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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dear Penthouse, You Won't Believe This, But...

We just got the news that Bob Guccione, the famous publisher of Penthouse Magazine, has died of cancer at 79. Guccione launched his magazine in 1969 in an attempt to reach the "average joe", feeling that the already successful Playboy was too upscale for the common man. What followed was a multi-billion dollar publishing empire which was built on graphic shots of the female genitalia, (and which scared the crap out of us when we were young kids, by the way), tabloid journalism and the very famous Penthouse Letters. We'll never forget sitting around our fraternity house in college and listening as a friend read aloud the letter where some guy claimed to get so turned on by the sight of a juicy turkey roasting in his oven that he pulled the bird from the oven and had his way with the potential Thanksgiving meal. Oh my. But sadly, despite introducing the American culture to hairy pussies and fowl-molesting horndogs, Guccione wasn't able to make the transition as porn moved to video and later the internet, and this, coupled with a series of risky, failed business ventures, caused Guccione to lose his entire fortune. He was forced to sell his priceless art collection, his New York City mansion and his publishing company earlier in this decade. Younger folks might better recognize the name of Guccione in the form of Bob Guccione, Jr., Bob's son, who founded the popular music magazine, Spin.

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