On Easter, some of us think of bunnies. Bunnies make some of us think of Playboy. Therefore, our Easter Day video is a compilation of two episodes of Playboy After Dark, a late-night variety show that was cutting edge in 1969, and is tame enough to be aired on Nick Jr. today.
In these episodes of the show, hosted by Playboy’s founder, Hugh Hefner, you will see Patty Duke, Louis Nye, Ike and Tina Turner, Sammy Davis Jr., The Checkmates LTD., Rex Reed, Anthony Newly and just to make things a little more creepy in retrospect, Bill Cosby.
The odd thing is that this is actually a talk show where people talk. They aren’t doing shtick or promoting anything. It’s a bizarre artifact of a time when television was more real. It seems corny, tame and even tasteful today, but at the time this was as shocking as television got. Sure it’s dated and a bit sexist and exploitive, but it has a certain charm, if you don’t take it too seriously.
Playboy After Dark only ran one season in syndication. It was a color, Los Angeles version of the show Playboy’s Penthouse, which was produced in Chicago ten years earlier. I don’t have any childhood memories of this show because no TV station in West Virginia had enough guts to carry it at the time. Reportedly, that had more to do with the racially-integrated guest list than any concern of the connection to Playboy Magazine.