Okay, so Playboy has launched the Playboy Archive, and they’ve stuck fifty-three issues online for free, viewable and searchable via Silverlight (which you have to install if you don’t have it already). Now I know lots of people “read” Playboy because of the flesh involved. Me, I actually do read the articles, since in modern issues women airbrushed to hell and back just don’t do anything for me. I went through ten of the early issues they’ve placed up there to see what they might have to offer to people like me. Not that the vintage ads and regular columns and such aren’t worthy just on their own. But just in case.
Click on the month and year to go straight to the issue in question. Click on the story or article title to go straight to it. But I think you should just flip through them–they’re fantastic. Click on names to take you elsewhere in our archives.
- March 1956: Ray Bradbury, “The First Night of Lent”
- July 1960: Richard Matheson, “First Anniversary”; Arthur C. Clarke: “Rocket to the Renaissance”; cartoons by Jules Feiffer and Shel Silverstein
- August 1961: More Silverstein
- September 1962: First of the Playboy Interviews: Miles Davis; Jack Finney, “Hey, Look at Me!”; More Feiffer
- October 1963: Jack Finney, “No Time for the Billiard Ballet”; Lenny Bruce, “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People (autobiography)”; Larry Siegel, “Fairy Tales for the Jet Set”; more Silverstein
- November 1964: Arthur C. Clarke, “Beyond Centaurius”; more Feiffer & Silverstein
- December 1965: Interview with Al Capp; Vladimir Nabokov, “Despair”; Henry Miller, “The Old Neighborhood”; Judith Wax & Larry Siegel, “Playboy’s Christmas Cards”; P. G. Wodehouse, “Jeeves and the Greasy Bird”; Jean Shepherd, “Red Ryder Nails the Hammond Kid”; John Le Carre, “Bread on the Waters”; more Feiffer and Silverstein, plus “Little Annie Fanny”
- January 1966: Roald Dahl, “The Last Act”; James Baldwin, “The Man Child”; Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Parisians and the Germans”; more Feiffer and Little Annie Fanny
- February 1967: Woody Allen, “The Girls of Casino Royale”
- March 1968: Interview with Truman Capote; more “Little Annie Fanny”