Hugh Hefner's New 'Girl Next Door': Sarah Palin?
For Hugh Hefner, this election year has been especially diverting. After all, the presidential campaign has played right to the Playboy magazine founder’s twin passions: women and politics.
I had a chance to talk about both with Hef recently over lunch at the Playboy Mansion in Bel-Air, Calif., for an upcoming installment of Mel’s Diner. We talked about plenty of other things, of course—like his E! reality show, The Girls Next Door, and what makes the Playboy Mansion’s oatmeal cookies so weirdly delicious—and I’ll have the full report here in the coming days. For now, here’s a taste of what Hef had to say about this historic election and about political It Girl, Sarah Palin, in particular.
vice-presidential nomination of Palin are history-making, Hefner declined to declare 2008 the Year of the Woman.While he acknowledged that Sen. Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign and the
“If you make it the Year of the Woman, then the next year won’t be. I don’t think that’s right,” he said, preferring to think of it as the Year of Change (Democratic candidate Barack Obama would be pleased).
When the talk inevitably turned to Palin, Hefner, 82, couldn’t suppress his mischievous sense of humor.
“I wish Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate,” he said. “Then we’d have a real catfight.”
Joking with Kevin Burns, executive producer of The Girls Next Door (which had its fifth-season premiere Oct. 5), Hefner said he was working on getting Palin into the pages of the men’s magazine.
“We’ll have a great nude pictorial of her,” he said with a laugh.
“Hey, she was a beauty queen,” Burns added. “I think without those glasses…”
Indeed, Hefner said. “Let me tell you, once you take those glasses off, it’s every man for himself.”
UPDATE Since talking to Hefner about Palin, a little extra room seems to have opened up for a new Girl Next Door: He apparently split with his “number one” girlfriend Holly Madison. While speculation about the status of his relationships featured on Girls Next Door and other women in his life has long swirled, TMZ posted video of Madison acknowledging the breakup last night (though I cannot seem to get the video to play properly myself) as well as on a blog on her MySpace page today.
No official word yet on any bearing the news may have on the reality show, but back when I talked to Hefner and Burns they were both clear that the production is devised to go with the flow. “Although there are little contrivances and editorial gags in the show, the show is very real,” Hefner tells me. And reality for him, he says, includes a line of women that after all these years continues to form at his door.
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