Growing up, I had a Saturday morning ritual. I’d get up, lay around in my pajamas, eat Lucky Charms and watch cartoons and other morning TV shows. Now, what specific shows I watched, I can’t remember. Except for one. One show, since cancelled, that has left an ever-lingering black hole of suck in my life.
I’m talking about Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
Yeah, yeah, yeah…let’s get all the chuckling about Paul Reubens and the whole porn theater out of the way now. Despite Mr. Reubens *ahem* extracurricular activities, I defy anyone to tell me Pee Wee’s Playhouse wasn’t a fantastic show. Subversively funny, ironic and entertaining all at once. The only show that my mom actually reminded me to watch. Plus, dude, there was a talking chair. And a genie head who lived in a box. Mecca Lecca Hi, Mecca Hiney Ho.
A whole assorted cast of characters hung out with Pee Wee in his playhouse–Miss Yvonne (crazy Avon-fake-eyelashed-woman with a beehive), Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne in his early career) and Captain Carl (Phil Hartman as the gruff sea captain). There was even a magical fridge in which the food juggled and entertained.
Was. So. Awesome.
Nowadays, there are tons of cartoons and kid shows that parents and children can enjoy–the movie Shrek is a good example. There’s hidden inside jokes and references that only adults would get, while still being entertaining to kids. I like to think Pee Wee’s Playhouse was a sort-of predecessor to those type of movies and shows.
Regardless, we need a modern-day equivalent! Or maybe one exists and I’m just unaware?
[Ed. note: if you're in doubt about the genius of Pee Wee, I offer Exhibit A: The Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special]
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