Ever the Playboy

BEVERLY HILLS _ Who would have thought that a girl from Galt would grow up to be the No. 2 girlfriend of Playboy patriarch Hugh Hefner.

The session for “The Girls Next Door,” which premieres in August, was a fitting end to the wacky cable portion of the summer TV critics press tour.

Hefner, who turns 80 next month, looked decades younger as he strolled up to the stage with his three blonde, amply endowed girlfriends Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson and Galt’s Bridget Marquardt.

This reality series goes inside this unconventional relationship. Bridget, 31, says her family loves Hef. In fact, her younger sister is down visiting the Playboy mansion.
Yeah. That sounds like a father’s dream.

P. Diddy doesn’t have the kind of security this girl has.

After the session, Hef and his trio of trophies marched out to the waiting limo, with a lone reporter invading a weak spot to grab a quick interview.

Bridget says that she attended Lodi High School for two years before the family moved to Galt, where she graduated. She moved down to L.A. with the intentions of becoming a Playboy Playmate. Instead, Hef fell for her, and she’s been in the top-three girlfriend tier ever since.

She says she’s happy, but it still seemed a bit creepy to see a man who is old enough to be her grandfather yanking her around like a puppy on a short leash.

“Boondocks” headed for small screen

Earlier in the day, outspoken newspaper cartoonist Aaron McGruder took the stage to promote his newest venture, a TV series for The Cartoon Network named after his comic strip “The Boondocks.”

The strip, which runs in this newspaper, is set around an African-American grandfather who moves his grandchildren from the inner city to the suburbs. The kid characters are a self-appointed revolutionary, Huey Freeman (named after Black Panther Huey P. Newton), his younger gangsta brother Riley Freeman and their outspoken, bi-racial buddy Jazmine DuBois.

The first episode, which airs in October, is titled “The Trial of R. Klly,” which makes quite a comment on celebrity trials.

McGruder hasn’t been shy when it comes to making his opinions known, from knocking the first film in the final “Star Wars” trilogy to calling Condoleeza Rice a murderer.
So he prefers to avoid talking to his targets if possible.

“I have a rule where I don’t actually talk to people within a week or two after I put them in the paper because they’re still really upset and then I have a rule of forgetting about them afterward so that I just never have the conversation,” McGruder says. “Then there’s when you bump into them, and that’s particularly unpleasant because normally people are incredibly nice and incredibly gracious, and then you just feel like a big jerk.”

And for those people wondering about the rumors that he’s going to stop doing the comic strip, McGruder says, “I’m just not ready to walk away yet.”

Give this woman some carbs

Kyra Sedgewick’s character on the fantastic new TNT show “The Closer” has an obsession with junk food.

Seems like the doughnut doesn’t fall far from the carb tree.

After her session, she raced past me like a running back avoiding a tackle so she could get to the snack table to grab a croissant. Don’t tell me those skinny actresses don’t like butter-filled treats.

Earlier, Sedgwick said in the session she couldn’t be happier with the new attention she’s been getting from the show, especially the offer from Playboy for a centerfold.

“At 39, I was thrilled,” says the vivacious actress, who turns 40 next month.
But alas. She reveals sadly, “I was forced into saying no by my agent.”

I know. Again with the Playboy.

Ask a question for CBS executives, who’ll be in the hotseat this week, by e-mailing me at syoung@angnewspapers.com.

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