Well look out, competitors, Playboy has found the answer: Marge Simpson. On Friday, the November issue of Playboy will hit newstands with Marge Simpson gracing cover. Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek told The Los Angeles Times that "It's a very, very racy pictorial, with implied nudity at the very least. Whether or not you see more ... well, you'll have to hit the stands to find out."
I get it. It's a tongue in cheek effort to generate some publicity and get Playboy in the news. But doesn't snagging Marge Simpson actually illustrate just how out of date Playboy is? Couldn't they have gotten Lois Griffin (from Family Guy) or -- for sheer shock value -- Mrs. Broflowski from South Park?
The Simpsons definitely still has a following, but it's way, way past its peak of influence. The ratings tell the story: The first season in 1989 had an average of 13.4 million viewers. The 19th season had 7.7 milllion viewers as edgier and dare I say it, smarter, adult-oriented cartoons like Family Guy have eaten its lunch.
In the sense that Playboy has been supplanted by a number of internet destinations and The Simpsons has been beaten by Family Guy I would say that Marge Simpson is a poignant centerfold for an ailing brand.