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Playboy Magazine Published My Joke in 1978 & I Never Got Paid...

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Back in 1978, I was living in a studio apartment on Beacon Street by Kenmore Square in Boston, attending Northeastern University, and bartending nights and weekends at Fathers Fore in Cambridge. I decided to write a joke and send it to Playboy Magazine, who, at the time, paid $50 for jokes they published in Playboy's Party Jokes. I saw it as an easy way to make a couple of bucks…

The jokes appeared on the backside of the centerfold and were accompanied by the sexy illustrations of mischievous naked gremlins named "Femlins" that were created in 1957 by artist LeRoy Neiman and Hugh Hefner. There were usually two on the page. 

There was initially some controversy, and Hefner almost put a halt to it… "I'm sorry, LeRoy, but we can't publish drawings of a girl wearing nothing but black stockings and shoes on our party jokes page- it's too risque, too suggestive, too sexy. Better put some gloves on her…"

The request for jokes was at the bottom of the page…

"Heard a funny one lately? Send it on a postcard, please, to Party Jokes Editor, PLAYBOY, Playboy Bldg, 919 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill 60611. $50 will be paid to the contributor whose card is selected. Jokes cannot be returned."

At the time, "Close Encounters of a Third Kind" was a box office hit, and I set out to write a rhyming sci-fi joke that tied into the movie. And, I wanted the joke to have some hardcore attitude as well…

When I finished writing the joke and mailed it in, everything in my life was going fairly well. I just needed some extra cash, and I was confident my joke would be published in Playboy Magazine, and I'd make an easy 50 bucks! I had plans to write more once this one was published and I was paid…

In the 80s, I became a big fan of Andrew Dice Clay and his adult nursery rhythms…

My joke reads great in "The Diceman's" voice, so read it that way!

There once was a Martianette from Venus

Who landed on earth, only to have a close encounter with a penis

Soon she returned, with a lesson well-learned…

"We can't get too close, or they'll cream us!"

Shortly after I mailed the joke, I sold my '71 Plymouth Barracuda for $600 and used the money to buy my girlfriend an engagement ring. My plan was to get married and get my degree. But, when Northeastern told all its Physical Education Majors that there were limited jobs in the crowded PE field and that we should strongly consider changing majors, I was pissed. I was finishing up my junior year, and I had dreams of becoming a gym teacher and a football coach, and after hearing their warning, I knew that wasn't gonna happen anytime soon… 

I had a lease, and once the semester ended, I packed up my shit and left in the middle of the night. I owed my landlord some money, and I was breaking the lease, which came with penalties, so I didn't leave a forwarding address. (Who here amongst us hasn't done that at least once?)

That summer, I slept on a pullout couch at a friend's house in Stoughton and worked landscape construction for my best friend until I got married on August 17th (1979). 

I often wondered if my joke was published in Playboy's Party Jokes. Years later, my curiosity got the best of me, so I searched the internet for money owed to me on the website findmassmoney.com, and it came up that there was an unclaimed check for $50 in my name. I never pursued it because I thought somehow my former landlord would find me and sue me, but I always believed the 50 bucks was my joke money. Besides, if I claimed the check and it isn't from Playboy, my story would end, and I didn't want that to happen. I hate endings!

I'm fortunate that "Lighten the Fuck Up!" has become a regular on the Barstool blog, and I'm finally getting my chance to make people laugh…

If you're ambitious and can deliver a joke in The Diceman's voice, then create a video of yourself doing my joke, put it on Twitter, and tag me @Vindog56. (black tee-shirt, black leather jacket, and cigarette/lighter are optional…) 

The best performance will receive a free LTFU cap or beanie, your choice, and bragging rights for eternity! 

Chop-chop! Let's see it! Who knows, this could launch a whole new career for an aspiring standup comic! I need them by Saturday at noon. I'll announce the winner on Sunday, 1/29. Good Luck!