Supposedly, April is the month for fools. They even get their own day. We say, enough of this foolishness. Flying boldly in the face of fashion, we've decided not to suffer fools gladly this month. In fact, this is our smart issue—everything in it is smart, and that makes us feel pretty smart. First, there's our Playboy Interview subject, Stephen W. Hawking, the brilliant physicist who penned A Brief History of Time, the handy little best seller that makes the creation of the universe comprehensible to liberal-arts majors. Interviewing this extraordinary, funny and sensitive man at England's Cambridge University proved a particular challenge for veteran Playboy interviewer Morgan (Yasir Arafat, the I.R.A.) Strong. Due to a degenerative nerve disease, Hawking cannot speak conventionally but must communicate with a computer-aided voice synthesizer. The resulting exchange bears testimony to the vitality of the human spirit.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), April 1990, Volume 37, Number 4. Published monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $26 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $39 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $39 U.S. currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. 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 51537-4007, and allow 45 days for change Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: Perkins. Fox & Perkins, 3205 Ocean Park Boulevard, Suite 100, Santa Monica, California 90405
A large black cleaning woman (played with commanding gusto by Firmine Richard) is the impressive heroine of Mama, There's a Man in Your Bed (Miramax). She sweeps up executive debris in a yogurt-company headquarters, which is how she discovers that the head of the firm (Daniel Auteuil, Yves Montand's slow-witted nephew in Jean de Florette) has biiig problems. One of his treacherous colleagues is sleeping with his wife and another is trying to take control of the company by poisoning a batch of yogurt. Before his crises end, the boss is sleeping over at the cleaning lady's place—where she's trying to make ends meet with five kids by five previous husbands. Romance blooms, believe it or not, between the white tycoon and his black savior, who knows she's too good for him. "Men need us," she informs him, and suggests he take a walk. Which is not quite the finale of Mama, an engaging but not consistently credible French comedy by writer-director Coline Serreau, who pushes a good thing about 20 minutes too long. Serreau is the same enterprising young woman who made 3 Men and a Cradle in French before it was remade as Three Men and a Baby (with Leonard Nimoy directing), a huge English-language hit. An American remake of Mama, with Serreau at the helm, is already under way. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Smoky-voiced actress Sally Kellerman married producer husband Jonathan Krane for love, of course—but his giant video collection was a pretty nifty incentive. "We like nothing better than crawling into bed on a Saturday afternoon to watch videos," she says. "We watch almost anything." Kellerman/Krane favorites include The Philadelphia Story, William Hurt flicks, Jagged Edge, Barry Levinson's Tin Men and Rain Man, the James Dean catalog and The Farmer's Daughter with Loretta Young. "And I still watch anything with Marlon Brando. He changed the face of acting—and the smoldering sexuality didn't hurt, either." What does Kellerman recommend from her own body of work? "M*A*S*H got me an Oscar nomination, but I think my best performance so far has been in Last of the Red Hot Lovers." Speaking of which, what comes after those Saturday-afternoon matinees?
Kovacs!: Before there was video, there was TV—and Ernie Kovacs, the medium's most ingenious pioneer. Here's 85 minutes of the mustachioed legend's best bits, including the Nairobi Trio and those Dutch Masters cigar commercials (Rhino).
Never mind which movie is about to win the Oscar. Which major movies of decades ago didn't win, and why? Sometimes it was bad luck, sometimes the Academy's bad judgment. But here are a few also-rans or never-rans that you shouldn't miss:
Best Oh-Go-Away Video:Give Love: Leo Buscaglia in Niagara Falls;Second-Best Oh-Go-Away Video:Meet the Raisins!;Best Video Success Story:Decoys and Duck Calls: Two Secrets for Success;Windiest Kidvid Title:One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! and The Foot Book;Most Honest Golf Tape:Golf: I Hate This Game;Filthiest Sounding Golf Tape:Mastering the Long Putter;Best Thrill-a-Minute Video:Construction Clean-up;Best It's-a-Living Video:Fixin' Venison.
Laser Fair: One of the gripes some people have had with laser disc players is price. With the LD-870, Pioneer brings the cost down to $500. This video-only model plays both 12-inch and eight-inch discs.
Singer/Songwriter John Eddie still feels passionate about those who taught him his trade. Currently prepping LP number three, Eddie found inspiration this month in Rod Stewart's boxed set, "Storyteller."
You can tell a Book by its Cover Department: Surely, Jimmy Buffett has had experience with ticket scalpers at his concerts; but at a book-signing party? Fans, 2500 strong, began to line up the night before he was scheduled to appear at Atlanta's Renaissance Book Store. When the store ran out of books, some fans sold their autographed copies on the street for as much as $60. Let's hear it for American enterprise!
With baseball season coming at us as fast as a Nolan Ryan fastball, the essential volume to get you through the summer is The Whole Baseball Catalogue (Fireside), edited by John Thorn and Bob Carroll with David Reuther. This compendium of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About America's Game covers all the bases, the field, the stadium and various countries around the world where baseball is played. You can check out the history of the glove, locate lights for your little-league field, obtain audio-highlight tapes from every game of the past 60 years, equip your computer with baseball software or get a job in the major leagues (probably selling peanuts).
I have some serious advice for the people in all those cities that are begging, clawing, weeping, panting and conniving to get an N.F.L. team or an N.B.A. team because they believe that a pro franchise will make them superior to all those cities that have only coffee shops and elk hunting. Don't get one. Be happy you never had one. Buy a gun and shoot a city father instead of an elk, if that will do it.
Met a woman at a cocktail party last night," Bart said, laughing. Bart is an attorney in Chicago and has been a good friend of mine for years. "When I heard she was a writer, I mentioned your name. Man, did she get angry! She's never met you, but she hates you, hates Playboy, hates the Men column. 'Asa Baber is a womanizer and a schmuck,' she said. I asked her how she could know that about you without knowing you personally. She said she had it from an unimpeachable source."
Pity the poor infant. Born perfect into the world from imperfect parents. At the height of his intelligence, he is completely ignorant, helpless, dependent on whatever maniac has charge of him at any given moment. And each of these moments is crucial, each shapes the interior landscape of the pitiful infant's psyche. He doesn't even know that he is not the entire universe. He doesn't even know he is a separate human being. He thinks his parents are simply extensions of himself. Luckily, he is resilient, and learns.
I have a difficult problem. I love the Old World style of romance, with midnight cruises, candlelit dinners and dancing until dawn. Unfortunately, I am trying to sail my significant other around the moonlit bay on a college student's income. While I can think of a great many romantic surprises, very few of them come easily from a pauper's wallet, and there are only so many times one can go to the zoo or take a merry-go-round ride. Does the Advisor have any thoughts on how one of limited resources can offer a hopelessly romantic rendezvous to his love without having to increase his debt? While you're on the topic, any ideas for romantic actions (such as sending flowers or leaving notes) would also be helpful. Sometimes I wonder if I should scrap my chivalrous and gentlemanly ideals and just go out for pizza like everyone else.—J. I., Richmond, Virginia.
On September 9, 1989, The Washington Post reported that an ABC/Washington Post poll had found that 62 percent of Americans would be willing to give up "a few of the freedoms we have in this country if it meant we could greatly reduce the amount of illegal drug use." And 52 percent of Americans were frightened enough of drugs to be willing to "allow police to search without a court order the houses of people suspected of selling drugs, even if the houses of people like you are sometimes searched by mistake."
On November 1, 1989, the Playboy Foundation celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards by assembling a distinguished panel to discuss the issues that threaten democratic freedom in America. Christie Hefner introduced the colloquium, which was moderated by former Senator Lowell P. Weicker,Jr. The following are excerpts from the panel.
Two days before the U.S. invasion of Panama in December, the Bush Administration got caught red-handed in a brazen lie about its toadying courtship of Red China. Not only had George Bush's two top national-security aides just toasted the unrepentant Chinese leaders but they had secretly done the same thing in July, when the blood of Tiananmen Square was still fresh.
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.... And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; He made the stars also.... Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made."
Males tend to seek more than one mate. "Monogamy is rare in mammals, almost unheard of in primates," according to zoologist David Barash, "and it appears to be a relatively recent invention of certain human cultures.... Prior to Western colonialism and Judaeo-Christian social imperialism, the vast majority of human societies were polygynous."
The Nineties man is kicking back and taking names. His look: elegance and ease. His wardrobe: tailored clothing and upscale accessories. Six-button double-breasted suits and three-button single-breasted blazers and sports jackets in comfortable earth and spice tones are cutting broad-shouldered silhouettes this spring. You (text concluded on. page 86) may even see some soft-shouldered styles—a foreshadowing of fashions to come next fall. Suede continues to be popular, and the wrist watch in antique stylings or the latest techie look has become the hottest fashion accessory. Top off a well-tailored wardrobe with a two-colored wing-tip shoe in mixed materials (canvas and leather, for example) and we'd call that starting out spring and summer on the right fashion foot.
It's near dusk and James Spader is reluctantly showing me his key ring. The sky above Los Angeles has turned a photochemical pink, and the greenery that surrounds us here on this hiking trail high in the Hollywood hills isn't really greenery at all; after a long, dry summer, it's more like brownery. Still, by L.A. standards, this is a pastoral scene, a rustic refuge only minutes from the real city.
Allegra Curtis, at 23, has one burning desire: to follow her parents into show business. Daughter of Tony Curtis and his second wife, actress Christine Kaufmann, Allegra appears in Killing Blue, with Michael York and Morgan Fairchild. In the film, shot in Berlin by director Peter Patzak, Allegra plays Monika Carstens, a strong-willed, street-wise naïf. She sees herself in that description, too. Allegra doesn't expect her famous bloodline to play a major part in her career, but she has absorbed some lessons from her parents' experiences. "They didn't allow themselves to be chewed up. Both of them learned from hard times," she says. Another movie is in the works, a remake of The Swimming Pool, an erotic drama that starred Alain Delon and the late Romy Schneider. We'd say Allegra was due to be getting plenty of attention.
When oscar wilde protested, "I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied by the best," he was expressing the driving sentiment of the Nineties—not the 1890s but the 1990s. For while we may all be forced to do with a bit less of some of the necessities of life in the decade ahead (air and new Rolling Stones albums, for example), we do expect that the luxuries should be of the highest quality. Of course, if an item has the added virtue of being quite rare, its mere possession becomes as much a pleasure as the using of it.
Actor John Larroquette is best known not for the many possible misspellings and mispronunciations of his surname (it's pronounced lar-o-ket) but for his pernicious portrayal of Assistant D.A. Dan Fielding on "Night Court." The role has earned him so many Emmys (four) that he declines to let himself be nominated for a fifth. Speaking of fifths, for many now-forgettable years, Larroquette downed great volumes of the liquid variety. He quit that method of self-destruction and since has done work in films ("Stripes," "Blind Date" and, currently, "Madhouse"), TV and on stage, and occasional noodling over novels and screenplays on his home computer. He also collects books. So what is it about this man for all seasons that allows him the luxury of playing a sleaze while retaining his likability? While talking in Larroquette's trailer on the set of "Madhouse," Contributing Editor David Rensin thought he overheard a clue: "This is the sexiest man in the world," a robust blonde visitor said with absolute certainty. "All women want to fuck him."
Lisa Matthews has a perfectly normal bedroom in the perfectly normal house she shares with her parents, her sister and her brother. The peach-and-green walls are hung with posters by Van Gogh and Matisse (not surprising choices, since Lisa hopes eventually to teach art history, at either high school of college level). Her skis stand in the corner near her favorite piece of furniture—her grandmother's cedar chest. It's a room like any other, with one small exception—an exception named Chester. As roommates go, Chester is ideal. He's quiet, clean and friendly. When he and Lisa are alone in their room, Chester's idea of a great time is to eat raisins out of Lisa's mouth. Chester is a chinchilla. Lisa is the first to admit that a chinchilla is not a run-of-the-mill pet. But, as an animal lover, she already owned the usual animals—a dog and two cats—and when her boyfriend wanted to give her another pet two years ago, Lisa chose Chester. It's true that no one else in her suburban Los Angeles neighborhood has a pet chinchilla, but Lisa is used to being a little different. Her father was a corporate nomad, and the Matthews family was uprooted numerous times, from Peoria to Ohio to Chicago to Georgia to Ohio again, to L.A., to Florida and then back to L.A., just in time for Lisa to finish high school. Finally settled in one place, she began to blossom, making friends and finding success as a model at the age of 17. Now 20, she's a student at a local junior college, thinking about her future. However her plans work out, there's one thing she knows—Chester will be with her. "A chinchilla is a big rodent," explains Lisa helpfully. "He has the body of a rabbit and the tail of a squirrel. He has mouse ears and kangaroo legs, and then big back feet and little front feet. He's really cute. I talk to him." The few people we've heard of who owned chinchillas had a lot of them and turned them into coats. Lisa's brown eyes blaze when she's asked if Chester will end up in the garment industry with his relatives. "No!" she shouts. "I do not like fur coats!" "You're going to tell everyone that Chester eats raisins out of my mouth, aren't you?" she asks. "I mean, that sounds kind of gross, doesn't it?" Nah, we tell her; everybody does it. "I could only love an animal lover, obviously," says Lisa. "I'd like to have a ranch, maybe in Colorado. I'm going to have horses and I'm going to have dogs. And I'll need plenty of room for Hank." Hank? "I really want a cow named Hank. Cows are my favorite animals, and I think Hank is a good name for a cow, even if it is a girl." What will Hank eat? Lisa eyes us sternly. "Not raisins," she says, beginning to smile, "and not out of my mouth."
After a late night out with the boys, the man undressed and slipped into bed with his wife. "Are you awake, honey?" he whispered. When he got no response, he kissed her on the lips. "Hon, you awake?" Still no response. He kissed her on both breasts. "Hon, wake up." He kissed her on the belly. She didn't move. Then he kissed her on the knee.
The conjunction of rock and road iron was a pairing of American icons as inevitable as that of Marilyn and J.F.K. In the Fifties, road rock created itself from the luster of hot-rodable cars bought on easy postwar credit, fueled by 15-cent-a-gallon gas and pumped up by superheterodyne radios. Fast kids with bad attitudes have been cruising the interstates in cars like these ever since—and rockers have been singing about them. That is all very nice, but car fanatics want to know, How do those jammin' jalopies really perform? We wanted to know, so we clocked them. In order to qualify for our list, candidates had to have been featured prominently in a major road-rock hit. And all cars had to be stock models—no hot rods. The hard figures on horsepower, acceleration, top speed, fuel economy and, well, sex appeal (don't ask us how we did our research) follow, with our truly elegant photographs of the classiest rock chassis of all. Here, for your edification, are The Cars of Rock and Roll.
Dale Brown is on the radio. He sits in his office with the phone to his ear, surrounded by trophies, framed sports pages and pictures of tigers. He is telling Pat from Shreveport that the LSU Tigers just might win the national championship this year. "It's going to be a battle," he tells Pat, "but anything a man can conceive and believe, a man can achieve."
"When I Think of the Atlantic Coast Conference," says Chicago Tribune sportswriter Skip Myslenski, "I think of all those Tobacco Road basketball rivalries. I think of smart play, intelligent play. I also think of charging fouls—they're rough in the A.C.C."
To buy the apparel and accessories shown on pages 80-87, check listings below to locate the store nearest you. You may also contact the manufacturers directly for information on where to purchase their merchandise in your area.
Wallets are like an American Express card: You don't leave home without one. And the latest styles for hip or breast pocket are slimmer and trimmer than ever. Leather selections range from exotic ostrich to farm-raised crocodile. Some have metal corners for reinforcement; antique ones open like a cigarette case and often sport silver or gold crests that look crafted for a British nobleman. (If you hide a condom right behind the crest, the ring won't show, we've been told.) Wallets with coin cases also are gaining in popularity. The case enables you to keep your change together and eliminates the jingle-jangle-jingle of double-pleated pants and a pocketful of coins.