Caper presents its genteel vision of American eroticism.
Caper is an American nudie mag that was launched in 1956 by Humor Magazines, Inc., of Derby, Connecticut, and ran until 1980. This issue published in January 1960 features cover model Judy LaPree, and interior models Beth Marlboro (in the centerfold), Jamie O’Neil, and the ubiquitous June Wilkinson. Some of the photography is by Ron Vogel, who we last saw contributing images to the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963, and you also get some pretty nice art, numerous cartoons, and a bit of fiction. As always when we look at one of these magazines, we can't help but note the modern day shift away from gentleness in erotic imagery. It’s still out there, of course. There are hundreds of blogs alone, many run by women and focused on female desire, that remain faithful to ideas of imagination, mystery, and mutual pleasure. But those are simply trampled by the many gigantic outlets that feature near-violent insertions of every known object and organ into every known orifice and crevice.
To be clear, we aren’t knocking explicitness. Explicitness has a place, and in any case it was there long ago—modern porn has only just caught up to the 1930s Tijuana bibles we share here on occasion. No, when we say erotic material has shifted away from gentleness, we’re thinking of the actual, physical aggression of modern mainstream porn. It’s pervasive, and while a curious phenomenon in itself, when lumped with all modern media, we see that heightened aggression is a standard feature of today's America—from argumentative cable news to transgressive horror and procedural novels to the mega-slaughter of modern action movies. We could even go so far as to add non-media aspects of society to the equation. Seen from the wider perspective, nobody could reasonably expect porn to be an exception to the current wave of violent expression, though it would be nice if it were. This early Caper is an interesting—and welcome—reminder just how genteel erotic material used to be.
Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum?
We’re at the penultimate page of the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963, and as promised last week here’s a great shot from Ron Vogel of an unidentified model getting her groove on. This just cries out to be repurposed as a 12-inch cover or some kind of concert poster, don’t you think? The image actually brings up lots of humorous possibilities, and we were contemplating something along these lines for a subhead: She’s not the only one who loves beating something between her legs. But then we decided that was just too much. We have some class here.
Among the quips this week is one from a person named Barbette. We had no idea who that was, so off to the interwebs we went for an answer. Turns out Barbette was a famous trapeze performer and female impersonator. He was born Vander Clyde Broadway, and in his aerial act performed in full drag only to reveal himself as a man at the end. As his fame grew he worked all over the U.S. and Europe, selling out storied venues like the Casino de Paris, Moulin Rouge, and the Folies Bergère.
His renown extended beyond the realm of performance. He was photographed by Man Ray, cast in Jean Cocteau’s experimental film Le sang d'un poete, was the subject of Cocteau’s essay Le numéro Barbette, and choreographed aerial scenes for Hollywood movies. It’s also possible he was the inspiration for Reinhold Schünzel’s musical comedy film Viktor und Viktoria, which was remade as Victor Victoria by Blake Edwards. Quite a legacy. We aren’t sure if his quip is particularly insightful, but even Barbette had his off days.
Feb 24: “A college girl who eloped put the heart before the course.”—G.S. Kaufman
Feb 25: “Women think about love more than men; that’s because men think more about women.”—Barbette
Feb 26: A woman’s strength is her weakness. She fights by yielding and conquers by falling.
Feb 27: :One group of people who live on love are the owners of drive-in theaters.”—Jack Herbert
Feb 28: “For every man there’s a woman; but the chances are one may get the wrong number.”—He-who Who-he
Mar 1: “Alimony: The high cost of guessing wrong.”—Quin Ryan
Mar 2: Every girl should have a husband, not necessarily her own—Hollywood Code
Some see the glass as half full. Some see it as half empty. But if you’re really smart you’re not looking at the glass at all.
Ron Vogel, who has provided quite a few nice images for the Goodtime Weekly Calendar, makes yet another appearance this week with a nice shot of a woman offering a nightcap. We can’t identify the model, which isn’t unusual, but did we ever mention that Vogel himself is a bit of a mystery? The guy contributed an amazing amount to the field of photography, pin-ups, and erotica, but he doesn’t have a website or even a Wikipedia page. Seems a shame. Anyway, we get one more Vogel next week, and it’s a really nice one, so look forward to that. Quips below.
Feb 17: “A career girl is one who gets a man’s salary without marrying one.”—Peggie Castle
Feb 18: Mature women love the simpler things in life—men.
Feb 19: “She who thinks no man is good enough for her may be right but is more often left.”—He-who Who-he
Feb 20: “It takes two to make a marriage—a girl and her mother.”—Paul Gibson
Feb 21: “One thing that ruins a girl’s chance for a fur coat is to get married.”—Alex Dreier
Feb 22: A beatnik says, “A cannibal eats three squares a day.”
Feb 23: “Money doesn’t talk anymore. It goes without saying.”—Kai Winding
Ringing in the New Year in style.
Survived another year. And so have you. So let’s open 2013 by catching up with the Goodtime Weekly Calendar. We missed two weeks while we were in Morocco, and those pages are below. Above you see the January 1 page of this great publication, which also happens to be the cover, and it features model/actress/centerfold June Wilkinson shot by film director Russ Meyer. The photo is a variation of another Wilkinson image that appears inside the calendar later in the year. The images below are credited to Ron Vogel and L.W., whoever he is. Obviously, there's a three week backlog of jokes, but by now we’ve established that most of them are not in any way amusing, so rather than transcribe the entire collection, we’ve selected what we hope are the most interesting. Enjoy.
“A pedestrian: The man who didn’t believe his wife when she said the family needed two cars.”—Cannonball Adderley
“Many a man who would never think of gambling goes out and gets married.”—Sig Sakowicz
At Christmas time, every girl likes her past forgotten and her presents remembered.
Women are like modern paintings: you’ll never enjoy them if you try to understand them.
“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”—William Shakespeare
“People Who throw kisses are mighty near hopelessly lazy.”—Bob Hope
“Short skirts have a tendency to make men polite. Have you ever seen a man get on a bus ahead of one?”—Mel Ferrer
Above, the September 1 page from the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963 with a photo by Ron Vogel of a petite model lounging in the garden in an unclothed state. She has two drinks because when you’re out in the hot sun you have to stay hydrated. Either that or she’s waiting for a friend. The observations this week include one from radio personality John Doremus, and another from Freddie Flintstone. We’re actually starting to think the Flintstone quotes are not actually from the television cartoon. We’ve seen the show, and we can’t imagine Fred making a quip that features the words “bonds” and “interest.” And besides, why refer to him as Freddie? He was always called Fred, as far as we know. Anyone with insight on this question, drop us a line.
Sep 1: Jaywalking: A bad habit that may give you that run-down feeling.
Sep 2: “Labor Day: When cops didn’t hide behind traffic signs, they took their chances like everyone else.”—Pat Sheridan
Sep 3: “A wolf is a guy who picks up your chick instead of your check.”—Sam Cowling
Sep 4: “A woman begins to realize her age when people comment on how young she looks.”—John Doremus
Sep 5: Ballet teacher: A guy who keeps the rest on their toes.
Sep 6: “The bonds of matrimony are not very strong unless the interest is kept up.”—Freddie Flintstone
Sep 7: “Some people can trace their families back for centuries but don’t know where their kids were last night.”—Mitch Miller
Come into my lair, said the spider to the fly.
The hottest days of summer bring some of the sultriest entries of the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963. This week, Ron Vogel presents an unknown model giving what we’d say is a definite come hither stare. The quips are back to where they started—with basic observations about men and women, including one from Alex Dreier. An interesting fellow, Dreier was a seven time Emmy winning newsman who earned his most lasting fame for using his Chicago newscast in 1956 the slam the city’s bigots. It cost him his job, but put him on the right side of history. His quip doesn’t hold up quite as well, but nobody’s perfect.
Aug 4: “The trouble with doing nothing is that you can’t stop and rest.”—Sam Cowling
Aug 5: “A bachelor is a guy who is crazy to marry—but realized it on time.”—Alex Dreier
Aug 6: Never argue with a woman; it’s your word against thousands of hers.
Aug 7: The tongue of a woman is their sword, and they take care not to let it rust.—Chinese Prov.
Aug 8: Men ask for permanent hair but women ask for permanent waves.
Aug 9: Joint account: a handy little device that permits your wife to beat you to the draw.
Aug 10: Bachelor’s apartment: hi-fidelity in one corner and infidelity in the other.
This is what it looks like when three wishes come true.
Owing to the delicate nature of their jobs, glamour photographers are supposed to be completely professional at all times, but you have to think that at some point during this shoot, Ron Vogel broke down and cried tears of joy. Just saying. This week’s quips include a couple of unlikely entries from sixteenth century noblewoman Diane de Portiers and newsman Walter Winchell, and you can read those below and visit our entire collection of Goodtime Weekly Calendar pages, including others from Vogel, here.
May 19: “A speech is like a bad tooth; the longer it takes to draw out, the more it hurts.”—W.E. Suter
May 20: “Polygamy will never work in America. Can you imagine six wives in a kitchenette?—Oscar Cartier
May 21: “Cough: Something you can’t help, but everybody else does on purpose to torment you.”—Ogden Nash
May 22: “The years a woman subtracts from her age are not lost; they’re added to the ages of other women.”—Diane de Poitiers
May 23: “Signs at a bookstore: We don’t mind your reading these books, but we wish you’d do it at home.”—Walter Winchell
May 24: “I do push-backs, not push-ups. I push back the dinner table before it’s too late.”—Marjorie Lord
May 25: “Plenty of sex won’t make you rich; it’s the lack of it makes you poor.”—He-who Who-he
She’s always the life of the party.
Once again we can’t identify this week’s Goodtime Weekly Calendar girl, but at least we’ve seen her before. She appeared in the April 1962 issue of Topper, which, if you’ve never heard of it, is a vintage magazine devoted to big-breasted women. She was in a pictorial dancing topless for a group of beer-swilling guys—which is a scene that would be familiar to anyone who’s experienced spring break in Cancún. And a few pages later she’s Miss Homecoming, i.e. the centerfold. The photos were shot by that rascal Ron Vogel, who has more pages upcoming in the calendar. The quips are transcribed below, including one from Will Rogers, who was known for his homespun wisdom, but just spins his wheels here. More Goodtime Weekly next Saturday.
May 5: Be nice to pretty girls ’til you make your first million. After that they’ll be nice to you.
May 6: “Experience may be the best teacher but the one I had in grammar school was prettier.”—Don McNeill
May 7: A woman says the best interoffice communicatios device so far is the coffee break.
May 8: “Every time they (Congressmen) make a joke it’s a law. And every time they make a law it’s a joke.”—Will Rogers.
May 9: “He who is in charge of a crime is vice president.”—He-who Who-he
May 10: If a dame tells you she loves you more than anything else, take heed… she’s been experimenting.
May 11: KISS as posted in some brass’ office means “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”
Yeah, I know it’s a weird pose, but these babies need all the support they can get.
We’ve reached the end of our second month of the Goodtime Weekly Calendar of 1963 with another image from renowned pin-up photog Ron Vogel, once more shooting a model unknown to us. We’re getting the sense, though, that he preferred his women busty. This week’s quips include a maxim from La Rochefoucuald, as well as observations from Paul Gibson, and others, plus an unattributed one-liner about Easter, a holiday we’re pretty sure came weeks before April 28, even in 1963. Well, with so many razor sharp witticisms needing to be published, how could the boys at Goodtime Weekly possibly be expected to fit in their uproarious Easter quip on Easter Sunday? This batch, we swear, will have you on the floor. In fact, maybe don’t read them at all. Yeah, thinking about it, that’s our recommendation—just skip them and get on with your day.
April: 28: Weather forecast for Easter: cloudy, early dew on the ground, some places there may be eggs.
April 29: “Some girls use their heads just for hair-dos.”—Jack Brickhouse
April 30: “In their first passions, women love the lover, and in others they love love.”—La Rochefoucuald
May 1: “Some girls play hard to get; others just play hard.”—Arnold Glasgow
May 2: “A playboy is a fickle pickle who before kissing his girl goodbye has his next already picked out.”—Ann Landers.
May 3: “A woman loves to be loved, but why does she do so little to have it happen?”—Paul Gibson.
May 4: Love never dies of starvation, but often of indigestion.—French Prov.
Care to join me for a nightcap?
Our fifth installment of the Good Time Weekly Calendar of 1963 features a model that is damnably familiar, but we just can’t come up with her name. We can tell you she was shot by renowned pin-up photog Ron Vogel, if that helps. Love the ornamental wine decanter, by the way. The week’s quips are below, and for a change a couple of them are actually clever.
Apr 7: “Girls who accept rings from men they don’t know are telephone operators.”—Sam Cowling
Apr 8: Why girls kiss and make up? Because the stuff rubs off.
Apr 9: Think now or pay later: Are your in-laws legalized charities?
Apr 10: “It doesn’t take much for a girl to hook a guy: He usually supplies the line himself.”—Tom Poston
Apr 11: “To a smart girl men are no problem—they’re the answer.”—Zsa Zsa Gabor
Apr 12: Three more days to decide either the debt is going to be the U.S.’s or yours.
Apr 13: “He who will gladly listen to both sides of an argument is a neighbor on the party line.”—He-who Who-he