Breast in Show

A trash-TV addict gives Fox's Search for a Playboy Centerfold a double D-minus.
By Matt Labash

Understand this: I like bad television. I like bad TV the way anteaters like ants, the way fat people like midnight drive-throughs. I like my TV like Tommy Lee likes his women: easy and slightly degraded. But even a masochist such as myself has a pain threshold, one which was exceeded last Friday night while watching Fox's two-hour reality one-shot: Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold.

You know a show is truly abysmal when you start pining for all the other bad shows that are advertised in the middle of it (e.g. Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed, Looking for Love: Bachelorettes in Alaska.) Brought to us by Bunim/Murray Productions — the creators of perennial bad-TV favorite The Real WorldSearch for a Centerfold has modest enough ambitions.

After a nationwide "talent" search, the good folks at Playboy magazine bring twelve finalists to Holmby Hills, California, so that they can hole up in the Bunny barracks across the street from Hugh Hefner's mansion. After a grueling couple of weeks of photo shoots, massages, and more photo shoots, cuts will be made, spirits will be crushed, until finally one lucky winner, selected by Hef himself, will become Playboy's Miss July 2002. At this time, she will be afforded all the Playmate spoils: swimming in other people's Grotto secretions, getting to pretend she finds Hefner attractive, attending mansion parties where she'll be felt up by Jimmy Caan.

There is, of course, no shortage of fame-starved women willing to run this Habitrail of humiliation. But here, as they say in the one-handed magazine business, is the rub: this girl is supposed to look and act like the "girl next door." Consequently, we see curly-haired Shallon, who looks like the town teeter-totter on which everyone's had a ride, tell photographer Billy before a photo shoot, "I've never done anything like this before." Billy sounds surprised: "Oh really? Okay, then you are just like the girl next door." As if to sledgehammer the point home, Billy later tells the camera, "Shallon's definitely the type of girl we're looking for. She has that girl-next-door quality."

Perhaps Shallon is the girl next door, if you live in Las Vegas, where she is from. Of course, most of the other girls hail from the salt-of-the-earth mines, and in fairness to them, there are worse things than dropping trou on camera to get out of Cleveland. Like staying in Cleveland, for instance.

Because Playboy has always labored to preserve the illusion of innocence, they assign the girls a "Bunny Mother." Ava Fabian, a 1986 Playmate who looks to have been around the block a time or ten, tells the girls "you can talk to me about anything" — collagen leaks, how to weed-whack their secret gardens before a photo shoot, whatever. One of the girls takes Ava up on her offer after a very rare flare-up of conscience. During a reflective walk, nineteen-year-old Carmello confesses to Ava that she might not be ready to get naked. "I thought I'd be, like, okay with it," says Carmello, trying to illuminate her dark night of the soul. "But it's so weird, like, I'm like, 'Oh my God, I just like feel so weird now.'" Ava, a repository of ancient wisdom, cuts to the problem's quick: "Well, you probably didn't get enough sleep last night."

A dark-eyed Latina and by far the most attractive of the lot, Carmello actually does seem like the girl next door and does what one would do in an identical situation: she splits. (When she calls her real mother to break the good news that she won't be posing nude after all, her irate mom tries to talk her out of it). But most of the rest of the women are in it to win it. They never come right out and admit that their most sincere desire is to achieve fame at any cost. Rather, they say they want to "express themselves" — which I would think could be done more easily by taking up ceramics or sock-puppeteering. But then, I'm not a girl next door.

Still, these girls are so transparently ambitious that they don't even bother doing the things that would've made this a genuinely watchable program — like taking group showers, or having the mother of all pillow fights. Instead, they try to psych each other out with what one aspirant calls "mind games," which are elementary in their execution ("she's not very pretty"), because they don't possess a whole lot of the former in order to play the latter.

Not to say the girls aren't bright, but the house intellectual seems to be Lauren, a twenty-one-year-old from Gainesville, Florida, who complains that her organic-chemistry professor (no, seriously) claimed he'd flunk her for taking this little sabbatical. Additionally, at a bathing-suit fitting for an upcoming shoot, she astutely notes that, "I'm wearing a bikini that's leopard print, which is, like, very appropriate for me, since I'm in veterinary medicine."

Lurking over the show like a bad odor is the presence of Hefner. When the girls aren't deliberating among themselves who is Hef's type ("He likes, like, refined,") Hefner is mulling over whom to cut in photo meetings, where his staff agrees with every utterance as the "philosopher king" (as Esquire recently called him) evidences his keen editorial judgment: "She's a little thick in the body."

Creepier still is when Hef pops into the bunny hutch to see how the girls are getting along. Just once, it would be nice to see him turn out in golf knits or a crisp pair of khakis. But there he is in those pajamas, the one's he's been wearing for forty years. The girls giggle obligatorily, as Hef throws off anachronistic hep-cattisms, like "Later, alligator."

At seventy-five years old, Hef is certainly teetering on the edge of irrelevance, if not incontinence. While he's never wanted to admit that he's in the porn business (he prefers to think of it as a "lifestyle magazine"), Playboy content has always been too soft to be considered real smut, and too hard to get passed around in dental offices. In either case, pictures of silicone sisters striking unnatural poses in unlikely settings are now much more accessible on the Internet, where one can indulge fantasies without having to endure smarmy looks from 7-Eleven cashiers.

So there is something a little extra pathetic about watching Hefner service his legacy. He has always worked overtime in this department, anyway, comparing himself to Capra characters, claiming he was "testing the boundaries," and generally convincing himself and others of his own profundity, even when he couldn't come up with anything better than cool-cat palaver like, "We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d'oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion of Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex."

Of course, a late '90s retro cool cloud descended over the mansion, particularly after a Viagra-popping Hef went back on the loose after his 1998 divorce. The Friars Club gave him a lifetime achievement award, and the American Society of Magazine Editors inducted him into their hall of fame. It almost seemed indecorous to point out that the man's only achievements have been throwing some really swell parties, spending his entire adult life in pajamas and putting out a stroke magazine.

As Lenny Bruce once observed, "There's nothing sadder than an aging hipster." And one senses that Hefner is entering his dogtrack period. First, there were those ridiculous pictures of him trying to get funky on the mansion dance floor with girls one-half his daughter's age. Then there was the report in Philadelphia magazine, that despite his grandiose displays of virility, in which he claimed to be bedding four to eight girls at a time, the only thing that really put lead in his pencil was watching gay porn (Hefner denied it). Then last fall came word that someone as schmucky as comedian Rob Schneider (of Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo fame) was making out with one of Hefner's harem right in front of Hefner.

Now he's laid this smoking turd on Fox. While anti-obscenity groups screamed like ninnies over Girl Next Door — one suspects to Hefner's delight — the show doesn't even contain nudity. With all the strategically placed lighting rigs and production assistants' heads, the whole special doesn't yield much more skin than your average episode of The O'Reilly Factor. And how Hefner finally selected Miss July is beyond me. She wasn't particularly striking, nor were any of the contestants, unless your taste runs toward overworked porn-star blandness and breasts the size of canned hams.

Eventually, he chose Lauren, perhaps because, in his telling, "She loves animals and is in veterinary medicine, and when I was a kid, that's what I wanted to do." When Lauren is driven to the mansion in a limousine, Hef greets her somewhat lecherously with a diamond-caked bunny necklace, telling her, "I want to welcome you to the Playboy family." It's always been one of Hef's favorite conceits to refer to his little arrangement as a "family," albeit one in which Dad takes naughty pictures of Sis. And Lauren will doubtless partake in all sorts of family activities: picnics on the lawn, trips to the zoo, group sex with other platinum blondes whose names rhyme. To each her own. Still, someone should do the charitable thing and spare this family any more embarrassment by reporting them to Social Services.

Commentarium (69 Comments)

May 15 02 - 12:25am

didn't see the show bot good write.I agree ,call porn porn.But playboy does have the finest babes

May 15 02 - 12:46am

As long it shows on it is not humiliation. It is strange how some people (you) observe things around them. Also, with higher education and IQ it might help us (you) understand why we (others) do things like exposing our bodies for whatever reason.

May 14 02 - 1:16pm

Cleveland's actually pretty cool.

May 14 02 - 1:51pm

gp, what in the world are you (she) talking about?!? you totally lost me (us).

May 14 02 - 2:02pm

Who cares what an admitted masochist thinks anyway...

May 14 02 - 2:25pm

I think I'm in love. Matt, you had me peeing my pants like Hef probably pees his Depends. Sure, it was an easy target, but you hit it with such beautiful digs, I can forgive you anything. More, write more!

May 14 02 - 3:36pm

ditto. one more comment: while the show touted the thing that men are supposedly DYING to see--naked dames--it instead offered nothing but that thing men would certainly kill to AVOID seeing-- bitchy brain-dead bimbos sniping at each other like twelve year-olds pushing each other out of line for a kiss from Luke Perry. "you're not even pretty!" and of course, the bitchiest of them all ends up winning.

May 14 02 - 5:16pm

Terrific! I haven't seen this "smoking turd", but have to agree totally with the author about Hef. It is truly sad to see how this guy has to be in every issue of his magazine, reportedly doing something else to embarrass himself. Playboy would be a much better magazine if it didn't have to focus any attention on a doddering old man whose time has come...and gone.

May 14 02 - 7:20pm

Breast in Show was silly. Like, I mean, like, really silly. Does every show have to copy the format of Survivors? The pseudo tension as to whom will be picked? The pseudo fights amongst the contestants? I guess it's what's to be expected when aired on TV. Then again, PLAYBOY magazine itself is a lot like the TV special--a bit long in the tooth. I will admit...I was hoping Lauren would have won...and she did. Article was great.

May 14 02 - 8:13pm

Fucking genius! I was entertained immensely with your words!

May 14 02 - 9:04pm

Ever notice that all Playboy girls have the same nose?

May 14 02 - 11:42pm

Funnier than shit (I mean that in a good way!) All-in-all an enjoyable piece of writing. Good job!

May 15 02 - 1:14am

I have to say that I'm disapointed in Mat Labash's unexamined fatphobia--"I like bad TV the way anteaters like ants, the way fat people like midnight drive-throughs."
Do we really need to perpetuate this shit? A careful review of the latest studies on fatness indicates that fat people do not eat more than skinny people, that dieting does not allow one to lose weight permantly and that in the long run, it's worse for people.
What about this nerve disclaimer--"We are ardently committed to free expression, but we do expect Nerve and NerveCenter visitors and contributors to interact respectfully and responsibly. Blatant expressions of bigotry, sexism or hatred may be constitutionally protected on the street corner, but they're not cool here."
Is ok to express bigotry towards fat people on nerve?

May 16 02 - 12:55am

I am not a prude or uptight about sex and gorgeous women on display (I am old--I thought "Bare Naked Ladies" was a nude strip show and clueless when it was 4 young guys in baggy pants and turned backwards baseball caps) but Hefner is so utterly out of it--Good God, hes on Viagra and the girls are on Flintstone vitamins, I guess. If it features group showers and some hanky panky between the girls, great! No wonder some of the most popular porn videos feature girls with natural breasts and real passion for a young stud two babes ravish and then finish off as they take turns on top of him. See some of the woman directed pornos for some real heat! My wife likes them and we have great sex while watching them.

May 15 02 - 3:57pm

Bigotry is defined as obstinate attachment to one's beliefs and narrow-minded intolerance of opposing beliefs- does that one line look like real bigotry to you? I'd hardly say that Labash is going so far as bigotry, and it's certainly not hatred or sexism, much less blatant.

Matt Labash is certainly taking a cheap shot at fat people, but that doesn't mean he's some sort of asshole.

Plus, I'd have to say that those overweight individuals who are not eating more than the average person probably have depressed metabolisms born of neglect and inattention. Were they to indulge in a little activity, they might end up losing a little weight.

Aleternately, Mr. Labash is not saying that fat people love all-night drive-thrus because they eat all the time.

He's saying they love them because their big, fat asses can't fit through the front doors, and their weight-induced sleep apnea keeps them awake at odd hours.

formerly fat,

May 15 02 - 6:42pm

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought these girls looked like "overworked porn stars". Dead on, Matt. Thanks.

May 16 02 - 11:07am

Loved the article. Hefner seems way out of place for the shit he does. He needs to admit it's all over....a good run...How many people can say my job was having parties, getting it on with pretty women habitually and never getting dressed...?

May 16 02 - 3:41pm

I don't mind that Hef is old and still throwing parties and having sex -- good for him. It's all the mindless drones that worship him like a god, humor his every boring whim, and try to give legitimacy to his stupid productions, that make sick. The worst are the idiot chicks who put themselves through the Hef machine and all come out looking exactly same. It is they that I think should just give up and end it quickly and painlessly.

May 16 02 - 5:06pm

Really funny and dead on. Informative too!

May 16 02 - 5:10pm

"I like my TV like Tommy Lee likes his women: easy and slightly degraded. But even a masochist such as myself has a pain threshold, one which was exceeded last Friday night while watching Fox's two-hour reality one-shot: Girl Next Door: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold"

That is great writing - I saw PART (I could not take it) of that show on FOX. What makes a person so vulnerable or so dumb as these women were? I guessit is a good thing that they can not see their own lives. I never wanted women like these - give me a bitch any day that I can fight with, one who has balls as big as mine.

May 16 02 - 5:20pm

I don't usually feedback on articles, but Nerve makes it so easy to do so, that here I am. I swore I would have to tackle 17 pop-up screens and a multi-layered, multi-colored, multi-dimensional "registration" form in order to say something. Anyway...the article was H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S, smartly written and witty. Yes, it was an easy target, but it was still a lot of fun. I assume it was intended as entertainment so it would seem a bit thin-skinned to take objection to very much in it. However, I have to admit that between laughts, I was somewhat bothered by the easy assertions that Hef's reference to "family" is a "conceit" and that he won't "admit" to being in the porn industry (while then following up by admitting that his stuff is too soft to qualify as "smut" -- so how do you define porn?) Perhaps this is because I also promote a Male Revue and have often heard such assertions made about our Revue (like the "conceit" of referring to them as "exotic dancers" rather than "strippers.") The problem is that the article seems to be make fun of Hef's pretensions to grandeur and cultural relevance as if there's something wrong with being a dirty old man that appeals to prurient interests. And anyway being a dirty old man that appeals to prurient interests with a "stroke magazine" IS culturally relvant, significant, and yes even grandiose in the sex history of this country. Playboy truly is a cultural milestone, which doesn't mean that it isn't also a dirty old man appealing to his and others prurient interests. What's pretentious about self-defining along the more grandiose edge of that reality?

May 16 02 - 5:20pm

(continued)...But the article suggest there is something wrong with that, pretentious, and almost pathetic -- and by extension, something wrong, pretentious and pathetic about Nerve, its publishers and its readers? Would you say that Nerve is a pretentious website that won't admit to just peddling soft-porn and used the "conceit" of the neo-modern vehicle of the Internet to launch and characterize itself as "artistic"? You're not seriously going to try to suggest that Nerve is somehow more "culturally" significant or less-prurient than Playboy are you? I, for one, love Nerve and the fact that it perpetuates an intelligent, shame-free, celebratory attitude about sex and all its extensions. But to suggest -- in an article on Nerve nonetheless -- that the very idea of an erotically stimulating magazine is really just a conceited "stroke" magazine is to miss the point. Of course Playboy is a stroke magazine. So is Nerve. Not a thing wrong with that. And not a thing wrong with folks that don't need or care to look beyond that part of it. Not everyone has a desire to explore the psychological, cultural, and social ramifications of subjects explored in Playboy or Nerve. But to imply -- albeit through brilliantly, hilariously, and bitingly funny prose -- that something like Playboy/Hefner is MERELY a stroke magazine is to suggest that something like Nerve is MERELY a stroke magazine and condescends to the readers of both and at the very least leaves out those of us that find them both to be much, much more than that and yes -- I'll say it -- important cultural milestones. As well as being great stroke magazines. ;-)

May 16 02 - 7:23pm

This article was funny as hell! I've always wondered what the bunnies talked about besides Nietzsche!

May 17 02 - 12:42pm

It's nice to know that there's some men out there with taste and intelligence. Thanks for a great article.

May 17 02 - 9:59am

Wow, what a spot on report for one of the worst executed "real world contest" shows I have seen. Fox is not known for much success in this arena, I think we all watched the Bachelor Pagaent, Who Wants to Marry a Rich and unfunny Comedian and Greed, which is living on in some fashion on the gameshow network. This was a new low, even for the folks who brought two temptation islands to us. I watched part of this debacle and I have to say at no time was I expecting to root for any of these girls, let alone Hef, who is downright scary and starting to look a lot like Mr. Burns. "Excellent, Candy, Excellent - bring me my slippers and spoon feed me those mushed carrots." I did however enjoy the girl who left, by far the hottest, and the girl who was all about her real, really big, breasts. That's about where I turned it off, especially after seeing the jello-spined creative team at Playboy who must buy knee pads by the gross for all the sucking they were doing on Hef. What will happen when he is senile and can't see, God only knows what will show up as a playmate then. Hef should stick to what he knows, trashy women, orgies, celebrity parties with other wealthy dirty old men and of course bringing soft-core smut to the heartland.

May 17 02 - 6:46pm

man i found your piece pretty funny and i wish that someone would actually have the Nerve to tell the truth about these kind of shows hey don't get me wrong everybody likes looking at T&A but bring something else to the table you feel me

May 20 02 - 11:17am

Gee, Matt, why all the bitterness?

May 20 02 - 11:27am

I agree with your assessment with regard to the naked ambition of the young women (no pun intended). This element has been brought up over and over again for the last decade as it appears the Playmates have looked less and less like girls next door and more and more like 'professionals' (if you get my drift). I certainly miss genuinely beautiful women like Candy Loving, Karen Velez and Patty McGuire. These women didn't live next door to anybody I knew, but it was wonderful to look at them. My adolescence would not have been the same without them and my Karen Velez Playmate of the Year issue is one of my most treasured possessions. However, I must challenge both their dismissal of these newer young women and yours. I kind of like the idea that young women are making the choice to exploit Playboy rather than simply being exploited by them. Playmates like Pam Anderson and Jenny McCarthy are not just sexy young blondes, they are entrepreneurs. They took their Playboy experience and turned it into careers that neither one of them would have had without it. Both are now wealthy beyond anything that a lifetime working at the local Wendy's would have gotten them and I am just fine with that. Playboy has also been a haven for ambitious actresses looking to make their big comeback. The Farrah Fawcett, Sharon Stone, Kim Basinger, Naomi Campbell and Bo Derek's nude shots are some of the best nudes I have ever seen. So you don't like the silly television program. Fine. Bad trash is bad trash, why trash these ambitious (and beautiful) young women?

May 21 02 - 12:34am

While Girl Next Door was probably as bad as your writer suggests, it always seem disingenuous to to see lines in articles on Nerve -- which has styled itself as a competitor to Playboy from day one -- with lines like "It almost seemed indecorous to point out that the man's only achievements have been throwing some really swell parties, spending his entire adult life in pajamas and putting out a stroke magazine." Hefner has published historical interviews with MLK, Malcolm X, etc., and has been a player (whether you agree with the politics or attitude to sex) in the sexual revolution which allows magazines/websites like Nerve to exist since the 1950s. Do what other competiting entities (GQ vs Esquire, ABC vs. NBC) do -- pretend the competition doesn't exist.

May 21 02 - 2:54am

Reading this article was a complete waste of time. It did nothing but anger me. I had never even heard of you until I wanted to read the reviews of my friend, who happened to be on this show. I believe the words "who looks like the town teeter-totter on which everyone's had a ride" were used. That was beyond unnecessary. This was the worst piece of... writing I've ever read.

May 21 02 - 3:25am

How dare you say this stuff about these girls! You don't know them therefore how can you call them names and assume they have "been around the block once or 10 times!" Just because they pose for playboy does not make them sluts nor does it make them
dumb. And, it most certainly does not make it acceptable for you to bash them.

May 22 02 - 7:52pm

This is one of the most well put reports on such a flamboyant collage of "T.V. smut" I've ever read. If playboy can't be considered smut but more as a introspective look at naked ass without cum all over it and that's the only reason it's not supposed to be considered shit - far be it from me to say the sky is blue.

May 26 02 - 3:26pm

Hey Matt!
Thanks for speaking today for the rare guy left on the planet who thinks women who sell their nipples sell their souls. It is interesting to me that we have taken such a cheap turn in the road that we actually convey to ourselves that this nonsense IS or COULD be "The All American Girl
Next Door" I for one would like to see a classy woman with some common sense, dignity and an IQ above Scooby's make a headline........ahhhhhh us American Dreamer's do still exist, even if we have been reduced to cartoons.

May 27 02 - 7:21am

Good shit there. Swingin' "Hef" oughta be examined by Lenin's embalmers - I think he's beginning to crumble.

May 27 02 - 3:24pm

Please tell the writer that his article was well written and funny - as was the show - but he should read Gay Talese's "Thy Neighbor's Wife" for a better understanding of Hugh Hefner.

I could not help but think as I read the piece here that the author was trying to work out his I'm-hipper-than-thou-I-know-I'm-in-the-know-irreverent-postmodern-Williamsburg-hip-nerd-nerve-esque credential, rather than a focused assault on Fox Television for airing such a piece of dog shit.

Read "Thy Neighbor's Wife". Then you may comment on "all" that Hefner has "really" done.



May 29 02 - 8:30pm
JG sound to me like a man who has been turned down by more than one beautiful woman. I feel bad for you ;-(
I guess we were not watching the same show. My self(a mature woman) and my friends thought that Shallan was by far the most beautiful and unpretentious of all the girls. Why would you begrudge these beautiful young women the opportunity to be just that, beautiful. I think that most "normal" people appreciate beauty. You seem to be just too bitter. Did Shallan say no to you? I would have to say that you don't seem to have a very firm grip on the truth. Or you do even know what that word means. How can you have a unbiased opinion on something that you have so much hatred for. Just another bitter man with a small mind and penis to match.

May 29 02 - 8:47pm

Well arent we just a huge ass. I havent heard anything so ignorant in my life. First of all if you really have looked at the PLayboy website or anything else featuring these beautiful women you might realize it isnt spelled Shallon but Shallan. Also if you really watched the show you would see that it was CARMELLA on the show not carmello. NO she is not a caramel candy bar. You don't know these women and you are obviously the one grasping at fame with this joke of an article, which should be in the tabloids placed next to 40 year old man pregnant. Yes it was funny, except not for the reason you intended, because you see I was laughing at you. Next time when you are trying to be humorous do us all a favor and put on some clown shoes and a red nose because that is as close as you will ever get comedy.

May 29 02 - 8:54pm

Okay...while all the Hef bashing is going on you can't tell me that almost every man in America....ohhh let's say the world wants to be in his shoes....oh wait...pajamas. He is one lucky bastard that is living his own dream...wish I was.

May 29 02 - 9:00pm

My friend had stated that you had written an article about the show and her participation in it. She had no need to dignify it with a response but I feel the need to. It was very upseting to read an article as poorly written as this one, for the simple reason that your respesenting the world of journalism and you have self-rightous playmate loathing followers. First of all, I sincerely hope that your bitter and uninformed opinions have really opened that window of self-promoting fame you have spoken about, because that seems to have been your intention. Second, I will take your opinions of the show and my friend as a compliment, considering your lack of factual information even after taking such an interest in the show. You should be more careful some people may not be so nice as look over your slanderous and small minded remarks. Most important, if you want to be taken seriously about "your opinion" you might consider looking a little more into your story so that you might atleast spell names correctly. But hey that could of been to much work for you.
Anyways, take care and I truly hope that this self-promoting, ridiculous attempt at journalism was werth what can only be identified as EMBARASSMENT.
P.S.- Your want something factual Men ages 18-35 were focused in majority on that show...look it up

May 29 02 - 9:04pm

Well Im surprised you know what a girl who "has been around the block a couple times or ten" looks like. Since i can probably bet you have been laid in a couple years if you aren't a virgin. Its really sad how bad your jealousy shows in your writting if that what you would call that page of bitter rambling. I couldn't even finigh it. You know they have some classes at the community college that you help you out a bit. But im sorry i think you'll have to go back to 5th grade to figure out the difference between fact and fiction.

May 29 02 - 9:23pm

funny? amusing? truth? Ha...Not

May 29 02 - 9:29pm

Heres your feedback. You must not have a life or a dick to make this crap up. Like you dont look at playboy everynight. Thats the only way you could get a chance with any hott girls like that. Is by tacking them up and puttin a hole in your wall.

Jun 01 02 - 8:11am

For those of you who share my opinion, you know those girls got offered a once in a lifetime oppurtunity to experience something that can be a life changing crossroad in their favor. It can be good, it can be bad. Don't knock em for what they do. You know if you had the chance, you would try for it too.

Jun 01 02 - 8:12am

All kidding aside, you slander girls, you slander hef, and it was a horrible show to you. Face it, it's how the world goes round, it's all about fame and fortune and who sleeps their way to the top. Get your proof before you start slandering. That's probably why you're still a second rate writer. Good luck in writing, because I know it must be hard to be a "writer" and have no creativity, and have nothing better to do than pick on girls you've never met, and make an ass out of yourself on the internet. Get away from the computer, get out of the house, and make yourself useful. Try to meet real girls without having to say AGE/SEX/LOC/PIC?, and if I were you I'd write another column apologizing to those girls because you can never have them with that type of attitude and a personality of a Star Wars watching, comic book collecting, beer gut having, computer geek, thinks he's tough shit, Queen from Queens, in a studio making 12.50 an hour, trying to sell a script to fox, but living as a second rate writer, who has nothing better to do than opinionate himself on things he doesn't understand because he couldn't save up enough money to pay for a real girl, has been/never will be professional columnist.

Jun 01 02 - 8:13am

Finally, Lauren too huh...? "nor were any of the contestants, unless your taste runs toward overworked porn-star blandness and breasts the size of canned hams". Lets over analyze this statement. Well for one thing your analogy indicates you spend holidays alone in your closet with your centerfolds and your hustler's opened up to the forums while you microwave your Hungry Man Turkey Platter. The canned hams you see as breasts mean you must miss when your family gets together over the holidays after they rake up enough money to take the ham off layaway. I know, I know you gotta start early in the year to save up enough for xmas eh...Jealousy and envy don't mix. Yes, talk about Hugh. Because you wish it was you. How would it make you feel to be in Hugh's place? Are you that better of a man. At least he tries to please women, and it pleasure's him to see a woman pleased. Not like you and your late night debauchery with the Hookers at the Point. Yes HBO called and they want to know what it's like to be a two pump chump. One of the girls were wondering why it was over before it began.

Jun 01 02 - 8:13am

Second, you know nothing about these girls and what they're about. To you, they're easy whores who want to sleep their way to the top. You got this information because you know them? Or because you wish they slept with you so you can rave about their performances? Well honestly, you don't. It's really cold that you can talk all that smack about Shallan when you don't even know what it's like because you used a Kodak disposable camera to take that picture of you. By the way will be going on my website and yes I will probably put your rugged italian face on a convict's body getting ass f*cked by the warden. But you think she's that easy because "we see curly-haired Shallon, who looks like the town teeter-totter on which everyone's had a ride," and what she said to the photographer is probably true. But you don't know that do you. Because you're not there, and you don't know her. Do I know her? Maybe...maybe not. But I'm not gonna convict her publicly for everyone online to see what I think of her. Maybe you got a crush on her? Tryin to break free of homosexuality? It doesn't feel so good when people talk about you and your looks now does it? Did your mom used to talk about you? Honestly, I just moved to Las Vegas, and yea she is my girl next door...But she also has people who know her and love her for who she is. Which is an actual person, not some bimbo giving it up for buck. If you want that, I hear there's a 900 number which you can call. Oh do. Do you know any women that you don't give your credit card number out to?

Jun 01 02 - 8:14am

First of all...that show made more money than what you'll ever see in a lifetime being an "E-Columnist". I know it's hard to live on a $15.00 opinion column. You came up with some "witty" title BREAST in SHOW. Where it's actually already been taken by a major motion picture. You put an "r" and an "a" to avoid lawsuits I take it? I hope you made your rent in your upscale New York studio apartment in Queens. Judging by your make someone a great queen. This show is strictly entertainment. Not your dart board that you can just talk smack about. If you don't like it. There's a remote with these little buttons resembling "^" and they let you change the channel! I've been looking through all the opinion articles and you have a total So that tells me you probably have an opinion that doesn't really matter. Just because you watch a few shows and have a nifty thesaurus to try to look up words doesn't mean you're an expert. I do understand you're a writer at the Weekly Standard...what part? Comics? Or are they actual standards...100x I will one day score with a hot chick...I will one day score with a hot chick...You keep telling yourself that and you may move out of queens.

Jun 01 02 - 8:15am

Matt LaBash --"I like bad television. I like bad TV the way anteaters like ants, the way fat people like midnight drive-throughs." Ok let me get this straight. I understand this is your "opinion", yet you have this Diety complex that you are a tv station god where you know what is good quality "bad" tv, yet you choose to not bash the show, but bash the girls. You just condemned yourself to the "I Have No Life and Have Nothing Else to Do" Man of the Year. Congrats!

Jun 02 02 - 9:33pm

hahaha your a dick.

Jun 03 02 - 4:10pm

Right On! Matt is my new favorite misanthrope. I'll look for more of him.

Jun 03 02 - 10:28pm

Jeez... you sound bitter. Are we a lil small down there because you sound like your trying to make up for it. lol. Well your never going to get a chick that way. Now tell does being an asshole really attract chicks because you should know.

Jun 03 02 - 10:36pm

Yeah you sure are talking alot of shit for a cyber geek columnist. Those girls get paid a hell of a lot more than you and your little gremlin driving ass. God r u still in high school because your catty ass sounds like it.

Jun 05 02 - 7:57pm

Matt LaBash,
Great writing; you've sized Hef up. "Habitrail of humiliation" is exactly what it is. People in general seem to feel that any young girl pursuing fame like this is a great ambition. It's a joke, and I giggled all through your article! Good job,
Sincerely, a reader from Michigan

Jun 05 02 - 8:33pm

I am not quite sure what drives someone to bash people they don't know. I understand you opinion of "Playboy" and the like because you have the opportunity to know about it. I think that good journalism, even if it is an opinion should be based on knowlege. It would seem that you knowlege of these girls is somewhat lacking. Try to stick to something you know, you might sound a little more intelligent and less bitter.

Jun 19 02 - 5:42am

You forgot to knock Scott Baio or is he off the comic refrence screen now. Bashing Hef and the girls for being shallow? Whats next, are you gonna call Guccione swarmy? (I mean Bob, the one wearing the Aztec jewlry not his son the hip music scene guy.)Or call Larry Flynt a chicken fucking pedophile? What I got from the article is that this kind of over the top sexuality is somehow beneath the dignity of the literary set. Great, call it neo puritainism and get over it. Whats great about these guys is they are showing us civilians what their freaky fantasy world would be like. These guys put up their big tops hired the acts they liked and invited us in. Some people like Bears in paper tutus, some people like the fire eater, to each according to his need. I'm sure some genX sort is trying to talk Jeanine Garofalo out of her panties this instant to launch his fresh, young take on sex, with it magazine. The circus goes on only the clowns change.

Jun 29 02 - 2:41pm

The next time I meet someone who is learning English and I am asked to define the idiomatic label "hater", I will refer the person to this piece.

Jul 06 02 - 5:40pm

An excellent review. As someone who recently rediscovered the joy of trashy television, I appreciated your article, both for its humor and simplicity. Keep it up.

Jul 08 02 - 7:51pm

I agree with every thing you said Matt. I didn't even watch this supposed event as I knew it was going to be very bad. The least they could of done is show it on a pay-per-view channel and show some nudity. By putting it on regular tv they're trying to convince us that Playboy is more than nude women. After this abyssmal show it's obvious that is all they have going for it.

Jul 19 02 - 10:20pm

Some people were just meant to die young---and then they fail both themselves and the world by living beyond youth---I often feel that I'm such a person, but real monuments in history like Andy Warhol, Catullus, W.A. Mozart, Alexander the Great, J.F. Kennedy, and Princess Diana preserved their fame and proved that checking out early is always better than checking out late... Poor Hef---I never thought I'd see a picture of him where he facial lines finally make him resemble Bob Hope more than himself.

Aug 03 02 - 5:14pm

Dear Matt,
I watched the same show you did, but I didn't have nearly the negative angry response that you had. While your description of the show as a "smoking turd" is colorful, and one that I won't necessarily refute (as I also had some misgivings about the show), I still think that your anger is getting ahold of you. I am confident that the program won it's timeslot, or at minimum came in second, so it was a business success. And, you clearly know nothing about Hefner, or your wouldn't claim that his only contributions has been "a stroke mag". Hefners First Amendment Freedom foundation is fighting for your right to print whatever horseshit you think is necessary or fun, and they do it everyday. I bet you haven't so much as even written your congressman a nasty note, yet you smear him. Pretty small of you. And his induction to teh magazine publishers hall fo fame seems more than justified, both in terms of sales and in terms of his impact on american culture (even to the extreme that you think it goes, a notion that I disagree about also). You should be so lucky to be recognized by such peers.
So, I felt differenlty about the program. I felt that it was a sham that they were having to censor any images at all in this day and age. Even if applying community standards, hell even if applying YOUR standards, Playboy is pretty tame stuff. I don't know many women who privately don't wish they were acceptable to be a Playmate. I admit they all laugh at the poses, but that is half the gig...
But, the government feeds us a sham of outrage and violates the constitution and you say nothing about that, in fact you seem to support censorship as a good thing in general. So, I am a bit more concerned for society by having a writer such as you than a publisher such as Hefner...Barron

Aug 05 02 - 9:59pm
Aug 07 02 - 11:18am

Not even have the the article to evident main stream, prime time in regards to a very great magazine that capture very beautiful at the best (naked) as they do here with this web mag makes me hope that some waitress, librarian, student teacher or teacher, nurse, secetary, t. v. rporter or any great looking young lady th e chance to revel to the world of gentlmen, such as I, to ogle their wonderful bodies and wonder if ever to meet the likes of what the ladies might be like ion person as they may even do so with ladies seen here at this site or other places that have them photo to show what nature and effort has to give to those who behold such wonders.
Thank You,
Jake Monts
E-MAL: jake_needs_a if need ther be feedback or you try :

Aug 07 02 - 11:29am

Not even have the read article to evident main stream, prime time televising there on fox granted the ratings and response to any that host anything to do with the models or future hopefuls in regards to a very great magazine [PLAYBOY: LINGERIE; GIRLFRIENDS and other bigbooks (speacialities mags with the Playboy name on them)]that capture very beautiful women at their best (naked) as they do here with this web mag makes me hope that some waitress, librarian, student teacher or teacher, nurse, secetary, t. v. reporter or any great looking young lady the chance to revel to the world of gentlmen, such as I, to ogle their wonderful bodies and wonder if ever to meet (meat them would be nice as far as feed them anything except bolognia or salami, maybe a nice steak diner)) the likes of what the ladies might be like in person as they may even do so with ladies seen here at this site or other places that have them photo to show what nature and effort has to give to those who behold such wonders.
Thank You,
Jake Monts
E-MAL: jake_needs_a if need ther be feedback or you try :

Please pardon the misspelling, I'm sure this happens the best of folks, oh-kay.

Aug 08 02 - 11:14pm

great article. I like your perspective ,and I laughed my ass off

Aug 31 02 - 5:36am

Amen to that!

You were reading my mind Matt!

Oct 06 02 - 1:30am

Nice work Mr. Labash.
Attention NEW YORKER MAGAZINE editors! Publish this!

Oct 14 02 - 10:08pm

Loved it!

Aug 23 11 - 4:47pm

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Nov 28 11 - 10:54pm