July 10, 2006

"Pee-wee's Playhouse."

Set your TiVo. The Cartoon Network will be running the show late at night, which is a way of saying this is a cult show or a nostalgia show, not a kids show anymore. I remember when the show originally came out. It was great fun for kids. Why can't we see it that way again?
But although some do find the "Playhouse" itself creepy — and so rife with hidden meaning that they write articles with titles like "The Playhouse of the Signifier," "Pee-wee Herman: The Homosexual Subtext" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Pee-wee: Consumerism and Sexual Terror" — the show itself is a thing of pure celebration.

"I've been really careful to try to not dissect what I do, what I did, too much," Paul Reubens said one afternoon in his publicist's West Hollywood office....

"There are college dissertations on 'Pee-wee's Playhouse,' Miss Yvonne and her raincoat, and what does it all mean, and reading things in that I really didn't feel like I meant or was trying to do," he said. "People writing about the underlying whatever in both the 'Playhouse' and the movies, and some of it, I go, 'Well, that's not hidden, it's all right out on the table.' "
Aw, the college kids need something to keep them busy. Better to contemplate Miss Yvonne's raincoat than to how the government blew up the World Trade Center. And please ignore the Mecca in mekka-lekka hi mekka hiney ho.

The music is by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh, and Cyndi Lauper sings the theme song -- quite brilliantly.

Will Paul Reubens ever play Pee-wee again?
It is widely believed that Reubens' 1991 arrest killed Pee-wee forever, but Reubens is not done with him. He has two Pee-wee scripts finished: One is a revised version of an unproduced screenplay he wrote with Panter, a "Playhouse" adventure featuring the usual suspects. The other is "dark," a "Valley of the Dolls" story that seems from reports to obliquely refer to some of his own personal trials.

"I never said it was over or I didn't want to do it anymore," Reubens said about the possibility of putting on the suit and bow tie again. "That's something that's been said by other people."

Do it, Paul!

22 comments:

bill said...

Everyone should just buy the DVDs. We've watched all five seasons with our daughter and they are great. The Saturday morning shows don't have a lot of subtext. For that, you need the HBO shows or the Pee Wee Christmas Special. The Christmas Special is both a brilliant holiday show and one of the most brilliant sendups of Christmas specials (Wherein the "Homosexual text" is not particularly sub).

Other than Pee Wee--who I first remember watching on the Merv Griffin show--my favorite Paul Ruebens role is probably the waiter from the "Blues Brothers."

I also recommend the recent DVD collection of "Electric Company" shows. Look for Bill Cosby smoking a bigass cigar. Yes, smoking on a children's show. The destruction of civilization soon followed and is why we once again are forced to live in caves.

Buddy Larsen said...

--everybody's favorite little dada--

Ann Althouse said...

Speaking of Bill Cosby, I was just listening to the 60s channel (radio) and heard him singing "Little Old Man." That was rather strange.

Ron said...

When the show was at its height I had watched it one day, and then went to Zingerman's deli for dinner. When I said The Secret Word, all the deli people behind the counter Screamed Real Loud, thus confusing and frightening the rest of the people in line...

But I thought it was funny!

Just think...Cowboy Curtis done growed up to be Morpheus!

Ron said...

Oh, and the person who wrote "The Cabinet of Dr. Pee-wee: Consumerism and Sexual Terror?" [Pee-wee voice] Can we please please please deny them tenure, like anywhere? Ok, Thanks a Lot!

'cause someday these folks will get a department Chair-y....

bill said...

For anyone watching the show for the first time, notice how, for the first few shows, he isn't wearing a helmet when he gets on his bike. I think they added the helmet about halfway through the first season, but it was never buckled. I guess someone complained about the safety issues, though this person apparently had no problem with attaching jet rockets to the bike.

Guesst said...

Make the world laugh, and we will be very forgiving when it comes to entertainers and their porn collections and masturbation habits.

TMI.

Joe said...

I remember the stage show, with the late great Phil Hartman as Capt. Carl.

Jeff said...

Don't forget the (Emmy-winning) set design by the great Gary Panter!

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Shoe Mirrors!

Mickey said...

PeeWee is great for kids, yeah I`d reccomend him...smirk. Maybe slick willy can hook up w/it too.

Mickey said...

PeeWee is great for kids, yeah I`d reccomend him...smirk. Maybe slick willy can hook up w/it too.

FXKLM said...

"I've been really careful to try to not dissect what I do, what I did, too much," Paul Reubens said one afternoon in his publicist's West Hollywood office....

This is funny. He denied that his show had any homosexual subtext, but he did it in a statement issued from an office in West Hollywood. He may as well have issued it from the Castro District.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

I especially like the closing music, when Pee-wee launches out into the world on his scooter. It's so cosmic!

Dawn said...

I loved the Playhouse! For it's first season, every Saturday morning some co-workers and myself would host a "Breakfast with PeeWee", complete with Mimosas and the usual breakfast foods. My daughters watched the re-releases on VHS, and loved them as well.

My favorite episode was when PeeWee married the fruit salad. Talk about symbolism. He was ahead of his time!

Ron said...

Sippican: Yes, but didn't Elfman also do "Big Top Pee-Wee?" That's pretty cool...You are stone wrong, my friend, about the Simpsons theme! Simpsons, Batman, Tales from the Crypt...and Oingo Boingo! Elfman is Pee-Wee on speed.

"Only a lad", might be on the Althousian sound track!

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Well, I'm through bein' cool!

Why can't we all just be Jocko Homos in the Love Shack of our Private Idaho?

er, ah...or something.

M. Simon said...

Soupy Sales

Veeshir said...

I think the thing that made the theater incident much worse was that he was all 'vampired' out because he was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All the pics of him had the long hair and creepy facial hair.

He looked very disturbing.

Zach said...

Could someone tell me the name of the song when he is on the scoote?????? PLEASE??????