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Forum » Chew The Fat » Hugh Hefner has passed away at age 91
Rick Ace Rhodes
The man who created Playboy and turned it into an entire empire has passed away at age 91.

It's pretty difficult to say that he's in a better place right now...

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*Insert funny signature here*
Rick Ace Rhodes wrote :
It's pretty difficult to say that he's in a better place right now...
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Wherever he is, he's probably wearing pajamas and a robe. Weirdo. 
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You love this signature.
Mr Magic
He had a chance to turn his life around and never did. Perv.
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Hugh Hefner was but one of the greatest social magicians of the 20th century, and I know his MO.

"Playboy" was "the draw" - the magazine was the eye candy that garnered all the attention, much like a magician holds up cards in his left hand, leaving uptight America to ponder the sin of soft porn.

But if all you see are the cards in the magician's left hand, you're not paying attention to his right hand!

Yes - that's Hugh Hefner! 

While America went crazy over a magazine, behind the scenes Hugh Hefner used the power of social connections during the non-online era to change the way adults think about sex and sexuality. Hugh Hefner may be the most influential agent in the standard of discourse in the way people think about sexuality in general.

And I say that because Hefner's greatest impact wasn't on my parents generation, it was my generation - the kids who would grow to dominate popular culture in the 1960's.

This is not an overstatement, Hugh hefner was one of a group of personalities that transformed American society from a world that never discussed activity behind closed doors to a new society that screamed, "everything goes", and everything did.

Hugh Hefner's influence changed the landscape of entertainment, especially comedy, in ways that are easy to recognize but tough to measure.

Easy example: "Monty Python's Flying Circus".

MPFC had no impact on my grandparents, it left my parents scratching their heads. But the guys from my generation were howling with laughter because we were the products of Hugh Hefner's world view - the naughty stuff is the fun stuff.

But my greatest example of "the Hugh Hefner Effect" comes from the hundreds of comedy shows and specials I saw from the 60's and the 70's. "Sex is Fun" - that was the gift that Hugh gave to everyone. That mindshift in the public gave rise to a new generation of comedians that put "sexy" together with "fun" and created an entertainment foundation that would carry forward through the rest of the 20th century.

"Hugh Hefner Effect" - exhibit A:

Dave Allen

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Love him or hate him, you definitely have to admit that he had a huge effect on pop culture.
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Another way to look at Hugh Hefner's influence is to see "Playboy" as a lifestyle/entertainment powerhouse.

Social commentary, politics, fashion - Playboy moved the needle on social conscience from the middle ages to contemporary (with Playboy defining what contemporary was).

Hugh Hefner maybe looked like an odd fellow in pajamas but look at his friends list: Corporate CEO's, Leaders in Government, Sports Team Owners and Athletes, the Biggest names in Entertainment, inside and outside Hollywood and Heads of State from around the World.

Hugh Hefner was able to do this because of the times in which Playboy was at full-power in popularity.

But as I have said many times around here - "the internet changes everything".

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