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Playboy After Dark
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TV Series
    (January 18, 1969-1970)
    Variety-talk show
    Hosted by Hugh Hefner
    Produced by Playboy Enterprises with Screen Gems Inc.
    Taped at CBS Television City in Los Angeles
    Premise: Hugh Hefner entertains guests at his mansion with a lavish party, featuring a new celebrity each week
    Opening 'Playboy' theme written by Cy Coleman
    Shari Lewis (sans Lambchop) guest starred on an episode.
    Tony Hendra called it 'possibly the worst television series ever made.'
    It tried giving viewers the impression that the Playboy mansion's parties consisted of intellectual conversation and cultural enlightenment (when most KNEW what was 'really' going on in there).
    It was basically a means of promoting the magazine of the same name - much like its predecessor 'Playboy's Penthouse.'
    The party scenes usually consisted of ninety guys and twenty girls, with a pipe-smoking Hefner strolling with a girl on each arm (one of them almost always Barbi Benton).
    It was only cleared for broadcast in twenty-three cities, pretty much ensuring it wouldn't warrant long-term continuation, and dying a quiet death after its second season.
    When he was asked to pitch the show to viewers during an interview, Hugh Hefner replied nonchalantly: 'It's better than the Johnny Carson Show or the Joey Bishop Show and I do a better job at hosting than Ed Sullivan does!'
    It was one of the first shows to be rerun on the fledgling Playboy TV Channel.
    Sammy Davis, Jr., Jerry Lewis, and Peter Lawford all made guest appearances.
    Its inaugural guest was Lenny Bruce's eccentric mother, former stripper Sally Marr.
    It succeeded in attracting a new wave of magazine subscribers, with sales of Playboy spiking to over 7 million copies a month by 1971.
    It marked a change in venue for Hefner, who decided to relocate his base of operations from Chicago to Holmby Hills, where he would become a permanent fixture in the Los Angeles party scene.
    It granted viewers the opportunity to see young, new, and (in some cases) risqué talents like Marvin Gaye, Carol Burnett, James Brown, Tina Turner, Harry Nilsson, The Grateful Dead, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, and Grand Funk Railroad.
    Its very name was so chic and daring that it practically guaranteed a high viewership (but censors feared it would offend more Southern-Midwestern conservative audiences).
    It was filmed on an elaborate $35,000 bachelor-pad soundstage made to look like a den, sunken living room, and dimly-lit wet-bar.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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