Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”

Hi, everyone!

I could easily write an entire post just about Pee-wee Herman ( and his various projects. But, it would be very long, and, honestly, I’d love to write about Pee-wee Herman again, so I’m going to leave that possibility open for myself and just focus on Pee-wee’s Playhouse for this post. So… you’re welcome!

I’m writing about Pee-wee’s Playhouse now for three reasons…

1. The entire meticulously re-mastered series was released on Blu-ray by Shout! Factory ( on October 21, 2014. By the way, Shout! Factory has a pretty unique library of releases. You should check out their catalog!

2. I want to.

3. You’ll have to keep reading to find out this last one!

I first discovered Pee-wee Herman via Pee-wee’s Playhouse completely on accident. (Finding things on accident is a common occurrence for me.) I wasn’t even a little kid at the time, which may make this whole escapade a huge mystery to some people––– though not to the people who know me.

My family and I were on vacation, and I was sleeping in a separate part of the room for the first time. So of course, I used my newfound independence to turn on the TV and leave it on very late into the night.

Sometime that night, a show came on that I’d never seen before. A man in a gray glen plaid suit and red bowtie came on and started running around the craziest house I have ever seen. And… wait, the furniture’s talking! And now we’re supposed to “scream real loud” every time someone says a certain “secret word”? Why have I never heard of this show before?!

Have you ever watched or read something and thought, It’s like someone made this specifically for me? Of course, the logical part of your brain reminds you that there’s absolutely no way that’s even possible, but you get the idea. This was one of those times that that happened to me. As I watched, it didn’t even occur to me that it might have been made before I was born. As far as I knew, this was brand new TV.

The next morning, I couldn’t wait to share my new discovery with my parents, describing it with excitement that’s probably worrisome coming from someone who’d had very little sleep the night before. They immediately said, “Oh yeah, that’s Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

I loyally watched it every night during our vacation. I just couldn’t get enough of it. If Pee-wee’s Playhouse had been on when I was really young, I would’ve watched it every Saturday morning. Even so, though, I’m still glad I discovered it when I did. At the time, I was just barely at the stage where I could start recognizing some of the humor and references that would’ve flown right over my head just a couple of years earlier. But of course, to this day, I still enjoy it as if I were a little kid watching it in my pajamas on a Saturday morning.

Pee-wee’s Playhouse and Pee-wee Herman (That’s his name, don’t wear it out!) in general became even more special to me when I introduced them to my little brother. For anyone who knows my brother and me, you know just how special it is when we find something like this that we can share. The ultimate test for this is whether or not my brother tells me to quote lines for people while doing my best impression. Pee-wee Herman aced this test in record time. Congratulations, Mr. Herman!

I’ve since watched every episode of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and found even more to love about it. (“Then why don’t you marry it?”) The theme song really says it all: it’s “wacky,” “nutty,” and “cuckoo,” and never apologetic about it. That last part, in my opinion, is just as important: the show never tries to hide what makes it unique. I think that’s something valuable for people of any age to take away: don’t apologize for who you are. Be yourself, have fun, and don’t ever be ashamed of what makes you unique: it’s what makes you you, and, in all likelihood, it’s what makes you awesome!

Also, for any of you who know me, you’ll know why my respect for Paul Reubens increased exponentially when I found out about all of his work behind the scenes.

Now, for the third reason I’m writing about Pee-wee’s Playhouse right now…

At the time of this posting, a brand new Pee-wee Herman movie, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, is filming! The film is written by Paul Reubens and Paul Rust, produced by Judd Apatow, and directed by John Lee. Pee-wee’s Big Holiday will premiere on Netflix. Check out the official press release here! I don’t know what the release date is, but I can’t wait to find out!

Of course, if you know me personally, listen to my radio show (Jammin’ with Jamie), and/or follow me on Twitter (@JackalopeJamie), you already know all of this. In fact, if you are a loyal Jammer, you’ve been hearing that a new Pee-wee Herman film was on its way pretty much since I first started my show in 2011. That’s how excited I am about Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. (“I know you are, but what am I?”)

I’m looking forward to the promotion for Pee-wee’s Big Holiday almost as much as I’m looking forward to the film itself. I hope Pee-wee Herman does plenty of media appearances leading up to the film’s premiere, because his interviews are gold. I can only imagine how much fun interviewers have talking to him.

I still hope someone sets up a screening of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday at a theater, drive-in, or other big screen. As much fun as it is watching something alone or in a small group on a computer or on late-night TV, I still love watching films on the big screen and having a shared experience with a large group of strangers who all came out for the same reason: to have some fun for a couple of hours.

Stay up to date on Pee-wee’s Big Holiday via Pee-wee himself on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and his website. Speaking of his website, you have to respect someone who puts a page about video chatting with him or her under “Quirky.” Well played, Pee-wee.

If you’ve never seen Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, or any other work that Pee-wee Herman has done, fix that right now. In fact, watch these more than once, because you’ll be laughing so hard the first time around that you’ll definitely miss something. When Pee-wee’s Big Holiday premieres, watch that, too. I’m going to need someone to talk to about it.

Okay, okay, I’ll say it before you do…

“I love that story!”

Thank you for reading,
Jamie Lee

3 thoughts on “Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”

  1. Pingback: Christmas/Holiday Movies: “Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special” | Jamie Lee

  2. Pingback: Thoughts On: “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” | Jamie Lee

  3. Pingback: “Jammin’ with Jamie” Theme: “‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ Anniversary Celebration (with Special Guest Elliott Serrano)”! | Jamie Lee

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