Here’s Some Old Comic Album Covers
by Ed Murray
Dateline: Holmby Hills
Please don’t say you aren’t shocked. Playboy Magazine has announced a big make-over of the magazine, including the removal of pictures of nude ladies from the pages of the famous man’s mag. These changes are set to take place in the March, 2016 issue. Since Playboy began, it made its mark on society, and made founder Hugh Hefner a fortune. The big thing that attracted a following over the years has been the nude centerfold. If you think that millions of men bought the magazine just to read the articles, then you are seriously deluded. The probable reason that Hefner put some articles and written material in the magazine was that he had to. In the 1950’s publishing “porn” or magazines with only nudes was risky. Various state and local authorities were prosecuting publishers for publishing magazines that “had no socially redeeming value.” Hence the publishers covered themselves with news, fiction, fashion, or other articles. Things are a little different now, a lot of porn has moved to the internet or dvd rentals.
But I wanted to get to the bottom of the Playboy announcement. The magazine has seen its circulation fall the last few years. The magazine, always a little elitist, has failed to make big gains with a younger crowd, especially with working class and middle class men. Totally removing the nudes from the magazine seemes like they are going in the wrong direction. After all, if you want “good” articles, why not read Atlantic, or the New York Review of Books?
The one man who could give me answers to that is dead: porn publisher Al Goldstein. He was the King for a while, publishing the sleazy, irreverent Screw magazine and running various other enterprises. He was always in Court, fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. So I thought I would contact him on the other side. Get some answers from the guy who knows what’s happening.
…Glass of wine…..
…glass of wine….
Murray: Hello, Al? Al Goldstein?
Goldstein: Yeah, I’m here. How are ya, you old putz?
Murray: OK, Al. I hate to bother you, ….you must be busy or something.
Goldstein. Yeah, but it’s not what you think, in fact not what anyone could ever think.
Murray: What do you mean? Like where are you now? If you can say?
Goldstein: Right now I’m down in the hot place, but actually the way things worked out I divide my time between the two places..
Murray: Huh? How’s that possible? I’ve never heard of that before.
Goldstein: Well, I got sent down here for a light sentence because of some bad things I did.
Murray: You mean some of the Porn stuff?
Goldstein: Naw, some other f*cking stuff. So I have to spend four hours every day going to a beginner’s Sunday School. And me a Jew. I’m f*cking outraged.
Murray: I imagine it could be worse, I mean sitting in a Sunday School class isn’t too bad, is it?
Goldstein: It is if your sentence is 30,000 years of the sh*t.
Murray: Well, what about the rest of the day?
Goldstein: The other half of my time I work up top with the good guys. It’s a big universe, and I’ve actually been appointed a kind of Porn Angel, so to speak.
Murray: Porn Angel?
Goldstein: Yeah, well there’s a lot of solar systems in the universe, a lot of planets and a lot of weird people. Some of the races on other planets have declining populations, and they needed someone to spur them on, give ’em LUST, get them f*cking again. I’m an expert on that, so they hired me.
Murray: Wow. Sounds like you are able to continue your career.
Goldstein: Yeah, but the downside is that I can’t participate, you know, I don’t have a physical body anymore. In fact, I’m not entirely sure who I’m working for at this job. I’d give my left nut to have a dick again…..
Murray: I see your point. Hey, the reason for the call is about the new announcement from Playboy magazine. Have you heard about it?
Goldstein: Yeah, I hear about everything. There’s always hordes of new jerks inbound here, we pick up rumors pretty fast.
Murray: So what is it, Al? Is the staff of Playboy all gay now?
Goldstein: Naw, and those schmucks don’t have a creative drop of jizz in their bodies. This decision is coming right from Hef.
Murray: What? Hef?
Goldstein: Well, sort of. Do you remember that radical feminist Andrea Dworkin from the 80s and 90s? She was a big fat woman
Murray: Yeah, the anti-porn crusader.
Goldstein: That’s the one. Well, Hef is weak. I mean the old f*ck is really weak. When you get down like that, you’re susceptible to a walk-in.
Murray: A walk-in?
Goldsteirn: Yeah, that Andrea woman is a spirit now, she saw that Hef was weak, his defenses down, so she moved right into his body.
Murray: Is that possible?
Goldstein: F*ckin right it’s possible. She’s now Hef, controlling him. She’s havin’ a f*ckin ball, makin’ him into a laughing stock, taking the nudes out of the mag. He’s so weak that his last few girlfriends said that all he does at night is cuddle with his dog and watch old fifties movies. He’s done. And Andrea is getting her putrid rocks off,- getting her feminist revenge on all the men. What a country….
Murray: Al, I have to think about this, maybe with a sixpack. This is depressing news.
Goldstein: Well, Ed, as I have said many times, F*CK YOU, F*CK HEF, F*CK ANDREA, in fact,
F*CK EVERYBODY! HOPE TO SEE ALL YOU JERKS REAL SOON!
Murray: Al, this time I really mean it: Sorry I asked….
Goldstein: Uh, yeah, gotto go, Sunday School class starting in a few minutes……
– Times are so tough, I saw people at Greenpeace selling Humpback Whale cookbooks.
– The temperature is 109 degrees in Arizona. It’s so hot, even white people are sweating when the cops pull ‘em over.
– The economy in Hollywood is so bad, the guy from “127 Hours” hiked in the desert & cut off his other arm just for a sequel.
– From Hollywood, where if you give a man enough hope, he’ll hang himself.
– Gotta go, this blog is more fun than head lice.
Google me. I need the attention.
A Review by Five
In FUNNY: THE BOOK, thirty-five year show business veteran David Misch went deep undercover to investigate the secrets of comedy, while producing a very humorous page-turner in and of itself. His mission was to explore the origins, definition, rules, and purpose of comedy, as well as what it tells us about the human condition.
In an attempt to explain the history of Ha!, the author writes, “Humor was probably invented by a Neanderthal who tripped over a log to amuse his cave-mates, then fell into the fire and burned to death, thereby inventing irony as well.” Whether this is true or not, one can only wait for the invention of a time travel device to either substantiate this theory or debunk it altogether.
(And speaking of history, for those who are curious about the oldest fart joke on record, according to Misch it goes back to the ancient Sumerians in 1900 BC. To hear, rather, read the actual joke, the author expresses his heartfelt wish that you lay down a few bucks and purchase the book. )
A thorough guided tour of early Hollywood rounds out the historical perspective of FUNNY: THE BOOK, complete with scores of anecdotal stories about the tricksters and early stars of the silver screen. From Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, to Mae West and that zany bunch known world over as the Marx Brothers, are just a few of the characters the author highlights.
But wait! From the funny business of the silver screen, the book goes back in time again to the ancient world to pay a brief visit to the Court Jester, whose role we all know as The Joker in the deck of cards (invented in ninth-century China). Interesting to note that this motley character is not part of the royal family or a member of any suit, nor is he really part of the pack, but yet he’s potentially the most powerful card in the deck. Go figure.
Next stop… Live from Giggles and the wonderful world of standup comedy. The book hits high gear as the author explores some of the heavy hitters including Bob Hope (who first appeared on television before there was television, in a test broadcast in 1932), Milton Berle (reputed to have the largest penis in show business), Mort Sahl (the first standup to make the cover of Time), and Lenny Bruce (need any words be said?), whose incendiary routines paved the way for the likes of Richard Pryor, George Carlin and others.
Not to be left out are the female counterparts in this FUNNY: THE BOOK equation: Lucy Ball, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, and a bunch of others are covered and then uncovered.
Just when you think author Misch is well-entrenched in the modern world and there’s no turning back… Surprise! He once again climbs into his personal literary time machine for another visit to the ancient world. This time to visit the Greeks and the Romans, as well as the Middle Ages and that groovy period known as the Renaissance.
So why do we laugh? According to Misch, “We laugh because something’s familiar and (we laugh) at things we’ve never seen.”
Obviously, that’s the short answer. For the long answer, and to be privy to the scientific and philosophical aspects of comedy from a man who has written and/or produced works for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, UPN, HBO, Showtime, PBS, Disney, Universal, and Lifetime, I highly suggest you read the book. It is well worth the time investment (not to mention the health benefits from the dopamine high you will get) especially if “Funny” is something you can, and/or often relate to.
B’deeb, b’deeb b’deeb… that’s all, folks!
Funny – The Book is available at Book Soup, signed copies are currently in stock!
Funnyman David Misch gave a presentation at Book Soup in West Hollywood, discussing his new book, called “Funny – The Book”. Armed with video clips of some of the funniest moments of television and movie history, he shows how humor operates, starting with the apes and monkeys (hey, they laugh, too), and dissecting the mechanisms of the human brain and psyche to find out why we laugh. What do we think is funny? And why do we laugh at things that on the surface, are not funny at all? His presentation has photos, quotes, studies, and clips from Hollywood films, an entertaining peek into the world of humor and how the average human responds to it. So sit back, get a glass of wine, light up a cigar, and watch the video. Click here to view the presentation.
Click here on Book Soup to go to their website to buy the book, or get on over there in person to pick up a signed copy!