Hugh Hefner has been called a lot of things over the years, but "Willie Wonka wanna-be?" Never. Until now that is.
Playboy announced that tucked into the pages of Playboy's December issue will be "Golden Tickets" that will allow ten very, very lucky men (or women) to attend Hef's infamous Midsummer Night's Dream Party at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.
The pajama-clad party featuring Playboy bunnies (often dressed in less than that) and Hollywood celebrities is one of the most sought-after tickets in a town that has is known for big-time, exclusive parties.
"This is the first time we've literally swung the doors open" to the public, Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek told Reuters. "The average reader will go home with stories they can't tell their wives and girlfriends but will last forever."
Jellinek said he came up with the idea one day when he was thinking about Wonka, the eccentric candy maker in children's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (and two movies) who hid five golden tickets in the wrappers of chocolate bars, with winners getting a tour of his crazy candy factory.
In this case, Hef has doubled the offer. Oh, and this is real life. "Hef thinks of this as a golden dreams ticket," Jellinek said.
Jellinek is hoping for "pandemonium" when the issue hits newsstands this Friday. "We expect people to be fighting in the streets for these copies," he said. That hasn't happened for decades, as circulation for Playboy, and most magazines for that matter, has been steadily declining in this age of the Internet.
But Jellinek thinks a promotion like this, a chance to attend a party at the legendary Playboy Mansion, can turn things around. "It really harkens back to another time when gentlemen were gentlemen, and you had to be invited to get in," he said, "plus, it's sexy as hell."