Though the traditional Playboy Magazine no longer runs in print, and founder and CEO Hugh Hefner passed away in 2017, the brand recognition and influence on pop culture continues today.
Mostly, I remember Playboy more for the influence Hef’s reality TV show with his former girlfriends on E! called The Girls Next Door, which starred Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson starting in 2005.
It’s been over 10 years since the three girls appeared on an episode, and the show no longer runs (aside from random reruns sometimes), but Holly and Bridget now have their own podcast called Girls Next Level, where they talk about their time in the infamous Playboy Mansion.
It’s one of my current favorites, and this week, they told a funny little story about country music’s own Kenny Rogers and his connection to Playboy.
Holly referenced Kenny’s hit song “The Gambler” when talking about a story from her days at the Mansion, which led her to talking about Kenny, along with plenty of other male celebrities, who used to call up the Playboy guest house quite often.
When Jenny McCarthy was living there in early-to-mid 90’s, all of the Playmates and girls appearing in the magazine lived in the guest house, because Hef was married at the time (that changed once he was single again).
And apparently, famous men used to call the main house and be patched through to any random Playmates room in the guest house during that time, which is so funny and not surprising in the least:
“Speaking of, even though I’m not a country music person, I could listen to Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers all day. Did you ever hear the story Jenny McCarthy told about how Kenny Rogers used to call the Playmate guest house?
Way back in the day, Jenny was shooting for Playmate back in the 90’s, this was when Hef was married, so the Playmate’s weren’t allowed in the main house that often. They kinda were stuck in the guest house.
And she said that men, celebrity men, would call the mansion and just be patched through to a random room in the Playmate guest house, ‘cuz they wanted to talk to Playmates and meet Playmates that way. Isn’t that weird? And one of them was Kenny Rogers.”
“Okay that is creepy…. not Kenny Rogers, but just the fact that random dude’s, celebrity dude’s, would call to the guest house and just be patched through…
They’re just hoping that one of the girl’s is gonna be like, ‘Oh, Kenny Rogers, you should com over here right now so I can f*ck you?'”
While that’s definitely a fair, probably tongue-in-cheek point, I kind of think that’s exactly what they thought, and Holly seemingly agrees:
“A lot of them went on dates with those guys, wouldn’t you think?
‘Cuz if you’re like a young girl from the middle of nowhere and celebrity calls up, especially if it’s one you like, you might be like ‘Oh yeah, I’ll go out with you.’
I bet people went out with the guys. I know Playmates who slept with celebrities in the guest house.”
Rogers was married four times in his life, and was married to actress Marianne Gordon from 1977 to 1993. He married Wanda Miller in 1997, so the timeline of him calling the guest house definitely lines up to a time when he was single and ready to mingle.
And seeing as Playboy was known for having the most beautiful women in the world grace the cover, it was probably worth a shot… hey, they don’t call him “The Gambler” for nothin’.
You can watch Holly and Bridget discuss it here:
I’d love to know what he thought about his friend Dolly Parton’s iconic 1978 Playboy cover, too, though I have a few guesses…