Former Playboy bunny has a tale or two to tell

Call it a Playboy bunny tail of two cities. Former bunny PJ Moriarty told the tale to Rick Harrison while selling one of her coveted tails during a “Pawn Stars” episode this week.

Not all of her story made it on air, but here’s the gist of it.

Moriarty grew up in Chicago, where Playboy founder Hugh Hefner launched his first Playboy Club in 1960.

When her dream of working in her hometown Playboy Club didn’t work out, Moriarty landed a job in the mid-1970s as a bunny at the Denver Playboy Club.

Bunny tails were such status symbols, she said, that it was common for a tipsy patron to offer $50 to $100 for Playboy’s most famous accessory.

Management soon caught on and not only fined the bunnies for “losing” their tails, but decided to turn the bunny tails into merchandise.

“They put them on a plaque that said, ‘Caught live at the Playboy Club,’ ” recalled Moriarty.

After two years as a bunny, Moriarty said she became the first woman to hold a management job at a Playboy Club, other than the bunny mothers. She was in charge of the showroom of the Denver Playboy Club, which was in a penthouse of a downtown Radisson hotel.

One night, the showroom’s featured act, comedian Jackie Mason, didn’t make it. After a mad scramble, a last-minute replacement was lined up.

A young guy with a suitcase walked in, said Moriarty. It was Steve Martin.

One night during her bunny years, her fellow bunnies were buzzing about a talented singer who was on the Playboy Club circuit.

That was Clint Holmes, who would later open for Bill Cosby and headline in Las Vegas.

When Moriarty moved to Las Vegas in 2010, she decided to make friends in the entertainment community. She loved the Monday karaoke scene at the Bootlegger Italian Bistro and showed up one night wearing her bunny outfit to sing a parody.

“As host Kelly Clinton-Holmes was handing me the mic, I told her I’d met Clint when I was a bunny.” Clinton-Holmes, ever quick with the comeback, said, And I suppose you went to church together.”

“That went bad fast,” said Moriarty, “but I think she was kidding.”

Back to the bunny tails.

While in Denver, Moriarty bought a couple of framed bunny tails for $29, less employee discount.

“They are valued about $500, but I sold it to Rick Harrison for $300 after some negotiation,” she said.

A bunny tail mounted on a wooden plaque wasn’t the only thing she was sitting on.

She also has a Playboy key collection valued at $105,000 from certified appraisals.

The show re-airs on Aug. 16 and 17.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Grumpy Cat attracted between 1,000 and 1,500 fans to the Kitson store at The Linq on Tuesday for a book tour stop. The frowning dwarf cat sold about 400 books and 50 stuffed cats. She arrived at Kitson’s door in a limo escorted by a security detail and later took a ride on the High Roller. On the way to the world’s tallest observation wheel, a large crowd followed, chanting, “Go Grumpy! Go Grumpy!”…

Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, will join Alan Stock at 8 a.m. today for an update on the intrigue involving the remains of her late father. The beloved radio host of “American Top 40” died June 15 in a hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash. Kasem’s family fears his second wife, Jean Kasem, has held a secret funeral, denying the family the opportunity to be part of a final farewell. Jean Kasem, who played Loretta Tortelli, wife of Carla’s ex, Nick Tortelli, on TV’s “Cheers,” has been responsible for the body, which went missing. Kerri Kasem will be part of a tribute to her father at the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Scholarship gala on Saturday at the Four Seasons. …

Former UNLV football players an brothers Beau and B.J. Bell, appear in Tuesday’s AMC season premiere of “4th and Loud,” a behind-the-scenes series on the LA KISS’s Arena Football League team. Team owners include Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS and their longtime manager, Doc McGhee.

SIGHTINGS

Zappos CEO and downtown revival visionary Tony Hsieh, dining with friends at Andiamos Italian Steak House at the D Las Vegas before attending the Frankie Scinta show with The D’s owner Derek Stevens.

THE PUNCH LINE

“On Friday, a truck on an Indianapolis highway spilled over 45,000 pounds of butter onto the road. The governor called for a cleanup, while Paula Deen called for a national day of mourning.” — Seth Myers

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.

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