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Ten years after CBS pulled Pee-Wee from the Saturday morning line-up, it seems people are starting to realize what a piece of work his show really was. This show made the first real strides in children's programming since Sesame Street came along in 1968. Pee-Wee realized that programming should never be dumbed down for kids, so he filled his show with all sorts of in-jokes and far-out ideas. The playhouse itself is a Dali-esque gallery of weird creatures and set pieces. Countless imitators have followed, but none seem to live up to the imagination and sincerity of *Pee-Wee's Playhouse.*
As a child, this show changed me and influenced me in ways I never
realized at the time, but now looking back on DVD, I can totally see
why I needed this show as a child, and why Pee-Wee and company did an
EXCELLENT job of providing pure quality entertainment.
Of course, the puppets were my favorite characters as a kid, as I recall my favs. at the time were Dog Chair and the Fish...and of course Floory. :p Nowadays, I appreciate the live actors even more...although I enjoyed them as a kid as well. I'm still confused by some of the earlier cast choices just like I was as a kid.
Of course, you have the essentials...
Miss Yvonne - Most beautiful woman in puppet-land, and boy is she ever. She taught kids that beauty was far more than just appearance, it also was your state of mind and how you felt on the inside.
Cowboy Curtis - Lawrence Fishburne, and I still have a hard time seeing him as Morpheous now. I mean, who's Morpheous compared to COWBOY FREAKING CURTIS? But I digress, Curtis was complex and interesting. A tiny bit of homoeroticness in his character, but I never picked up on that really as a kid.
King Cartoon/The King of Cartoons - Two different actors played him. The first wasn't all that great. His approach to playing the King was basically he was this crazy drunk who would stagger out of the back of some taxi with a film projector and drunkenly announce the cartoon (if he could remember to). The second King was waaaay better....he's the one who had a remote control and the flowers introduced. Even as I kid I could tell he was a great actor, and he made the King of Cartoons way likable.
In the first season, the whole tone of the show was definitely different from later ones because of the cast, and it would seem Ruebens or Paragon or whoever realized this and let go of the following characters;
Mrs. Steve - Never really clear if she was really Pee-Wee's (or ANYBODY's) friend, and all of her appearances were strangely done. I just never got her, or the humor they were going for with her.
Dixie - The taxi driver who would do a trumpet solo before introducing King Cartoon. Again, whatever humor or point Dixie's character was making, it went completely over my head. She's either a tough tomboy, a lesbian (which I think is most likely), or just extremely liberated as a female.
Tito - The uber-buff lifeguard for Pee-Wee's pool. Now, this character did actually contribute something to the show; namely, a really buff stud walking around in nothing but a bikini and flexing his muscles. Of course, you were either a housewife or gay to appreciate this, because to a kid he was pretty boring and lifeless.
Captain Carl - I'm actually surprised he didn't last on the show, considering he was in Pee-Wee's live show. However, Captain Carl as a character was a little out of place on Playhouse. His humor was fine, but it never really operated on a kid level. And Phil Hartman never seemed all that thrilled around kids screaming in his face.
Eventually, when the Playhouse is remodeled we are introduced to new cast members, and they all meshed great.
Ms. Rene - In a way, she's Mrs. Steve's replacement, in that she's Pee-Wee's portly neighbor who is gossipy and a definite clothes-horse. However, where Mrs. Steve was always negative and moody, Ms. Rene was incredibly happy and light-hearted, and very very funny! "I love the outdoors, As long as I'm on the indoors"
Ricardo - I guess you could say Ricardo was a replacement for Tito, but not really. Ricardo was into sports, mainly soccer, and he was always teaching Spanish. One thing I loved about Ricardo was the guy was always laughing, and he seemed to genuinely like being there.
Reba the Mail Lady - Reba, perhaps, could be considered a replacement for Captain Carl in the sense that she's the "straight man" who always reacts hilariously to Pee-wee's zany antics. I liked Reba a lot. She pretty much told Pee-Wee what she thought of him on a regular basis (he's insane) and that would egg him on to get her to join in his games. But one thing you could always say about Reba: She was DEDICATED to her job, and you have to respect that.
Jambi - My perceptions of him are radically different now as an adult than as a kid. He was obviously going for a homosexual undertone (One time he even said "Swish? Did someone say Swish?") and John Paragon is a brilliant actor when it comes to comedic timing. "Repeat after me in the ancient language of...Jambease!" (Ooooh! :P) Overall, I recommend this series for anyone who appreciates living outside the box and appreciating the artwork Ruebens, Paragon, and company have provided kids and adults.
As a child growing up in the 1980s (born October 1982), you could not avoid
watching "Pee-Wee's Playhouse." Originally airing on CBS from 1986-1990, it
was a staple in the viewing habits of youngsters of all ages (and sometimes,
their parents too!)
Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Rubens) has a wacky, funny playhouse. When we come to visit his playhouse, Pee-Wee treats the visitors (viewers) to games, cartoons, friends, and the "The Secret Word of the Day" (AHHHHH!) The presentations in his playhouse are always fun and educational, and tend not to drive the parents crazy. The guests are assorted oddballs, such as Captain Carl, Miss Yvonne, and Cowboy Curtis, as well as "The Salesman" ("I'm here to make you this one-time special offer--" "AAAAHHHH!").
This was by-far one of the greatest kiddie shows on television during my early years. If you ask anyone around my age, they will proudly tell you that they watched Pee-Wee. (In fact, my brother and I used to scream when they said the Secret Word of the Day) This was one of the most fun sows on TV, and was cancelled so abruptly after Ruben's rather interesting ordeal. My mom used to watch this with my brother and I when we were in pre-school, and continued to watch it with us when we started Kindergarten in 1988. I was saddened when it was cancelled after I finished first grade in 1990, as was many kids who idolized Pee-Wee, and looked up to him as our entertainment.
This a such a great and educational show, and I am sad to not be able to see the reruns (tragically, I don't have any on tape) and that future generations will never see what a great show this was. I'm hoping a children's networ will bring back the reruns. I'm hoping I will find videos somewhere, as I would like to be able to show my own children some day who this children's programming genius was. You know how big of a fan I am??? I have Pee-Wee Herman's scream on my AOL Instant Messanger.
The secret word of the day is "fun." "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" is the most "fun" you can have in a half-hour. "Ahhhhhhh!" Brings back old memories.
I grew up watching this show. It was my favorite for three years. Now I
would like to know, why do all kids shows filmed these days have to be so
dull? YES, I know that Pee Wee Herman was a goofy guy, but he was just
acting. If you watch this show, you'll see that he could be serious, and was
when trying to make important points. This is one show that I can still
enjoy, even being in my twenties. It's funny for kids, and it also teaches
kids important facts, such as episodes where they talk about fire safety,
health care, nutritious foods and many other things too numerous to mention.
Not only that, but there is some great adult humor involved, which I can now
understand MUCH BETTER!
It was STUPID of CBS to cancel this show just because of Pee Wee's arrest. They shouldn't have arrested him in the first place. It's not like he was in a kids' movie--he was at an all adult XXX rated movie. What harm did that have on kids who watch his show?
Just go to internet sites like e-Bay, and see how popular Pee Wee still is. Then see about other old kids stuff, like Power Rangers! Pee Wee's playhouse had a great plot, and was funny. Talking furniture, and goofy characters were fun to watch, and I will never forget the entertainment the Pee Wee provided me with! BRAVO, Herman!
My brother and I loved Pee Wee Herman's Playhouse. I was 10 and my brother was 8 when it came on. It made learning a lot of fun believe it or not. My grandmother couldn't stand it whenever we put Pee Wee on but far be it from a 10 year old girl and an 8 year old boy to listen to anything that their grandparents have to say. I didn't care about anything that my grandmother had to say. I still love Pee Wee Herman and there's not a single thing that he could do wrong in my eyes.
I'm kind of a strange case when it comes to this show. I never watched it when it was being produced because I was 18 and I thought it would be a "baby show." Oh, ha-ha-ha. MY MISTAKE! After it was pulled from the line-up because Paul Reubens had to go and pull his little stunt(among other things that he pulled) in the porno parlor,I read about how 1/3 of his fans were 18+, so I decided to check it out when FoxFamily (now ABC family)aired the repeats in 1998. I was 30. I was hooked. This wasn't just kiddie fare. This was wacky, warpy comedy wih something for everyone. For the kids,it was a straight out kid show, and for adults, it was a wonderfully zany spoof of the kiddie shows they grew up with, and for the ladies . . . there was (girlie-type sigh) Tito, the devastatingly handsome lifeguard at the Playhouse pool (after they let him go, the show was still excellent, but it was missing something. (Ricardo was cute, but nothing like the gorgeous Tito!)Truly a show with something for everyone and I recommend it highly. Comedy, satire, wonderfully cartoony sets, and a caramel-complexioned caballero who's hotter than habanero. It doesn't get much better than that
How much fun was this show? If you didn't like it, I feel a bit sorry for
you. I know I can't help but "SMILE" everytime I think of this show, and
PeeWee in particular. I had no favorite characters, nor storylines - i
let it take me away, and let it stand on its own merits. Isn't it a shame
that, altho it wasnt that long ago, it seems like it was a simpler time?
From those of us fans, WE MISS YOU, PAUL! PeeWee was the best, and my life is better for having seen and enjoyed the experience.
One of the greatest kids shows ever! Worked on so many levels and meant so much to me growing up.
The fondest memory I have of Pee-wee's Playhouse is when Pee-wee was really frustrating Cap'n Carl when they were playing restauraunt 'cause Cap'n Carl was hungry. First Pee-wee(as the waiter) took this really long order. Then he kept saying he was out of everything Cap'n Carl ordered, then charged him $2 for a peanut butter sandwich. A classic
i love this TV show ever since i was a child, growing up watching this show. i love all of the characters, the animation was wacky and entertaining, and i love the talking sofa and those talking furniture and clocks in pee-wee's house. i also remember when all of that merchandise was popular for the show. i also remember the opening song to the show lyrics were by cyndi lauper, famous 80's, 90's artist, and the fun synth band, Devo did the music background. then, pee-wee would do his funny laugh! in a few episodes musical composer danny elfman did some of the bizarre music for the movies and the show. the video collection sets wonderful if you love the show. the collection of his shows. i also thought that when characters, and special guest stars who guest starred on the show were entertaining, and when they showed pee-wee something, he would react very funny to it, just like he usually does. i liked jambi the genie, played by UHF's john paragon who was a movie lot actor in pee-wee's big adventure, and was a friend and collegue for pee-wee since the pee-wee herman show in the early 80's. and cowboy curtis played by laurence fishburne was fun too. this show will succeed forever! see it! it's the best kids show ever! the closing of the show was fun when he rides his back home.
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