that scans and commands.
These pictures are a celebration of a new life for me. A new beginning. For the first time in my life, someone took the time to ask, 'Jessica, what do you want?' No one had ever done that before, certainly not the church. Playboy did. That's why the pictures are as important as the story."
The early-morning flight from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis is mostly business people, studying The Wall Street Journal. They settle in, order coffee from the flight attendants and attack the endless gray columns of type and the seas of tiny numbers. A few of them even take notes.
Rosa Tomczik watched her husband build up the campfire. He dropped on a double handful of sticks and branches, and the flame blazed brighter, sending sparks into the evergreen boughs overhead. As the fire died, Rosa waited for contentment. She waited five minutes. She waited five minutes more, and she realized that she did, after all, feel something, but it wasn't contentment. What she felt was anxious suspense. Rosa had felt that way ever since her husband, Joel, had surprised her with the suggestion that they take this vacation.
<p>Pam Stein has a thing about contests; she entered her first beauty pageant at 12. She has won more than 60 trophies and 15 crowns in the intervening years. She has accrued her share of prizes: "I haven't had to shop for clothes for three years." Pam likes the competition. She's not one to get by on looks alone. On her Data Sheet, under Goals and Aspirations, she wrote, "To find the largest cockroach in Florida."</p>
The New York subway car was packed at rush hour. A woman hanging on to an overhead strap turned to the man in back of her and snapped, "If you don't stop poking me with that thing, I'm going to call a cop."
Today's discerning drinkers are returning to sturdy, aromatic world-class whiskeys. These rich liquors, known in the trade as "brown goods," range in hue from tawny to a deep, lustrous mahogany. They're spirits of taste and character, with unmistakable organoleptic impact; one sip tells you you're into something special. Taken neat, over ice, with a splash or in mixed drinks, these whiskeys retain definition and individuality.
Kelly McGillis, the strapping beauty who looked as if she might be able to eat Tom Cruise for breakfast in "Top Gun," is just back from the Middle East, where she tackled Zionism in a movie called "Dreamers." The role required lots of research: As the self-confessed "biggest shiksa in the world," she found the job of portraying an Israeli settler her biggest challenge since holding Harrison Ford's gun in "Witness." McGillis--at the end of a three-film binge that included the fall release "Made in Heaven"--wore all black when she met with interviewer David Handelman, who said, "She was still showing psychological vestiges of the insecure 200-pound high schooler she once was."
"I don't have the voice and delivery of a Howard Cosell or the charm of a John Madden. I've never been good at smiling at a camera, and when I go to work, the make-up woman shrieks because I'm so pale," says ABC Sports boxing analyst Alex Wallau (rhymes with swallow). "But I have a knowledge and a love of the sport. I try to communicate." Relying more on a sharp verbal job than on a flurry of rhetoric, Wallau, 42, may not be the sexiest broadcaster in sports, but he is fast becoming one of the best. After nine years behind the scenes as the network's boxing consultant, he took Cosell's old seat at ringside last year. His straightforward commentary won rave reviews but lost him a few friends. "I had established friendships with a lot of fighters over the years. Last year, I had to go on the air and explain why they were going to get knocked out," he says. Even losers, it seems, appreciate the silver-maned analyst's honesty--and his love for the beauty in ugliness that boxing entails. "Boxing can be a bloody spectacle," he says, "but I don't think people go to fights to see blood. I may be naïve, but I think they go to see qualities that are rare in modern society--courage, self-discipline, heart, character--all the qualities boxing tests so severely and so openly." Wallau sees Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard as the pre-eminent boxers of our day, Mike Tyson as Mr. Potential and Mark Breland as a welterweight sleeper. "There is always a sense of excitement to a knockout puncher," he says. "You saw it around Tyson before he ever beat a good fighter. That's the thrill, the intrigue of the sport. The knockout punch--that has always been the sex of the sport."
While Chicago critics call him "the funniest man in Chicago," Aaron Freeman prefers a more modest description. "Just think of me as a cross between Will Rogers and Cary Grant," he suggests. The gravel-voiced, bug-eyed political satirist first took the Windy City by storm with Council Wars, a show parodying the agonizing battle between Mayor Harold Washington and white aldermen Edward Vrdolyak and Edward Burke for control of Chicago. That show generated so many oft-repeated punch lines that the Chicago Reader declared it "part of the city's political vocabulary." PBS took note and signed Freeman, 31, as resident humorist on the Mac-Neil/Lehrer Newshour. Now he's the newest member of the famed Second City comedy troupe. "The last time they had a resident black actor was 1968," he notes. "Which means either that they've changed their policy or that they're safe until 2008." That still leaves Freeman time to be chief writer and one of the stars of Out of Control, a new syndicated comedy TV show, and to promote his first book, Confessions of a Lottery Ball. Success has allowed him to lease his first car. "It beats the hell out of taking the bus," he says, but quickly denies that he has sold out. "I describe myself as a social capitalist. I believe in dictatorship of the proletariat--but I'll keep the condo."
People often ask Mel Harris, the willowy star of ABC's Thirty Something and wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist David Hume Kennerly, if she has zillions of family pictures at hand because she has a photographer in the house. Her answer--"a medium amount"--is less interesting than the fact that she often accompanies her husband on assignments. "We've gone out with the P.L.O. on raids," says Harris, 31. "We've gone down the Jordan River with King Hussein and gone scuba diving in the Gulf of 'Aqaba--not your usual travel things.' If Harris looks familiar, it's because she spent nine years as a model and appeared in commercials ("I was the last Tab girl") before breaking into acting. Thirty Something, TV's answer to The Big Chill, is the highly touted show about the highs and lows of being a baby boomer. Harris portrays a frazzled mother of a small child, a role she plays in real life as well. "I asked David to read the script," she says, "and after he read it, he asked, 'How long have they been living with us without telling me?'"
"I don't really think I have a poker face," bluffs 28-year-old Cyndy Violette. Already a five-year veteran of the professional poker-tournament circuit, Violette does, however, have a hard-won reputation as a wily high-stakes seven-card-stud player. Last December, she took on 185 opponents--most of them men--in one of the Golden Nugget Grand Prix of Poker's seven-card-stud events and walked away from the table with first place and $74,000, "Winning felt better than I ever imagined it would," she says. "It wasn't so much the money as the enormous relief. Coming in second or third just wasn't enough." Unfortunately for Violette, some of the men in the game found her lacking even when she came in first. "You never get any credit," she complains. "No matter how good you are, the guys won't believe it." Not all the guys, of course. Recently, Violette gained the grudging respect of poker champ "Amarillo Slim" Preston, a diehard traditionalist who once claimed, "I'll slit my throat if a woman ever wins a major poker tournament." Today, he plays a different hand. "Cyndy would beat me like a stepchild if I was to play seven-card stud with her," he admits with old-school charm. "She plays like a man, and that means darn good."
When 36-year-old singer-composer John Hiatt says he couldn't have handled large-scale success before now, you have to believe him. "I was a scared and scary practicing drug addict and alcoholic until August of 1984," he confesses. Not long after he became sober, his wife committed suicide. "Suffice it to say, we were both very sick," he explains. "One of us survived and one of us didn't." Hiatt has since remarried and now lives in Nashville with his three-year-old daughter and nine-year-old stepson. Bring the Family, his latest album, which chronicles his final battles with the bottle, his recovery from his wife's death and his new-found domestic bliss, is also something of a comeback. Hiatt's professional relationships were as rocky as his home life, with a series of on-again, off-again record contracts. "I was quite willing to let my recording career sit for a while," he says of that tumultuous period. It seems as if the only constant in his life has been praise from critics. "Am I a critics' darling?" he chuckles. "If they just had an opportunity to meet me, we could fix that."
Pointy-toed cowboy styles, oiled-leather knockabouts, ankle-high English gentlemen's Wellingtons, lace-up combat models with easy-on/easy-off industrial zippers--boot manufacturers are making great strides to ease the discomfort that comes with the slush and mush of cold weather. And the looks are often urbane enough to be combined successfully with everyday businesswear, thus eliminating the need for an extra pair of shoes stashed under your desk. Furthermore, most boots' seams and surfaces have been treated with oils and chemicals that resist rot and keep out dampness, and the lace eyelets and soles have been reinforced. Anyone who has sat through a day of meetings in soggy shoes and socks will kick up his heels over that.