Some pop culture phenomena are so ridiculously heterosexual that they fall right over the cliff into unintentional camp: I’m thinking of TV’s Jersey Shore, Michael Buble singing “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and many of Quentin Tarantino’s films. Add to that list the Playboy empire’s fledgling website The Smoking Jacket. It’s marketed as a workplace-safe internet time-killer loaded with non-naked women and blue-balls humor that puts the “tee-hee” in “dirty.” In short – it’s a deliciously gaudy train wreck created by clueless, boner pill-popping execs.
In the clumsy retro world of The Jacket, breasts are called “bongos,” “tit pinatas,” and “melons.” There’s a section on the website called “Lifestyle,” a word that few people under the age of 50 can define. A photo collection from some kind of 1983 Playboy Mansion Field Day event features TV cheesebag Chuck Woolery as host and headband-wearing playmates grunting their way through Battle of the Network Stars –type competitions. Best of all is a 20-second video introduction to the site by Hef himself. Struggling to keep his dentures in his mouth, the old sybarite slurs unenthusiastically: “Next to The Mansion, it’s the best hangout on the planet!” Um, Hef? Viewers looking for less strained irony and more “bongos” and “melons” would probably disagree.