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Hangin’ With Hef

This isn’t underground film news, but thanks to some extremely generous friends, the other week I had what could probably be considered the ultimate Hollywood experience: I hung out at the Playboy Mansion and pet a giant snake.

No, that’s not a dirty euphemism. Animal rescue organization Wildlife Waystation held their annual fundraiser at the Mansion and had several of their rescues on display, including a giant boa constrictor that I gave a few pets to.

Alas, we weren’t allowed inside the Mansion itself, but we did have free reign of the grounds, which is a sprawling piece of property buried somewhere in Beverly Hills. The two questions I’ve been asked the most since my outing are: 1) Did you see any Bunnies? and 2) Did you see Hef? The answer to both is “Yes,” but aren’t necessarily as thrilling as it may sound.

First, I only saw a couple of women who looked like they may be Playmates. However, they were fully clothed and walked around the event like they were on a mission somewhere and were carrying walkie talkies. Apparently, security at the mansion is handled by Playmates. It was like being in an episode of V.I.P.

Uncle Hef also showed up at the end of the day to hang with the “photo-op” baby orangutan who was on display. I can’t post a photo without paying for it, but if you go to this page on WireImage I was standing about 4 feet in front Hef, Holly Madison and the orangutan when the pictures were being snapped. Yes, he was in his pajamas and, yes, as you can see he had a hot chick on his arm.

Also posing with the “photo-op” orangutan was Nicolette Sheridan of Desperate Housewives who was trailed by a mob of photographers everywhere she went, with orangutan or not. Only Hef had more photogs around him when he eventually popped out. Other celebrities spotted hanging out were Loretta Swit, Bernie Kopel, John Stamos and Leonard Nimoy.

However, the big thrill of day was sitting and having lunch with Ann Marshall and her husband. Ann starred on the first season of My Favorite Martian as Angela Brown, the perky teen who bedevilled Bill Bixby and Ray Walston.

My Favorite Martian was one of my favorite shows as a kid and I must have watched every episode several times. If you had told me back then, when I was watching that show as a teenager in New Jersey, that twenty years later I’d be sitting at the Playboy Mansion having lunch with one of the stars, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

Playboy, Hugh Hefner, My Favorite Martian, Wildlife, Celebrity