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Hugh Hefner: How Does He Get Away With It?

Aired May 18, 2007 - 21:00   ET


HUGH HEFNER, "PLAYBOY" EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Glad you could join us.

I'm Hugh Hefner, your host.


LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Hugh Hefner -- the original playboy shares memories of Anna Nicole Smith as he knew her -- a small town beauty dreaming of being the next Marilyn Monroe until he made her a Playmate and put her on a path to worldwide fame.

And joining Hef tonight, his girls next door -- the three gorgeous girlfriends who live with him in the "Playboy" mansion.

Hugh Hefner -- his life, one that most men only dream of, next on LARRY KING LIVE.


HEFNER: Let's see you guys a little later.


KING: He's an old friend. He's the founder and editor-in-chief of "Playboy." He's the genius behind the reality series, "The Girls Next Door," now in its third season. It's the number one show on E! Networks.

Are you enjoying all of this, 81 years old?

HEFNER: Yes. It's a little unreal. Yes.

KING: You've lived through different stages of life.

How would you describe right now, Hugh Hefner right now?

HEFNER: Well, difficult to believe, but I think this is the best time of all.

KING: Really?


HEFNER: Really. Yes. Well, it's like being born again. I mean who would have imagined -- you know, I went through a lucky -- a rocky time, a marriage, a marriage that I was faithful to, came out of it a little emotionally beat up and bruised.

That was in 1998. And I discovered a generation that was waiting for me to come out and play. Yes.

KING: And playing again, right?


KING: So you...

HEFNER: Yes. And, you know, a whole generation waiting so that, you know, this is really a truly exciting time for me.

KING: Give me a -- we're going to meet the girls and they'll be with us later and for the rest of the show. Give me the little story behind how this reality series happened.

HEFNER: Well, I think I started dating, you know, more than one girl soon after the end of the marriage, and that was probably an over compensation for what was going on before. And the girls that I'm with now have been with me for -- well, Holly, it's been about five years; four years for Bridget; about two or three with Kendra.

And no notion of doing the show. In other words, the idea of doing a reality show, I think, because it was the "Playboy" mansion, the fascination with my life and the lifestyle, a lot of people had come up with ideas. And I really wasn't interested because I have a life and...

KING: You didn't need it?

HEFNER: ... and I'm busy, you know?

So -- and that...

KING: So did E! come to you?

HEFNER: Well, originally it -- no. It was originally Kevin Burns, who is the producer of the show. And they actually talked to A&E before they talked to E!. And it was Kevin's idea to do a show with the focus on the girls. And I think that was the inspired notion and had no idea before the fact how -- how inspired it would be, because it turned out that the largest part of the audience is young and female.

KING: Really?


KING: By the way, the second season of "The Girls Next Door" is now out on DVD, including all 16 uncensored episodes from the season and a lot of extras. You're everywhere, right?


KING: You're in history here -- "The Girls Next Door"...


KING: ... the girl -- there they are, all those -- you're rolling, you. But I must ask about Anna Nicole and what your memories of her were.

Did you select her...

HEFNER: Yes, sure.

KING: ... as a "Playboy" bunny?

HEFNER: Yes. I always make the, you know, the final decision in terms of Playmates. I think the concern to begin with was that she was very photogenic but a big girl. You know, she weighed about 160 pounds when I first met her. So there were some people that had some reservations about her.

But she was so...

KING: Pretty.

HEFNER: ... classic, in terms of, you know, really harkened back to the Marilyn Monroe/Jane Mansfield kind of look. And...

KING: But they weren't 160 pounds.

HEFNER: No, they weren't. And she was bigger than life.

KING: Yes.

HEFNER: Well, Jane, you know...

KING: Yes.

HEFNER: ... Jane was not a small girl. But it was something that -- that she had dreamed of all of her life.

KING: So she goes into an issue, you photograph her.

And then how did that determine -- how did you determine she'd be Playmate of the Year?

HEFNER: Well, in between times, I think Marilyn Grabowski, our West Coast photo editor, called Luciano, who runs Guess. And they tested her. And she became a Guess girl. And, you know, the notion of making her the Playmate of the Year seemed logical.

KING: Was she the most famous Playmate of the Year? HEFNER: Well, no, not necessarily. I mean we've got, you know, we've got a lot of girls -- Pamela Anderson and Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield and Emily...

KING: Oh, Marilyn Monroe was a Playmate of the Year?

HEFNER: Oh, yes she was -- well, she was not a Playmate of the Year. The Playmates of the Year didn't really start until 1960.

KING: Well, Anna Nicole was way up there, though, right?

HEFNER: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Absolutely. Well, I think what you could not have imagined is the response to her death. In other words, I think that that -- she went out big time.

KING: Did you like her?

HEFNER: Very much. Yes. Yes.

KING: Easy to like?

HEFNER: I think -- well, I think she made some unfortunate choices in terms of friends and some decisions, but she was a small town girl with big dreams.

KING: How did you hear about her death?

HEFNER: On television.

KING: Were you shocked?

HEFNER: Oh, yes, sure. Yes. Yes.

KING: Did she ever ask you for advice over the years?


KING: I mean you were like a father figure.

HEFNER: Well, yes and no. But not really, and particularly in the -- in the latter part of the -- of the life. You know, we would see her. She was there for our 50th anniversary and I think she was there for that last Halloween before her death.

KING: Well, at least the daughter will grow up with, apparently, a very good father in Larry Birkhead.

HEFNER: Yes. I think so.

KING: And that will work out there and -- but you could -- you could say Anna Nicole was a tragic figure? Or is that -- is that the wrong word?

HEFNER: Well, a mixed blessing. I mean, you know, it's a variation on Marilyn Monroe. I mean she -- she so identified with Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn Monroe, before her, identified very much with Jean Harlow. And Jean Harlow died at the age of 27.

There is a, you know, there's a -- you know, it's a mixed...

KING: Yes, a mixed bag.


KING: Back to "The Girls Next Door."

Were you surprised that the show was a hit?

HEFNER: Yes. Well, we knew there would be some interest because it was the "Playboy" mansion. What I did not anticipate was -- was how hugely popular it would become and particularly how hugely popular with young women.

KING: And how do you explain that?

HEFNER: I think it's a guilty pleasure. I think it's kind of like those old romance novels. I think that our reality is a lot of other people's fantasies. And because the story is told through the daily lives of the girls, I think other women -- young and old -- identify with it very much.

KING: And want to be them?

HEFNER: Well, certainly -- certainly in a fantasy way, yes. Yes. We get some remarkable -- remarkable fan mail.

KING: I would bet.

Hugh Hefner is our guest, the founder and editor-in-chief of "Playboy."

We're going to have the girls come by because they're going to be on right after this -- are the girls here?

I was told they would be right here.

HEFNER: I see them around the corner.

KING: And here they come.

HEFNER: Um-hmm.

KING: A little late, but better late than never.

HOLLY MADISON: I would have dressed nicer if I thought you were going to be seeing me from the waist down.


KING: Stop the wise cracks.


KING: We'll be right back with the girls and Hugh after this.


HEFNER: I heard from the editors. The first pictorial that you did was so popular and such a hit that they want to do another pictorial.


HEFNER: You got some other notions?

MADISON: I don't know, I just thought it would be fun if we kind of got to do like direct our own thing...

HEFNER: Thank you for...


HEFNER: ... for being...


HEFNER: ... who you are, the loves of my life.






KING: They were last with us in November of 2005 and as you see them, left to right, they are Holly Madison, Hef's number one girlfriend. They all appear on "The Girls Next Door," E! Network's number one hit reality show. Bridget Marquardt is in the middle. And Kendra Wilkinson, who is the youngest...


KING: Hi, Kendra.


KING: Before we talk with the girls again, a question of you.

Why, at age 80, 81, would you need three girlfriends?

HEFNER: That's what Holly is always asking.

(LAUGHTER) HEFNER: I think -- I think that the multiple girlfriend came, really, when I came out of the marriage. It really wasn't planned. And at one point, about four years ago, there were seven. So I'm downsizing, to some extent.

KING: And how does it work?

You'll spend one night with her, one night with her? Maybe you...


KING: ... do you do it in order?


MADISON: We do everything together.

KING: Oh, you all sleep together?

HEFNER: Yes -- no. Well, they all have their own rooms, but Holly sleeps with me.


Is it a menage a trois?


KING: Holly, why -- why did you do this? Why did you agree -- OK, you can agree to be a girlfriend of a very interesting, popular, wonderful man.

Why would you agree to have other girlfriends?

MADISON: That's just the way it already was when I came along and it was an interesting situation. But I knew that Hef was very special and wanted to give it a try.

KING: No jealousy, no problem?

MADISON: Well, you know, Bridget and Kendra and I are really close friends. I didn't really get along with all the girls in the situation at first. But we all became friends and we're having a lot of fun right now.

KING: Before you took this, what did you do for a living?

MADISON: Oh, I was a student and I worked at Hooter's.

KING: You worked at Hooter's?


KING: And how did you find this deal? I mean how did you meet Hef? MADISON: Well, I was invited up to a mansion party by one of his friends, who was a judge in a bikini contest I was in. That's how we met.

KING: And then did he say to you -- do you propose this? What did he say, you want to be one of my girls?


KING: What did he...

MADISON: ... I had been coming to the parties for about a year or so and I let him know I was interested. And...

KING: And was that...

MADISON: ... I moved in not -- not too long after.


KING: Bridget, what were you doing before this?

MARQUARDT: I was a medical assistant and I had just graduated from -- with my master's degree.

KING: A master's degree?

MARQUARDT: In communications.

KING: You intended to do what?

MARQUARDT: Maybe teach. Maybe be in the P.R. field.

KING: Did you live out here?

MARQUARDT: No, I lived in northern California. But I had tested to be in the magazine prior to that and after I...

KING: As a -- as a Playmate?

MARQUARDT: For a Playmate, yes. And I -- after I graduated, I just really felt like I still had a longing for "Playboy" and to be part of that. So I moved to L.A. to pursue it and never even considering like the fact of being a girlfriend or living at the mansion, just wanting to be in the magazine.

And I started coming to the parties and I met Hef and the other girls and I fell in love with everything, with Hef and my friends...

KING: Didn't it bother you to be one of many?

MARQUARDT: At first that's a little bit weird and intimidating. But you just have such a good time and Hef is so sweet and before long, you just forget that it's abnormal.


Are you open to meet other guys?



MARQUARDT: We're not -- we're not dating.

WILKINSON: George Clooney.

MARQUARDT: Well, yes, OK, if George Clooney wants to call me.


MARQUARDT: I think Hef might make an exception for me.

KING: So if George Clooney called, bye-bye Hef?


KING: Right?

In fact, Hef would be disappointed if you didn't (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...



KING: All right, Kendra, what were you doing before?

WILKINSON: I was living in San Diego. I was 18. I actually just graduated high school and I was a dental assistant. And I was just living in San Diego, living day by day, you know?

KING: How did you get this deal? I mean what...

WILKINSON: He saw a picture of me and he wanted me to come -- he wanted me to come up to be a body painted girl and serve drinks at his 70th birthday party. So...

KING: Where did you see the picture, Hef?

HEFNER: It was one of the pictures of -- of the girls that they were planning on using as painted ladies at the -- at the birthday party.

KING: You modeled?

WILKINSON: No, not really. I took like -- I did like one photo shoot and went...

KING: How...

WILKINSON: ... it wound up on the Internet and I came here...

KING: How does it get...

WILKINSON: ... I came here.

KING: How did you get in this situation?

WILKINSON: Well, Hef saw me and he -- he...

KING: Yes, but I mean just because he saw you or liked you, you didn't have to do this.


But you know what?

Like I said, I was 18 at the time. Like it just -- it just seemed so right. It just seemed like a perfect -- like everything just started making sense in my life and like I just wanted to take anything that came to me, you know?

KING: Didn't you want what -- for want of a better term -- "the norm?" Didn't you want -- first of all, you were 18 -- to meet a guy and someday the right guy and someday get married and have kids?

WILKINSON: Yes, but I was 18. Like I was 18 and like...

KING: So didn't you want to date a 19 -- 20-year-old guy?


KING: You didn't?

WILKINSON: Like, no. No, not really. And I just thought this -- I had no idea what being a girlfriend meant, but, you know, I just -- I thought like, you know what?

It's a sign. It's a sign that I need to take this and just, you know?

KING: Hef, isn't it very, to you, even to you, unconventional?

HEFNER: Well, I don't know. You know, I've been -- I've been living, you know, interconnected to the magazine and with multiple girlfriends for so many years.

KING: Why do you need multiple girlfriends?

HEFNER: Well, I don't necessarily need, you know. But I've tried it both ways. You know, I like...

KING: You like this better than one girl?

HEFNER: I certainly like it better than when I was married. Yes. You know, I think it depends on the relationships. You know, I think that what's happened as a result of this is, you know, a very special connection going on here. And, you know, I suspect that Holly and I will -- will be together the rest of my life.

KING: Are you going to marry her?

HEFNER: We'll see. We'll see.


HEFNER: I haven't been very lucky with marriages...

KING: How do your...

HEFNER: But we'll see.

KING: How do your sons feel about it?

HEFNER: I think they -- they're fine with it. I think they probably, you know, obviously they wish we were -- I was back with their mother. But I wasn't the one that ended the marriage and...

KING: Because their mother isn't bad looking either.


HEFNER: No, she's a nice lady and she -- she and the kids live right next door...

KING: I know.

HEFNER: ... and they have an open gate and they're back and forth.


KING: It ain't Des Moines, folks.


KING: We'll be right back.

Don't go away.


HEFNER: Las Vegas, here we come.


HEFNER: And here we are.

Three of the greatest inventions in the history of man -- fire, the wheel and "Playboy."



MADISON: It was really cool when Hef and George pushed the button to light up the bunny on the side of the building, because it just makes it official. It announces to all of Vegas and the world that we are open for business.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, that's so cute.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since being in the magazine, we've had a ton of different opportunities come our way. We've even been asked to do a workout video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to work upper body. Grab your balance ball and if you don't have one, just lay down on the floor. There's no excuse not to do this exercise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's definitely grueling doing the workout video.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What you see in 15 minutes took us two hours or more to shoot.

WILKINSON: Hey, what's up?

I'm Kendra Wilkinson.

I'm here to show you a couple of dance moves.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One, two, three, four. Yes! Do that again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excellent job. Nice work.


KING: And the girls have not seen this yet, but here it is. This is the video. It is now out. "The Girls Next Door" Workout.

Bridget, the last time you were on, you said you felt like Holly and Hef were the main relationship...


KING: ... and that you and Kendra were icing on the cake. MARQUARDT: Yes.


KING: Do you still feel that way?

MARQUARDT: I do still feel that way.

KING: Doesn't that make you second fiddle?

MARQUARDT: I guess in a way, but I don't mind. I came into the situation being probably seventh fiddle at first so...


MARQUARDT: ... I worked my way up. (LAUGHTER)

KING: What, Kendra, do you get out of it? What -- what -- what rewards does it bring to you?

You're not going to get married to Hef.

WILKINSON: I get friendships. I get Hef. I mean Hef is -- I just told him the other day, I looked him in his eyes, I'm like, look, I'm so lucky to have you as a boyfriend. Like he really is a very genuine and respectful guy and I love him so much with my heart. And, you know, there's a magazine article that just came out in "Elle" magazine that I just -- it hurt my feelings and it really like crushed my heart.

And Hef being such a great guy, you know, he -- he said, you know what, Kendra?

I was going to write them a letter and say like how this is wrong. And he's...

KING: Was it critical of you?

WILKINSON: Yes. And it wasn't really nice.

KING: Just you?

WILKINSON: Yes, and I just...

KING: Why did they pick on you?

WILKINSON: I don't know. People like to pick on me. I don't know.

KING: Why did they pick on Kendra?


HEFNER: No, I think that that particular writer identified with Holly and didn't particularly identify with Kendra and Bridget. And -- and... KING: So the article was about all of you, but rapped them?

HEFNER: Well, they didn't -- it really wasn't a rap, as a matter of fact. It was expressed in rather sympathetic terms.

KING: Not according to Kendra.


HEFNER: No, but because I think the writer really didn't understand and didn't really identify with the other two girls, you know?

KING: All right, Holly, what -- what do you get -- oh, you're number one.

MADISON: Um-hmm.

KING: But what do you get out of it?

You know there is number two and number three.

MADISON: Yes, well our -- our life is just amazing. You know, we're all great friends and we meet a lot of cool people and get a lot of cool opportunities.

KING: Yes, but what -- what about what you don't have?

You don't have one permanent person.

MADISON: Not yet.


MADISON: But I'm in my 20s, so it's all right. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Would you marry again, Hef?

HEFNER: Well, if I marry anybody, it'll certainly be Holly. I expect to spend the rest of my life with her. Yes.

KING: But, Holly, you know his age...


KING: And you know your age, so the life isn't going to be 40 years.

MADISON: Yes, but I don't really care, because I'd rather be with somebody I'm in love with and have a lot in common with and have a lot of fun with, you know, for a little while than...

KING: You want...

MADISON: ... settle for second best.

KING: You want children, Bridget?

MARQUARDT: It depends on what day you ask me. Some days I think I never want kids.


MARQUARDT: And another day I think oh, maybe a kid someday wouldn't be bad.

KING: Do you want a conventional life someday? Do you want to meet Mr. Jones and go off and get married and have little Joneses?



MARQUARDT: Probably someday. But right now, I'm focused on the relationship here and all the opportunities we have and careers so...

KING: Do you meet men who turn you on?


MARQUARDT: I'm not even looking for that.

KING: You know...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're on the spot.

KING: ... it don't happen.



WILKINSON: Not really. No.

KING: Kendra, you want a life with children?

WILKINSON: Yes, I do. And I always -- I always have and -- but I love Hef and I'm having so much fun right now and...

KING: But is this the right road to that?

In other words, supposing there's a really nice -- how old are you now?



KING: All right, there's a young man and he's 24. He's watching this show. He's a young lawyer...


KING: ... who finds you very attractive. He ain't going to call.



KING: He ain't going to call.

WILKINSON: Well, if -- if he likes me for who I am then he...

KING: He ain't going to call because you're attached into this unusual...

WILKINSON: If he likes me for who I am, then, you know what?

Then it'll work out. But if he doesn't like me just because I'm with Hef, then, you know what?

It's not meant to be. So...

KING: Supposing he does call and says he'd like to take you to dinner.


KING: Then it don't pay for him to call.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not right now anyway.

KING: So what I'm getting at is...

WILKINSON: Not right now, yes.

KING: You're...

WILKINSON: I mean...

KING: Don't you think that...

WILKINSON: ... I'm 21 years old.

KING: ... in all honestly...

WILKINSON: ... you know?

KING: Opportunities are going by for them that they're not getting.

HEFNER: Well, I think the reality is -- and she would be the first to say so -- that where she was at before we met, you know, she was, to some extent, like a lost soul. I think that she has a life now on many kinds of levels...

WILKINSON: So many doors have opened.

HEFNER: Oh. With, you know -- I can't begin to describe what celebrities these girls have become. And, you know...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't like that word.


HEFNER: The options...


HEFNER: The options and alternatives now and choices that -- that they have are incredible compared to before. And, of course, none of that was anticipated to begin with. I mean it just began as this unique relationship. We didn't know what was going to come out of it.

KING: Would you feel terrible if one of these two met someone?

HEFNER: If it was something that they wanted and it made them happy, it would make me very happy.

KING: We'll be right back with Hugh Hefner, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson.

Don't go away.


MADISON: Whoopee!

We stayed at one of the best hotels ever. It was called the Georges Sand. It was beautiful. You just can't get more romantic.

QUESTION: Hef, when are you guys going to get married?

MADISON: Yes, that's what I keep asking you.


MADISON: They asked Hef the same thing I want to know -- when are you going to get married again?



LARRY KING, HOST: We are back with Hef and the girls. The second season of "The Girls Next Door" is now out on DVD. It includes all 16 uncensored episodes of the show. Is that like sex?



KING: A lot on it you didn't see on E! The last time you were on this show, Hef, you said that despite the age disparity, your relationship with Holly is as good as any you've ever had. Why? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sitting right next to him so he has to say that.

HUGH HEFNER, "PLAYBOY" ICON: True then, even more so now.

KING: Because?

HEFNER: The first relationship I think that I've ever been in where each year it's getting better.

KING: What is it about Holly?

HEFNER: Well, despite the age disparity, think I think she's an old soul. I think we have very common interests in terms of the way we enjoy spending our time. She loves old, classic films. She loves the same kind of music I love. You know, what is it that makes you fall in love with a particular person?

KING: Who knows?

HEFNER: It's magic. You know I think you can look across a room and...

KING: Chemistry.

HERNER: can happen. Yes, chemistry. And then you find out, you know, whether the real compatibility is there. That takes time.

KING: Does it bother you, Bridget -- you're in love with Hef?


KING: ...when he goes to bed with Holly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, not at all. KING: In other words, this relationship has no possessiveness?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, because, I mean like we've said a bunch of times, when we came into the situation, there were seven girls and Holly was the main relationship even then. So I came in knowing and I'm satisfied with that.

KING: Is fidelity important to you, Kendra?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does fidelity mean?

HEFNER: It means faithful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, yes. I'm sorry!

HEFNER: If I was looking at some other girl, I think the girls would not like it at all.

KING: If there was a fourth in other words.

HEFNER: Yes, sure, or just, you know, some girl I ran into at a party.

KING: What if a fourth came into the equation?

HEFNER: I don't think that's likely. I think we're pretty happy the way it is.

KING: What did does it fulfill for you, Hef? I mean is it -- do you need a girl all the time?

HEFNER: Well, I think it has to do with companionship, a relationship. I think that everything -- I'm a romantic. You know if I'm not in love, everything is a little less. I think everything you're doing is better because you share it with someone or -- people that you care about.

KING: The general thinking, though, is you can't be in love -- in love with more than one person.

HEFNER: Well, yes, you know that isn't true.

KING: I don't know that isn't true.

HEFNER: Oh, well, it isn't true. It isn't true.

KING: You can be in love with more than one person?

HEFNER: Sure, yes, absolutely, yes.

KING: You don't feel ownership of these girls?

HEFNER: Well, I'm certainly possessive. I don't feel ownership, no.

KING: Well, are you jealous?

HEFNER: Yes, sure, I could be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're going to Alaska next week from Monday through Thursday and he's a little mad about that.

KING: They're going to be away for three days and it's the longest time that we've been apart. And I'm going to be a lonely character.

KING: What's in Alaska, Holly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's an old hometown visit. I lived there from when I was 2 years old to when I was in middle school, right before middle school. So we're going to go back and check it out with my mom and my dad.

KING: And take the girls with you?


KING: Speaking of moms and dads, how do they feel about this? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know they're just happy I'm happy. And they've been to the mansion and met Hef. And you know I'm in my 20s so they don't have any big expectations.

KING: Hef's much older than your parents, right?


KING: Is that awkward?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe a little but everybody has a good sense of humor about it.

HEFNER: I'm close to all of the parents of all three of the girls and they've all been to the mansion.

KING: How do your parents feel, Bridget?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are 100 percent supportive. My mom loves coming to the mansion and hanging out with me. And my sister comes and stays.

KING: And they don't think it's strange at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I mean at first they are like really? It's strange that I've even met Hugh Hefner to begin with, you know. But, no, they're 100 percent supportive and they love coming to visit.

KING: Kendra, your folks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My family, they're on the show all the time, so are Bridget's. They love it. They love me and they support me.

KING: So none of them has ever said to you, father or mother, Kendra, that's a little weird?


KING: Absolutely not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If anything, if I make one little complaint about anything, they go, "Shut up, kendra, suck it up. This is the perfect thing for you. This is the perfect life for you."

KING: And when they say that, you don't think that's weird?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. I mean they're my family, you know, and I listen to them.

KING: When we come back, we'll talk about the television show. What they do on it. Do think like it? What don't they like about it? More when we return. Don't go away.


CROWD: Happy birthday to you .

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hef said to me that his 80th birthday party was the best party he's ever had. And it's cool to be a part of that because he's had so many great parties.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Happy birthday, Hef!


HEFNER: All my life.



KING: OK, Holly, when "The Girls Next Door" was first proposed and kicked around as an idea, what did you think?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn't want to do it because I didn't want producers meddling in our personal lives and trying to stage things for us. So I've really pleasantly surprised that we've been able to do it and keep a measure of reality involved. And we always strive for that. Like anytime, some creative person behind the scenes on the show wants to set something up, all three of us were like no, we have to do it the way we do it.

KING: What's the theme of the show, a day in the life of?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Basically they just follow us around. They meet with us at the beginning of the season and ask what kind of things we're going to be doing or whatever they think might make an interesting episode, they come and follow. So...

KING: Will they go to Alaska with you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they are going to go on the hometown visit.

KING: Bridget, what did you think of the idea when it was first proposed?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was a little bit nervous. I was afraid that they would want drama rather than just the day in the life. So I was a little bit hesitant because of that. But they assured us that that wasn't what they after. And it was really just our unique lifestyles.

KING: So you like it?


KING: Do you feel it an invasion at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes but most of the time I find myself getting so used to the cameras being there that I just get used to it and I forget they're even there. KING: And Kendra?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, just knowing that Hef was behind it and knowing that we have good producers, it just made me feel a lot more comfortable. And Hef just wants, you know "Playboy" to look really good. We want "Playboy" to real look really good. So the last thing that we want is drama on the show and everything like that.

But I think that the reason why this is working is because it's a real reality show, you know. We didn't have time to prepare for a reality show. We didn't have time to think about it and be like oh, my God, we really want a reality show. Let's be fake and like tone the stuff and change our ways.

Like we -- after we got proposed for this reality show, like, they were in our house in like a week right after. So we had no time to change who we are. We had no time to change like anything about us.

KING: How do you like being a television star?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's good. I love it. Oh, my God, I was...

KING: You get recognized, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I love it. It's kind of weird though because I just went to Miami, like, the other week and I didn't see any paparazzi around, but then the next thing I know I check on the Internet and there's pictures of me everywhere. It's so weird.

KING: Were you at all hesitant, Hugh?

HEFNER: Yes, yes. I had a lot of offers to do a reality show and most reality shows aren't real. They're game shows or fake drama. And I have a real life and I'm a very busy guy. It was the fact that the producer was a good friend, Kevin Burns, and an award winner and know what's he's doing, and the inspired notion was to tell the life through the eyes of the girls. And I think that was what really made the show.

KING: Who has the final say of what goes on the air?

HEFNER: Kevin listens to me.

KING: So you?

HEFNER: Well, I know what's -- he's the producer of the show and it's as good a creative relation as I've ever had.

KING: What don't you like about it, Holly?


KING: You can't like everything. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just started working at the "Playboy" studio a lot more and I wish they'd cover more of that because I always to promote the girls we're shooting.

KING: What's the "Playboy" studio?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's where they shoot the playmates out in Santa Monica.

KING: You go to work there then?


KING: And they don't go there?

HEFNER: Sometimes.

KING: And you're trying to convince them to go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not as much as I want them to go.

KING: What don't you like, Bridget?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't like to stop what I'm doing. I have a really tight schedule. I don't like to stop what I'm doing to be miked or go out the door a second time because they didn't get it the first time.

KING: That part is unreal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not -- I mean it is unreal but it's for -- it's little things like, can you come out of the door one more time so that we can have it for continuity of the show.

KING: So you understand?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand totally, but those kinds of things slow you down.

KING: What don't you like, Kendra?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't like people think that our lives are only 30 minutes long. There's so much more to our lives than what you see on TV. And they've put like all of the good stuff on TV but there's so much more to our lives that you don't see. And I don't know, I just don't like when people judge me on these like little things I say and I do. You know what I'm saying?

KING: Hef, did you have a minor stroke? Did you have a stroke?

HEFNER: Yes, in 1985, yes.

KING: A long time ago?


KING: But you're 81 now?


KING: In good health?

HEFNER: Yes, better than ever.

KING: Do you fear Holly, for Hef's health?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean yes, eventually, but he's so healthy right now, I don't see it being a problem in the immediate future, knock on wood.

KING: But you don't sit around and worry that he's not going to be around?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I mean that would not be making the most of the time I have.

KING: Bridget?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, his mother lived to be 101. And so, we got him around for a long time.

KING: He's got good genes.


HEFNER: Good genes.

KING: Kendra, you worry?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. I mean I don't like to think about it or talk about it or anything. I'm so sensitive to that kind of subject.

KING: Are these girls salaried, Hef?

HEFNER: They get an allowance, yes.

KING: An allowance?

HEFNER: They get an allowance. But from the...

KING: An allowance?

HEFNER: An allowance.

KING: They're over 21.

HEFNER: I understand. It's to cover clothing, et cetera. And of course, they get board and room because they live at the mansion. But they're also getting a very nice salary from the show. In other words...

KING: Well, the show has to pay them, too? HEFNER: Oh, big time. And Kendra here just bought a condo.

KING: Why do you need a condo if you live at the mansion?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Investment reasons.

HEFNER: She's renting it.

KING: We'll be back...

HEFNER: She's a businesswoman.

KING: ... don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ever since the Hugh Hefner Suite opened, we girls have kind of been pushing Hef to make that suite in Vegas our little home away from home. I think going there for Hef's 81st birthday was a really good idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, look, Hef's Birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were super excited because when we pulled up to the Palms, there was this huge marquee and it had our names on there. And we were just so excited. It was really cool to see our name that big in Las Vegas.




HEFNER: Hello and welcome to "Playboy's" penthouse. I'm Hugh Hefner, edotpr amd publisher of "Playboy" magazine and your host. Come on in and meet some of the guests. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was a terrific television though, "'Playboy' After Dark." Great people on it like Tony Bennett and Lenny Bruce and Phyllis Diller. And it's now available on tape as well. The DVD is out. The legendary television party, cool elegance and entertainment, "'Playboy' After Dark."

Some of the areas we'll cover, for what do you -- you said you work at the studios. Is that your job?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, unofficially.

KING: Do you have a job, Bridget?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, on June 1, I start doing my own radio show on "Playboy" Radio. So I'm really excited about that.

KING: Is that on XM or Sirius? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sirius.

HEFNER: Sirius.

KING: And what do you do, Kendra?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I'm starting my own clothing line. And it's going to be coming out this summer at the Magic Convention in August.

KING: The Magic Convention?


KING: And what are you calling the line?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, you can go to and you can get free shirts now, but the line is not going to be out until August.

KING: So all of you are productive?


KING: What are your thoughts on the "Girls Gone Wild" phenomenon? Hugely popular, makes millions of dollars, part of trend. In fact, Joe Francis, who started it, was quoted as saying that he wanted to buy "Playboy."

HEFNER: Yes, a lot of luck.

KING: You would never sell "Playboy"?


KING: Isn't everything for sale?

HEFNER: No, not everything, no. My dreams are not for sale.

KING: What do you make of "Girls Gone Wild?"


KING: What do you make of "Girls Gone Wild?"

HEFNER: I'm not a fan.

KING: Because?

HEFNER: Because I think it's exploited and I don't think he's a very nice guy.

KING: He was released from a Panama City jail earlier this week, sentenced for contempt of court. He still faces unresolved and he faces federal tax evasion charges. What do you think of what's happening? Do you know him? HEFNER: No, I don't. Our paths crossed a time or two, but, no.

KING: Have you have girls seen "Girls Gone Wild?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have seen clips on the little infomercials on TV, yes.

KING: Bridget?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's just crazy girls that have had a little too much to drink.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel bad for people who get caught on those.

KUDLOW: Do you think he's trying to invade or going beyond what you had into -- now let's take "Playboy" to the extreme?

HEFNER: I don't see many parallels. I think quite frankly some of the most obvious aspects of "Playboy" have been imitated, you know, from very early on. But what sets the magazine apart and what sets the company apart is it really is a lifestyle publication, you know, with good fiction and good articles, pictures of beautiful ladies and you know a lot of lifestyle pictures. It doesn't have much to do with what he's doing.

KING: What are your thoughts on the passing of Reverend Falwell? Someone you've been critical of before.

HEFNER: Yes, well, his views and values are obviously very different than mine.

KING: Did you ever meet him?

HEFNER: No, I don't think so. I don't think so, no. I watched your interview with Flint -- Lary Flint the other day, yes.

KING: What did you think of Mr. Flint?

HEFNER: You know Mixed emotions, mixed emotions. I'm impressed -- well, again, he's certainly a First Amendment guy but I don't think he uses it necessarily for, you know, the best results. But I do think that he's certainly a good businessman.

KING: Do you read "Hustler?"


KING: Do you read competition at all?

HEFNER: Yes, I look -- yes, well, I look -- it depends what you consider our competition.

KING: You put these out, right? HEFNER: Yes. And you know I look at "Esquire" and "GQ" and "Maxim" and the laddy magazines.

KING: All part of learning not...

HEFNER: Yes, sure.

KING: Back with our remaining moments with Hugh Hefner and the girls. Don't go away.

Next week on LARRY KING LIVE, what's next for the former vice president who became a Hollywood V.I.P.? Al Gore is hoping to hit the best-seller list with a new book that criticizes American politics. The question is, is there even the slightest chance he might hit the campaign trail any time soon. Al Gore Tuesday night on LARRY KING LIVE.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hugh Hefner never tires of preaching the "Playboy" life or he says of living it. Here in his 40-room house in Chicago, he regularly throws parties lifted right from the pages of his magazine.

Hefner surrounds himself with beautiful women, good food, although he likes hamburgers, plenty to drink, though he seldom touches any, and more beautiful women. "It's the ideal way to live," says Hefner and 13 million "Playboy" readers seem to agree.


KING: It doesn't sound like me.

HEFNER: I recognize you.

KING: Let's cover some quick bases in our remaining time. What do you think of Paris Hilton's deal, Holly?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I just think they should try to make the best of it, whatever way she can, write a journal.

KING: Are you surprised? Keep a journal?


KING: Are you surprised at her celebritydom in the first place?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think she's an interesting character. I think people are just fascinated by her. And everybody who would like to know what they do if they had all of that money at their disposal.

KING: Bridget, what do you make of Lindsay Lohan, a terrific talent in a new movie called, "Georgia Rule"? It didn't do well financially but she's sensational in it. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. I think she's a very talented person. I don't know her personally but it seems like her social life is a little bit out of control.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had her picture on the cover of Japanese "Playboy" this last month that was really cute.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, really? I'll have to check that out.

KING: Do you ever wonder why these people do what they do when they have it all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, I don't wonder why. I think it just gets really crazy and a lot is coming at you and it's hard to handle.

KING: Kendra, what about Britney Spears?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really feel bad for her and I'm still a fan. And just because she shaves off her head doesn't mean I'm going to think of her any different. No, I'm kidding. I don't know, I feel bad for her. I don't know. I still like her, and I hope she comes back.

KING: Hef, where do you think -- how long do you think this show is going to be on, your show?

HEFNER: Well, I don't know. They've already purchased the beginning of season four, so we're halfway through season three. I think they would like it to go as long as we're willing to do it.


KING: Oh yes, you each want a spinoff.

KING: All right, envision -- take me -- five years from today, Holly, what are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to be married, have kids and still be working...

KING: With Hef? If you got married, would you want more children?

HEFNER: Yes, if I can do it, sure.

KING: Don't you think you're a little old to raise children?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll do it. That's my job.

KING: So that's your wish, five years from today, two kids, married to Hef?


KING: Holly Hefner.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll have the same initials.

KING: What would you do -- propose now?

HEFNER: Right here?

KING: Right here. You're thinking about it. You want to do it. They don't care.

HEFNER: We'll see.

KING: OK, still edging you on.

Bridget, five years from today, what are you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hoping to be hosting my own television show.

KING: In L.A.?


KING: Want to be married?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We'll see what happens.

KING: Com ci, come ca?


KING: Kendra, you hope that you've got a big, successful clothing line?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope so. I mean I'm going to work very, very hard at it. And I don't know. I mean whatever comes my way, I'm going to take it, you know. I just want to be happy and be married with kids maybe.

KING: And Hugh, what do you see?

HEFNER: More of the same, yes.

KING: Just doing what you're doing, "Playboy," publishing.

HEFNER: Yes, absolutely. And, you know, I'm a very lucky cat on many, many levels. But who would have imagined at this point in my life -- it doesn't get better than this.

KING: Are you taking the girls to Monte Carlo?


KING: Is it a vacation? HEFNER: No, they've been invited to an international television festival by Prince Albert.

KING: Good guy.


KING: And so you're all flying over for the festival?


KING: Are you going to do any sailing?

HEFNER: Maybe. I'm going to see Saint Tropez.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, for my birthday.

HEFNER: It's her birthday. We're going to spend a little time in Paris for Holly.

KING: You girls got it pretty good?




KING: You wouldn't trade places, right?




KING: Hef, you keeping on being healthy.

HEFNER: I'm going to do my best.

KING: There's nothing more important than that.


KING: Thank you, ladies.



KING: Hugh Hefner, the founder and editor-in-chief of "Playboy." And Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilkinson, all part of "The Girls Next Door." Their second season now out on DVD, including a lot of uncensored episodes.

Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, among the guests, Kirk Douglas and the best-selling novelist in the world, James Paterson.


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