An Open Letter Of Thanks To Hugh Hefner For Saving The Hollywood Sign

Dear Mr. Hefner,

On behalf of the millions of overjoyed residents of Los Angeles, we would like to thank you for cutting the $900,000 check that nudged the Save the Peak effort over its monetary finish line, ensuring that the pristine land adjacent to the Hollywood sign will be safe from exactly the kind of tacky developers who originally erected the humongous real estate billboard in 1923.

Because of your generosity, The Sign will continue to illuminate the dream factory sprawling below without having its dazzling power diluted by an ugly, focus-pulling development of luxury homes just a few yards to the west, blunting the iconic beacon that guides wide-eyed farm girls and wealthy foreign financiers alike to their ineffable moviemaking destinies. Thanks to you (and to the other donors, both large and small, who cobbled together the necessary $12.5 million), those 138 acres will become a part of Griffith Park, and not the land upon which David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg perch matching mega-compounds once the populist furor of the Great Sign Crisis dies down, gaining breathtaking, twin vantage points over their long-conquered empires. (What, they should let that prime location get snatched up by Bruckheimer? Or [gasp] Bay? A hillside consumed by ostentatious explosions would not have been in anyone's best interest.)

Thank you also, Mr. Hefner, for not canceling your check when our esteemed Governor Schwarzenegger, the former action hero who compulsively hijacks the gubernatorial pulpit to reference his onetime cinematic superstardom, not only failed to note at today's press conference that yours was the attention-grabbing donation that helped seal last-minute victory for the cause, but for making another lame quip that he did "what a Terminator is supposed to do, which is jump into action." Technically, what a "Terminator is supposed to do" is travel back in time and murder anyone that would eventually interfere with the parcel's rightful use as landmark-adjacent parkland, preventing this tense situation in the first place. Under these circumstances, it would've been perfectly understandable if you'd rethought your contribution to teach the Governor an overdue lesson about humility in civil service. You, sir, though obscuring a much frailer frame in several protective layers of plush velvet bathrobe, are the bigger man.

And, finally, we thank you, Mr. Hefner, for not using this happy occasion for self-promotion. After forking over a high-six-figure sum to preserve the integrity of a beloved piece of the Hollywood landscape, no one could've complained if you'd pulled up to press conference in an enormous, rolling hot tub, surrounded by the latest pneumatic additions to a now dozen-member-strong harem, to announce the next season of your show would be The Girls Next Door: Historical Preservation Edition, in which you travel the country saving local landmarks from aesthetic corruption. Though we -- if we may be so bold! -- humbly suggest that this would be an amazing idea to keep your franchise vital, and offer it to you and the E! network free of charge, inspired by the shining example of your own largesse.

Thank you, Mr. Hefner. Thank you.


  • Martini Shark says:

    My guess is Hef has lost sway with the studios, so now when he tells a farm girl he can get her work with Hollywood she'll be up in the Hills bleaching a vowel.

  • Keith says:

    We've got Hugh to thank for the original Y too...

  • Dominick Undunne says:

    Leave it to Hef to give all of Hollywood a "happy ending"!

  • Colander says:

    This is great.

  • Baz says:

    In a town where the older citizens could give a rat's ass about its history, and the younger think vintage movies date from the 1980s, the word 'Hollywood' is synonymous with the wonder of shadows on a screen.
    Hugh has contributed generously to the return of this icon to G. J. Griffith, and those who care about Old Hollywood. We thank you. And hey - without it, Peg Entwistle might be alive today.

  • bell says:

    Well, if they'll make it like a facebook-twitter dating site, then this might be interesting.