Saturday, January 29, 2022

Weekend Post

There is a new documentary series on A&E called THE SECRETS OF PLAYBOY.  As you'd expect, it dishes the dirt on Hef.  Turns out he wasn't a lovable father figure after all.  Who knew?  He was manipulative and intimidating and coerced young women to bow to his every depraved wish.  It's somewhat fascinating but you need a shower when it's over.  They make reference in the documentary to a reality series he had eleven years ago called THE GIRL NEXT DOOR: BUNNY HOUSE on E!  And that reminded me that I had written a snarky review of it back in August of 2010.   So, as bonus material for those watching the documentary, I thought I would re-post it. 

But first, a couple of things:

Like I said, it's SNARKY.  That's the point.  It is designed to make you laugh by pointing out the absurdity of this show.  I don't want the woke police on me for body shaming or being judgemental, etc.  It was written eleven years ago.  No one from the future came back to give me the memo. 

Second, perhaps some of these women are not as dumb as I suggested, but that's exactly how they were presented.  That's what Hefner WANTED you to think.  Every exchange I highlight comes directly from the show itself.  But you know how documentaries work.  They film hundreds of hours and select 20 minutes.  That's enough footage to create any narrative you want.  And this is what THEY chose. 

 So here now is my review.  Enjoy.

You know me, always on the lookout for truly jaw dropping reality shows. Well, last night I came across a great one: THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR: BUNNY HOUSE on E!

You’re all invited to swing by the Playboy Mansion and meet the former Playmates who inhabit this on-site dormitory called The Bunny House. Inside you’ll find nine or ten of the dumbest female creatures ever to inhabit the earth and their far-more-intelligent little doggies. Never before has so much silicone and so little brains been assembled under one roof.

I assume this is all just part of the Mansion’s zoo, which also includes peacocks, rabbits and spider monkeys.

Here’s the level of conversation: A bunch of these airheads are in the pool. One asks the following deep philosophical question: “For a million dollars would you have a three-inch penis on your head and you can never conceal it?” The consensus: Yes. One girl said she’d just get a collection of hats thus clearly not understanding the meaning of “you can never conceal it”.

Question two: “Would you ever get a dude’s name tattooed on you?” Overwhelming majority: No! That’s obviously far more objectionable than a penis on your head.

In the searing episode last night a new girl was invited to the house for a bar-b-que. She was so nervous. I was nervous that the bunny who was grilling burgers would put her hand on the grill not comprehending the concept of “hot”.

The big moment was when Hef arrived. Picture the Crypt Keeper in a red bathrobe and sailor’s hat. He must’ve weighed less than any of the girl’s breasts. It was Popeye at 200.

Hef had a big decision to make – which two girls were going to share the master bedroom? One girl needed it because she required all the closet space for her wardrobe. They showed the closet. It’s the size of the Kennedy Center. How many thongs and short shorts must this girl have?

“How do you get invited to live in the Bunny House?” the newbie asked. Well, you have to be a Playmate (Drat! That leaves out Nancy Pelosi.). Unsaid was you must have bazooms the size of Macy’s Parade balloons and the IQ of a pencil box. The newest tenant said she wrote Hef a letter telling him she had no friends or family and nowhere really to go. How long did it take to get back to her? Six months.

Six months??? Then where the hell was she living in the meantime? My guess is Mr. Superfly’s Pimp House. Look for that show on Court TV.

For part two of this episode they all went to Vegas for the gala Playmate of the Year formal introduction. Hope (the winner) and her zany bunny friend Jade went the night before to get a good night’s sleep. Yeah, right. Jade was a baaad influence. She convinced Hope to go out, party, get shit faced, and then accompany her to a tattoo parlor to try to get her ex-boyfriend’s initials removed from her lip. His name was Brody Jenner so that’s right – she had B.J. tattooed to her lip. If I were her I would have kept it. Just as Sarah Palin (who would make a great den mother to this sorority) wrote crib notes on her hand, this way Jade could look in the mirror and always remember what her lips were for.

Poor Playmate of the Year, Hope. She had to write a speech for the big event. All she could come up with was a half page of incoherent scribbling on a crumpled sheet of legal paper. She must’ve been working on it for a month. Thankfully her best friend Jade came to her rescue, telling her to just speak from the heart then ripping up the speech and eating (yes eating) it.

The big show the next night was a huge hit you’ll be relieved to hear. Hef, now in clothes (looking like a well-dressed camp survivor) beamed as Hope vowed to make him proud. That means what? Do anything short of having John Edwards’ baby?

Miss Fresh Meat and her little yapping mutt were invited to move into the Bunny House and all was right with the world.

But wait!

We see Hef in bed (with his little pooch) and he’s still not sure just who should occupy the master bedroom. Uh oh! Hellzapoppin’ next week! Talk about a cliffhanger! Expect things to turn really ugly as these girls gouge each others eyes out for that extra closet space.

THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR: BUNNY HOUSE – just like a three-inch penis on your head; it’s useless but you just can’t take your eyes off of it.


Malcolm Burns said...

Wow, how did Hef pull of building a mansion that did'nt have any exit doors for these women to leave thru and perhaps walk down the street and call a cab or a friend to pick them up. It also amazes me how these stories come out when all other revenue streams have dried up.

Paul Gottlieb said...

Hugh Hefner's reputation as a dirty old man and an exploiter of young women is well established, and I have nothing to add on that subject. But when I was in my early 20's I worked for a short time at Playboy as a computer programmer. This was in 19666, during a period of explosive growth for the organization. I don't think I ever worked in another organization where so many important decision making jobs on the administrative side were held by women. Hef may have been a sexist pig in is interaction with nubile young girls, but he was also a pioneer in offering real executive careers to women

maxdebryn said...

I had never heard of this one until reading your blog this morning, Ken. A & E went off the rails when they stopped airing endless reruns of LAW & ORDER. I do recall watching a few minutes of the 2008 "comedy" called THE HOUSE BUNNY. Hefner was in that, too.

ventucky said...

Had a friend who was in one of the offshoot Playboy mags. She was getting groomed for the flagship magazine by the understaffs, being hyped as the next new Playmate. Because she had a child, Her nixed the idea. He does not allow anyone who has had a child in the main Playboy. She did make it in the other magazines. She was no airhead either, has a masters degree.

DBenson said...

I remember catching a few of these. It was made very clear that the girls were accorded the honor of sleeping with Hef, and they were SO happy to be in the rotation. In one episode one of the girls gave her visiting folks a tour. They were impressed and very, very proud. Through it all, the show dispensed with the old smirking naughtiness and insisted this was all wholesome and practically Disneyesque. It was the real American dream, for aging Mad Men and wannabes.

I recall a long article about the then-new Playboy cable channel, and how they were positioning the brand for prestige and mainstream success. There was discussion of challenges of building viewership. The last sentence in the article tossed off the statistic that the average viewer tuned in for five minutes.

At some point Donald Trump usurped Hefner's old brand image, selling an updated fantasy of flashy luxury and trophy babes plus a new ingredient: extravagant claims of economic, social, and eventually political power long before he actually had them.

A shame "The Love God" never got a sequel or reboot. It was a lame Universal programmer, but Don Knotts as a mock Hefner was genius. And in later years, Knotts and Hefner looked more and more alike.

Pat Reeder said...

I believe there's a misspelled word in this post. You wrote "bar-b-que" when I think you meant "Barbie-Q." The "Q" stands for half of an IQ.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

Leaving Hefner's personal behavior aside, which I'm not ready to take on until I know more credible facts, he made female sexuality a socially acceptable thing, and partnered it with real journalism. At least we gotta give him that.

James said...

It seems like in the 1960s, Playboy was sophisticated and identified with fine living and the better things in life. James Bond had a key card (Diamonds Are Forever). Then by the late 70s it went Disco, leisure suits, gold chains and lounge lizard, and never recovered. By the time I was old enough to legally buy it, you had to hide it because women would think you were a pig and men would wonder why you weren't reading Penthouse instead.

D. McEwan said...

"Malcolm Burns said...
Wow, how did Hef pull of building a mansion that did'nt have any exit doors for these women to leave thru and perhaps walk down the street and call a cab or a friend to pick them up. It also amazes me how these stories come out when all other revenue streams have dried up."

It had exits, and guards to keep outsiders out and the girls in. And, as EVERY ROOM, INCLUDING ALL BEDROOMS, IN THE MANSION HAD CAMERAS AND HEF WAS TAPING EVERYTHING, he had a huge blackmail bank. The girls, as they say on the documentary, were terrified of Hef's use of revenge porn. The guests could leave when they wanted; the girls could not.

The girls tended to be runaways with Daddy and Self-Esteem issues, and Hef weaponized those psychological aspects of them against them. Just like Manson, whom we learn Hef was obsessed with, especially by Manson's methods for controlling women. You're not supposed to take Charles Manson for a fucking role model!

" Paul Gottlieb said...
Hef may have been a sexist pig in is interaction with nubile young girls, but he was also a pioneer in offering real executive careers to women.

OK, then all the statutory rape, and the rape by intimidation, and the rape through psychological manipulation, and the rape by force, is OK then! He also hired women he didn't screw to run the business.

I was fascinated and deeply appalled by the first two episodes of the documentary. I posted about it on my Facebook page and it's launched a fascinating long string of discussion. I have one Hef defender, someone who often posts here as well, who was many times in the mansion and asserts it's all lies because Holly is, he assumes, broke (He had nothing to say about the four or five other women on hte first two episodes), but that he knows it's a hack job because he personally never saw any of it. He believes that the face Hef showed him was Hef's only face. Hey, I met Bill Cosby a few times and he never raped anyone in front of me. He must be innocent!

And there's a woman commenting whom I've known for over 40 years. She wrote, "My roommate had been the manager of the Mansion and took me there. It was an anthropological investigative event for me. She had told me plenty about her days there and I witnessed the butler with the silver tray passing out drugs, and Hefner pairing up the girls with his pals.

I talked to housekeepers who described their disgust at what they were required to clean up. As undocumented immigrants, they had little choice. And I witnessed Hollywood luminaries passed out in their own vomit in the poolroom, in the Grotto etc.

I saw plenty. I saw the girls being driven back from massive surgery, tossed in the back of a station wagon like sacks of groceries to recover at the Mansion.

My roommate told me stomach churning stories of abuse, depravity and exploitation. She had left Hefner’s employ and was working for me in entertainment business management. A domestic violence victim , she came to live with me and told me more than I could bear about the Mansion.

So any who assert that this is all the bitter revenge of a girl or two is a liar, an uninformed fool, or one in deep denial. I have seen many dark sides of life in my professional career since I left LA but I am still full of rage and horror at what I learned and witnessed at Holmby Hills. I am certain that there are many who have stories to tell but don’t for fear of retribution from the rich and powerful men who used them as toys then trash. Dominate, degrade, and discard is a thing all over the world. But the DDD at Hef’s was its own circle of Hell."

My friend defending Hef dismissed all this as a "Second-hand account,: ignoring that much if it is FIRST-hand accounting.

Brian Phillips said...

What kind of documentary would it have been if the students from "The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T" showed up in THEIR hats?