I Know What You Are But What Am I?- Pee-Wee Herman Is Back!
Oh Magic Screen and Chairy, we’ve missed you so… and Cowboy Curtis, why are you on CSI now? The golden days of freaky kid’s TV is over and it passed on when Pee-Wee’s PlayHouse was canceled by CBS in November of 1990. But now the craziness that is the genius of Paul Ruebens is back where it belongs- TV.
After a quick stint on Broadway, HBO brought Pee-Wee’s Playhouse back in all it’s glory last night (Monday). – Watch the preview below and if you like it as much as I do, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT?!
Now if you’ve made it this far you deserve some extra foil for your Big Ball Of Tin-Foil… and you deserve some cool trivia about Pee-Wee.
Reubens and his LA improv troupe The Groundlings first collaborated on his and Phil Hartman‘s concept of Pee-Wee in a stage show back in 1980. After auditioning for SNL and being rejected, Pee Wee surfaced in a stoner movie (of course), “Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie“. When Tim Burton saw the show he immediately took the character to Hollywood on a six-million dollar budget. That little low-budget freak show made $45M at the box office.
Riding that wave of success, Reubens and company set out to re-create their stage show on a TV budget. Wildly popular with both kids and adults, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was born. The cast included many of the original Groundlings; Laurence Fishburne (CSI) as Cowboy Curtis, S.Empatha Merkerson (Law & Order) as Reba The Mail-Lady and the brilliant and tragically taken Phil Hartman (SNL, News Radio) as Captain Carl, the salty and shambling sea-dog that always had something cool from the ocean to show Pee-Wee.
The show ran for a miracle 5 seasons and ended only after both CBS and Reubens decided they should move on. CBS continued to air re-runs over the summer until Paul Reubens was caught, literally, with his pants down in a seedy Sarasota, Florida porn theater. After that hit the news, CBS foreclosed on the Playhouse faster than you could say “WHAAAAT?” and Reubens became the butt of a thousand late-night talk show monologues and pretty funny passed-on Pee-Wee jokes.
In 2009, anticipating the debut of the Broadway show, Pee-Wee suddenly surfaced on a slew of late-night talk shows including Kimmel, Conan and Leno. Then 7 months ago, Funny Or Die followed Pee-Wee to Sturgis in this hilarious video.