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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Playboy Funnies

posted by on December 11 at 8:31 AM

From my April 1971 issue of Playboy magazine…


I know this cartoon is hilarious… but I can’t quite put my finger on why. Golly, I wish ECB were here to unpack its multiple layers of meaning and irony for me. (The caption, in case you’re having trouble reading it: “I screamed for help, officer. But I’ve changed my mind.”)

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:( I can't afford to molest ANYONE!

Posted by Ziggity | December 11, 2007 8:37 AM

Is Playboy still this awesome?

Posted by JMR | December 11, 2007 8:43 AM

WhoA! Call the laugh police! BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

No, really. Are you serious?

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 8:45 AM

No, it's not.

Edward Kirazian is a fantastic illustrator, though. Wikipedia says he was born in Egypt and emigrated to Paris after WWII. I wonder if he's a Muslim?

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 8:46 AM

Is it just me, or does she have some weird anatomy going on?

Posted by bolo | December 11, 2007 8:47 AM

It's art.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 8:49 AM

Alcohol=get-out-of-rape-free card!

Or, charitably, maybe he's the one speaking.

Posted by ECB | December 11, 2007 8:53 AM

Why does sexism always have to be unfunny? can't something be so overtly sexist that it becomes funny for another reason?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | December 11, 2007 8:57 AM

How do you know they're not role playing?

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 8:58 AM

If you have to explain the joke...

Show us the Gahan Wilson carton, Dan; that one WILL be funny.

Posted by COMTE | December 11, 2007 8:59 AM

All charges are placed in innocutity when the alcohol is sipped from glass slippers.

Posted by manshits | December 11, 2007 9:04 AM

Rape jokes have never been funny, and they're still not funny.

Posted by Greg | December 11, 2007 9:05 AM

It's not as funny as those Chester the Molester cartoons in Hustler magazine. Oh, that Chester...

Posted by JC | December 11, 2007 9:05 AM

The guy appears to have no lower body. Is he some kind of human/snake hybrid?

Posted by tsm | December 11, 2007 9:06 AM

Maybe because the male in the cartoon looks like he's about 12???? Maybe he is the one talking to the officer.

Posted by M | December 11, 2007 9:06 AM

#12: Not so. Remember George Carlin? "Picture Porky Pig raping Elmer Fudd."

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 9:11 AM

No, I don't remember George Carlin, and that's not funny.

Posted by Greg | December 11, 2007 9:14 AM

The only thing compelling about it is the purple object on the table. A plastic coke spoon? A Carefree panty liner? Some kind of sex toy? What the hell IS it?

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 9:16 AM

A child molester and small boy are walking deep into a darkened forest.

The boy squeezes the child molester's hand harder and says "Jeez mister, it sure is scary in here".

"You think you're scared? I have to walk out of here alone."

*rim shot*

Posted by tsm | December 11, 2007 9:16 AM

it was a different time in 1971. a more innocent time. a time when money & drugs could change a woman's mind about engaging in sex.

Posted by backwoods stupid | December 11, 2007 9:18 AM

I still say they could be role playing. To shame this cartoon for rape or sexism is projecting. To shame it for being lame is much more appropriate.

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 9:21 AM

@18, it's her shoe.

Posted by Eric F | December 11, 2007 9:23 AM

Some rape jokes are surely funny. This one is not because the punchline is "Those women! They don't know what they want. A good overpowering and some cock will set her right!"

On the other hand, she appears to be at least twice his height, even lying down, so I guess she could take him.

Posted by O | December 11, 2007 9:24 AM

Irena you're kidding about the purple shoe, right?

Poor ECB - really this has nothing to do with rape. In '71 "good" girls always said no at first - that's the joke along with a woman's right to change her mind.

Posted by whatever | December 11, 2007 9:28 AM

It would be funny if it were Greg being raped.

Posted by Mike in MO | December 11, 2007 9:30 AM

The illustration is gorgeous. I used to love these cartoons when poring over my brother's Playboys. As a vagina-phobe I always found Hustler disturbing, although I remember some great satire from them.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | December 11, 2007 9:33 AM


Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 9:33 AM

(Shoulda gone after #25, obviously.)

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 9:35 AM

Not even tepidly funny.

Posted by Greg | December 11, 2007 9:41 AM

Whatever @ 24,

Re: "In '71 'good' girls always said no at first - that's the joke along with a woman's right to change her mind."

That's BS - saying "no at first" even in '71, is not the same as "screaming for help" per the caption.

'71 were the bad old days when this was more frequently the rapist's oft used defense...the same successful defense that too often resulted in women not coming forward at all.

More men used to expect sex if they wined and dined women in those bad old days. Of course that means also that more men wanted the reassurance that with the bucks, rapes would be transformed into consensual fucks. A cartoon of a woman "changing her mind" reinforces those hopes.

Posted by ECB-lite | December 11, 2007 9:50 AM

After decades spent battling gender discrimination and inequality in the workplace, the feminist movement underwent a high-level shake-up last month, when 53-year-old management consultant Peter "Buck" McGowan took over as new chief of the worldwide initiative for women's rights. [the onion]

Posted by in other news | December 11, 2007 9:51 AM

Reminds me of a t-shirt in the early 80s "Avoid Rape Say Yes"

and an old unabashed definition as Rape-assault with a friendly weapon.

we've come a long way

Posted by gregg | December 11, 2007 9:51 AM

Are you sure this wasn't about what Pullman sports jocks are thinking women will say while they go on ... excursions ... to sororities?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 11, 2007 9:51 AM

This cartoon has been around since 1971 and you're only getting mad about it now?

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 9:55 AM


I'm an artist and I thought it was a panty liner, too.

Posted by Peter | December 11, 2007 9:56 AM

@22 -- ah, a tiny glass slipper for her tiny Barbie feet. How dull.

@24, why "Poor ECB"? She was less offended by it than some of the guys.

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 9:59 AM

The guy's pants are so dark that his legs disappear into the couch, and he looks like a torso draped over her... Weird.

Posted by Katelyn | December 11, 2007 10:03 AM

Dan - not funny, and perpetuates a stereotype about women that makes most women very uncomfortable. So, I'd say at least %50 of your readers aren't laughing. I was with you on the overweight spouse stuff, I got the point you were making with the security guard hero and her potential history...but this is a goof on your part.
The art is nice, I like the style, but not funny.

Posted by henicorhina | December 11, 2007 10:11 AM

No, really. Are you serious?

If you mean me, no, I wasn't, I was taking my own stab at what Dan calls "multiple layers of meaning and irony."

Posted by JMR | December 11, 2007 10:11 AM

@38 - umm, I'm pretty sure Dan wasn't really laughing either.

Posted by tsm | December 11, 2007 10:16 AM

So classy.

Posted by Gloria | December 11, 2007 10:22 AM

not funny. which would seem to be dan's point. and while it is interesting (and meaningful) to understand attitudes in the 70s, i wasn't even born then! this would seem to only serve as a foundation for the present state, and not something men or women would have to account for today.

although the drawing technique is pleasant, were such a comic to be printed today it would not be found humorous, and there would be outrage (if it reached any significant audience).

Posted by infrequent | December 11, 2007 10:24 AM

I'm not offended by the cartoon at all because it's not real. It's drawn fiction. Real rape, on the other hand, is disgusting (unless, as previously stated, it's happening to Greg. Oh, and if the rapist is the Pillsbury Dough Boy.)

Posted by Jason Josephes | December 11, 2007 10:29 AM

Also, @24, your simple explanation doesn't quite cover it. While the cartoon doesn't explicitly advocate rape, it trivializes the crime by using a rape scenario to celebrate the "sexual liberation" of the times. This is why it falls flat. It's hardly an enlightened cartoon about "a woman's right to change her mind."

And what's the legacy of Playboy's brand of sexual liberation? Britney Spears as a role model for our daughters. Wow -- go Playboy. SO progressive!

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 10:42 AM

And @42, these dated attitudes most certainly DO "serve as a foundation for the present state," which is why we as a society still have to account for them today.

Sorry if this is a tedious argument! FYI, I love (good) jokes, I love sex, and I love men. So don't any trolls freak out at me for pointing out this basic, basic stuff.

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 10:50 AM

I love (good) jokes, I love sex, and I love men.

Please come to the Slog happy hour, alone.

Posted by JMR | December 11, 2007 10:58 AM

Okay, we have to agree that feminism has changed over the years, right? In that spirit, recall a joke that was very funny in the early 90's:

Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb?


Victimization is not funny. But being a woman does not equal being a victim. And yes, even today good girls who want a relationship usually say no at first (first date, first month...). But isn't it clear from the context that her cries for help were all in good fun?

Posted by KJD | December 11, 2007 11:28 AM

That man and his comment is based on the life of my friend's older brother. The girl in the illustration is his girlfriend. The artist was his friend.

Posted by themstheword | December 11, 2007 11:42 AM

@47 - if that were the interpretation -- that it was role play -- how would it be funny? it's clearly a she-changed-her-mind issue, and maybe a she-changed-her-mind-because-the-guy-did-x issue. neither of which are funny, or "in good fun".

@45 - i don't get it; i said they do serve as a foundation. are you agreeing with me? or disagreeing? maybe we disagree because you think men today should be held accountable for a more accepted view men held in the 70s? or what am i missing?

Posted by infrequent | December 11, 2007 11:56 AM

Jesus, Savage, put that stupid magazine down and get back to work!

Posted by OddlyEnough | December 11, 2007 12:49 PM

What I am offended at is that it looks as if they could have been SMOKING earlier!

Call the health police and erase this travesty!

Posted by ecce homo | December 11, 2007 12:56 PM


I wasn't being very clear. I meant that we as a society need to be accountable for how dated beliefs about gender roles are perpetuated today.

But I am very gratified when men call bullshit on sexist ideas. We all need to challenge the message that it's okay for men to be selfish morons and for women to be opportunistic bimbos. Let's end the gender wars, already. The real war is against stupidity.

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 1:17 PM

i see... that makes sense. well put.

Posted by infrequent | December 11, 2007 1:50 PM

Why display such anachronistic "humor"?

Posted by Scamp | December 11, 2007 2:49 PM

Could the artist still be charged with a hate crime for this cartoon?

What about the person who placed this cartoon on this blog? Shouldn't they be punished for a hate crime against all women?

Posted by mark | December 11, 2007 4:15 PM

hey angry women and men - lighten up

Your "not funny" is just PC behavior run amok.

All good humor is based on truth.

The TRUTH is every man(and honest women)knows the truth behind the "NO... No... No... Yes..." That scenario that has been imprinted on the human mind from eons of human behavior - it was and IS all part of courting.

No matter how many times you repeat the LIE.
No does always mean no. It means maybe... soon.
To say it does NOT is a LIE.

The humor is in the situation ... it presents the No No No Yes situation in a "humorous" moment - when it could cause trouble.

I think from the positioning and facial expressions in the CARTOON anyone can see this was not about rape.

IF it was she would not be the one saying what is being said.


Posted by RJP3 | December 11, 2007 4:55 PM


A man and his wife go to their weekend getaway in the mountains where the husband likes to fish and the wife likes to read
the husband came home early one day from fishing and went to bed

the wife decided now would be her chance to go out on the boat and read

so she did

she didn't know the lake very well so she just layed anchor anywhere and began to read

along came a officer and told her "what are you doing?"

"reading" said the woman

"this is a restricted fishing area"

"but i'm not fishing"

"that may be true but you have all of the equipment so i will have to take you in"

"if you do that i will charge you with rape" the woman says

"but i didn' touch you"

"this may be true but you have all of the right equipment"

Moral of the story is: never mess with a woman who knows how to read.

But this cartoon and joke - not offensive IMHO.

Posted by rjp3 | December 11, 2007 5:08 PM

Yes rjp3 - it is sad how this group reacted - she didn't yell rape she yelled help - no indication that the man wanted a get-out-of-rape card because he was drunk - no indication she was forced to drink - no torn clothes - shoe placed on the neatly set up drink table, her arms around his shoulders.

Posted by whatever | December 11, 2007 5:52 PM

It's funny because it captures something true.

Posted by Jon | December 11, 2007 6:08 PM

it's funny because she was screaming for help for her stupid date to locate her clitoris. a joke waaaay before it's time.

Posted by GL | December 11, 2007 6:39 PM


"Your "not funny" is just PC behavior run amok."

Fnarf and Mr. Poe are PC??!

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 8:36 PM

"Edward Kirazian is a fantastic illustrator, though. Wikipedia says he was born in Egypt and emigrated to Paris after WWII. I wonder if he's a Muslim? "

Probably not. The name is Armenian. Egypt had a large colony of Armenians and Pontian Greeks after the Genocide in Turkey. Many colonists moved after the Nasser regime was established.

Oh, the joke sounds like the wish of a teenage boy. So good in bed that even an unwilling subject cannot resist. That is not funny- at all.

Posted by mla | December 11, 2007 8:36 PM

This is NOT a rape cartoon. It was certainly not seen as such in 1971.

This is Playboy, 1971. And Playboy in 1971 was already outdated; the humor was oriented more to the 50s and early 60s rather than to the 70s. Think Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and so on. And in the mythology of the 50s, 'good girls' didn't 'do' it; 'good girls' weren't supposed to 'like' it. 'It' wasn't even supposed to be a mentionable thing. Good girls were supposed to scream, faint, blush, or call for help if some guy made a pass. (Note that the word 'pass' itself appears to be outdated.)

So in this cartoon the girl has simply decided not to be a 'good girl.' The guy has made an advance, to which she screamed 'help,' as all good girls were supposed to do, and she has now decided she likes what she is feeling--which is, of course, 'it.'

Is this funny? True to life?Who even knows, it was a different world back then. Why would we expect anyone of some other time, past or future, to find our humor funny? How would they even begin to understand it?

What's not funny is the way we seem so determined to paste the most invidious interpretation on everything, making every man a rapist, every adult a potential child molester, and every light hearted cartoon from a previous age a sure sign of oppresive and benighted malice. But this is just ridiculous and ungenerous.

Posted by rju166 | December 12, 2007 1:28 AM

Holy shit...I feel incredibly sorry for the women you're dating, @56 and @59. Even if the (totally insane) behavior you're describing does actually occur in those women, they must be the products of a confused and miserable upbringing. I hope for everyone's sakes you're happily married since 1971, and haven't laid hands on anyone since then.

Posted by Kiru Banzai | December 12, 2007 7:48 AM

tldr; no means yes

Posted by Kiru Banzai | December 12, 2007 7:49 AM

Man, the cartoon isn't funny because it's a lame joke, not because it's about rape. It being offensive is totally independent of it not being funny.

I'm sick of people saying actually funny, but inappropriate or offensive jokes aren't funny just because they're inappropriate or offensive.

Posted by Ben | December 12, 2007 10:42 AM

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