Did Playboy Cancel a Nude Spread for Phyllis Diller Because it Was “Too Sexy”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Playboy canceled a nude spread for Phyllis Diller because it was “too sexy”

One of the very first female stand-up comedians to become famous nation-wide, Phyllis Diller had a reliable shtick that she continually worked all the way up until her final stand-up performance, when she was 85 years old (she passed away a decade later in 2012). She would make fun of her appearance and her lifestyle (in the early days, it was about how bad of a housewife she was) and she had crazy-looking hair.

For the release of her 1967 film with Bob Hope, Eight on the Lam, she even got written up in actual newspapers about beauty parlors picketing her film over her hair…

(Of course it was a gag, but it was a good enough gag that newspapers around the country picked it up as actual news)

A famous legend has popped up regarding Diller. As the story goes, she posed nude for Playboy, but the spread was “too sexy” so it was never published. Is that true? Read on to find out (plus to see a photo from the photo shoot!)
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Which U.S. President Was on the Cover of Cosmopolitan as a Male Model?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Gerald Ford was a male model who appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Gerald Ford had an interesting (and impressive) path to becoming a career politician (before becoming the first President of the United States to never be elected either President or Vice-President, as he replaced Spiro Agnew as Vice President after Agnew resigned and then replaced Richard Nixon as President after Nixon resigned).

He paid his way through college at the University of Michigan by washing dishes in his fraternity house. He was also a star football player, helping to lead Michigan to two national titles in 1932 and 1933. Upon graduation in 1935, he got offers to play professional football but he turned them down to instead go to Yale to become a football and boxing coach. His intent was to enroll at their law school, but they initially turned him down due to his full-time coaching work. After attending Michigan’s Law School in the Summer of 1937, he was finally admitted to Yale’s Law School in the Spring of 1938.

After receiving his law degree in 1941, Ford started a legal practice with a friend but then his destiny (and that of many young men in America) was changed forever by the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entering World War II. Ford enrolled in the Navy and after a year of training (where he rose in the ranks to Lieutenant), he went to the Pacific in 1943 and served his country well, receiving a number of medals. Before leaving to go overseas, however, he had an interesting chapter in his life…as a male model!
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Did Men’s Fitness Photoshop Someone Else’s Biceps on to Andy Roddick on a Cover of the Magazine?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Men’s Fitness gave Andy Roddick someone else’s biceps for the cover of the magazine.

NOTE: I did this as a Tennis Legend, but it also belongs here. – BC

Former professional tennis player Andy Roddick was (and is) a very fit man.

Just check him out playing tennis without a shirt on…

The guy had no complaints in the body department.

However, when he was featured as the cover model for a 2007 issue of Men’s Fitness, the folks at Men’s Fitness thought that they could make some improvements…
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Did an 18th Century British Magazine Coin the Terms “Magazine” AND “E Pluribus Unum”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: A British magazine introduced into the modern lexicon not only the actual word “magazine,” but also the word “Columbia” to describe America and the slogan “E pluribus unum.”

Before The Gentleman’s Magazine debuted in London in 1731 by Edward Cave, there had never been a successful journal consisting of articles on all sorts of different topics.

But that’s exactly what The Gentleman’s Magazine achieved, and in doing so, Cave actually ended up coining the very TERM “magazine” to describe a journal with different articles on various topics. Magazine meant a storeroom, so this journal was the “gentleman’s storeroom…of knowledge.”

They also coined some other surprising terms and phrases!
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Were Life Magazine’s Famous Photos of the D-Day Invasion Blurry Because the Photographer’s Hands Were Shaking?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: A series of photos of the Normandy landing during D-Day by famed war photographer Robert Capa for Life Magazine were blurry because Capa’s hands were shaking as he took the shots.

Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann in Austria-Hungary in 1913) was a famous war photographer, active from 1933 until his death in 1954, while photographing the conflict in Indochina (he tragically stepped on a landmine).

Capa was particularly well-known for how close to the action he got. He had a saying that, effectively, if your photos weren’t good enough it was because you weren’t close enough.

Capa was with the invading troops on Normany, and he took close to four full rolls of film of the invasion.

But what came next was a minor tragedy in and of itself.
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Is a Playboy Centerfold Really the Standard Test Image for Image Processing Algorithms?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: A Playboy centerfold is the standard test image for image processing algorithms.

It was in 1973 that Alexander Sawchuk, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Signal and Image Processing Institute, and a graduate student were looking for a good image to scan for a colleague’s conference paper.

They wanted something glossy and they wanted something with a human face and, most of all, they wanted something that seemed a bit out of the ordinary – something that would pop a bit more than the standard test images they always used.

Well, someone happened to have a copy of a recent issue of Playboy (I don’t know if it was the LATEST Playboy or not) and the men decided that, hey, why not use the centerfold?

Little did they know how famous this photo would become…
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How the Heck Did Oprah’s Head Land on Ann-Margret’s Body?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: TV Guide once put Oprah Winfrey’s head on Ann-Margret’s body for a cover.

Nowadays, we’re a little more used to the idea of photoshopping, but in 1989, photoshopping was a bit more of a secret.

Not that photoshopping is new, of course. Basically as soon as they had photographs they had photoshopping.

But it wasn’t as popularly used as it is nowadays with the rise of technology like, well, PhotoShop.

So yeah, in 1989 it was certainly something that people knew existed but it was not used popularly.

So imagine people’s surprise when not only did TV Guide photo shop Oprah Winfrey on the cover of an August 1989 issue of TV Guide, they did so by putting Oprah’s head on Ann-Margret’s body!!!!

Read on for more details!
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Does Time Magazine Intentionally Put Devil’s Horns on Cover Subjects They Dislike?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Time magazine intentionally placed “devil horns” on Billy Graham and/or Bill Clinton as some sort of commentary.

Back in early January 1993, there was a bit of controversy when Time magazine revealed it’s Man of the Year. They chose the President-Elect, William Jefferson Clinton.

Here is the cover.

People were all, “Hey, are you insulting Bill Clinton by making it look like he has devil horns via the M in TIME?”

Time Magazine said, “No, it’s just a coincidence.”

Five years later, Clinton was on the cover again, and again…

And again, Time Magazine said, “No, it’s just a coincidence.”

Six years ago, Billy Graham was on the cover. Time magazine put him on the cover of the magazine and, once again, if you check out the cover, the M in Time looks like devil horns…

And yet again, after criticism from people offended by the cover, Time said, “No, it’s just a coincidence.”

And while I can’t PROVE it (because I can’t read minds), I’m going with “yeah, it’s just a coincidence.”

Here’s the main reason why.
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