I was the prefect age when Pee-wee’s Playhouse was a Saturday morning staple: old enough to “get” the bizarre, stoner influences and young enough to appreciate for it what it also was; kiddy fluff with bright colors and wacky characters. Actually, in hindsight, those two things are exactly the same. With that said, I was not surprised at all when the Cartoon Network announced they had purchased all 45 original episodes and were planning to air them on their Adult Swim block of programming; a mix of half hour comedies for the college crowd that airs Monday-Thursday at 10:30 PM.
I’m looking forward to taking in these re-runs. It won’t be like watching an old show like Seinfeld, which is just humorous for the sake of humor. No, re-watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse will be a full on nostalgic experience (insomuch as a 25 year old can feel nostalgia for anything).
I can’t wait for the giant rubber-band ball, as it will make me think of my own rubber-band ball that I attempted to make (I got pretty far actually; it was bigger than a baseball but smaller than a large orange). I can’t wait for the word of the day; perhaps I’ll even scream out loud. And I can’t wait for the characters. Pee-wee wasn’t the star of the show; that was a giant misconception. The stars were Conky, Pterri the Pterodactyl, Chairry and a host of others. Not too mention the great (and now famous) live action stars.
How could you forget Phil Hartman as Captain Carl or Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis? There were also some big stars in some lesser rules; Jimmy Smits played the TV Repairman and Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro starred as Duke the Dog Faced Boy (a simply great performance).
A lot has been made of the real life Pee-wee Herman or Paul Reubens. If you ask me, the whole thing was terribly overblown. I don’t fault CBS for firing Reubens in 1991 when he was arrested for masturbating in an adult movie house; Pee-wee’s was, after all, a children’s show. To his credit, Reubens never shied away from any of the press and he went on to play memorable roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayers (the movie) and Blow.
I’m positive that Pee-wee’s Playhouse will be a huge hit among the Adult Swim crowd (frankly, I’m surprised they hadn’t thought of this earlier). The best case scenario to come out of this revival would be the creation of new episodes.
If you’re telling me that you wouldn’t watch a 55 year old Paul Reubens reprise the role of Pee-wee Herman, 15 years after the fact, then you my friend are a liar.