The Education of a Playboy Bunny
Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
November 29, 1962, Vol. VIII, No. 6
Bunnies on a Rabbit Run
By Jane Kramer
A man named Hugh Hefner is raising bunnies in every major city across the United States but Boston. His bunnies are playboy bunnies, a new breed -- all female, all young, all scrupulously trained in the service of American businessmen whose taste in sex apparently runs more to rabbits than to real girls.
They can be distinguished from the real girls by their long ears, which according to Section 521, Paragraph 5 of their handbook, "The Bunny Manual," must always match, and by their cotton tails, which must always be fluffy and clean. They can likewise be distinguished from real rabbits by the starched collars and cuffs they wear, the bright satin costumes, and by the wide variety of color in their hair. They come out at night, and their habitat is any one of Hefner's several urban pleasure domes, called Playboy Clubs.
The most recent and by far the shiniest Playboy Club is a six-story movie set on East 59th Street. With a yellow, orange, and blue marquee and a cast of 125 bunnies eared and tailed to do their part in the deco, it contradicts the surrounding scene.
Still, the new club will open in a week, and all the New York bunnies are busy working out for that occasion. They have been enrolled in the bunny business course at the New York bunny business school -- a discipline which often calls for more than two hours of class a day.
Last Wednesday afternoon, however, most of the bunnies had cut their class. They were spent from an important midterm examination on the day before -- the young woman dispatched to their big, midtown classroom loft to see to public relations explained it all "Hello," she said. "I'm Barbara, bunny p.r. Come on in and meet the girls."
Stepping over crates of cottontails and keys and costume props, past a life-size bunny poster on the wall, Barbara led the way in from the door to where a scraggly collection of bunnies sat and waited for school to begin. They were resting their bright but weary heads on their uniformly enormous pocketbooks. Only two bunnies, though, were dressed the part. "The bunnies don't all have the same sections of their costumes yet," Barbara said, waving hello to a bunny director who had just come in. "Some of them just have the cuffs and collars and not the suits."
...The bunny image, according to Alice, is just the image of the girl next door. Did this imply that every girl next door wears sheer black stockings and a satin bathing suit to work or merely that every American boy lives beside a rabbit farm? Alice seemed unwilling to discuss the question. She said, instead, that each bunny works an eight-hour shift in a four-day week, making from two to three hundred dollars in the process, and that the club allows only one bunny to every fifteen guests. Then class began...
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.