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The Pee Wee Herman Show (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

A complete masterpiece.

Author: staircar
8 October 2001

I can't think of many things that make me laugh harder than that piece of cake Phil gets in the lunch line. I just can't watch this too many times. It remains funny every time I see it. Words can't explain my rapture at Captain Carl's hand-washing dance. The day Phil Hartman died, I wandered about the dorms mournfully intoning "A sailor travels to many lands/Any place he please/And he always remembers to wash his hands/So's he don't gets no diseases." God bless you, Mr. Herman, wherever you are!

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The cake looked delicious....

Author: seles_girl from Here, Earth
21 February 2003

the first time I saw this, I nearly died laughing. It's not Pee Wee for kids, and it is SO funny! my dad laughed at it and he laughs at nothing. I would highly reccomend this to anyone...whatever your sense of humor is, you will find something funny in it from the songs, to the Mr. Bungle Sketch, to Captain Carl, you will laugh so hard.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Pee Wee is a genius

Author: Becky King from Springfield, MO
27 December 2003

I remember seeing this on HBO when it first came out, and it hasn't lost anything in the 22 years since. It is still hysterical.

I wish Paul Reubens would bring Pee Wee back, even though I really like him in his non-Pee Wee roles. I just need Pee Wee.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Before His Playhouse Show, Before His Big Adventure...Even Before His Other Big Adventure--In Court...

Author: ( from U.S.A
28 November 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Pee-wee Herman originated as a stage performer and this is one of his more popular shows. Things start out typical at Pee-wee's playhouse. His friend Kap'n Karl drops by and gives Pee-wee a drawing lesson by presenting a picture of a blank-chested mermaid and told him to draw two things a sailor looks for on a mermaid. The answer: a bellybutton and a watch. Pee-wee's delinquint friend Hammy as well as Miss Yvonne drop by as well. Pee-wee notices that Kapn'n Karl and Miss Yvonne seemed attracted to one another.

Mailman Mike drops by and leaves a package for Jambi the genie, who's just a head in a box. The delivery was a pair of hands. Jambi was delighted and offered to grant Pee-wee a wish. Pee-wee wanted to wish that he could fly, but then he remembered how Karl and Miss Yvonne seemed drawn to one another, so he made a wish that they would fall in love and as soon as they do, they don't pay any attention to Pee-wee and only focus on themselves. Mailman Mike returns for a Penpals From Around the World segment and then we all watch an instructional video about a boy with exceptionally good manners, because he didn't want to be a Mr. Bungle. Pee-wee is very disappointed that he won't be able to fly and Kap'n Karl later confesses he had already liked Miss Yvonne before Pee-wee had wished them together so Pee-wee still had a wish coming, so Jambi requested the help of all the boys, girls and single mothers in the audience and voilå: Pee-wee was flying!

It has been a long time since I've seen this show, but I do remember it being very funny and entertaining. I'm sure you all know that this later went on to become Pee-wee's Playhouse, a TV show for children. This comedy stage show isn't really directed at children, because many of the references (such as Jambi saying once he got the hands there was something he had been wanting to do with them for a long time, the letter Pee-wee get's from a prisoner, and the Mr. Bungle sketch). But anyway, for all you Pee-wee fans out there, I recommend you check out The Pee-wee Herman Show! It's a must for all! Let's not rule out a hilarious hypnotist act Pee-wee performs on a female audience member. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...It's Pee-wee!


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

brilliant sketch comedy

Author: funkyfry from Oakland CA
15 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is just a hilarious and unique thing, a filmed act that Paul Reubens was doing in the early 80s that could be described as theater or stand-up or whatever you want to call it. Essentially it's like an adult or R-rated version of what he later did with "Pee Wee's Playhouse" -- it's a ribald satire of 1950s and 60s local access kiddie shows, and seems to take place in an alternate universe from one of Captain Kangaroo's nightmares. Reubens' Pee Wee act never was better, because he's really cut loose and crazy. This reminds me more of his famous David Letterman appearances and so forth as opposed to some of the more toned down stuff he did later on when he figured out you could make even more money from actually catering to kids and not just spoofing them.

One of the other great joys in this little filmed sketch is Phil Hartman in a hilarious bit as Kap'n Karl, whose love for Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart) forms whatever plot this hourlong sketch has to offer. Hartman was such a joy in these kinds of roles, and it's great to have this video on hand whenever I get nostalgic for his talent.

If you watch this movie sober, by the end of the movie you will feel like you just ingested LSD or some other mind altering drug. The graphics and the whole style of thing is brilliantly stylized and carried out with perfection, never once with a wink or a nod towards the audience. And going on with the drug metaphor, compared to the excellent show and even Tim Burton's wonderful Pee-Wee film, this little video (which I first saw on HBO in the early 90s) is the uncut and undilluted stuff. Fans of Pee-Wee Herman and of sketch comedy in general will want to seek it out, and watching it might just generate some new fans as well.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Pee-wee, rated PG-13

Author: anonymous
31 January 1999

This is early Pee Wee filmed at the Roxy Theater in Hollywood. I picked this video up to entertain my kid and ended up watching it myself. It was great. Much funnier that the TV show that would come much later.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An unbelievably fun way to spend an hour.

Author: Joe-124 from South San Francisco, CA
18 January 1999

I've always thought that "Pee Wee's Playhouse" was geared toward adults more than kids, but "The Pee Wee Herman Show" is unquestionably adult-oriented comedy. I first saw this show on HBO in the early 80's, and watched a dozen times before tears from laughing so hard began to slow. This well-written, fast-paced, well-performed "play" lays the ground work for Reubens' subsequent films and tv shows.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Has its ups and downs. Sometimes you find yourself forced to laugh

Author: Andariel Halo ( from Here
10 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There must have been a laugh track to this HBO special, or the audience was high or something, because they were laughing at almost every little thing Pee-Wee did It was surprising to see a stage-version of what would essentially become Pee-Wee's Playhouse, with more adult situations (like Pee-Wee looking up a girl's skirt with mirrors on his shoes, to which the girl notices and says to his dismay, "I'm not wearing panties") Some of the characters from the TV show are here, including a raunchy Captain Carl, a somewhat psychotic Miss Yvonne, and Jambi!!!!!!!!!!!! Some of the antics were only mildly amusing, but there was nothing that was laugh out loud funny in the entire show. It's amazing to see these people in the crowd laugh uproariously at what you would have to force yourself to laugh at, or just snort a bit.

All in all, it was fun to see Pee-Wee's Playhouse with an adult spin to it, but it wasn't at all very funny

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7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Funny funny funny

Author: van (shrinkv) from OKC, USA
27 May 2000

i'd vote 10 if I could... This is some strange and hilarious stuff Ruebens is a comic genius you'll laugh and laugh

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A Satiric Gem

Author: Lilith Hexus from United States
1 March 2006

Well... this special was definitely unique. At first I figured it would be good to watch because I like to watch child comedy shows to make fun of some of the things they say, but when I watched this I honestly think this a satiric look at all those other child shows, making fun of them while aiming towards adults who are sick of them, while being too mature for children to understand the sometimes HORRIDLY crude jokes thrown in so they, as well, can be entertained. This way a parent can watch a show with their kids and enjoy it for once.

Overall, I believe this to be quite entertaining if you understand that by no means is this truly child oriented, it is adult humour.

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