"The Playboy Club" Debuts

Former bunnies and TV versions dish on club life

By LeeAnn Trotter and Marcus Riley
|  Monday, Sep 19, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM CDT
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Former bunnies meet some of the actresses who play them on the NBC show.

Former bunnies meet some of the actresses who play them on the NBC show.

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After months of anticipation, NBC's The Playboy Club finally got its national debut Monday night.

The show is a fictional look at early 1960s Chicago, including the changing sexual mores of the era and a good dose of organized crime action to keep things interesting.

But it's all based around the club, which Hugh Hefner first opened in Chicago 51 years ago.

Some of the actresses who play bunnies on the show recently met with some of the original bunnies to share their experiences.

"I was putting my husband through dental school, and it was great experience. It really taught me how to handle people," former bunny Cheryl McCarthur said.

But whether they're former bunnies or the modern-day version, the women seemed to agree on one thing -- those uniforms are horribly uncomfortable.

"It's wonderful, it looks great on the girls and feels so good when you put it on, but about four hours later you start thinking, not so much anymore," actress Leah Renee said. "It just gets a little tight and hurts your back."

The show has come under fire from some family values groups, but show producers insist The Playboy Club actually empowered the women who work there.

The renewed interest has also spurred an effort to bring back a Playboy Club nightclub to Chicago, only a few blocks from the original location.

The show airs at 9 p.m. CST on NBC.

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