Our cover this month is the perfect setting for a picture of Charlize Theron, taken during her days as a model. Born in South Africa, she is a diamond import in a gem of an issue. As hit girl Helga, she blew away critics in Two Days in the Valley. Then she drove us bananas in Celebrity. Now we have photos of the leggy wonder that never made it into her portfolio. It's a timely debut for her fans in our home office--she just landed the lead in Chicago.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478). May 1999. Volume 46. Number 6. Published Monthly By Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: U.S. $29.97 For 12 Issues 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: 730 Fifth Avenue: New York 10019 (212-261-5000): Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611 (312-751-8000): West Coast: Sd Media. 2001 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 200. Santa Monica Ca 90403 (310-264-7576); Southeast: Coleman & Bentz, Inc. 4651 Roswell Road Ne, Atlanta. Ga 30342 (404-266-3800); Boston Northeast Media Sales & Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Boston 02109 (617-973-5050). For Subscription Inquiries. Call 800-999-4438.
Ed TV (Universal) sounds like a retread of The Truman Show. But, thanks to the ingenuity of screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (who reworked a French film called Louis XIX: King of the Airwaves) and the sure hand of director Ron Howard, the film stays on target. Matthew McConaughey plays a guy who's never quite gotten his act together--no surprise, considering his lay about family, including a braggart of a brother (Woody Harrelson), a flaky if well-meaning mother (Sally Kirkland) and an indigent stepfather (Martin Landau). When an ambitious TV producer (Ellen DeGeneres) proposes to her boss (Rob Reiner) that they boost their cable network's ratings by putting an ordinary guy on television 24 hours a day, McConaughey is chosen, and learns that the fun of being in the spotlight wears thin pretty fast. Jenna Elfman plays his brother's girlfriend who secretly carries a torch for him. This fine ensemble gives weight to a clever script that wavers between satire and cinema verité--that is to say, it seems frighteningly real. How long before a real cable network tries this stunt?[rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
Jay Mohr seems much too level-headed to be a stand-up comic or an actor, but he is both. Since his noteworthy performance as Tom Cruise's rival in Jerry Maguire, he's been busy in such films as Suicide Kings, Small Soldiers, Picture Perfect, 200 Cigarettes, Playing by Heart, Paulie and Go. But he still loves doing comedy and in fact had performed in Boston the night before we spoke in New York.
"One of my favorite films is Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come, the story of the rude boy who brought reggae music to the world," says Beau Bridges. "I love High Noon, one of my dad's first films. I also love Starman, an excellent film that my brother, Jeff, was in. Of my films, I like Norma Rae and The Landlord best. I love to make people laugh and I love to laugh myself, so comedies are my favorite genre. Some Like It Hot is one I enjoy. The Mouse That Roared makes me laugh every time."
If the post-March Madness melodrama has you hungry for more college hoops, fire up NCAA Final Four 99. This PlayStation champ features more than 250 Division 1 teams, complete with home and away jerseys and realistic arenas. Up to eight players can run a variety of offensive and defensive strategies, including zone, 1-3-1 zone, box set and full-court press. Think you have a sweet shot? Put your fingers to the test with the new "touch-shooting" feature, which allows you to time your release and improve your chances of making a bucket. (From 989 Sports.)
Can't get enough of radio host Art Bell's UFO, cropcircle and government-conspiracy ramblings? With a new service called Command Audio, you can get your Bell fix--and then some. The $15-per-month service delivers the audio portion of more than 100 TV and radio programs and recorded print features to RCA's CA-1000 wireless receiver ($200, pictured here), allowing you to listen to news, weather and talk shows when you want and where you want. The CA-1000 (similar in size to a remote control) has up to six hours of onboard memory and plays back programming through speakers, headphones or your car radio. Set to debut this summer in Denver and Phoenix, Command Audio and the CA-1000 will be available in eight additional markets by the end of 1999, followed by a nationwide rollout in 2000. Another smart product from RCA is the RC930 Wireless Modem Jack, a $ 100 gadget that lets you turn any electrical outlet into a phone jack. Designed to accommodate cable modem speeds up to 57.6K, the RC930 is also compatible with telephones, faxes and digital satellite systems. You can buy a slew of add-on extensions ($60 each) and save yourself the cost and hassle of hiring the phone company to install individual jacks.
It is hard to believe folks once flung pie tins, cookie-can covers and ice-cream lids for fun. Happily, one genius thought to patent a piece of plastic. Master World Frisbee champion Victor Malafronte chronicles his sport's history (beginning in ancient Greece) in The Complete Book of Frisbee (Lyons Press), which also offers the first official price guide for collectors. Enthusiasm for these flying disks is catching--even with the dog.
The Marquis de Sade has held center stage in the erotic imagination for centuries. Compared to him, Don Juan was just a guy who got lucky. Casanova, Frank Harris and Wilt Chamberlain can claim quantity, but none of them shaped (or warped) the sexual imagination as did the marquis. Neil Schaeffer's The Marquis de Sade: A life (Knopf) explores his romantic side. For those who prefer exploring the dark side, two new volumes from Birch Lane Press will guide you through the dungeons. Claudia Varrin, a professional dominatrix (in public) and a slave (in private), presents them both fairly. The Art of Sensual Female Dominance is filled with tasty little scenarios, including Director's Chair Bondage and Easy Cock and Ball Torture. Give it as a gift to empower your girlfriend. At the other end of the whip, Varrin offers Erotic Surrender: The Sensual Joys of Female Submission, a collection of tricks for the masochist in her.
The market for humor books has become laughably small, which is a shame, because there's a special delight in laughing out loud when you're alone with a book. In his latest novel, Little Green Men (Random House), Christopher Buckley takes another leap forward in establishing himself as the finest comic novelist working today. John O. Banion is Washington's most powerful media smoothy, a smug political talk-show host who can bring the president of the U.S. to his knees. Nathan Scrubbs is a disenchanted bureaucrat, weary of his job at a supersecret government agency that stages UFO abductions to keep military spending levels up. In a moment of pique one drunken Sunday morning, Scrubbs orders the works for Banion--daytime abduction with anal probe--sending millions of UFO believers to the nation's capital, with Banion as their messiah. Not only is Buckley sidesplittingly funny, he's also a deft storyteller and brilliant stylist who can blend a perfect measure of suspense into farce. A former speechwriter for George Bush, Buckley is at his best when he's wry and dry, portraying Washington as a place where anything is believable but no one is to be believed. If Bush had given Buckley free rein to write his speeches, he could have laughed his way to reelection. Getting elected president is the premise of Al Franken's Why Not Me? The Inside Story of the Making and Unmaking of the Franken Presidency (Delacorte). Franken, who cut his teeth writing lines for Saturday Night Live and now for Lateline, has a tough act to follow--himself. His last book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot, was good political satire that landed some well-aimed boulders in the path of the conservative right. Now, Franken writes strictly for laughs, which is too bad, because the book becomes almost a one-dimensional effort, and Franken has proved himself to be deeper and capable of better things. Nonetheless there are plenty of laughs to be had in this dear-diary account of Franken's imaginary run for the presidency in the year 2000. He campaigns on the single issue of eliminating service charges at automated teller machines, which strikes a chord with the electorate and paints Al Gore into a corner as the banking industry's best pal. Franken demonstrates a great take on the shallowness of the political process, starting with his deliberately lame version of the requisite candidate's autobiography. Especially good are the transcripts of TV programs in which pundits analyze Franken's political rise (and Al Gore's fall), and the Bob Woodward parody of President Franken's first (and last) 100 days in office.
I'm no spring chicken, but you should see my older brother. He was born in Verona, about 250 miles north of Rome, in 84 B.C. That was 2083 years ago, by the way, so I never got to know him personally. He disappeared from history about 54 B.C., when he was in his early 30s. Julius Caesar was in power then, and I think old Julius might have had a hand in my brother's disappearance. After all, Julius was the butt of some of my brother's toughest humor, and Julius never could take a joke.
Homegrown anti-alcohol activists have been campaigning to ban the advertising of alcoholic beverages during telecasts of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. They are also upset that the U.S. and Salt Lake Olympic Committees have sold Budweiser the right to be the Games' "official beer" for a $50 million fee.
In 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt formed a commission to study how to contain the international opium trade. He appointed Dr. Hamilton Wright, son-in-law of a powerful Republican senator, as one of its members. The doctor made the opium problem a personal crusade. He toured the U.S. and reported back that he had encountered "numberless" opium addicts. More reliable estimates at the time fixed the number at about 250,000, in a population of 76 million. Many were dependent on the opiates in patent medicines. Nevertheless, Dr. Wright primed Congress for action against the scourge of drugs. He made claims such as "Cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the Negroes" and "One of the most unfortunate phases of the habit of smoking opium in this country is the large number of women who are living as common-law wives or cohabiting with Chinese."
Perhaps the greatest irony of the national debate over who should go to prison for lying has gone largely unreported: Even while President Bill Clinton fought for his reputation and job, his administration aggressively argued that Americans who make even the most offhand false comments to practically any government worker deserve harsh punishment.
David Spade is driving through Beverly Hills, sitting high above the traffic in his Toyota Land Cruiser, heading for his favorite sushi bar. As he slows for a yellow light, a Mercedes darts in front of him to take first position in the lane. Spade immediately jabs the horn.
Beware. It takes a little patience and a lot of time to get to Sausage Tree Camp in Chifungulu, Zambia, on the continent of Africa: Chicago to New York to Johannesburg to Lusaka, Zambia. The airports and airplanes get smaller on each leg of the trip, until we reach Jeki Airstrip, where a pilot named Lucky has to buzz a stubborn zebra off the red-dirt field before he can land our Cessna. After that, there's still an hour's drive in a Land Rover--a real Land Rover; the brush guard and fog lights actually serve a purpose--to reach the camp.
It wasn't until I returned to Moscow in January--after six long weeks in New York City--that I noticed the new and dramatic symptoms of the Russian financial crisis. I flew in on a Saturday afternoon on a flight that normally would have been packed with foreigners and Russians returning from the holidays. Instead, my Delta flight, which cost half what it did a year ago, was so empty I was able to stretch out in the middle three seats.
"The Onion" will make you cry--with laughter. A growing legion of fans have become addicted to the painfully funny headlines and articles that appear in "America's finest news source" and premiere humor weekly. Now, Crown has published "Out Dumb Century," a compendium of historic "Onion" front pages that, before this year, never existed. While preparing their books, the editors of "The Onion" agreed to share of their coverage of PLAYBOY from the past 45 years.
Joshua Redman has the best underwear in jazz. He was recently quoted as saying that he had just picked up three pairs of black Calvin Klein boxers but should have bought 20. On his 30th birthday his manager presented him with 17 more pairs. Redman deserves that and more. Thanks to eight great CDs, he is the most popular jazzman since Wynton Marsalis. "If you're open to what's around you," he says, "your music will be relevant." His latest CD, Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), knocks down barriers between different types of music--Gershwin and Dylan, say. He can make any song his own. It's the same with clothes. "I choose clothes to express myself, but music is my main interest," he says. "Jazz is modern, current and also classical. That's my taste in clothing--modern, casual and elegant." Catch him when he headlines the Playboy Jazz Fest on June 2.
Ask any fan--diehard or casual, Dominican or Canadian--and he'll tell you: Baseball is back. Thanks to the supra-Ruthian feats of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, hardball has regained a place in our hearts. Of course, the Yankees helped too. After starting out 1-4, the Bronx Bombers went on to win 114 regular-season games en route to their 24th World Series title. Some will say the 1998 Yankees were the greatest team ever to play the game.
As Tishara Lee Cousino strides through the Terrazza, a snazzy ristorante in Caesars Palace, heads turn as fast as oranges on a slot machine. Only she doesn't get it. "I see so many pretty girls in Las Vegas." protests the Vegas native, as if to say. What's one more? "It's just like Los Angeles--they're everywhere." And if not in the flesh, then on the billboards that feature gigantic, nearly nude showgirls. A year ago, Tishara was a secretary with a lifetime of dance classes behind her. Then came a providential trip to Los Angeles and the Playboy photo studios, and, ever since, the leggy beauty has been modeling and pursuing studies in alternative medicine. With two canine roomies--a sheltie, Orion, and a collie, Goldie-- she recently moved from her mother's house into her own apartment. Miss May attends several dance classes every week but says she has given up on an early dream to become a dancer in Splash, the Riviera Hotel's long-running topless dance revue, a show she first saw when she was 17.
I'm not sure what brought me to the window at that particular time on that particular time on that particular evening. On a cool October dusk, I wandered to the living room window of my big old Maine farmhouse and looked out to the field that led down to the Morneau River. There, by a line of trees, was a group of men.
Audi's advantage: The Audi TT coupe pictured on this page was first shown as a concept vehicle at the German Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1995. One look told you it was one of those droolmobiles that automakers tease the public with and never get around to manufacturing. Surprise! The TT coupe is beginning to appear in showrooms now and Audi says the original design hasn't been watered down with decorator touches, wood trim and luxury car stuffing. The "forgotten pleasure of functional honesty" is Audi's selling point, and the judicious use of aluminum, leather and stainless steel exemplifies it. While most cars try to hide the fuel-filler cap, the TT surrounds it with a brushed-aluminum ring. It's like Bauhaus architecture on wheels.
A Phi Beta Kappa French major from the University of Kentucky and one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood today, Ashley Judd has emerged with a wallop from the shadows of her country musk superstar mother (Naomi) and older sister (Wynonna). Judd's parents divorced when she was young, and she divided her time between them--attending a dozen schools in 13 years.
After Kenneth Starr, the man most responsible for the impeachment of President Clinton was House majority whip Tom DeLay, a Texan best known for campaign fund-raising techniques that smack of extortion and political judgments based exclusively on radical rightwing passions.
If you spend less, you won't necessarily get less. The tech toys featured on these pages are loaded with bells and whistles, yet you won't need to take out a second mortgage to buy them. In fact, we picked this electronic gear for the home and road specifically because it makes real-world sense. The items are smart, have the ability to make the good life great now and are priced within most men's means. And while you're lusting over that $25,000 high-definition plasma TV that hangs on the wall, remember: Today's budget buster is often tomorrow's bargain. Patience.
Hoping for a Little Adventure Annie and her Pal Ralphie Take an Outward Bound Whitewater Rafting Trip Down Idaho;s Scenic Snake River. Annie, Always The Naturalist, Wants to see Local Wildlife and The Pristine Beauty of the Great Outdoors up close of Course Most of the Wildlife is in the Raft to see Annie up Close...
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment that is shown on pages 32, 41-42, 92-93, 125-127 and 179, check the listing's below to find the stores nearest you.