Patty Farmer is acknowledged as the leading expert on all things pertaining to music, entertainment—and the entertainers—of Playboy—as well as most other fabulous entertainment venues of the world. She’s also a businesswoman and former model, and has followed the entertainment industry as an insider, as well as an avid fan and archivist all her life. Her work draws upon a lifetime of friendship and socializing among personalities and celebrities around the world. In her previous book, The Persian Room Presents, she transported readers back to the halcyon days of New York City nightlife.
Multi-award winner and critically acclaimed Richard Skipper (www.RichardSkipper.com) has an almost 40-year career which has taken him from South Carolina to New York to Hollywood and all points in between. He is an entertainer, raconteur, arts advocate and theatre historian. Under the umbrella of Richard Skipper Celebrates! he has conducted over 700 interviews celebrating people in the arts. Recent interviews have included Melissa Manchester, Lesley Ann Warren, Loretta Swit, Tippi Hedren, Rich Little, and David France, author of How to Survive a Plague.
Together, they will celebrate the release of Patty Farmer’s two latest books. The evening will be filled with wonderful memories of the glorious past of The Plaza and the contributions of the wonderful comics who graced the stages of the former Playboy Clubs.
From the day it opened, on October 1, 1907, the lavish 19-story French Renaissance building on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South was simply the grandest hotel in the world. It’s no wonder that the Plaza’s lavish interiors and exteriors have remained sought-after settings for films, TV shows, commercials―even music videos―as well as home to the most significant social events of their day. Following her success with Playboy Swings, Patty Farmer looks at Playboy’s relationship with comedians and cartoonists in her new book Playboy Laughs. It invites readers onto the sets of the organization’s groundbreaking TV shows, “Playboy Penthouse” and “Playboy After Dark.” These popular variety series brought top-tier comedians, impressionists, and monologists–as well as the finest musicians–into people’s homes each week.
Readers will learn how, before he ever dreamed of conquering the magazine publishing world–and along the way establish a worldwide brand–Hugh Hefner (who passed away just this week at age 91) harbored aspirations of making his mark in the world as a cartoonist. Playboy Laughs delves into the darker aspects of the time as well, tackling the ways Playboy and its comedy stars helped break down social and racial barriers as well as sexual ones.
Known for her devotion to meticulous research and clear, honest storytelling, Farmer gained the full cooperation of the Playboy organization–and the late Mr. Hefner himself–making this not only an entertaining read but a trustworthy history of an under-appreciated aspect of American comic culture.
Culture Sonar: In her new book Playboy Laughs, Farmer digs deep into the enormous influence that Playboy has had on the world of comedy. Playboy Laughs is written in a charming second-person style that draws in the reader as it opens wide the door to this world of high-level entertainment, gorgeous ladies, fancy repasts and suave escape. It also acknowledges the changing mores of America as it moved through the mid-20th century up through the late 1980s, when the clubs were all but shuttered and the magazine grew less impactful.
Painstakingly researched and more commemorative than critical, Playboy Laughs celebrates one cultural landmark’s glory days with lots of photos and cartoons plus frank and revealing interviews and the appealing voice of the author who acts as part charismatic professor, part friend. If you think Playboy was just [a magazine] about T&A, then she’s here to correct that by pointing your attention to another part of the body: the funny bone.”
Curtains Up: “Playboy Laughs is good chronicle of that history and an enjoyable snapshot of a lost era. I recommend it especially for ardent followers of American pop culture.”
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: “Playboy Laughs is one of those books where you want to keep a notepad nearby while reading it so you can jot down anecdotes and relay them back to like-minded friends interested in the history of laughter.”
Classic Movie Favorites: “Starring the Plaza is a wonderful look into the role this famous Manhattan hotel has played in show business throughout the decades.”
Leonard Maltin: “I never realized how often the Plaza Hotel had been featured onscreen until I started browsing this attractive book, which is filled with terrific photos (both black & white and color) and anecdotes.”
There will also be a Q&A with the audience and Patty will sign books at Barnes & Noble Upper East Side NYC Monday, Oct 2 at 7:00 PM (Door Time: 6:15 PM) 150 East 86th St, New York, NY 10028