TV Junkie Interview: Rachel Perry of Playboy TV's 'The Stash'
Playboy TV has been around for a long time - launching as the Playboy Channel in 1982. As the magazine has changed with the times, so has their cable channel, perhaps even more so, with explicit videos now being shown at most times of day, in addition to programs produced by the network itself.
Playboy has always had a close association with comedy as Hugh Hefner has needed to trumpet the protection/expansion of the First Amendment in order to produce his magazines and other media. Sponsorship of festivals, clubs, tours, and even the creation of comedy content has been a part of Playboy for several decades and has always manifested itself on Playboy TV.
One of the things that interested me about their new comedy show, "The Stash," which premieres this Friday at 10pm, is that it's a show that looks at the adult industry itself. "The Stash" is not a scripted show like "Canoga Park," or a stand-up special. Rather, the format is of the "green screen" clip show variety that should be familiar to viewers of E!, Comedy Central, and G4. Very much like "The Soup," "Tosh.0," "Web Soup," a well as several cable news shows, "The Stash" has a host who humorously presents clips from movies, TV shows, and the internet, as well as bits and sketches shot by the productions team. The difference in the case of "The Stash" is that someone is finally doing this with the elephant in Southern California's living room: the porn industry.
What is Playboy TV trying to do with the show? "The Stash" is very funny but it doesn't seem like it would be reason enough for a cable subscriber to plunk down an extra $10-$16/mo to get Playboy TV. As a service to current Playboy TV subscribers, it does make sense: original comedy content directly related to their other content. Still, it's a shame that only subscribers will get the comedy and there is hope that we could see a shorter, R-rated version posted online every week.
Rachel Perry is the host of Playboy TV's "The Stash" which premieres this Friday at 10pm
The other big difference is the host of the show, Rachel Perry. Note that the other shows I listed all have male hosts and one would have thought that Playboy TV would have gone with a Joe Rogan type, or even Steve-O who has worked on the channel in the past, but they decided to go with a female comedian which is a bold move on several different levels, not the least of which is taking the risk on assuming that viewers will more readily accept a (funny) woman pointing out the absurdities of porn and sex toys than a (funny) man.Not only is Perry a comedian but she is a broadcast veteran, most notably (in our case) for providing voiceovers for many VH1 TV and radio shows for years, as well as "Entertainment Tonight," and the Logo network. It should also be noted that Perry is yet another Canadian taking jobs away from Americans, but I think I can forgive her for that.
I had the chance to talk to Perry at Playboy TV's production studios whose walls were covered in gorgeous Alberto Vargas and Patrick Nagel original artwork. Contrary to our expectations, however, there were not enormous piles of old Playboys used as part of the support structure of the building. Speaking of artwork, Perry is also an accomplished artist, you can see examples of her work on her Tumblr site and you can keep up with what she is doing via Twitter.