Outfox the Fellow in the Bright Nightgown

A CHARTER SUBSCRIPTION OFFERING

He was a two-quart-a-day man (double martinis on waking, if you will). Yet he detested messy drunks, and never missed a performance because of liquor.

He was an insomniac of such proportions that sometimes he could only achieve sleep under a beach umbrella on which a garden hose sprinkled imitation rain. Yet he referred to death (mysteriously, but without real aversion) as “the fellow in the bright nightgown.”

He was unforgettably, incomparably, uniquely W. C. Fields, and his lesson was that style, style, style is all. Rhetorical style. Theatrical style. Psychological style. Style, the surest outward sign of substance, of a special and original inward view.

And so, it is to this sure, true, blithe spirit, “Uncle Willie,” that we dedicate a new magazine. Our name: AUDIENCE. Our purpose: to outfox the fellow in the bright nightgown by keeping you alive to beauty, to humor, to today.

THE PEOPLE

AUDIENCE celebrates excellence wherever excellence is to be found — brownstone, commune, playing field, concert hall, garret, campus, proscenium, foundry, ghetto, chateau, Volkswagen bus.

Our Editorial Board is something else again:

Alan Arkin, Saul Bass, Saul Bellow, Robert Bolt, John Cassavetes, Charles Eames, Philip Johnson, Marisol, Inge Morath, Gordon Parks, Anne Sexton, Robert Penn Warren, Tom Wicker, John A. Williams.

THE GRAPHICS

AUDIENCE is published every other month — a magazine for enjoying at leisure. It comes to you in hard covers, without advertising — a magazine for saving. It is designed by Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser, whose Push Pin Studios recently became the first American design group ever honored with an exhibition at the Louvre. Their pilot issue of AUDIENCE, by the way, has already won top honors from the prestigious Society of Publication Designers — an unheard-of coup first time out.

Specifications? Probably not even a Medici Pope could have commanded a book more opulent, more lavish. 216 square inches to the open spread. And depending on the contents of individual issues, a positively sensuous interlacing of papers. Papers for art reproduction, of a weight and quality for framing, and color plates by the bin. Rich tint papers for text. Typefaces of custom design. Foldouts. Stitchins. Endpapers. And for permanence, heavy board covers. In graphics, too, AUDIENCE is a celebration of style. A celebration of excellence.

THE DEAL

Where available in a very few expensive metropolitan bookstores, AUDIENCE will carry a cover price of $4.95 the issue, or $29.70 for the full volume year, numbers one through six. A reward for becoming a Charter Subscriber, however, is saving almost half this cost — provided you're prompt in using our coupon:

Volume I, Number One is now on the press, and as much as we’d like to accept all comers, the print order for this first edition has now been set — an accommodation to collectors.

“Don’t let ‘em bamboozle you, son,”

Fields once said, “but never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast, either.” Our magazine is guaranteed to please. But if, for some reason, our Volume I, Number One issue should leave you feeling bamboozled, return it, and so much for AUDIENCE and you.

CONTENTS OF THE VOLUME ONE, NUMBER ONE ISSUE

“It was Fields who taught us that a man’s ideas are not, ultimately, as important as his imaginative stake in reality, and that Earl Long, in his pajamas, with his stripper, is indescribably preferable to Billie Sol Estes, with his Sunday-piety and sex-segregated swimming pool.”

John Clellon Holmes has written the dedication of our premier issue to W. C. Fields with “Uncle Willy and Us” Drawings, Edward Sorel.

“Nijinsky had a pair of feet you’d have had to see to believe. His heels and the base of his toes were equidistant from his ankles. No other mammal with feet like that had ever been seen outside Australia.”

Nelson Algren writes on a standing skirmish between the dancer and his impresario, Diaghilev, by way of proving an Algren theory that integrity in art is “a matter of who swings the mackerel.” Illustration, Milton Glaser.

“Q. If you could change one character trait in yourself, it would be?

A. My shyness.”

Answer on a Playmate Data Sheet, required of each candidate before her photograph, posed nude, is considered for a Playboy foldout. The hilarious piece is by Tom Meehan, and it’s called “We Like to Find a Late-Maturing Girl.” Illustrations, Robert Grossman. “In a village somewhere in the Ukraine there lived a poor man called Todie. Todie had a wife, Shaindel, and seven children, but he could never earn enough to feed them properly. He tried many trades and failed in all of them. It was said of Todie that if he decided to deal in candles the sun would never set . ..”

Blend Sholem Aleichem with Hans Christian Andersen, and you get Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Shrewd Todie and Lyzer the Miser,” one of two fables clearly marked for posterity in the issue. Illustrations, Seymour Chwast.

THE COUPON

PREMIER ISSUE & CHARTER SUBSCRIPTION RESERVATION

Please put me down for a look at AUDIENCE, and reserve the following Charter guarantees:

1. The subscription includes a mint copy of Volume I, Number 1, cornerstone of any collection, and the issue that eventually fetches the highest price from bibliophile and collector.

2. The annual price is $15, not $24— an immediate saving of $9 over the rate which non-Charter subscribers will pay, and a saving of $14.70 over the total single edition costs.

3. Charter rates will be preferential in perpetuity, no matter what price increases may eventually be required,

4. If in any way AUDIENCE is disappointing, the first issue is returnable at the publisher’s expense, with no further obligation.

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