'Tis the season to be jolly. It's also a time of party gaffes, frantic gift hunts and squabbles with girlfriends. Never fear; Playboy's here to steer you through these perilously merry holidays. To get some historical perspective, we sent Bruce Jay Friedman back to where it all began, Jerusalem, to check out the Holy Land in these unholy times. (We tried to send him to Bethlehem, but there was no room at the inn.) In My Jerusalem, Friedman takes a close look at what makes the sacred, and often dangerous, city so fascinating.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), December 1991, Volume 38, Number 12, published monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All Other Foreign, $45 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 and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: 8560 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; Metropolitan Publishers Representatives, Inc.; Atlanta: 3017 Piedmont Road Ne, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33133; Tampa: 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, FL 33629.
While working toward his lucky break--the newly released "Pretty Blue World"--Billy Falconlearned to write songs with poetic insight as well as the muscle of classic American rock. He also learned to find the territory at the border of commercial and alternative pop. In its own way, cult favorite Crowded House stalks the same territory. Falcon listened to its latest, "Woodface."
Hip-Hop Department: Good old American ingenuity. A Milwaukee-based company has developed a do-it-yourself rap kit for $12.95. In it are a pair of sunglasses, a lyric book for rap classics, a 40-minute cassette with a rapper's voice as a vocal guide and, finally, an instrumental version to accompany the master rapper (you!). Yuppie wanna-bes can call 800-637-2852.
Rehearsals of a Wagner opera in Paris set the stage for Meeting Venus (Warner), an adulterous love story for grownups, particularly for grownups who might like to heighten illicit passion with excerpts from Tannhäuser. Glenn Close, as a worldfamous diva, has her singing dubbed by opera queen Kiri Te Kanawa, but the energetic, hit-the-spot acting is her very own. Close portrays soprano Karin Anderson, who simultaneously undertakes her role in Tannhäuser and an affair with her tempestuous Hungarian conductor (played with zeal by Danish-born Niels Arestrup). Directed and co-authored by Istvà n Szabò, whose Mephisto won a 1981 Oscar as Best Foreign Film, Venus is an intelligent, sophisticated erotic comedy with a marked European flavor. In fact, it reflects the ways art and life overlap, while slyly mocking the status quo of an Americanized new world in which sex, ego and union rules control damned near everything. [rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
He has been a bad egg in most of his 18 movies to date, and J. T. Walsh, 40-something and amiably earthy off screen, wouldn't mind changing his image. He was a crooked politician in Backdraft, a scam artist in The Grifters and an incestuous pornographer in Defenseless. "I keep playing these parts because Hollywood is a factory town," says Walsh. "If you once play a six-sided widget, then that's what you're going to be. Actually, it all started when I was on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross, but that was a stretch ... the first time I'd played a sort of shit ... you know, a guy I call a Protestant with a poker up his ass."
Madonna's Truth or Dare is not your typical concert film, gang. The audacious documentary (suggested price: $92.95) tracks the planet's reigning sex goddess' 1990 Blond Ambition tour--on stage, backstage, in her dressing room, in her bed. Our favorite moment: the water-bottle bit (Live).
Helmut Newton: Frames from the Edge: On the set and behind the lens with the daring, voyeuristic and always captivating photographer of the female form. Best sequence: Naked girl humps car (Home Vision/Public Media).
Holyfield and Tyson are about to go at it. But if you can't wait for the bell, HBO's Boxing's Best series ($19.95 each) is the perfect video undercard. In the corners: The Heavyweights--The Big Punchers: Spotlights the crushing blows of, among others, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Smokin' Joe Frazier and, of course, Muhammad Ali.
As America observes the 50th anniversary of its entrance into World War Two, it's time to rewind Federal Follies, the sassy cult collection of Government-funded propaganda films of the era. A warning: Although these tapes have been edited for entertainment value, not all are a hoot. Some highlights:
He may have landed Ka-Pow!s and Socko!s regularly as TV's original Batman, but Adam West eschews video mayhem. "I don't like gratuitous violence," he says, "but I do love crazy comedies." High on the former caped crusader's laugh list: the screwball films of Preston Sturges, the antics of Chevy Chase ("I can watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation over and over"), Woody Allen's What's New Pussycat? and Peter Sellers' Being There. West also relies on his VCR to screen the "lesser-known but really fine films" not playing near his remote Idaho ranch, such as Dark Eyes, Pelle the Conquerer, sex, lies, and video tape and My Life as a Dog. As for Tim Burton's Batman, West is lukewarm. "I have a loyalty to our  Batman movie. Their Batman is simply not ours. But I did cry for three days about the money."
Top Story: Half a century after its the-atrical release, Walt Disney's cartoon musical masterpiece, Fantasia, is available on video--for the moment. On sale November first for just 50 days, the classic is priced at $24.99 for standard packaging and $99.99 for a deluxe deal, which includes a 16-page commemorative book and a making-of vid. After the sales blitz, Mickey and company will go back into hiding until, per Walt's wishes, the film reappears on the big screen with new segments. Can't wait.
From Peter Roberts Productions comes the city dweller's dream: Escape Tapes. Now you can mellow out at a lakeside retreat (Loons), scale breath-taking peaks (Mountain) and wander the wilderness (Eagles) without leaving the couch. Best part: no narration. (Each tape $19.95; to order, call 800-735-3298.)
Garrison Keillor is up to his wonderful old tricks again in WLT: A Radio Romance (Viking). His homespun humor and sense of Midwestern family drama continue to hold a delicate balance between hilarity and poignancy. To say that this is his first novel is a technicality, because the previously published stories about his mythical Minnesota town, Lake Wobegon, Certainly form a novelistic saga. Keillor began telling these stories on the American Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion in 1974, and gradually they have joined the tales of James Fenimore Cooper, Mark Twain, Artemus Ward, Hamlin Garland and will Rogers as part of our national folklore.
My girlfriend rises earlier than I do, and on Sunday mornings, she likes to lift my nightshirt and suck my penis. Words fail me when I try to describe how great it feels to wake up in the middle of one of her Sunday-morning blow jobs. Once I'm awake, she scoots around and kneels over my shoulders for some 69, capped by intercourse. All in all, a wonderful way to spend Sunday morning. There's just one problem. I always have to pee when I wake up, and by the time we've both come, I have to go really bad. So I jump out of bed and head for the John. But my girlfriend complains that my postcoital bathroom dashes leave her feeling abandoned and ruin our weekend interludes. She'd like to snuggle for a while and, believe me, I'd love to oblige her, but I'm afraid my bladder would burst. I've tried drinking less water on Saturday night, but that doesn't seem to help. I feel torn between my girlfriend's call and nature's. What can I do?--B. J., Birmingham, Alabama.
If you study the Constitution, you can have no doubt that it was intended to create a democratic central Government, give it a job to do and then limit its power. It was a radical idea; there wasn't another one like it anywhere. By assigning the Government specific functions--regulation of commerce, taxation, war--the document also tells the people which rights are retained by them. Read the history--it allows for no confusion about the framers' intention. With this in mind, we asked Harvard constitutional-law professor Laurence H. Tribe some questions about the new Supreme Court and what its interpretation of the Constitution may mean to all of us.
Dr. Alan Keyes came to Chicago promising to add the American flag to the anti-abortionists' arsenal. He told a powerful group of pro-life activists that to win the battles at clinic doorways, they must fight for God and for country. "The question we put is not only whether we . . . respect the lives of the unborn," Keyes said, but whether we "retain the doctrines through which we are entitled to govern ourselves as a people." Prochoicers not only risk their place in heaven, they risk losing the vote as well.
Billions and billions of years ago (about 15, give or take a few billion), the universe, in its present incarnation, was formed. To get a sense of how recently humans came onto the scene, imagine the history of the universe condensed into a single year. If the Big Bang that likely started it all was on New Year's Day, the Milky Way originated on May Day and the solar system on September ninth. Earth didn't show up until mid-September and, around November 15--hallelujah--the first living cells with nuclei came to be.
If i forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. But I haven't forgotten thee. I just haven't gotten around to thee. And that's about to change. (Besides, I'm a lowly screenwriter. How cunning can I be?)
In 1975, When She Joined the cast of The Price Is Right, we started getting letters. Playboy readers wanted Dian. In the late Eighties, as the swimsuits she wore on television got skimpier and the show's ratings went through the roof, the refrain swelled. "You've shown us Marilyn and Madonna, Brigitte, Vanna, Joan and La Toya, Cindy, Kim and more. Where's Dian?" Still she played hard to get. "I was shy," says the blonde beauty. "In fact, I was kind of a prude." At last, she has changed her mind. "I finally realized I had nothing to be ashamed of. I thought, Why feel guilty about my sexuality? I'd been a child-woman all my life. It was time to be a woman."
Ramsey Was An Irritable Man. It had cost him one wife, and it was going to cost him again, but irritability was something that it looked like Ramsey couldn't give up. You could take, for example, his present circumstances, pacing the shoulder of a sun-blasted road in Kerhonkson, New York, just down from the Texaco station, where his car, only 2000 miles on its $46,000 engine, had stalled and jerked to an unforgiving halt. He could just see its ivory flank if he looked back, but he didn't dare look back; he knew he would feel that bright flare of irritation ($92 a mile, so far, not counting gas or insurance) that had already sparked him into sarcasm with the garage mechanic (Ramsey believed his exact words had been, "There are still three good hours in the working day, you know, even assuming you knock off at four"), resulting, when he asked about a loaner to get home, in a stubborn and you might say (he said) bovine idiocy on the mechanic's face, and a shrug. "No taxi, I'll bet," said Ramsey, his voice sharpening, his eyes rolling.
E arly Saturday night, Laura left her apartment to meet her lover, wearing the satin floral-print bra-and-panty set he had given her for Christmas. She had received a set in black silk for her birthday, a red camisole for Valentine's Day and numerous pairs of panties in cotton, satin and silk for no special reason, simply for his own delight in giving her lingerie. That her husband, too, would take pleasure from these gifts troubled her lover less than the possibility that other lingerie she wore might be gifts from another lover.
There Was a Time when movie studios hired dressers to select their stars' off-camera ward-robes. Image was everything, and no actor or actress would dare set foot in public looking less than dazzling. Today, the typical young male celebrity is more apt to be spotted in blue jeans and baggy sweat shirt, sporting a day-old beard. Not that we have anything against going casual; we just thought the holidays deserved something special. So we asked five of the nation's top retailers--Barneys, Marshall Field's, Macy's San Francisco, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's--to dress Hollywood's newest talent in great looks by some of the world's top designers: Donna Karan, Roger Forsythe (Perry Ellis), Giorgio Armani, Joseph Abboud and Re Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons). From the understated elegance of the country-gentleman look (complete with plaid sports coat, corduroy trousers and ascot) to the contemporary styling of the latest dress suits (our pick features antique-tie-fabric lapels), the outfits on the following five pages of fashion recapture the romance of Hollywood's truly glamourous days. We thought it only fitting that the clothes and the stars wearing them be photographed by world-renowned portrait photographer George Hurrell. Hurrell's legendary portfolio features images of screen gods and goddesses from Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart to Greta Garbo and Lauren Bacall. Here, in the same 8"x10" Hollywood-portrait tradition, he promotes David Duchovny, Tony Peck, Jeff Fahey, Michael Biehn and Mario Van Peebles to his stable of stars. Duchovny should soon be commanding a lot of attention. He was featured in The Rapture, a film about sex and religion that also starred Mimi Rogers, and is in the forthcoming Beethoven, starring Charles Grodin. Peck, the talented son of Gregory, shared the big screen with Brooke Shields in Brenda Stair and soon can be seen in the action thriller Double Cross. Fahey caught our eye as the sensitive assistant district attorney in Impulse with Theresa Russell, as the sexy steelworker in Iron Maze with Bridget Fonda and in last summer's chiller thriller, Body Parts. Biehn battled the bad guys in The Terminator, Aliens and Navy SEALs and was one of them in The Abyss; he stars in the upcoming mountain-climbing adventure film K2. Van Peebles, of New Jack City fame and Melvin's son, will again assume the roles of both director and actor in his new film, Golden Gloves, co-starring Sidney Poitier. We couldn't ask for a more promising bunch of marquee idols. And there's at least one way you can look just like them--head to your favorite department store today.
Woody Allen is the survivor, by my count, of no fewer than 16 book-length studies, each one definitive, as well as critical essays in publications ranging from People through The New York Review of Books to the indispensable West Virginia University Philological Papers. He has, over the wasting years, been accused of "high school existentialism," of "a failure to transcend the values of John Wayne," of churning out "films that exemplify the inauthenticity and self-absorption that he appears to criticize" and of using trick photography, albeit brilliantly, to "invent a nonexistent past." It has also been charged that in real life the deceitful bastard is not "the half pint of neurosis" or "rabbit in flight" or "little mouse with eyeglasses" that he portrays on the screen. On the contrary, he is a fake schlemiel. The truth is the real Woody Allen has been hanging out with the beautiful and talented Mia Farrow for the past 11 years. He is rooted in a duplex penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue that offers a 360-degree view of Manhattan through floor-to-ceiling windows. He owns four courtside seats to Knicks basketball games, tools around town in his very own Rolls-Royce, is a regular at Elaine's and the rumpled shmattes he wears are, in fact, designed by Ralph Lauren.
This is what I don't understand. If you were going to spend your life in physical battles--bar fights or boxing matches or whatever--you would almost certainly get some instruction. You might hire a coach, do a little training. At the very least, you would learn the fundamentals: how to punch, and so on. Such instruction would make sense to you.
This month, even more than usual, we feel lucky. We love meeting some of the world's most beautiful women and introducing them to you each month, but Wendy Hamilton is special. She comes from Detroit by way of the Twilight Zone. A Motown girl who liked to drive fast, Wendy nearly sped off the face of the earth three years ago. Entering the intersection of Garfield Street and Seventeen Mile Road outside Detroit, she hit another car. Wendy was thrown through the windshield. Exactly one week and 180 stitches later, at the same intersection, it happened again. "This time, I was wearing my seat belt. It kept me in the car," she says, "but I got a case of whiplash." After all that, you might expect Miss December, who spent an awkward adolescence down in Florida dreaming of becoming our playmate of the Month, to make her Playboy debut in a full-body cast. Think again, and thank your lucky stars.
Lets face it. Skiing is a sport in which men outnumber women by about three to one. And the fact that a disproportionate number of male skiers seem to resemble Norse gods doesn't help the chances of us mere mortals when it comes to meeting the opposite sex.
Everybody knows at least one guy who never gives. Well, sure, he'll write a check to the Community Chest to guard against the conspicuous omission of his name from the annual brochure that is scrutinized by his associates. The ethical purist will say that this wasn't really a gift, it was the cost of his defense against social depreciation. The economist will formulate it as, "Jones prefers the loss of one hundred dollars in cash to the loss of esteem he would forfeit if his name didn't appear on the annual roster of the Community Chest as a one-hundred-dollar donor." We know about the Scrooges. They are not numerous, but they are an unhappy breed, and that is because giving is a means of getting pleasure, not merely of dispensing it. If you don't get pleasure in life, you tend to be unhappy and, by the way, boring (find me the entertaining miser).
Isabelle pasco can seduce you with her voice. Her broken English, bathed in a heavy French accent, practically belongs on a long-distance telephone call; her expressions of delight, her suggestive giggles, her turns of phrase that evoke the exotic tastes and smells of Paris are perfectly complemented by the elusive crackle of the overseas connection. The lady's an audio postcard.
Good King Wenceslaus look'd out (So did Princess Julia); They beheld, beyond a doubt, Something most peculiar. No one clad in furs or hides, Anoraks or parkas, But a sportsman rode the tides, Absolutely sta-arkers.
David lewis' martial-arts kwoon was in a South Side Chicago neighborhood so rough he nearly had to fight to reach the door. Previously, it had been a dry cleaner's, then a small Thai restaurant, and although he Lysol-scrubbed the buckled linoleum floors and burned jade incense for the Buddha before each class, the studio was a blend of pungent odors, the smell of starched shirts and the tang of cinnamon pastries riding alongside the sharp smell of male sweat from nightly workouts. For five months, David had bivouacked on the back-room floor after his students left, not minding the clank of presses from the print shop next door, the noisy garage across the street or even the two-grand bank loan needed to renovate three rooms with low ceilings and leaky pipes overhead. This was his place, earned after ten years of training in San Francisco and his promotion to the hard-won title of sifu.
It has been a hell of a year for Joe Pesci. Since winning an Academy Award last spring for his portrayal of Tommy DeVito in "GoodFellas," he has worked on roles in "The Super," "My Cousin Vinny," "The Public Eye," "JFK," "Home Alone II" and "Lethal Weapon 3," as well as admitting irreconcilable differences with his 24-year-old third wife, Marti. Now he's really tired, he told writer Julie Bain when they met in New York. She reports: "Slumped in a chair, the 48-year-old seems even smaller than his five feet, five inches. But don't call him short. 'Watch it--your shins are in my way,' he says. 'I'll kick ya.' In some ways, he seems every bit the volatile tough guy he often portrays. Wearing black leather, he demonstrates a street-fighting technique for--literally--ripping off an opponent's nose. 'I wouldn't call myself an animal,' he says, 'but some people probably would.' On the other hand, when asked how he feels about being called cuddly, he replies, 'That doesn't bother me. I've been called a lot of things. Cuddly is not one that hurts. I don't think anything hurts anymore.'
articleby Glenn O'Brien they're back. The holidays. That magical time of year when joy and conviviality replace our business-as-usual mentality, when traditions come alive, when the human race wears a smile on its face and a heart on its sleeve. It is a special time of year, not to be taken lightly. It requires a special code of behavior. Politeness is really armor we put on for our protection, as well as for the protection of others. Here are a few ideas on how to use it to have a happy, safe, nonviolent and possibly joyous holiday.
You know the jingle, the one about the big guy, making his lists, checking them twice. You know the drill. Why, we asked, should he have all the fun? Christmas is the time of year we assess our friends and enemies to see who warrants our diving into the deep end of our credit line for gifts and who will be history. Christmas is fueled by the promise of forgiveness, compassion, reconciliation or revenge. As we extended our holiday reverie beyond the names on our Rolodex, we discovered some interesting insights into the collective conscience of America. Why is it that some figures are forgiven, others kept out in the cold? Who has recovered? Who is cast out? Who rolls past the street-corner Santas in chauffeured limousines? Who is still scrounging for bits of coal? What are we willing to forgive? What is the statute of limitations?
There are bullies pushing about, bucks ogling the women, knaves picking pockets, policemen on the lookout, quacks...bawling in front of their booths and yokels looking up at the tinseled dancers and poor old rouged tumblers, while the light-fingered folk are operating upon their pockets behind. Yes, this is Vanity Fair; not a moral place certainly; nor a merry one, though very noisy.
It has been a tough year, what with war abroad and rough economic times at home. Thankfully, though, the Sex Stars of 1991 were as busy as ever, reminding us that everything is going to turn out OK as long as we hold on to the basic virtues such as lust, love, marriage and motherhood. Sure, the Sex Stars are sometimes confused about the conventional sequence of such blessings. Even Warren Beatty, a leading elder of lust, is now ready for fatherhood but not, apparently, marriage to his Bugsy co-star, Annette Bening. Jack Nicholson and Rebecca Broussard are said to be expecting their second, and John Travolta and Kelly Preston announced their engagement, their baby-to-be and a nuptial (text continued on page 188) date, in that order.
While rap, R&B and dance music still cook on the charts, rock made a significant return this year with R.E.M., Skid Row, Van Halen and Tom Petty. Paula Abdul proved you can take a break, make Spellbound and find double-platinum success. Sound tracks from Robin Hood to New Jack City got hot at the same time Natalie Cole's jazz tribute to her dad went to number one in pop. It was a year to discover the women of rap, Candy Dulfer, the Black Crowes and Trisha Yearwood, and the year of I Want to Sex You Up. Music. It's really gonna make you sweat.
Old triple Olympic gold-medal winners never die, they just get into the sunglasses business. At least that's what happened to Jean-Claude Killy, who has created a line of eyewear "that stands up to the most extreme weather conditions and the most demanding athletics--from turbulent wind to free-fall jumping." Killy's lenses, like all of the ones featured below, provide 100 percent protection from harmful UV rays. A shock-absorbing nose piece, a rotating tip that prevents the glasses from falling or slipping, dual-action spring temples and a protective brow bar also help keep the glasses on your face when you're schussing the mountain. And all the styles pictured here look just as cool back in the lodge when you're tipping a brew.