Remembering Hugh Hefner by Kano the Playboy
Did anyone else think Hugh would live forever? Nuclear war would take the world and out rummaging for supplies is Hugh, still in his robe and slippers, with three gorgeous blondes.
Hugh Before The Hef
Hugh came from an ineffectual family, not a lot of hugging or sweetness growing up. As much as Hugh loved women, he also loved to create. He wrote editorials for the school paper as well as cartoon’s he drew himself.
Aware of the sexual hang ups of America in the 50’s, Hugh majored in Psychology and wrote a paper called “Sex Behavior & U.S. Law.” Hugh was a married man, working for a kids magazine, hating his life and wondering if this is it. Then Hugh decided, “fuck that noise!” And set out to start a men’s magazine. Borrowing money from two banks, and every family member and friend he had to create something original. Knowing that a little bit of sex goes a long way, he decided to find and publish the only nude photo of Marilyn Monroe. Initially, Hugh wanted to call the magazine “Stag Party,” but their already existed “Stag Magazine.” So going over several different names he finally landed on “Playboy” and changed the stag to a bunny.
Hugh published the first Playboy magazine with Marilyn Monroe’s nude photos and the magazine blew up!Hugh sold 52,000 copies his first go around. The next few issues were nudes of other women, purchased from a calendar company and Hugh said, “Fuck dat noise!” And started the idea of playmate of the month. The idea was, beauty is everywhere, the playmate of that month is “the girl next door.” That first playmate was Hugh’s girlfriend, literally the girl next door, down the hall or wherever dis girl be at.Hugh was a literary man, loved books, great story telling as well as controversy. The first two influential writers, who’s stories were published in Playboy were Ray Bradbury and Charles Beaumont. Ray wrote the story called “Fahrenheit 451” about a future of book burning. Charles wrote a story called “The Crooked Man;” a future in where heterosexuality was abnormal and homosexuality was normal and the persecution of the straight man. It was a look at our own society, at that time in the 50’s, how we shouldn’t discriminate against anyone.
“I wouldn’t have started Playboy, if I was afraid of controversy. Controversy is how you change things.” -Hugh Hefner
Over the years, especially early on, Playboy and Hugh were protested on, sanctioned against, advocacy groups formed opposing the magazine. Hugh didn’t care. Hugh understood the hypocrisy of these groups, to say he was dangerous for his photos and his publication of sex, when these men and women protesting them, where having sex. And after year five, Playboy had surpassed Esquire (the most popular magazine at the time) and started the biggest and most historic Jazz Festival in history, the start of the Playboy mansion parties. The Jazz festival, which lasted two days, was the start of the Playboy brand and Hugh living the life as Mr. Playboy. In October of 1959 he started the Playboy television show.A variety show filmed in a penthouse, Hugh was the host of the party and he presented beautiful women, singers and comedians. A groundbreaking idea, this guy is FULL OF EM! He loved people, it didn’t matter their race, color or creed, he loved you and we loved him.
Hugh was a pioneer, he changed the world and he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for that. He took the stick out of Americas ass, and showed us our own reflection. He’s been called dangerous for his ideas, but you will always remember him, his work and the careers he started. I would argue that he made the world a better place, and I’m going to do my part and go out to news stands and buy me the latest issue of Playboy magazine and not come outside until I have finished that issue!!
Hugh Hefner: April 9, 1926-September 27, 2017