This morning, the world awoke to the news that as of March 2016 Playboy magazine would no longer publish pictures of naked women in their magazines. Not for any new-found morality about the female bosom, but because there’s just no money in it anymore.
Scott Flanders, Playboy’s CEO, told the New York Times. “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
It seems that playboy.com went non-nude a while ago, and they’ve found their web traffic increase and their demographic skew younger. But the reaction I’ve seen all over is confusion as to the point of having Playboy without the single defining characteristic of Playboy. And that’s a fair response.
Would you go to Starbucks anymore if they stopped selling coffee?
So, where does Playboy magazine go from here?
I’m sure they have a plan, but I’d like to offer a suggestion. And it’s one that proved successful over 20 years ago for a famous show within another cartoon show.
In the season three finale of The Simpsons, Krusty the Clown got some direct competition from Gabbo, a ventriloquist dummy show. His rating dipped and Krusty Gets Kancelled.
Worried about the idol, Bart and Lisa find Krusty standing on a street corner, holding a sign reading, “Will Drop Pants for Food.”
Bart asks Krusty, “Are you making any money?”
“Nah,” Krusty replied, “That guy’s giving it away for free.”
So, Krusty called all of his famous friends, and they put together an All-Star TV Extravaganza, Krusty’s Comeback Special.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed.
Johnny Carson juggled cars
Sideshow Luke Perry got shot out of a canon
Bette Midler sings with Krusty
And HUGH HEFNER PLAYED PETER AND THE WOLF ON WINE GLASSES!
Playboy has the same problem. There’s nothing wrong with what they’re offering, but there’s a guy right in front of them giving it away for free. Same problem. Same solution.
So, playboy, look no further than your own board room.
Host an all-star magazine extravaganza, have Bette Midler sing a song, censor the Red Hot Chili Peppers lyrics, shoot Luke Perry out of a canon, and get Hef to play the wine glasses.
Is there a better solution out there? Hef has already done this once, and Playboy’s CEO is named Flanders for the love of doodily.
It put Krusty back on top (it didn’t hurt that Gabbo called the kids in his audience “SOBs” with a live mic, so maybe have the free porn sites say something mildly offensive to drive away their audience as well).
If Playboy can pull this off, they’ll be swimming in ruby-crusted clown noses.