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Pee-Wee's Playhouse

bonanzataz · 24 · 6976

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Reply #15 on: March 31, 2004, 10:20:43 PM
I loved this show when I was a kid.  I always got up before my parents on Saturday mornings to see i, back when I got up in the AM hours on weekends.  I'd buy a DVD set in a flash.


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Reply #16 on: June 09, 2004, 02:06:52 PM

06.09.04   PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE  
Globey's spinnin' and Mr. Window's grinnin' cause all forty-five episodes of the kids-and-critics fave Pee-Wee's Playhouse, including six "lost" installments, are headed for DVD this November through Image Entertainment! The shows will be split over two box sets, with another separate release for Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special. The award-winning series, which ran on CBS from 1986 to 1991, was a staple of Saturday morning TV for both children and adults. "I am extremely pleased that 'Pee-Wee's Playhouse' will be available on DVD," said Paul Reubens, star and creator of the series. "The digital medium affords the shows a look that was not possible when they were originally broadcast or made available on VHS in the 1980s and '90s." Be aware that Image is also planning a collector's edition set of the series for 2005, which will include exclusive commentary and bonus materials from Reubens. Stay tuned for more details, including box art, as they are released.  
 :-D  :-D  :-D

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Reply #17 on: June 09, 2004, 06:01:42 PM
That's fabulous news. I loved this show soooo much as a kid. My memories not only include the secret word of the day....but...who can forget the "giant underwear"...and he would put it on his head like he was a nun! What about Captain Carl being Phil Hartmann. Annnnnd, don't forget his "giant tinfoil ball". But who could forget the Genie, Jambi..."mek-a-lek-a-high-mek-a-hiney-hiney-ho" I don't think i could ever forget that phrase....oh how memories make one miss childhood. I don't remember the last time i was excited about screaming my head off from hearing a secret word. I don't think it would go over well though, especially in a public place, and a friend says the secret word...then you scream and run around hysterically...wait, that'd be really funny actually.  :-D
No, I've never seen that, I've never seen anyone drive their garbage out to the curb and bang the hell out of it with a stick.


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Reply #18 on: June 09, 2004, 10:03:02 PM
Quote from: Ravi
Be aware that Image is also planning a collector's edition set of the series for 2005, which will include exclusive commentary and bonus materials from Reubens.

i really hope this doesnt become a trend...how phucking cheap can you be.? so now when i buy a tv series or a certain season on dvd .."i better watch out" because they could release a "special addition" w/ more sh*t on it?......multiple bites to the apple  :roll: .......


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Reply #19 on: September 27, 2004, 05:21:24 PM

“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #20 on: October 06, 2004, 05:10:10 PM

October 19th.


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Reply #21 on: November 09, 2004, 07:20:48 PM
Pee-wee's Big Comeback?

Is the world ready for another big adventure from bow-tied wonder Pee-wee Herman?

Paul Reubens certainly thinks so. And he's willing to bet his shiny red bike on it.

On the eve of the DVD release of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-wee's alter ego is primed to put the rouge back on again for the first time since his embarrassing arrest in an adult movie theater in Florida on an indecent exposure charge in 1991.
While plugging the two new box sets of his Emmy-winning CBS Saturday morning kids' show (the first comprises seasons 1-2, the second, seasons 3-5), Reubens revealed he's working on two new screenplays.

The first movie, which he hopes to start filming by next summer, is a satire on the pitfalls of celebritydom that Reubens is all too familiar with.

"It's about Pee-wee Herman becoming famous, and fame, let's say, doesn't agree with him," Reuben told the New York Times.

The second flick, which doesn't have a timetable for production, is going to be a big-screen version of Pee-wee's Playhouse.

Reubens created the ersatz man-child character as a member of the Los Angeles improv group the Groundlings, playing him for well over a decade, from HBO's The Pee-wee Herman Show in 1981 to 1985's Pee-Wee's Big Adventure and 1988's Big Top Pee-wee to his CBS kids show. But Reubens put his Pee-wee persona on ice after his arrest.

"CBS was ready to sign on for two more years, but I was sick of the character. I was certainly burned out, and I took a break at that time," Reubens told USA Today. "That break got extended, shall we say, when I got arrested in Florida. And that wasn't quite a big inducement to run back to my work, so my break turned into a longer break than anticipated."

Humiliated by the scandal, the comedian decided to lay low, with the exception of a notable appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Reubens instead opted for smaller parts in several big Hollywood productions, including Batman Returns, which reunited him with his Big Adventure director Tim Burton, Doctor Dolittle and Mystery Men. He also had a recurring role on TV's Murphy Brown.

Reubens last memorable non-Pee-wee turn was playing a flamboyant hair dresser opposite Johnny Depp in Ted Demme's 2001 drug caper, Blow. That same year, Reubens also hosted ABC's short-lived You Don't Know Jack! game show, based on the popular computer game.

The 52-year-old's career seemed in full rebound mode until he was booked in November 2002 on a misdemeanor count of possessing child pornography.

Reubens eventually copped to a misdemeanor obscenity charge and the porn count was dropped. However, as part of the plea deal, he was fined $100 and put on three years' informal probation with the proviso that as long as he behaved, his record would be wiped clean.

Now that his legal woes are behind him, and after a 13-year Pee-wee abstinence, Reubens is ready to bring the helium-voiced weirdo with the ill-fitting suit out of mothballs.

"I'm really proud of both the Pee-wee movies and the television series, and now I'm thinking of taking Pee-wee into the future," Reubens told USA Today. "The first movie will be 25 years old next year, which is freaky. It seems like yesterday."

The actor is hoping that the release of Pee-wee's Playhouse on DVD will introduce Pee-wee to a new generation of fans and show that there's still an audience--big and small--out there clamoring to see the further adventures of the beloved children's icon.

"Pee-wee's a bit of a hard act to follow," Reubens added. "I doubt if I could ever come up with someone that has that kind of appeal."

The two box sets distributed by Image Entertainment contain all 45 episodes of Pee-wee's Playhouse and retail for $50 each. A special collector's edition is in the works for 2005.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #22 on: July 10, 2006, 12:51:19 AM
Pee-wee's Back in the Limelight
The innovative "Playhouse" returns, and Herman's alter ego has other plans too.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

You are all lucky boys and girls, however old you are, because tonight "Pee-wee's Playhouse" comes back to TV. As part of its Adult Swim franchise, the Cartoon Network will begin airing the show's original 45 episodes, which ran over five seasons of Saturday mornings on CBS from 1986 to 1991. That it will run at 11 p.m. is not especially child-friendly, except in households with advanced bedtime rules, so fire up the TiVo or the VCR, you with small fry or your own early bedtimes. (The show has been available on DVD since November 2004, but that is not at all the same sort of cultural moment.)

A winner of multiple Emmy Awards, "Pee-wee's Playhouse" is a pretend children's show that became a real one, a fact that you can see as some kind of meta-event or just as a version of "Pinocchio." It has some of the recombinant postmodern qualities but none of the jaded irony of its Adult Swim neighbors, many of which work by amplifying the creepy unintended subtexts of old cartoons.

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.

The man who was and is Pee-wee is now 53 and a few pounds heavier but otherwise the off-duty image of his alter ego. He is soft-spoken where Pee-wee is explosive and self-deprecating where Pee-wee is … not self-deprecating.

"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.' "

Children's TV was once alive with actual human beings, often accompanied by puppet friends and with a cartoon or two to present. In my own childhood, there were Engineer Bill, Sheriff John, Hobo Kelly, Tom Hatten (who dressed like a sailor and ran "Popeye" cartoons). These were "come and visit" shows, in which you entered the world of your hosts, who addressed you directly through the screen and might say your name on your birthday. This is the model of the Playhouse.

" 'Mickey Mouse Club,' 'Howdy Doody, 'Captain Kangaroo' — I was obsessed with those shows," said Reubens. "I can remember sitting on our living room floor watching the last episode of 'Howdy Doody,' when they were saying goodbye forever, and just bawling my head off and thinking, what kind of world is this? How could society be so screwed up as to let 'Howdy Doody' go off the air?"

Even the venerable "Captain Kangaroo," which had been muscled into the weekend by the expanding morning news, was gone by the time "Pee-wee's Playhouse" bowed. Cartoons were king then, and when CBS approached Reubens — who had developed the character through a popular Groundlings stage show ("The Pee-wee Herman Show," taped by HBO and coming out on DVD on July 18) and the 1985 film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" — about the possibility of a "Pee-wee" cartoon, he pressed for live action. The show is nevertheless full of marvelous animated sequences, some by Peter Lord and Nick Park of Aardman Animation/"Wallace & Gromit" fame.

"I keep flashing on kids today watching shows on an iPod screen and starting off from before they can remember seeing computer-generated images on games and movies and cartoons," Reubens noted. "And I can picture young people in the very, very close future looking at anything with real people in it and bursting out laughing, and going, 'Oh, my God, this is before they figured out that real people didn't have to do this.' "

As with most shows for the young, dependability reigns, notwithstanding the chaos and noise: At the Playhouse, there is always a "secret word" for the day, which is a cue for everyone to "scream real loud" — words like "here," "on" and "this" that guarantee a lot of screaming. We know that at some point, Jambi the Genie will grant a wish and instruct the wisher(s) — and you at home — to chant, "Mekka-lekka hi mekka hiney ho!," and that the King of Cartoons will arrive at some point to say, "Let the cartoon begin," but will first forget to say it.

Pee-wee himself is kind of a human optical illusion — in his undersize gray suit, red bow tie, white socks and shoes and 1959 grade-school haircut, he's simultaneously a man acting like a child and a child pretending to be an adult. It only doesn't make sense if you look too hard. (In his two movies and original stage show, he is a little more of an immature adolescent.)

Elbows tucked in tight against his sides with forearms flailing, the top half of his body not always on the same mission as his bottom, he careens through his multicolored explosion-in-a-toy-factory world, coming up close to the camera to wink, smile or chuckle his trademark two-beat laugh. As impulsive as he can seem, he's also the authority figure, the one who ultimately decides what games to play and what projects to take on and who answers questions or knows how to find answers to questions he doesn't know.

The other human characters are spins on the generic figures that populated children's TV and literature in Reubens' own childhood: the cowboy, the sailor, the genie, the beautiful lady, the mailman, the cab driver, the king — although here, the cowboy (Laurence Fishburne in jheri curls) is black, the cab driver is a woman, and the mailman is a black woman (S. Epatha Merkerson, later of "Law & Order").

The show's inclusiveness extends to the animal, mineral and vegetable kingdoms as well. There are talking fish; a pterodactyl; a beatnik trio of cat, dog and chick; plus the bovine Countess, a talking chair (named Chairry), a talking globe (named Globey), a talking floor (named … Floory) and a talking beatbox-turntable-robot (named Conky, I don't know why). As designed by Gary Panter, a punk-connected comic and poster artist whose work Reubens admired, the whole place is busy and alive, patterned, splattered, jagged, ragged and off-kilter, with the look of being hand-made.

Like the punk and new wave scenes that flourished around the time of Pee-wee's ascension, the show speaks loudly to making the marginal the mainstream. Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh contributed to the music, Cyndi Lauper sang the theme. Reubens calls "Playhouse," among other things, "a celebration of nonconformity, being energetic and doing what you want." It could only have been made by outsiders.

It's easy to view the show, in its progress from stage to screen to little screen, as something that was at first geared primarily to adults and morphed into something mainly for children — with an accompanying increase in double-entendres, although Reubens believes "the stage show was a full-on real kids show. We actually did matinees of it at the Groundlings for kids." At the same time, there is undeniably a puckishness there that exploits juvenile interest in body parts and functions. The farewell salutation "I've got to go, P." is one running joke, and there are lines like "How's your wiener, Cowboy Curtis?" (as in hot dog); in one episode, Pterri the Pterrodactyl takes a rather long look down Miss Yvonne's deep cleavage. "The view's good from here" says Pterri. ("I think there's a little vulture in you," replies Miss Yvonne.) This is perhaps strange but hardly dangerous.

"My theory has always been, and continues to be, if a kid laughs at a dirty joke, then they already know — I didn't teach it to them — they have that vocabulary," said Reubens. "And if they don't, it's designed to go over their heads. The highlight for me, of those years, was when we were in the writers room and someone would say something, and I could just see a 5-year-old falling off the couch, killing a 5-year-old with laughter."

The budget for the show was unusually high, at least at first, and allowed for a lot of beautiful puppet and clay animation. The final season, which was completed but pulled after Reubens was famously arrested in a Sarasota, Fla., adult movie theater and charged with indecent exposure (a charge he denied but to which he pleaded no contest), seems to be made with perhaps a hint of exhaustion and an overreliance on filling time with old found footage.

Yet there are beautiful moments too, as when Pee-wee and Cowboy Curtis visit the Grand Canyon and lie back and watch the stars to contemplate the enormity and the beauty of the universe.

Although the character of Pee-wee Herman has not been seen in public since a Minnie Pearl tribute in 1992, Reubens shows up regularly in small films and as a voice artist; he also recently appeared (eminently recognizable behind glasses and a big fake mustache) in a video for the Raconteurs, White Stripe Jack White's other band.

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."
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Reply #23 on: June 19, 2007, 08:27:21 PM
Paul Reubens and Pee-Wee Herman Are Back

Paul Reubens returns, again.

He and his perennially adolescent alter ego Pee-wee Herman vanished from public view a while back. Legal troubles, you'll recall.

But, Pee-wee re-emerged this month for the first time in 15 years, making a surprise appearance at Spike TV's Guys Choice Awards. And Reubens began his latest resurgence last summer with a stint of TV guest-star and film roles that have drawn kudos from critics.

"I feel like I'm on my third or fourth comeback at least," says Reubens, whose close-cropped haircut and twinkling eyes belie his 54 years.

His recent TV work included playing a handicapped prince with a disturbingly small prosthetic hand on NBC's "30 Rock," an alcoholic editor on FX's "Dirt" and an eccentric police lieutenant on Comedy Central's "Reno 911!" Film-wise, Reubens has recently appeared in David Arquette's horror flick, "The Tripper," and the cop spoof "Reno 911!: Miami."
His comeback will continue with a dramatic role in Todd Solondz's upcoming film, set to begin shooting this fall, and a renewed effort to bring Pee-wee back to the big screen.

"I didn't do everything I wanted to do as Pee-wee Herman," he says of his lovable nerd who took television by storm with "Pee-wee's Playhouse" in the early 1980s before moving on to hit films later in the decade.

On the TV show, Reubens created a colorful, psychedelic world populated by talking furniture and flowers. The quirky program appealed to artsy types of all ages, but Reubens says it was meant to inspire children.

"I was trying to do something about the golden rule and having good morals and being responsible, and then at the same time, being unique and exposing kids to art," he says.

He hopes to usher two of his Pee-wee-centered screenplays into production soon. One follows the bow-tied protagonist and his old "Playhouse" pals on a road-trip adventure. The other, which Reubens describes as "the dark Pee-wee movie," explores how Pee-wee deals with Hollywood and the trappings of fame.

Reubens knows of what he writes, having experienced fame and infamy as both himself and his character. The actor's highly publicized arrest for indecent exposure in 1991 resulted in an oft-published mug shot one of his first public photos as himself, not Pee-wee. The picture still surfaces from time to time, including a recent USA Today article about mug shots, but Reubens doesn't let it shake him.

"I'm in with Nick Nolte, James Brown ... Mel Gibson, Nicole Richie, Glen Campbell," he said. "I'm in great company. I can't change history and change the past, so what am I going to do? You just move on."

He took time off after the incident, but not because of it, he says. After writing, directing, producing and starring in his Saturday-morning kids' show for five years plus making two movies he was ready for a break. He was on vacation when he was arrested.

Reubens' recent spate of roles mark a return from another hiatus a two-year period that coincided with a second legal snafu (a misdemeanor obscenity charge for possession of erotic photos) during which he relocated to Florida to care for his terminally ill father.

"It just wasn't, like, comedy time for me," he says.

But his latest work shows he's clearly back to comedic form. Wearing Pee-wee's shrunken gray suit and laughing his big laugh on the Spike awards stage "felt completely familiar and great," Reubens says. "It was like deja vu."

The character he brought to life on "30 Rock" is so odd and out-there, Reubens says "it's like something I would have written." And he didn't even have to audition. Show creator Tina Fey wrote the part for him, he says.

It's that kind of outside confidence in his acting chops that will help Reubens branch out, both as Pee-wee and away from him, says talent manager Lou Pitt.

"It's difficult to do and it takes time to change people's perceptions," says Pitt, who doesn't represent Reubens. "For actors, they're really dependent upon the auspices of the directors and people who believe in a different side of (them)."

Arquette, a fellow comedian, actor and filmmaker, is one of the believers. He and Reubens became fast friends after meeting on the set of the 1992 movie "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Arquette cast Reubens in his directorial debut, last fall's "The Tripper," and his wife, Courteney Cox, tapped him for a role in her show, "Dirt."

"In a way, I've become one of the Arquettes," Reubens says. "They're kind of keeping me working."

Arquette says his friend inspires him, calling Reubens "a national treasure that should be cultivated."

"Paul is one of the most creative, caring, thoughtful and imaginative people I've ever met," Arquette says. "He's got such an eye for art, an eye for film and story and comedy and it's such a unique look."

Reubens knew as a child that he wanted to be an actor. "I was a big TV freak as a real little kid," he says, always drawn to the theatrical and offbeat. He actively pursued his craft in middle school and went on to rule his high-school drama department. He continued his studies at Cal Arts, then with the Groundlings, where he developed Pee-wee Herman.

Besides reviving Pee-wee and taking on dramatic roles, Reubens wants to write and direct and play parts that seem "fun or interesting."

"I'm not even above just pure fun," he says. "It doesn't even have to be interesting."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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