Marge Simpson Cover Pays Tribute
Jessica Rabbit may have been the sexiest drawn character in toon history, but Marge Simpson has the title of being the first toon to grace the cover of Playboy magazine. Her pose is not an original gesture, though. The cover pose is actually a double tribute. The original pose belongs to Darine Stern, the first African American woman to be featured on a Playboy cover, back in 1971. Apparently the folks at Playboy used this image of Darine as inspiration for their latest issue with “The Simpsons” cartoon character Marge on the cover.
“We decided to re-create [it] because it’s one of our most iconic covers, and because Marge’s sexy blue beehive immediately made us think of Darine Stern, whose beautiful, voluminous hairdo was front and center on the October 1971 cover.”
Darine Stern (c. 1948-1994), an American fashion model from Chicago, was the first black woman to be on the cover of Playboy. That was in October 1971. She was not, however, the first black woman inside Playboy – that was Jennifer Jackson in March 1965. Stern died of breast cancer at age 46.
The Simpsonized three-page pictorial, featuring a scantily-clad Marge in cartoon lingerie, was “obviously tongue-in-cheek,” new Playboy CEO Scott Flanders told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It had never been done, and we thought it would be hip, cool and unusual.” For Hefner, “Marge Simpson is the quintessential girl next door who stole our hearts 20 years ago and has held them captive ever since. We were delighted to learn she wanted to grace the pages of our magazine. Her pictorial is truly stunning,” he told CNN.
Playboy magazine is hoping that the Marge Simpson shoot will re-energize the magazine’s based in a market where all forms of print teeter on the brink of extinction. This “all business” move comes on the heels of a disappointing first half of 2009, during which Playboy lost some attention from the demographic it does have — the average reader is a 35-year-old male. The magazine came in 200,000 short of its 2.6 million rate base — the minimum circulation a magazine promises to advertisers — according to BusinessWeek.