“Who’s On Top?”

Playboy, the magazine.Ty from EB2014_03_28_16_52_34 2014_03_28_16_53_04 2014_03_28_16_52_52

Back in the 1990’s, when my daughter Jamie was too young to know what “Playboy” was, I worked on television shows for the Channel.

I started out doing a talk show, “Who’s On Top?”

It was an innocent time.  Everyone was fully clothed.

We billed it as a sociological phenomenon.  A chance for men & women to explore — not each other, don’t get excited — ahem — explore our differences.

Eric Burns, the NBC journalist of impeccable credentials, was our host.

Asa Baber, who became my mentor (and was the “Playboy Men’s Columnist”) sparred with Nora Dunn, writer/actress/comedienne of “Saturday Night Live” fame.

We had spirited debates on “Who’s On Top?” — and tried to figure out some of the basic characteristics of men and women.

As an Associate Producer on the show, I was in charge of studio days.  Cast, crew, meals, schedule,  you name it.  I made sure my talent had green rooms to their satisfaction, lodging and transportation for their one-month stay (all of them lived out of town);  and I negotiated a 30-day hotel ‘trade-out’ that made the network very happy because it cut our hotel room budget in a big way.


I just found this letter stuck in a file called “Job References” — from Eric Burns.

It’s a tribute to the hand-written note that I saved not only the letter but the envelope as well.  (I like the huge “E.B.” on the back & always thought one day, maybe I’d do a big “E.G.” on the back of MY stationery.)

It’s been a long time since I talked to Eric Burns, but if I wanted to find him now to thank him for taking a moment to write — I’ll bet he might be grateful for my still caring so much about his opinion that I held onto his note for 21 years.

From the LOS ANGELES TIMES… September 1993.


Playboy Talk: “Who’s On Top?,” a new talk show about sex and relationships in the ’90s, will premiere Nov. 6 on the Playboy TV network. Hosted by former “NBC Nightly News” correspondent Eric Burns, the show will feature “Saturday Night Live” alum Nora Dunn taking the female perspective as she faces off against Playboy magazine’s “Men” columnist Asa Baber with the male perspective. Guest experts in such fields as medicine, psychology, show business and the arts will also appear.

Eric Burns, journalist.


Leave a Reply