Playboy Enterprises Inc is reportedly exploring a sale, a move that comes soon after the iconic magazine publisher ditched nude photos and launched a revamp for the digital age.
The assets of the company include the sprawling Playboy mansion in Los Angeles and the rights to one of the world’s best-known brands: Playboy.
As the magazine is put on the selling block, here’s a look at five things we bet you didn’t know about Playboy.
PG Wodehouse wrote for Playboy, so did Arthur C Clarke
Forget the long-running joke, subscribe to Playboy for its articles. The magazine has a long history of publishing short stories by notable authors like Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame), Vladimir Nabokov (of Lolita fame), PG Wodehouse, Arthur C Clarke. The monthly interview section of Playboy has been as much talked about as its nude covers. From Martin Luther King Jr, to Jimmy Carter to Steve Jobs - this section has featured the who’s who.
Playboy in Braille
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) has published a Braille edition of Playboy since 1970. The Braille version includes all the written words in the non-Braille magazine, but no pictorial representations. The US Congress cut off funding for the Braille magazine translation in 1985, but the district court judge Thomas Hogan reversed the decision on First Amendment grounds.
Hefner was against dropping cartoons but not nudity
Playboy announced in 2015 that from their March 2016 edition they will not publish any full frontal nudity since it had lost its sensational relevance in a world of free online pornography. The other changes in the magazine include ending the popular jokes and cartoon sections. Reportedly, founder Hugh Hefner, a former cartoonist, resisted dropping off the cartoon section more than the nudity section, but finally obliged.
Hefner and his Playmates
From 1955 to 1979 (except for a six-month gap in 1976), the “P” in Playboy had stars printed in or around the letter, and with this began the stories about Hefner and the Playmate of the month. Rumours had it that the stars were either a rating that Hefner gave to the Playmate according to how attractive she was, the number of times that Hefner had slept with her, or how good she was in bed. The stars, between zero and 12, actually indicated the domestic or international advertising region for that printing.
Playboy’s first issue was undated
Hefner was so unsure of Playboy’s prospects that its first issue in December 1953 was kept undated. Hefner did not know if there would be a second edition. Featuring Marilyn Monroe on its cover and a nude photo of hers in the centerfold, the magazine was a runaway success. In fact, Marilyn’s nude was an unpublished photo taken for a calendar but not for Playboy that is famous for its photoshoots..