As the country girds itself for convention fever, we choose to take a fond look back--at Ronald Reagan. OK, the look isn't really fond. In fact, it's downright frightening. In The Jelly-Bean Presidency, Associate Articles Editor Peter Moore spills the beans about the boss. Here's a President who campaigned on a promise to eliminate the deficit, who swore he'd never deal with terrorists, who vowed he'd make America stand tall again. We all know how those commitments worked out; Moore's compilation, wittily illustrated by Steve Brodner, reminds us of further fiascoes. Moore found so much material that he couldn't use it all; our favorite such nugget is Reagan's statement "If I were lucky, I wouldn't have this job." If we were lucky, he wouldn't have that job.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), July 1988, Volume 35, Number 7. Published Monthly by Playboy, Playboy Building, 919 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $24 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $35 for 12 issues all other foreign, $35 U.S. currency only for new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0222. Please allow 6--8 weeks for processing, for change of address, send new and old addresses, 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: Perking Fox & Perking, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405.
As a critic who admitted relishing the lunatic pleasures of Lisztomania and Gothic,I can safely say that director Ken Russell has done it again with Salome's Last Dance (Vestron). This movie's decidedly not for everyone, and maybe not for anyone except previously committed Russellmaniacs with a high tolerance for wretched excess. Most of the movie is devoted to a camped-up performance of Oscar Wilde's own Salome, banned as licentious back in 1892, here being privately staged for Wilde (Nickolas Grace) in a London brothel, with his lover Lord Douglas (Douglas Hodge) cast as John the Baptist. A squeaky-voiced housemaid (newcomer Imogen Millais-Scott) takes the head-hunting "daughter of Sodom" role, supported by a company that includes Glenda Jackson providing premium ham as Queen Herodias, opposite Stratford Johns as a very Wildean Herod. The general tone of the entertainment is established early on, when Wilde arrives with his paramour, Douglas, and announces that they are "as close as two testicles." The director himself appears briefly, typecast as an eccentric photographer recording the surrealistic scene for posterity. By the time the police crash in to arrest the author, it's clear that Last Dance--despite the usual freaks, flesh and fart jokes--is a relatively tame and literate evening with Russell.[rating]2-1/2bunnies[/rating]
There's a scrumptious new siren wooing Dudley Moore in Arthur 2 on the Rocks, a soon-due sequel to Arthur directed by Bud Yorkin. Seems Arthur's marriage to Liza Minnelli is a troubled one, making him fair game for Cynthia Sikes, playing his socialite ex-fiancée. Sikes did a long stint on NBC's St. Elsewhere in what she calls "a somewhat sterile doctor role, giving everyone shots," and just recently played a sexy judge in a multipart gig on L.A. Law. Coincidentally, her Arthur role is the one originated by L.A. Law's Jill Eikenberry. "Jill was too busy with the TV show to do the movie, which was my good luck. My character, the old girlfriend, has been running an art gallery and biding her time, still stuck on Arthur." On screen, Cynthia--well, you can guess--loses her man. Off screen, her Significant Other is Yorkin, who has cast her with Jeff Daniels in yet another romantic comedy, Love Hurts, and predicts, "She's definitely going to be a star. She's overdue."
Surely, you remember Jennifer Edwards' 1968 TV debut as Heidi in the infamous special that cut into the last 65 seconds of a thrilling Jets-Raiders climax. Since then, she has appeared in her father Blake's "A Fine Mess" and "S.O.B." Now starring in "Sunset," "All's Fair" and "The Perfect Match," Edwards gave us the word on Talking Heads' "Naked."
Get up, Stand up Department: Two former Michigan d.j.s, Walter Sorg and Bob Pearson, have formed ROCK (Rockers Opposing Cheap Knockoffs), dedicated to ending the use of popular music in commercials. They have issued a Certificate of Condemnation to Music Hell: The Land of Eternal Mantovani to ten advertisers who have used rock to flog products. If you want to know more, write to them at Box 227, Williamston, Michigan 48895, and you, too, can stick it to the Raisins.
There's something about a train trip that Paul Theroux finds irresistible. Maybe it's just the opportunity to write another book. His latest, Riding the Iron Rooster: By Train Through China (Putnam's), finds him joining a group of tourists with varying degrees of cultural sensitivity (some responses to the limestone hills at Yangshuo: "What a place for a condo!" and "They should call that one Dolly Parton Hill"). Theroux and his gaggle of copilgrims are bombarded by the vast sensory overload of this vast country. Theroux paints with a very small brush: This book sometimes reads like the spilled contents of a rucksack. We learn that the Chinese invented toilet paper in the 14th Century. He also wants us to know that among the famous terra-cotta warriors of Xian--there are hundreds of them in a space the size of a football field--no two have the same hairdo. The author and his fans thrive on such minutiae. Paul Theroux travels by train in order to avoid jet lag. The rest of us read him to avoid the turbulence of leaving our chairs.
When I was asked to be a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I accepted the invitation with some hesitation. I respect Oprah Winfrey's intelligence, but my take on her show is that it's a bastion of female sexism. I've heard enough antimale rhetoric from her guests (and her audience) to last me several lifetimes.
Ever since I was a young boy, I have liked satin. I sleep with two beautiful old down-filled satin comforters on my bed, along with satin pillow slips on the pillows. At an early age, I discovered that those down satin comforters were a great aid in masturbation. The problem I now have is that I am engaged to a beautiful young woman who absolutely adores satin. However, when we make love, the presence of the surrounding satin seems to shorten the time it takes for me to come, not allowing me enough time to give my lover the time she needs and deserves to enjoy intercourse. For example, if I am waiting for her to come to bed, or if I am lying in front of the fireplace (which is always cushioned and surrounded by satin), I will get an erection by the presence of the satin if I know that we are going to make love. I don't believe that I am a satin fetishist, but its presence during lovemaking is creating a frustrating situation. My lover and I have discussed this and we seem to agree that even though we both enjoy satin, perhaps we should get rid of all that satin bedding. Any suggestions you might be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.--M. B., Akron, Ohio.
"There are 77 major cities in the world where you can expect to be a bomb victim under current statistics. Sure the indiscriminate bombing of civilians is to be deplored by anybody against anybody. But at the end of the day it is just another way of dying, and it is no more or less final than walking under a motor car, contracting a terminal disease or falling out of the sky in an airplane. Much of it is a misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
It's 7:30 on a rainy New York winter morning. The film crew has already turned an East Village watering hole, Vazac's, into Al's Bar and Grill and crammed the place with lights and cameras. The door swings open and in walks a rugged, compact man with blond hair and a crinkly, weather-beaten face. He wears bush clothes--boots, a black hat and a short jacket of crocodileskin.
If Atlanta is the capital of the African American Nation in the black-belt South, then Chicago is the capital of black America. Hot is always preferred to cold in the African aesthetic. Yet Chicago is so famous for its bone-shattering, paralyzing cold that it is cited as the site of the African god Oba, whose history transformed him into an icy, death-cold wind, the hawk. And from most accounts, Chicago is his present home.
<p>Ah, summertime. There's something about the very sound of the word that conjures up images of sand. And sun. And swimsuits. In fact, so sultry is the season that most people begin fantasizing about it long before spring has even sprung. Well, this is no midwinter daydream--it's the real thing, presented to you at the height of the heat wave. We found one model, one setting and a few delightfully disappearing bathing suits to come up with a pictorial just as blistering as the July weather itself. Naturally, the project would not have been possible without the very best talent around--both those who work behind and those who work in front of the camera--to brazenly challenge the sun to a torrid contest of heat generation. Indeed, the duo we finally enlisted is something special: famed fashion/fine-arts photographer Herb Ritts and the staggeringly beautiful supermodel Cindy Crawford. It was perfect. Ritts photographed such steamy celebrities as Madonna, Kim Basinger and Tina Turner and won fans among Playboy readers with his electrifying pictorial of actress Brigitte Nielsen (Gitte the Great, December 1987); and Cindy was no stranger to scorching display: She was among the lovely ladies languishing along the Thailand beaches in the 1988 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Even before Ritts's first roll of film was loaded, the temperature had begun to rise.</p>
During a mid-life crisis I went through a year or so ago, it struck me that my erstwhile boyish body had begun to show a few signs of age and that, contrary to previously held notions, I might possibly not live forever.
What's black and white and everywhere? It's RCA recording star Buster Poindexter in hot black-and-white stepping-out clothes. And who better suited to prowl and preen at night than Buster, who as David Johansen founded that Seventies glam-rock-club clan, the New York Dolls? Poindexter today is sort of an Eighties Ricky Ricardo without the babaloo; his latest stint will be as a long-haired demonic-cabdriver Ghost of Christmas Past in the forth-coming Bill Murray film Scrooged. For these pages, we took away Poindexter's signature tuxedo and gave him an upscale look to impress the downtown types. Check it out.
You ask me of Leno. I will tell you everything. He is, as you may suspect, a simple man, a good man, a decent man, a man unafraid to work with his hands. Yet he chose to live by his wits, which he keeps about him even in the most perilous circumstances. Leno and I once took a flight to the corn belt together, elbow to elbow on one of those flatulent little twin-prop jobs. It was in the middle of a particularly turbulent air pocket that he turned to me and calmly debuted the Small Airline Disaster joke: "This," he observed, "is the kind of plane that if it crashed, you'd only hear about it on cable." I guffawed and he was satisfied. "I think I'll try that in the act tonight," he said, and did, and has done so ever since.
As a little girl in Chicago, she fell for a bozo--the original Bozo, who camped it up on local TV as star of the now-legendary Bozo's Circus. "I went on the show and won a stuffed toy, got my picture taken with Bozo and became the talk of the sixth grade." Terri Lynn Doss, now 22, smiles, fixing blue-gray eyes on the memory. "But that wasn't my first performance." In fact, she was a stage veteran. Dressing up as Cher, vamping for her friends while her mom sold tickets for a nickel, she had already become a star of the neighborhood talent-show circuit. "I was quiet in school," she says, "but at home, I loved singing and dancing."
The name, of course, is French. B-O-U-R-B-O-N. Heard a Frenchman say the word? They roll that R as though they were sipping whiskey. If the French had discovered it first, imagine the fuss they would have made over it. It was named after the king of France, of course, Louis XVI, who was honored by having a county in Kentucky named after him. The gesture was a thank-you to the French for supporting the Americans in the War of Independence. Later on, they sent us the Statue of Liberty.
The Jelly Bean, composed of sugar coating and transparent goo, is a first-rate choice for the official candy of the Reagan Administration. But polytetra-fluoroethylene--a.k.a. Teflon--is getting an associative bum rap; unlike the Administration to which it's attached, Teflon is great stuff. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, it is characterized by "its complete indifference to attack" and by its "slippery surface," both of which make it suitable to "corrosive environments."
Although cursed as an infant with the sober countenance of a jurist--hence the courtly moniker--Judge Reinhold, at 30, has lightened up considerably and managed to become the most affable galoot in movies today. One critic suggested that he is a pixilating cross between James Stewart and Donald Duck, the strongest evidence of which has been demonstrated in such films as "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Off Beat," "Ruthless People," "Beverly Hills Cop" and, most recently, "Vice Versa."
Sally Steiner, a proud, handsome woman, drives from Smithtown into Ozone Park. She parks in front of a narrow brick building, windows painted black. There is a small sign over the doorway: the Miami Fishing and Social Club.
Just like the Olympics, only much prettier, was the scene in Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong this past December 13. There was a chill in the night air--yes, that certain electricity--as some 2000 people settled into their seats to witness a global celebration of beauty: Playboy magazine, along with its 13 international editions, was staging the first-ever Miss Playboy International pageant. If the event promised to be an evening of magic, putting it all together had required plenty of no-nonsense planning and teamwork. Over the course of the week, Playboy editors, art directors and photographers had swarmed into Hong Kong, headquarters for our Chinese-language edition, from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, France, West Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the United States--each individual lending an expert hand to the proceedings, each country represented by Playboy's best. Ultimately, of course, the contestants stole the show. There were 14, each of whom had already appeared in her country's edition of Playboy--either as a Playmate or as a model. Clearly, the judges' job would be as tough as it was enviable.
When Alan Zweibel graduated from college in 1972, he was in a quandary: Should he be a comedy writer or a lawyer? "That decision was ultimately made for me by every law school I applied to," he admits. Law's loss has been comedy's gain: Zweibel was one of the original writers on Saturday Night Live, the author of Emmy-winning specials for Steve Martin, Paul Simon and the Beach Boys, and a co-writer of the movie version of Dragnet. Currently, he's the producer and a frequent writer for It's Garry Shandling's Show, the inventive cable-TV series that recently expanded to medium time on the fledgling Fox network. Success, of course, has not meant that comedy comes easily. "It's very, very hard work," maintains Zweibel, 37. "There are times when you're just not funny." Zweibel might have made it tough for himself with one of his very first career decisions. Just days after he was asked to join S.N.L., an experimental show with actors he'd never heard of, he got an offer for a much easier life: writing the questions and bluff answers for Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares. "This was a genuine dilemma at the time," he explains. So he asked his parents for advice. "My mother said, 'Which one will you have more fun doing?' I chose Saturday Night Live." Thanks, Mom.
Although race-car driver Lyn St. James has set an impressive 13 closed-course speed records, it's not the thrill of speed that gets her on the course. "A lot of people have this stupid idea that there's a death wish there. It's not true," says St. James, 38. "As a kid, I was terrified to ride a roller coaster. It's the challenge, the ability to control something powerful." A Fort Lauderdale resident and the first-place GTO-class winner of last year's Sun Bank 24 at Daytona, St. James started driving at the age of 14 on rural Ohio roads with her mother. "I wasn't one of those car nuts who love to tear a car apart," she admits. "It's only the driving that I enjoy." Besides racing, St. James plays classical piano and lectures on safe driving. "The race track is a pure competitive environment," she says. "You're not defined by sex or society's rules on gender." But occasionally, she admits, "the same people you may go neck to neck, thunder to thunder with, may--off the track--open the door for you."
"Beach volleyball got some great exposure in that scene with Tom Cruise in Top Gun," says Sinjin Smith. "Although looking at it from a professional standpoint, their game was a little weak." Smith, 31, should know--the sandy-haired Californian is the world's reigning beach-volleyball champion and the most successful player in the sport's history. "When I started," Smith recalls, "a player made almost nothing." Only recently did the prize money become competitive with other pro sports, so Smith learned early on how to supplement his income. His sportswear line is expected to gross $8,000,000 this year, and his well-toned 6′3′ frame is much in demand as a model. "My size is an advantage as an athlete, but not as a model," he says. "Clients are afraid I'm too big for their clothes." His size hardly deters the game's groupies, who occasionally pester Smith with an unusual request. "They'll ask me to autograph their, uh, rears," he says. "They're so oiled up that that's the only part of their body the pen will write on."
"It's been a phenomenal year. First the Iran/Contra affair, then Bork, the stock-market crash, the budget and now the elections," says Cokie Roberts, National Public Radio's Congressional correspondent. "But, God, it's hard on the body." Roberts, 44, has hung out with politicians since she was small. Her father, the late Representative Hale Boggs, served from New Orleans for 28 years until his death in a 1972 plane crash in Alaska. Her mother, Lindy Boggs, was elected to her late husband's seat, which she still holds. "There are things I know that I don't even know that I know," says Roberts. Her reports are tough and direct, more probing than most newspaper accounts, and because of it, she is well respected in the field--certainly by The New York Times' chief White House correspondent, Steven Roberts, who happens to be her husband. "The Capitol is the smallest town in America," she says. "Each morning, you pass everyone, from the policeman to people in Congress, who have all listened to you. You have to be fair." "In election years, I do a tremendous amount of traveling, at least until we know what's happening," she says. "Some years, we can pack up early--but this is not one of those years."
Whether you dismiss New Age music as Muzak for tone-deaf burnouts or think of it as the ultimate in nonprescription relaxation, you have to agree that Japanese synthesist Kitaro is one of New Age's leading lights. In Japan, his album sales exceeded 3,000,000, but to Kitaro, 34, that was not enough. "International distribution has always been my dream," he confesses. That dream came closer to reality with a multi-album deal with Geffen Records. In fact, Kitaro's American sales have neared the 2,000,000 mark, led by his latest album, The Light of the Spirit. His music may seem soothing and tranquil, but his work habits are not. "My equipment is always turned on," he says, and when he starts work on an album, "I go with one or two hours of sleep a day and totally lose track of time. This can go on for two or three months." If his methods seem brutal and extreme, his philosophy, at least, is as pure New Age as his music. "My goal," says Kitaro, "is to express the feelings inside me so as to make music with a message that can help the world in some way."
"The Man Who Would Be Cocaine King"--Carlos Lehder, reputed Honcho of the Colombian Cartel, is taking his drug empire public. Sit in on his dramatic trial in a Florida courtroom via an exclusive report for Playboy by Howard Kohn