Time Out #27

The Plaza Gets Ready to Celebrate 110 Years

This is so cool…  I didn’t even know that the Plaza Hotel was doing this.  Special rates, special perks, and a copy of my newest book, Starring the Plaza!!!  Check out the ad and book your room today.


Celebrate 110 – The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel


Hanging Out With Paula Abdul

Professional Dancer Society's Annual Gypsy Awards Luncheon - Arrivals

I had a chance to visit with lovely and gifted Paula Abdul, at the Professional Dancers Society Awards Luncheon, (try saying that fast!), where she was this year’s award recipient.

The Gypsy Award luncheon is always a show you never want to see end, and this year was exceptional.  Many stories were shared about Paula’s early years, and I enjoyed them all, but found one especially inspirational. The story about how she earned a spot cheerleading for the LA Lakers NBA basketball team—the famed Lakers Girls.  Just 18 years old, a few girlfriends and Paula heard about auditions for the team and decided to try out.  Paula luckily had the foresight to pack three changes of clothes.

Eliminated from the initial round, she quickly swapped her outfit for another, put her hair in a pony tail, registered under her middle name, and undertook another attempt.  Once again, she wasn’t selected, but still motivated, she once more put on another change of clothes, put down her sisters name, changed her hair style, and gave it her all.  When all was said and done, Paula had secured one of the coveted spots on the team from an original pool of 700 candidates.  A year later she was the head choreographer. Just six months after that, she was hired by the Jackson 5, as the assistant dance director for their Victory Tour.

Paula has enjoyed numerous awards, achievements and accolades but I get great pleasure in learning about her determination and perseverance. That’s what makes her a special star!

I can’t sign off without mentioning that the astonishing Dick Van Dyke was also in attendance, and bestowed with The Professional Dancers Society Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s hard to believe this vibrant hoofer is 90 years old!

Professional Dancer Society's Annual Gypsy Awards Luncheon - Arrivals



Author Patty Farmer in Conversation with Richard Skipper at Barnes&Noble Upper West Side, New York, New York

Photo of Author Patty Farmer and Interviewer Extraordinaire Richard Skipper at Barnes and Noble Upper West Side book signing

Photo of Author Patty Farmer and Interviewer Extraordinaire Richard Skipper at Barnes and Noble Upper West Side book signing

As many of you know, I get extremely nervous kicking off book tours. But the incomparable Richard Skipper–interviewer extraordinaire–and good friend, made it a fun night. Richard’s questions lead the audience through the high points of Hugh Hefner and Playboy’s advancement of entertainment, that I covered in Playboy Swings, and left them wanting to know more.
Barnes and Noble, and especially Maja, couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful. Thank you to everyone who came and bought books. We sold out and is a big accomplishment with all the electronic versions available.
Next up–I’ll be signing books at Charles of Laguna in beautiful seaside Laguna Beach, CA on Sunday September 27 from 2-4. Please stop by and say hi.  I’d you’d like to know where my book tour will be next, check out the Appearances page:


Some fun facts about the Playboy Clubs

Playboy Club on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood California

Playboy Club on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood California

Each Playboy Club had a Bunny Mother to both advise the ladies and enforce the rules laid out in the Bunny Manual.

The Bunny Manual dictated all Bunny behavior; the stance they must take when smoking (one small puff at a time, the cigarette then resting in the ashtray, not the hand), how they could sit (on the back of a chair or resting a hip on a banister; this was known as the Bunny Perch), how they could stand (the Bunny Stance: one foot behind the other, hips squared), and how they could address members (“Smile and introduce yourself with the standard Bunny Introduction: ‘Good evening, I am your Bunny _ (name). May I see the Playboy key, please?’ … Never express your request for a key-holder’s order in a crude and trite phrase such as ‘What’ll you have?’”)

A few famous Bunnies include; model Lauren Hutton, actress Barbara Bossom, musician and lead singer of Blondie, Debbie Harry, Gloria Steinem, and actress Susan Sullivan.

In 1981, the London Playboy Club and Casino at 45 Park Lane, was the most profitable casino in the world.

Hugh Hefner initially rejected the idea of Bunnies and the Bunny outfit. He envisioned customers served by women wearing corsets.

For most of the 60s and 70s the Playboy Clubs were the largest employers of entertainment in the US.

The Playboy Bunny outfit was the first service uniform registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (U.S. Trademark registration number 0762884)

Bunnies could be fired for breaking the club’s strict non-fraternization rules.

‘Great opportunity for the 30 most beautiful girls in Chicagoland’ read the ad for the first Bunnies.

Owning a Playboy membership was a genuine status symbol in the 60s.

Early entertainers in the first Playboy Club included before-they –were-famous Aretha Franklin and Barbra Streisand.

In 1968, business was hopping at the Playboy Club w/Diahann Carroll as the headliner.

A Playboy Club membership was marketed as an everyday means to bring the Playboy magazine to life. At the height of the clubs popularity an information packet was given to each new member (and prospective member) enticingly proclaiming: “Step into the Playroom”—one of the multi-leveled club’s different areas—“and the wonderful world of Playboy is yours! Against a background of brilliant, illuminated covers from Playboy, the joie de vivre depicted within the world-famous magazine’s pages comes to life.”

The opening night crowd for the London Playboy Club, in 1966, was as famous and attractive, as one could image: Julie Christie, Ursula Andress, Roman Polanski, Michelangelo Antonioni, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Harvey, Peter Sellers, David Frost, Peter Cook, Kenneth Tynan, Rudolf Nureyev, Woody Allen, Lee Radziwill, and many, many others.


Pre-Order your copy of Playboy Swings before the September 14 release by going to or



Some fun facts about Playboy

Stack of Playboys

Stack of Playboys


There are 18 international editions of Playboy around the world, with the magazines printed in Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain and Taiwan.

Playboy magazine remains banned in Mainland China, but the company’s largest product license deal is with China’s Chaifa Investment Ltd., which opened its first store in the communist country in 1993 and operates more than 300 Playboy outlets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The first “Playmate of the Year” was Ellen Stratton.

Ellen Stratton - Playmate of the Year

Ellen Stratton – Playmate of the Year


Playboy Magazine – First Issue – Available December 1953

Playboy Magazine - First Issue Available December 1953

Playboy Magazine – First Issue
Available December 1953


Playboy’s first issue went on sale in December 1953, selling 54,175 copies at 50 cents each. The maiden magazine contained 44 pages.

The magazine’s original name was Stag Party, and instead of a rabbit, its mascot was a buck. Hugh Hefner changed the name to Playboy at a friend’s suggestion after the name Stag Party was challenged in a trademark infringement case.

The first edition featured a nude photo of Marilyn Monroe that Hefner bought from a local calendar printer, as well as a Sherlock Holmes story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Playboy is still the largest “men’s magazine,” selling over 2.6 million a month in the U.S.


You can still pre-order your copy of Playboy Swings available in September by clicking here



Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty - June 12, 2010, during the 32nd Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Trombone Shorty – June 12, 2010, during the 32nd Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)


In 2010, 
23 year-old trombonist/trumpet phenomenon ‘Trombone Shorty’ and his group Orleans Avenue, brought the Playboy Jazz Festival crowd to its feet and had everyone dancing in the aisles to the ‘SupaFunk Rock’ sounds of the Crescent City in a triumphant debut performance that showcased the virtuosity and star power that has made him one of today’s hottest up and coming stars.

Read more about ‘Trombone Shorty’ and other great artists who have performed on the Playboy Stage in my latest book, Playboy Swings, due out this September, available for pre-order now…  Just click on the links:

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Buddy Guy returns to the Playboy Jazz Festival (2011)

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy

Grammy-winning guitar legend and Festival favorite Buddy Guy returned to the Playboy Stage in 2011, for yet another rousing performance. A member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame known for his raucous Chicago style blues, Guy rocked the house with his electrifying guitar prowess, solidifying his status as a legend in his own time. But the highlight of the set came when Guy introduced his protégé, 12 year-old guitar phenomenon, Quinn Sullivan. Trading licks with Guy, young Sullivan wowed the crowd with his astounding playing winning a standing ovation.

You can read more stories in my books Playboy Swings and The Persian Room Presents



The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans, LA

Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans, LA

Celebrating their 50th anniversary, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band once again brought the spirit of the Crescent City to the Playboy stage in 2012. Their rousing performance of New Orleans Dixieland and traditional jazz and blues had fans waving their white hankies and weaving through the aisles in conga lines throughout the Bowl, saluting the band’s legacy in true New Orleans style. The group also continued the honors to Mr. Cosby by inviting him to join them onstage during their performance. He happily obliged, to the crowd’s delight.


For more great stories about the Playboy Jazz Festival, pre-order my newest book Playboy Swings at: