back to article Playboy founder and dressing-gown wearer Hugh Hefner dead at 91

As all unabashed masturbators love to point out, pornography has historically driven technological uptake. But before the internet, Playboy was the most famous source in the world. Yesterday its founder, Hugh Hefner, died peacefully at home of natural causes, aged 91. The godfather of the wank mag was born in Chicago in 1926 …

  1. Alister Silver badge

    I wonder if all the models will attend the funeral in bunny-girl costume?

    1. Triggerfish

      Well its been done with pole dancers

      https://nextshark.com/50-pole-dancers-perform-sexy-dance-atop-jeeps-for-a-special-funeral-in-taiwan-tung-hsiang/

    2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Black bunny ears for the funeral.

      // I have fond memories of my first Playboy

      // ...I read it for the articles...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        // ...I read it for the articles...

        It used to be no one would believe that, but these days that's really the ONLY reason anyone buys it. As far as porn goes it's just too tame for most people's taste these days. Even skinamax softcore is harder than Playboy. It just doesn't compete when you've got access to the likes of Pornhub.

        Anon because even though I know damn near everyone watches porn my religious upbringing still tells me I should be ashamed of it and I just can't seem to get past that particular hangup.

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        // ...I read it for the articles...

        I remember back in the mid 90s someone posted an article on alt.sysadmin.recovery with output from ps that included "lynx www.playboy.com", along with the comment "I guess some people *do* read it for the articles".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I've got various Adblock filter rules along the lines of

          |https://regmedia.co.uk/*?x=648&y=429&crop=1

          as I only go to TheRegister for the articles!

          1. John Sanders
            Flame

            Large images...

            Same here... I have no idea what is it with the fascination for very large images on websites that people visit to read information.

            Also most of the images are of the stupid stock variety, I would almost prefer crappy 4chan memes.

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      " I wonder if all the models will attend the funeral in bunny-girl costume?"

      No, but they probably will all be wearing some black underwear.

      It's what he would have wanted.

      Still, y'know, 91. Not bad.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Did you know...

      Just like how Playboy had its "bunny girls", its would-be female counterpart, Playgirl, had their own gender-swapped version!

      (Link is definitely SFW).

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    R.I.P. Hugh

    I spent my fair share of money on his mags, and I am still of the opinion that Playboy has the classiest style of pictures - although class is going out of style in that particular market.

    See you on the other side, Hugh !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: R.I.P. Hugh

      The most airbrushed style of pictures.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I guess he was finally spent. But I heard that he managed to give his wife another pearl necklace before his sad passing, and hopefully she'll be satisfied with the transfer of liquid assets.

    RIP.

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    The next issue of Playboy may actually be bought for the articles.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Ah well...

    there goes the competition.

  6. WonkoTheSane
    Trollface

    I guess he's going to Miss October...

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Genius! Sheer genius.

      1. WonkoTheSane

        Sadly, not mine. I saw it on Twitter this morning.

        In other news, who is Stan Lee going to be mistaken for in the next Avengers movie, now that Hef is gone?

  7. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Imagine there's no...

    and John Lennon, who spoke to Playboy in 1980, not long before he was murdered.

    Phew, that's a relief. I was a bit worried John might have spoken to them not long after.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Imagine there's no...

      Naah that was in the Spectator thanks to Madame Athena...

  8. ukgnome Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Fairwell Heff

    I never quite got what you did - creepy old dude surrounded by breasts, but breasts dammit breasts.

    Paris because obvs------->

    1. TRT Silver badge

      "I never quite got what you did"

      He was a pussy magnate.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why did he ware that stupid yachting hat cocked at a jaunty angle ?

    I wonder if it might have something to do with the amount of seamen visiting the Hefner Mansion.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      I like to think...

      I like to think it was solely to piss off the Scientologists.

  10. TRT Silver badge

    "natural causes"

    Naturally.

  11. 0laf Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Poor bunnies

    I would like volunteer my house as a rehoming centre for these now poor owner-less bunnies.

    I'm generous like that.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    I had a panic at one article

    Heff had died, I thought it was Hoff

    I panicked was Michael Knight dead?

    Phew he isn't

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I had a panic at one article

      One was the Knightrider. The other, just a night rider.

  13. Nick London
    Happy

    Playboy was Part of My Education

    I was a teen in the 60's and had an uncle who subscribed.

    It was the height of the good writing and the campaigning for social change in US. Also the cartonns and the pictures but never really was that excited by the photographs.

    Later it became tacky and sleazy. So sleazy hat one Donald J Trump appeared on a couple of soft-core videos though apparently not with his trousers down! http://edition.cnn.com/videos/cnnmoney/2016/10/05/donald-trump-playboy-video-cnnmoney.cnnmoney

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how many people have shed a tear from one eye.

  15. Salestard

    I'll give him his dues

    I watched a couple of the reality fly-on-wall programme about the Bunnies/Mansion that was running on MTV or whatever for a while.

    For research porpoises, of course.

    My initial estimation of old Hughie as a filthy old perv was completely shattered - the guy was zen blackbelt in selective deafness; Plastic knockers or not, he had four of possibly the dimmest, shallowest, most irritating idiots tottering about his gaff, with endless inflection, nasal whine, and all accompanied by a limitless supply of little yippy dogs.

    Yet ol' Heff just breezed in, dressing gown and yacht hat. Oblivious to the cacophony, smiled serenely, selected his wife for the night, and vacated the room without murder-death-killing any of them.

    Peerless.

    Meanwhile, back in Blighty, we had the Marquess of Bath.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll give him his dues

      Meanwhile, back in Blighty, we had the Marquess of Bath.

      We also had Miss Whiplash, aka Lindi St Clair who once rather entertainingly called Inland Revenue "Her Majesty's pimps" when they wanted to tax her earnings despite declaring them as immoral, and who at some point ran the Corrective Party (I think, or she was at least deeply involved with them) which actually had a fairly progressive agenda.

      She entertained in more ways than one, but especially because she enjoyed upsetting the hypocritical high and mighty at Whitehall who damn well knew that she had many clients amongst them, and she wasn't exactly shy (but, to this day, still utterly discreet). Great entertainment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll give him his dues

        "[...] Miss Whiplash, aka Lindi St Clair [...]"

        The Establishment were always involved in that side of things at all levels. Sent up nicely in the book and TV adaptation of Tom Sharpe's "Blott on the Landscape".

        Cynthia Payne, aka as "Madam Cyn", dispensed tea & sympathy from her suburban house and was taken to heart by the British public. Julie Walters starred in the subsequent biographical film "Personal Services". Emily Lloyd had an early starring role in "Wish You Were Here" based on Cynthia's teenage years.

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: I'll give him his dues

          Following on from Miss Whiplash and Madame Cyn we now have Natalie Rowe, a former (allegedly) close personal friend of Gideon "George" Osborne.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'll give him his dues

          Sent up nicely in the book and TV adaptation of Tom Sharpe's "Blott on the Landscape".

          Let's be fair, the late Tom Sharpe was always enjoyably good at sending up the Establishment and the British way of doing things, from The Throwback to the whole Wilt series (although I admittedly liked the first 3 of those more than the rest).

          Those books ought to be mandatory literature for anyone learning English as a (very) foreign language :).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'll give him his dues

            "[...] and the British way of doing things [...]"

            His first two novels were based on his time in South Africa as an academic lecturer before he was deported for his political views. Both "Riotous Assembly" and "Indecent Exposure" are considered enjoyably OTT satire by British readers. Anyone who lived in South Africa at that time could tell you they were uncomfortably close to real life.

            What was interesting was that both those novels were on sale in the equivalent of W.H.Smith bookshops - even in the most conservative of apartheid cities. It may have been that the censors didn't have a good grasp of English - although the lurid covers were the sort of provocation that got Amateur Photographer magazines' front pages censored.

            The current UK and USA situations remind me horribly of the "democratic" police state hypocrisy of that time and place.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll give him his dues

      "[...] the guy was zen blackbelt in selective deafness [...]"

      Apparently he suffered from severe clinical deafness. It is a relatively uncommon side effect of the amounts of viagra he consumed regularly.

  16. Andytug
    Joke

    How long before...

    ...hordes of blokes start alleging that he made them touch themselves in the 70's and 80's.......?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See what you did there "jazz mag", obvious typo

    See what you did there "jazz mag", obvious typo :)

    1. Little Mouse

      Re: See what you did there "jazz mag", obvious typo

      @AC

      Sorry, they really have been known as "jazz mags" (in Blighty at least) for some time now.

      I think I first came across <cough!> the term in Viz in the early nineties - e.g. typical headline: "We've found Hitler's horny Jazz Mags", etc.

  18. Chris G Silver badge

    Limited access

    I worked on building sites as a teenager in the '60s, most tea sheds had a copy floating around.

    The worst thing was when the pages were stuck together and no sign of tea stains.

    Is jAzz mag the word that was intended or was a vowel trnsposed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Limited access

      That's one posh building site - sure it wasnt Mayfair?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Limited access

        "That's one posh building site - sure it wasnt Mayfair?"

        Mayfair was very popular in the UK in the 1970s. Several young women programmers I knew bought it for their boyfriends.

        Less airbrushing of pictures than Playboy - and good looking girls you might actually meet at work. Like Playboy they also had stories etc that were good quality. When beaver shots became the trend - Mayfair resisted the clinical approach of Penthouse - and Playboy looked dated.

        A building site was more likely to have one of the down-market magazines that were effectively an updated version of "Titbits"***.

        ***Titbits didn't go any further than provocative dressed models. For female nudity in the UK in the 1950s you had to find "Health and Efficiency" in a windblown hedge - with its black&white pictures airbrushed to remove nipples and pubic hair.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Re: Limited access

          When beaver shots became the trend

          That was when I started referring to top shelf magazines as "Journals of Comparative Gynaecology".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Limited access

          >***Titbits didn't go any further than provocative dressed models. For female nudity in the UK in the 1950s you had to find "Health and Efficiency" in a windblown hedge - with its black&white pictures airbrushed to remove nipples and pubic hair.

          Whatever happened to hedge porn? - Is that one of the ways that the Internet is saving the planet?

        3. Blubster

          Re: Limited access

          Aye, those were the days. Many a mag found stuffed in hedges in my formative years, like some kind of secret post box. No pubic hair then either except, unlike today when it's shaved off, it was airbrushed out. The first time I saw a hairy fanny I was shocked.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Limited access

            "The first time I saw a hairy fanny I was shocked."

            I was disappointed. I had expected a neat triangle of pubic hair - not the random pattern of my first girlfriend. Hope kids these days get a better spread of details in their PSE lessons at school.

            However - when retrieving their football with his pals the neighbours' 8 year old recently stopped - and pointed to the genitalia on the garden concrete ornament of Michelangelo's "David" saying "what's that?"

            Evasively: "What's what?"

            "Above the penis and testicles"

            Mental sigh of relief: "Hair"

            It seems the school lessons hadn't reached the changes of puberty. No doubt that comes in a later lesson - unless the playground grapevine's smartphones get there first.

        4. Mark 65 Silver badge

          Re: Limited access

          I think your average building site was more likely to contain a well thumbed copy of Razzle.

  19. MJI Silver badge

    I once knew someone who bought a copy

    All I can remember was there was a TVR article.

    And I never managed to get hold of his copy to read it.

  20. ajcee

    R.I.P. Hugh. At least you're off to a better pla... Oh, never mind.

    On the bright side, this is probably the stiffest he's been in 20 years!

    I'll get my coat...

  21. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

    First glance at the photograph makes me think of Popeye.

    Is it just me or...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Popeye the Sailor or Popeye Doyle? Enquiring minds and all that.

  22. John H Woods Silver badge

    apparently...

    ... they had a hell of a time trying to get the coffin lid on.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: apparently...

      ... they had a hell of a time trying to get the coffin lid on.

      Yeah, they really had to nail it hard.

  23. hatti

    I thought a Jazz Mag was something to do with cool music with Saxaphones until I discovered Playboy

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Im wearing my dressing gown all day

    as a mark of respect.

  25. Richard 81

    I never really understood the nature of his relationship with the resident bunnies; was it like his harem or something?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apparently so according to other obituaries. However - a traditional harem was as much about showing your power to get whatever you wanted.

      Famously Scheherazade kept herself away from the Caliph's executioner by entertaining the Caliph with stories that just had to be continued the next night - for 1001 nights. Usually it was a terminal one-night stand in the Caliph's bed.

  26. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Stolen from elsewhere:

    I hope you've gone to a better place, but I really doubt it.

  27. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    Nudity =/= porn!

    Dear author, please take your nudity hangup somewhere else.

  28. druck
    Holmes

    1000 Women

    That's only about 1 a month on average, which is I suspect less than most people imagined.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 1000 Women

      but what a month!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: 1000 Women

        A grand way to go.

  29. Dr. G. Freeman

    May he rest peacefully,

    I did read it for the articles- had a great interview with Arthur C. Clarke, with an extract of his book "3001: The Final Odyssey" in one edition I had on my person while at High School.

    Well worth the detention.

  30. Korev Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Writers

    Back in the day, the magazine was also well known for its literary output, publishing fiction by such writers as Ray Bradbury, John Updike, Ian Fleming, Joseph Heller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut.

    And Roald Dahl!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Writers

      Mayfair had similar aspirations to modern literature. There was one author in 1971/2 who started words at random with a capital letter for no discernible reason. Not sure about Penthouse's literary content - although I did buy a copy circa 1977 when a colleague said her sister was pictured that month.

  31. The Nazz Silver badge

    Hope he's sharing a good and lengthy laugh with ....

    The late great Shel Silverstein, contributor to much of Playboy's humour. Who also, i believe, maintained a residence within the mansion. The others being in Key West, a

    Sausolito houseboat, and somewhere else.

    What a man, what a life.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jazz Mag

    Girly Mag

    Jizz Book

    Stick Book

    Your mileage may vary.

  33. MJI Silver badge

    In a newsagents I once saw

    Someone hiding their w@nkmag inside a Sun so they would not be seen buying it.

    They did pay as I was behind them.

    I would be more embarrassed buying a Sun.

    I can still remember what I bought but not which issue.

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