This week marked the end of an era.
founder, Hugh Hefner, died earlier this week. His death marks the end of, believe it or not, a more innocent time in American history.
There was a time, not that long ago, when artistic photographs of beautiful women were not everywhere. A time when you couldn't just Google any kink you held darkly dear and enjoy megabytes of video.
There was a time when, as a young man, you hoped catch a glimpse of the newest Playmate or the latest nude celebrity. This could only be done in the glossy pages of men's magazines like Playboy
Maybe you had a bachelor uncle. Maybe you went to a hunting camp. Maybe you spent some time at a helicopter hangar.
Maybe I'm being a little too specific here.
The important thing to remember is Hefner was a visionary. He saw the sexual revolution coming from a mile away. He also saw a way to harness the energy of that revolution and pair it with stellar writing and journalism to forge a media empire.
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did read the articles, and the short stories, and the interviews.
was an important part of growing up male in America.
Where else could you see Suzanne Somers, Bo Derek, Vanna White, Katrina Witt, Madonna and Cindy Crawford fully exposed?
Like I said, those were simpler times.
Rest in Peace Mr. Hefner and thanks for the life lessons.
It only seems fitting that we pay tribute to Mr. Hefner this week, as this feature shares some significant DNA with Playboy. I'm sure some dark recess of my mind was thinking of that magazine when I came up with the idea of pairing news and cheesecake.
It was the Playboy way.
With that being said, please say hello to Barbi Benton.
Ms. Benton was an early Playmate and Hef's main 70s squeeze.
She also seemed to be everywhere in my youth.
? She was there.
Television? Love Boat. Fantasy Island. Riptide. Charlie's Angels. CHiPs.
Late night cable? Deathstalker.
The long and short of it is Ms. Benton was as important to my formative years as she was to the formative years of Playboy.
There were a LOT
of cheesecake options when it came to a Playboy feature (believe me, I looked), but I kept coming back to Ms. Benton. For some reason, she seemed to be, to this Geek at least, the embodiment of Playboy's "girl next door" mythology.
Let's hit the links.
Hubble spots pitch black planet that eats light
The worst looking Image characters of the 90s
The most vindictive television deaths and disappearances
Comic characters you forgot died in the 90s
Freaks and Geeks documentary coming soon
The coolest Easter eggs of the last quarter century
Actors who keep getting the most degrading roles
And finally, the sad downward spiral of Brendan Fraser