These delightful scans of the Playboy Club Bunny Manual of 1968 come from “Bunny Regina,” who worked at the Detroit Playboy Club from July 1968 (if her inscription is any indication) to sometime in 1969. Maybe Debbie Harry can dig hers out as well? After all, she was a Bunny at New York City’s Playboy Club from 1968 to 1973. (If you’d like more information about that weird institution of the Playboy Club that was so culturally iconic in the 1960s and 1970s, check out The Bunny Years: The Inside Story of the Playboy Clubs and the Women Who Worked as Bunnies by Kathryn Leigh Scott.)
“The Bunny has become what the Ziegfeld girl was to another generation,” burbles the introduction with evident pride. Here are some of the rules and so forth Bunnies had to master:
No fraternization, either with “other employees of the Club” or with “Keyholders.” ... “She is also not permitted to give her last name, home address or phone number.” No chewing gum or eating while on duty, no alcohol consumption while “in the Club.” No drinking of “soft drinks, lemonade or even water” while one is “in view of keyholders and guests.” (Backstage is OK.) Bunnies get one free meal per day worked.
There’s a whole merit/demerit system that smacks a lot of the military, or at least a military school. You earn merits by working on your day off when the club needs a replacement, working a private party, or transferring to another club when management needs it. (These merits do turn into hard cash, by the way.) There are lots of actions that bring one demerits, including tardiness, failure to attend a “Bunny Meeting,” poor service, untidy lockers, and so forth. The most eye-popping reason for a demerit is “repeated costume offenses,” which include improper positioning of bunny ears (yes, this is totally in there) and “unkept tail,” which while suggestive in that spelling almost certainly was supposed to say “unkempt.”
Then there’s smoking. The rule about smoking is so important that it is set in ALLCAPS: “IN ALL CASES WHEN A BUNNY IS SMOKING WHILE ON DUTY, SHE IS TO ‘TAKE A PUFF’ AND SET THE CIGARETTE IN AN ASHTRAY. BUNNIES ARE NOT TO STAND OR SIT HOLDING A CIGARETTE.”
If you’re a Bunny, all sorts of things are tax-deductible, so keep your receipts! Legitimate tax deductions include “bunny hose,” wigs, cuff links, and cosmetics.
You can get these images in a slightly larger format at the Ex Playboy Bunnies Website.