Friday, October 06, 2006

The post about Pee Wee's Playhouse

I believe that Pee Wee's Playhouse was one of the greatest children's shows. It allowed a child to be imaginative and used common household objects as toys - sometimes friends. It was fun. It was crazy. And there was always something to do. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting There is an underlying theme of paying attention to people. Noticing others. Being nice and generous to someone even if you don't exactly understand them. The characters on the show were exceptional, but what I feel makes them so great is their tangibility. There was also a real sense of community in the show. Pee Wee knew the entire neighborhood, from the mail lady to the cowboy. The only person who he turned away was the annoying salesman. Can I just say that Wikipedia is truly awesome? It totally has the hook-up for Pee-Wee info (moreso than the 'official' website for the show). Not only separate character pages, but separate episode pages as well that focus on certain characters.
  • Pee Wee-a wiry adult child with an over-active imagination and sometimes thrower of the tempter tantrum.
  • Penny Cartoon-an original cartoon of a girl who had two pennies for eyes, also named Penny. What I loved about this cartoon was that the voice was of a real little girl (or sounded like it) and she would just talk and go off on tangeants. Here is a link to watch one of her cartoons.
  • King Cartoon- he also had his own taxi driver, Dixie. King Cartoon seemed to be the old retired man that lived down the street who would start every sentence with 'Back in my day'. I guess instead of listening to a story, the producers had him show an old time cartoon.
  • Penpals-remember the days of penpals? I remember the ads for pen pals in the back of teen magazines. I guess no one really writes a letter to a stranger in a foreign land anymore, instead they just meet up in a chat room. Apparently ads still exist.
  • Animated food-anytime Pee Wee opened his refridgerator to get something to eat he would first watch them perform some kind of trick. It was always a circus in there, although they never really addressed the issue of eating the food.
  • Dinosaurs in the mouse hole-a Fraggle-esque world existed beyond the mouse hole in the Playhouse and every so often Pee Wee or one of the kids would check on the tiny dinosaurs, who always seemed to be having about as much fun as the food in the fridge did. Forget about being extinct, they were living the good life with Pee Wee.
  • beatnik hand puppets - even when Pee Wee didn't understand their poems, he still appreciated their creativity.
  • Magic Screen - one of the few technically advanced toys in the Playhouse, a computer of sorts that Pee Wee could jump into, mostly just to play Connect the Dots (let's not forget the song that goes with it that I have had stuck in my head: la la la connect the dots, la la la connect the dots...).
  • Miss Yvonne-her claim to fame was being the most beautiful woman in Puppetland. I like her. I can't help it. Today being obsessed with being beautiful is a bad thing, and whereas Miss Yvonne is a beautiful woman she always treats everyone well and acknowledges that it is important to be beautiful on the inside. She was always a nice gal.
  • Jambi the Geni - who to me looks like a young Lauren from 'Angel'. I think you can see the resemblance. You know, I used to have a purse that said 'Mekka Lekka Hi Mekka Heini Ho.' Those were the days.
  • Captain Carl - played by Phil Hartman, which was kind of a surprise to see. Maybe because he acted so gruff.
  • Cowboy Curtis - played by Lawrence Fishburne. If you never thought Morpheus could act goofy or do-see-do, think again. There is a video or two out there of him. He was quite a regular on the show and looked like he enjoyed the role.
  • The Lifeguard - somewhat startling, somewhat funny, somewhat alluring (especially when he and Miss Yvonne would make eyes at each other - oh yeah, we knew why she came over to Pee Wee's Playhouse).
  • Today's Secret Word of the Day-this show let kids be loud and rambuctious by giving them a specific screaming time. One thing that I've heard is that kids like rules, it gives them boundaries to explore and the Secret Word did just that. You want to scream? Okay, but you're gonna learn while doing it!
  • Conky-the lovable robot.

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You can now watch the show on the Cartoon Network's [adultswim] at 11pm CST, and you can even watch clips from the shows. The dvd's are also for sale on

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