Hugh big sap

Hefner goes teary at awards ceremony; Tiffany stages her comeback ... naked! Plus: Stephen King on his worst nightmare; the "Spinal Tap" boys reunite to take on folk music; Jesse Ventura gets his own musical.

By Amy Reiter
Published February 1, 2002 5:39PM (EST)

Everyone knows that Hugh Hefner loves women -- often several at once.

But it became quite clear on Wednesday night that one woman in particular can move him to tears with a few kind words: his daughter, Christie.

"I hadn't expected to get so emotional," Hef sniffled after Christie paid loving tribute to him and handed him the Magazine Publishers of America's prestigious Henry Johnson Fisher award.

Hef's waterworks might also have had something to do with the standing O he received from the assembled media bigwigs -- Helen Gurley Brown and Martha Stewart included -- who braved a serious security screening process to pack the ballroom of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. In addition to the applause, there was even some mild hooting.

"This honor means a great deal to me," Hef said in his short acceptance speech, "coming as it does from my peers."

Touched but not quite so farklempt, seemingly, was Richard M. Smith, Newsweek's chairman and editor in chief, who was also given an award.

"Thanks to all those former colleagues who came out tonight," Smith quipped, "even those who came just to see if I'd be wearing pajamas."

For the record, he wasn't. And neither was Hef.

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Or did he mean "tease"?

"Some people just can't see the forest for the T's."

-- Ray Bradbury, whose "Farenheit 451" was first published in Playboy, on the lack of recognition for all the great fiction the magazine has published over the years.

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Speaking of Playboy T's

Remember Tiffany, the teen pop star who belted out "I Think We're Alone Now" at malls across America back in the '80s?

She's back and, thanks to Playboy, less clothed than Britney. Yep, she's on display in all her glory in the magazine's upcoming issue.

"Admit it -- you had her records and you've been waiting," the magazine's marketers taunt.

Actually, I never had her records (who knew there was more than one?) and would really rather not see either her forest or her T's, thanks very much.

Juicy bits

The rest of us may find our sleep haunted by images from "Carrie" or "Christine." Stephen King is tormented by the specter of Harold Robbins. The reason he's going to retire from writing books soon, the prolific author recently told the Los Angeles Times, is that he doesn't want to end up writing way past his prime, as Robbins did. "That's my nightmare," King says. Good to know.

Guess who's coming back to take folk music to 11! Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean -- along with Eugene Levy -- are reuniting to do for the Kumbaya set what they did to rock music in "Spinal Tap." Guest and Levy are working on a new film that "deals with three folk acts that get together for a memorial concert at Carnegie Hall because a famous legendary folk manager has died," Guest told the Hollywood Reporter. "These acts were active in the '60s but have been out of the business since the early '70s. They must now travel to New York to honor this man who has died, and play the concert." Someone better warn them that in these days of tightened airport security, a foil-wrapped cucumber could get them in lots of trouble.

They don't really want to hurt him. "Taboo," the musical based on Boy George's life story, is a hit on the London stage, playing to packed houses and generally favorable notices. "I was very quiet before the performance, which is unlike me," the former Culture Clubber told the U.K. press on opening night, "but now it's over I'm thrilled that everyone seems to have enjoyed it so much." From "I'll Tumble for Ya" to "break a leg" in one easy step ...

Blame Boy George? A musical based on Gov. Jesse Ventura's life story is apparently thundering its way toward the stage. "The music will have a very heavy rock sound because that is the governor's favorite kind of music and the sound he wanted," composer Stephen Dolginoff told Playbill Online. "It will blend very well with the outrageous wrestling. It's not a rock opera, it's very much like a traditional musical, with book songs." Songs with names like "Do You Like the Rolling Stones" and "I Don't Know the Meaning of Can't." Does he know the meaning of "please, don't"?

More promising ... "I Dream of Jeannie," the musical. According to Variety, the '60s sitcom, already being developed as a movie, is also being turned into a stage musical. Oh, master!

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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