Monday, August 20, 2012

The Playboy Mansion Secrets

Playboy: The Mansion
Playboy: The Mansion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For America's favorite playboy, who celebrated his 86th birthday last month, there's no better vacation than a stay-cation at his storied mansion. Herewith, his favorite things about the estate, from its Prohibition-era wine cellar to its private zoo, to - what else? - its infamous master bedroom.

Q&A by Anthony Rotunno and Dana Mathews

Staying at the Playboy Mansion is better than a vacation because . . . It's the place everybody wants to go to, and I agree with them. Everything that you want is here. It's like an English manor, an estate, but it's in the middle of Los Angeles. And I don't have to go out for anything.

My favorite ways to travel to, from, and around the property are . . . We have a golf cart, but we don't use it very often. Whenever I have to leave, I go by limousine. Black limousine. I used to have a private jet, a DC-9: the Big Bunny. I was trying to think what color they should make it, and in the middle of the night I had one of those eureka moments, and I thought, It has to be like a limousine. It has to be a limousine for the air, and it has to be black. And we actually got the government approval to put lights on the wings that aimed at the tail, so that what you saw at night was the rabbit symbol flying through the air.

My favorite houseguests are . . . Well, over the years . . . Tony Curtis lived here for a while. Jimmy Caan lived here for a while. Shel Silverstein, a cartoonist and a close friend of mine, was probably my all-time favorite guest. He had his own room here. I got this house in 1971; before that the mansion was in Chicago, and I had more houseguests back in the Chicago days because the house was much larger.

My favorite room is . . . The bedroom. In the original mansion, we had a round, rotating, vibrating bed. And that bed is here in one of the guest rooms. In the master bedroom, it is a typically shaped bed, but it's about two or three times the size of a regular bed. Originally I had silk pajamas and silk sheets, and I kept slipping out of bed. So I have silk pajamas and satin sheets.

My favorite home-cooked meal is . . . I think that my favorite meal is probably fried chicken. My folks were farm people from Nebraska, and my mother cooked a very good fried-chicken dinner, and I think that carried over into the mansion, both in Chicago and then out here in Los Angeles. You can get any kind of meal from the kitchen here, 24 hours a day. We do our own baking; we do our own cooking. The kitchen is able to serve quite literally a four-star-quality luncheon or a party for several hundred people. So it's like the finest kind of resort, only it's yours. {Read on}