Monday, June 20, 2011

Vintage Playboy Was So Good

Arthur Paul

"At the time, they wanted to make an elaborate Cinemascope musical comedy based on the Dewey decimal system, and they wanted me to punch it up... I had written a TV show called Surprise Divorce.  We used to take a happily married couple out of the audience and divorce them on television.  Anyhow, I got the job."  -Woody Allen, My War With The Machines

"PLAYBOY:  Haven't both of these segregationist societies been implicated in connection with plots against your life?
KING:  It's difficult to trace the authorship of these death threats.  I seldom go through a day without one."  -interview with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The contemplative immobility of my two pupils, the different poses in which they froze like frescoes at the end of this room or that, the obliging way they turned on the lights the moment I backed into the dark dining room---all this must be a perceptional illusion---disjointed impressions to which I have imparted significance and permanence, and, for that matter, just as arbitrary as the raised knee of a politician stopped by the camera not in the act of dancing a jig but merely in that of crossing a puddle."  -Vladimir Nabokov, The Eye

"He had no difficulty in recognizing her.  Her name was Mabel Murgatroyd, and they had met some months previously in a water barrel in somebody's garden on the occasion when the police had raided the gambling club they were attending and it had been necessary to seek whatever shelter the neighborhood could provide."  -P.G. Wodehouse, Bingo Bans The Bomb

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein

Additional work by Jean Paul Getty, Ray Bradbury, Harold Pinter, Jack Kerouac, and Arthur C. Clarke.

Oh and nude women.

All this in Playboy, January 1965.

Is there a magazine, any magazine, that does work like this, even if "this" is terribly flawed in contemporary context?  I can't think of anyone that can even come close to publishing work of this caliber.  Maybe it's because I'm "in the moment" and the magazines seem so normal to me, but in 40 years they'll seem like they were amazing.

1 comment:

  1. I love telling folks that Shel Silverstein got his start at Playboy.