It's the 50th anniversary of Playboy magazine and fans of Hugh Hefner's way of life will be able to buy a bit of it at Christie's on December 17 when memorabilia such as manuscripts, a bunny costume and some of Hef's little black books go on sale. When the New York Observer called the ur-playboy at his mansion in Holmby Hills, Hef told them that his real black book would never see the light of day. And, in a touching moment, the 77-year-old said "Westwood cemetery, which is located not too far from where I live, is where Marilyn Monroe is buried, and where I will be buried, in a vault right next to her." When asked what his epitaph would be he said: "[He] had some positive impact on changing the sexual and social values of his time -- and had a lot of fun in the process."
Best holiday spirit award goes to Nicole Kidman. She and ex Tom Cruise are planning to spend the holidays on an island in Fiji with their kids and Nic has invited Tom's girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, to join them on Christmas Day. (Ananova)
Historical gossip, but good nonetheless: In recently released tapes from the Richard Nixon White House the president chats with his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, in 1972 about then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, saying, "Reagan is not one that wears well." Haldeman agrees, then Nixon adds, "Reagan, on a personal basis, is terrible. He just isn't pleasant to be around." (AP via SFGate)
The magazines to read, according to Black Table's annual survey, are Blender for the hippest music hints, the aforementioned Playboy -- for the articles of course, Found for its amazing pop anthropology and Foreign Policy for its informative, jargon-free prose. On the out list this year are The Believer (" ... too expensive, especially when there are plenty of people who already make you feel stupid for absolutely nothing"), Vanity Fair (for being heavy but lacking substance), Penthouse and People (because both are sadly out of touch). And still in limbo is New York magazine. Will its soul remain in the marketing department or will it be given to an editor with some balls? The verdict should be in soon. (Gawker)
Abercrombie & Fitch pulls the plug on its graphic Quarterly, but doesn't offer any real explanation. Does this spell the end of A&F's pioneering homoerotic frat boy chic? The company says only that it will embrace "new thinking." Sex scolds tried hard to hide their arousal, claiming the battle over booty must still be waged. "They have a history of sexual exploitation and there are many different ways to continue that campaign," said a panting Phil Burress, president of the Citizens for Community Values. (NYT -- though Gawker had this yesterday.)
The Smoking Gun revealed a memo showing that Los Angeles county child welfare investigators concluded earlier this year that there was no basis for abuse charges against Michael Jackson because of his relationship with a then-12-year-old -- the same boy central to child molestation charges brought against Jackson by Santa Barbara County officials. "This looks really important to the defense," Erwin Chemerinsky, an expert in criminal law at USC, told the Los Angeles Times. "It could be sufficient evidence that this never goes to trial." (Los Angeles Times)
Best senator-as-woman-scorned line from Sen. Joe Lieberman: A Tuesday morning phone call from Al Gore was "four or five minutes in length -- and too late." By then, news that Gore was endorsing Howard Dean had been on the news wires for half a day.
Despite what the afternoon Fix lady thinks, he's really tiresome beyond belief: "Queer Eye" Carson Kressley, part of Cher's entourage at the premiere of "Stuck on You," tells reporters: "[Cher] is a diva in a good sense of the word, meaning that she's supremely talented and superstylin,'" later adding, "She's very down to earth" and "She's sort of like Jesus." (Rush and Molloy)
Eat me: Cannibal Armin Miewes, on trial in Germany, advertised online for prospective victims and received 400 applicants -- including a man named Matteo in Italy, who wanted to be nailed to a cross. He ultimately found the perfect candidate -- a man with a John Wayne Bobbit-like obsession -- whose killing was taped and, according to Miewes, consensual. (NY Post -- warning: very gross.)
Best of the Rest
Page Six: Angry funnyman Jackie Mason tries to take credit for Bruce Weber's move from the New York Times theater review beat to cultural reporting because Mason complained before -- and after -- Weber saw his short-lived show "Laughing Room Only." (Weber, along with most critics, trashed the show.) "Now I'm going to Miami but he's going to be reporting on Siberian dance festivals," Mason says; Pam Anderson, David LaChapelle and Jocelyn Wildenstein gather at Plaid party; [WARNING: "Sex and the City" spoiler!] According to inside reports, Samantha (Kim Catrall) will lose her hair during the next season because of chemotherapy treatments and be forced to wear a black wig. "Stanford Blatch, the 'really gay character' played by Willie Garson, tells her: 'You look very Jefferson Starship.'" [Boy, that sounds funny.]; During the filming of "Something's Gotta Give," Columbia Pictures shelled out $135,000 for three weeks to rent Jack Nicholson a luxe house in Southampton, while costar Diane Keaton's digs cost $55,000; Bobby Brown flees to California after "belting" wife Whitney Houston Sunday night, but no charges were filed; J.Lo no longer will rep for Louis Vuitton because company wants new "face."
Lloyd Grove's Lowdown: Sony Pictures management shakeup could mean that mysterious "Internet type" will soon run the studio; "Bachelor" Andrew Firestone -- following the two "Bachelors" before him, Alex Michel and Aaron Buerge -- has split up with his winner/fiancée, Jennifer Schefft.
Rush and Molloy: Funkmaster George Clinton arrested after being caught with a "glass crack pipe" and could get five years in prison, though lawyers saying cops used illegal search; Elvis Costello, 49, marries Diana Krall, 39; Mick's daughter Elizabeth Jagger disses Paul's daughter Stella McCartney, saying, "She treats me like a sister, and I hardly know her. I hate that rock-chic vibe."
Bold Face Names: At the "Stuck on You" premiere, Peter Farrelly flashes his privates to the red carpet throng. "Why, those of you of philosophical bent must be asking," writes Joyce Wadler. "We know not. Perhaps it was a variation of that long-running Peter Farrelly gag in which he complains of a great purple growth on his abdomen, which he fears is a melanoma, and then, as the French waiters used to say just before serving up a surprise, 'Voil`!'" A reporter gets a face-to-face interview with Cher and reports back: "Absolutely wrinkle free."