J. Geils Band angles for guest spot on The Simpsons

The news that Marge Simpson will be Playboy’s Ms. November is more than an unlikely pairing of cultural icons, it is desperate grab for relevance in a changing world.

The digital age has left Playboy plodding along like it’s run by an 80 year old guy who hangs around a house all day in his bathrobe and slippers.  Pursuit of other business models is a tacit admission that the heydays of Playboy and other girlie mags are over. Taking a peek into the Bouvier boudoir – and making the issue available only at newsstands – will likely give Playboy a temporary uptick in sales and find their way into the news pages and blogosphere for a day or two.

Marge’s centerfold also gives The Simpsons a chance to re-assert their pop culture street cred in their subtle rivalry with Family Guy – but Playboy clearly needed the boost more.