Sunday, August 03, 2008


Today, during my work shift as a cart-walker at the Park Slope Food Coop, I accompanied my friend and his almost five-year-old son to their car. My friend mentioned that his son, who had been watching the DVDs of the long-gone children's tv program Pee-Wee's Playhouse, was enamored by the show and its characters. I had this huge flashback of the hours that my younger brother and I spent watching that show thirty years ago.

My friend mentioned that PWP seemed to have had a big influence on other children's tv shows.

I tole him that the movie Pee Wee's Big Adventures had an impact on the kind of mischief my sibling and I got into. Based on a scene from that movie, my brother and I went into the bathroom with a role of clear tape, pushed our noses way up so the nostrils faced forward, then wrapped the tape round and round our heads so that our noses stayed that way. We then ran down to the kitchen to show our mom, who I'm sure wondered what kind of children she had raised.

Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Pee-Wee's Big Adventures were full of quirky characters, innovative set designs (by Gary Panter, who is still at work as a designer), and scenes that stay in your head forever.

Long live Pee-Wee!

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

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