Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pee Wee's Playhouse is Back!



We haven't seen much of Paul Reubens a.k.a. Pee Wee Herman since his incident in an adult movie theatre in the early 1990s. 20 years ago in 1986 his innovative children's program Pee Wee's Playhouse premiered on CBS Saturday mornings. The show is now airing on Cartoon Network during their Adult Swim lineup. I always got a kick out of the show and I think Pee Wee is a unique, comical alter ego for Reubens. The show had a 5 year run and won 22 Emmy awards. The wacky theme song was performed by Cyndi Lauper and it was written by Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo. Laurence Fishburne played a character named Cowboy Curtis and Phil Hartman played Captain Carl. Reubens and Hartman had worked together at the L.A. improv group The Groundlings, the equivalent of Chicago's Second City. Pee Wee shared his playhouse with many odd characters, like Jambi the genie, Globey the globe and Conky the robot. Conky would give Pee Wee the day's secret word. Whenever anyone uttered the word, everyone would scream. Reubens made 2 films featuring Pee Wee, including Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Big Top Pee Wee. His 3rd film is now in the works.
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