1 9 6 9 – 1 9 7 0 (USA)
50 x 60 minute episodes
“Hello there. I’m Hugh Hefner. Sorry I didn’t see you when you came in”.
Playboy supremo Hugh Hefner sucked on an unlighted pipe and welcomed viewers to his posh pad – complete with fireplace, games room, library, bar and (for the initial episodes) a fireman’s pole – where big-name entertainers dropped by to be informally interviewed and entertain at his “swinging” party.
This updated version of Hef’s earlier Playboy’s Penthouse (1959) was a direct steal from The Big Party, with the added attraction of beautiful buxom girls draped over the furniture and lounging around on cushions on the floor.
Guests included Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr, James Brown, Johnny Mathis, Don Adams, Rowan & Martin, Buddy Rich, Vic Damone, Rich Little, Sid Caesar, Shari Lewis, Bill Cosby, The Checkmates, Lou Rawls, Steppenwolf, Canned Heat, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, David Hemmings, Deep Purple, The Byrds, Three Dog Night, The Grateful Dead, Iron Butterfly, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Caine, Lesley Gore, Cher, Soupy Sales, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Della Reese, Harry Nilsson, Marvin Gaye, Joan Baez, Smokey Robinson, Mel Torme, Joe Cocker, Fleetwood Mac, BB King and The Cowsills.
The syndicated series was expensive to produce, costing $35,000 per show, but served as terrific promotion for Hefner’s many enterprises and ran for two seasons.