12 Things You Didn't Know About Playboy
Since the issue's first publication in 1953, Playboy has spread throughout the world, leaving behind a devastating wake of mansions. Once a dirty glossy for teens and secretive dads, the magazine has become an established institution that all erotic publications aspire to emulate. With more than 60 years of content under Playboy's bunny-shaped umbrella, it's safe to say they're not going anywhere soon—even though we're all just reading it for the articles.
Because of our affinity with Hugh Hefner, good journalism, and solid set of good ol' fashioned boobies, we went on a K-hole to dig up some information on one of America's top-selling men's magazine.
1. Hef's mom started the empire.
The next time you see a gorgeous spread of your favorite Playmate in the buff, remember the name Grace Caroline Hefner. Hef's 58-year-old mom gave Hugh a loan of $1,000 to help finance the launch of the magazine in 1953. By today's standards, that's over $8,000. WTF has your mom ever done for you?
2. It was almost titled "Stag Party."
Other possible names for the magazine included: "Top Hat," "Gentleman," "Sir'," "Satyr," "Pan" and "Bachelor." The publisher of an another men's magazine, Stag, threatened to sue Hefner if he went along with the name, so he settled on Playboy.
3. The first issue was a wild success.
Despite the fact the first issue dropped during a time where America wasn't exactly inclined to talk about sex, the inaugural mag sold over 57,000 issues in a few weeks. It featured a specifically non-nude Marilyn Manroe, cost only 50 cents, and contained a story by Ray Bradbury entitled Fahrenheit 451—you've probably heard of it.
4. The bunny mascot was strategically chosen for its sexiness.
As explained in his 1967 interview with LOOK Magazine, Hef explains, "The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning; and I chose it because it's a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping—sexy. First it smells you then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like caressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking."
5. Shel Silverstein penned numerous comics for Playboy.
At this point, everyone knows the magazine employed some of the most iconic writers out there: P.G. Wodehouse, Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov, Saul Bellow—but they also had dirty comics by none other than beloved cartoonist and poet, Shel Silverstein. Ouch, right in the childhood.
6. The first interview didn't happen until 10 years after the first issue came out.
Miles Davis was the very first “Playboy Interview,” in the September 1962 issue—a bold move back in the 1960s. Other notable early celebrity interviews include Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Stanley Kubrick, Steve Jobs, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono.
7. Playboy is banned in China.
Obviously, one could surmise on their own that Playboy is looked down upon in the more conservative countries: Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and most Muslim countries. While you can't pick up the magazine in China, it's fully legal close by in Hong Kong.
8. The November 1972 issue has one of the most famous cover photos in the world.
A photo of Lena Söderberg has been used as the standard test in image processing since 1973 and still continues to appear in scientific journals throughout the world. The popularity is often attributed to the photo's detail, flat regions, shading, and texture. The issue itself sold over seven million copies when it came out.
9. Even Marge posed.
The issue came out in 2009 to celebrate The Simpsons' 20th anniversary. It featured Marge in sexy poses along with an interview entitled "The Devil in Marge Simpson." Looking back, it was kind of a weird move on their part.
10. Pamela Anderson has appeared on the cover more than anyone else.
Pam's first Playboy adventure happened in 1989 and she has appeared 13 times since then—most than anyone else in history, with her last cover in 2011 at the age of 44.
11. There's a braille edition!
Hef cares about the blind and started putting out braille versions of the magazine in 1970. You can actually view the February 1992 edition online—which is kind of ironic when you really think about it.
12. Hugh Hefner is still Editor-in-Chief to this day.
He actually holds the record as the longest Editor-in-Chief of a magazine with over 60 years in command. Well done, Hef.