Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fun Times at Pee-wee's Playhouse

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Mustang Bobby, posting at Shakesville, points us to a retrospective on the career of Paul Reubens, aka (even better known as) Pee-wee Herman:

IN the 1985 movie “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” the title character turns to a friend and murmurs darkly, “There are a lot of things about me, things you wouldn’t understand, things you couldn’t understand, things you shouldn’t understand.”

At the time those words seemed perversely at odds with the twee entertainer conceived by Paul Reubens, an actor so fused with Pee-wee Herman that he is enshrined in the popular imagination as an emblem of innocence — the sunny jester in white loafers and a red bow tie.

In retrospect, though, Pee-wee’s cautionary words had a prescient ring. More than 15 years have passed since Mr. Reuben’s arrest in 1991 on charges of indecent exposure, an episode that put an abrupt end to “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” the manically subversive Saturday-morning children’s television series introduced in 1986 on CBS.

Pee-wee’s signature staccato laugh, dancing eyebrows and drainpipe pants were packed away in mothballs, while Paul Reubens the actor continued to work, drawing raves for performances like that of a wily dope-dealing hairdresser in the 2001 movie “Blow.”

I loved Pee-wee's Playhouse. At the time it was on, I was married and had a small child. My ex and I watched it faithfully every week; our mutual love for the show bonded us together. I will forever associate Pee-wee Herman with that time in my life.

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