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Paul Reubens is my homeboy
July 18, 2006 10:20 AM   Subscribe

If you keep doing that, you'll go blind. Watching TV late at night, that is. Cartoon Network has brought back Pee Wee's Playhouse. When CN announced plans to add Saved By The Bell to the Adult Swim roster, opinions were decidedly mixed. Hopefully, people will feel better about seeing Lawrence Fishburne dressed as a cowboy. Personally, I'm waiting for them to resurrect Krofft Superstars. (They actually had a giant puppet caller H.R. Pufnstuf. Ahh, the 70s.)
posted by 1-2punch (65 comments total)

 
With a very young Natasha Lyonne as Opal. Great show. The Penny cartoons, the Jewish dinosaurs in the wall, the cheesecake poolboy!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:28 AM on July 18, 2006


I caught this the other day, and I had no idea that Laurence Fishburne was in it. That revelation turned a surreal tv show from my child hood even MORE surreal.
posted by KirTakat at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2006


Why again was SBTB considered for "Adult Swim"? Do late night pervs wack off to images of the pre-90210 Tiffany-Amber Thiessen and Screech?
posted by psmealey at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2006


I think Saved By the Bell is aired often enough, even now, that such pervs would not have to stay up too late.
posted by jenovus at 10:32 AM on July 18, 2006


And Phil Hartman as a perverted Popeye the Sailor.

And if they bring back "The Bugaloos", I'm so there.
posted by willmize at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2006


Saved by the Bell also happens to be one of the worst shows in the history of television.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2006


I'd love to see the Krofft shows again too. NPR recently did a very groovy story on Sid and Marty. Worth the listen.
posted by itchylick at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2006


Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, please.
posted by unknowncommand at 10:36 AM on July 18, 2006


Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, please.

That's Thigmund and the Thea Monstherth, if you're a fan.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:40 AM on July 18, 2006


Does anyone else remember the Krofft show where they were all in a giant pipe organ or a jukebox or something? Help me out here, people.

[ FREE PEE-WEE ]
posted by boo_radley at 10:40 AM on July 18, 2006


Pee Wee's Playhouse is absolutely unwatchable and I can sit almost all the way through a Family Guy episode.

When Pee Wee starts, I go find something else to watch. Are you listening, Comedy Central?
posted by fenriq at 10:40 AM on July 18, 2006


If they're going to go in this direction, then they should also start airing old episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
posted by billysumday at 10:41 AM on July 18, 2006


fenriq:

I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I!?!?
posted by yhbc at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2006


(They actually had a giant puppet caller H.R. Pufnstuf. Ahh, the 70s.)

Yes, and we had other wonders such as dial phones, transistor radios and decent public school education back in the old days. Imagine!

My favorite moment on PeeWee was when Jimmy Smits was on playing a repair man. PeeWee said to him, "Is that a wrench in you pocket?", and Jimmy Smits looked kinda embarrassed, and replied, "Why yes, yes it is a wrench, PeeWee", as he pull this enormous wench out of the front pocket of his pants. I nearly fell off the couch.
posted by tula at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2006


yhbc, I am not whacking off in a public pron theatre, that's for sure.
posted by fenriq at 10:44 AM on July 18, 2006


I was somewhat disturbed at just how bad PeeWee can be, 20 years hence. But, at least the argument can be made that PeeWee somehow fits into CNs mission. Meanwhile, SciFi continues to show wrestling.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:49 AM on July 18, 2006


yhbc, I am not whacking off in a public pron theatre, that's for sure.
Yet, somehow this is acceptable. :-)
posted by itchylick at 10:51 AM on July 18, 2006


I nearly fell off the couch.

There's a scene where the big-hair boufant woman is talking to a strapping fireman that's come to the door. She asks if he wants to come in and see the kitchen, or something, but if you look at her lips, it's clearly a voiceover while she's mouthing the word "bedroom".

The stuff that show got away with is amazing...
posted by thanotopsis at 10:52 AM on July 18, 2006


Though I was far out of its target demographic when it aired, Pete and Pete is one of my all-time favorite shows, billysumday.
posted by jrossi4r at 10:56 AM on July 18, 2006


Saved by the bell was a complete goof by them--- to what purpose I have no idea---
But I am totally digging on the pee wee reruns---- lotsa good stuff... sooo fits in my age range---

but I have to admit that at 11am I'm not too in the mood for it and I dvr it and return to AS @ 1130, maybe it should be the 1030 starter and keep the 11pm block the futurama/family guy.


But who cares really, it seems they shuffle up the lineup every week-----

by the way does anyone know why AS is not on Friday nights? they have the kid shows--- i mean are 10 year olds up at 2am watching ed, eddie and eddy? I hate that so much--- lets make it 7 days a week
who's with me?
posted by stavx at 11:00 AM on July 18, 2006


I for one welcome the return of Pee Wee, even if they are old shows. Maybe it's because I was well into adulthood when these shows first aired, and I saw them as the kitch that they were, the vaudeville of their time. That said, when it comes to kids shows there will be no true competition for the three stooges.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:01 AM on July 18, 2006


Peewee's Playhouse was a brilliant show.
posted by bardic at 11:02 AM on July 18, 2006


The show is (somehow) much crazier than I remembered.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:11 AM on July 18, 2006


There's a scene where the big-hair boufant woman...

Her name is Miss Yvonne, and she is a goddess (and a bit of a ho-bag).

When they released the five-season DVD set, I went and met Pee-Wee, so he could sign them. It was one of the greatest days of my life.
posted by piratebowling at 11:19 AM on July 18, 2006


What's with Cartoon Network putting up that giant "Parental Advisory" warning before airing Pee-Wee's Playhouse?
posted by wfc123 at 11:22 AM on July 18, 2006


I was amused to see Pee Wee on the schedule the other night, but it really doesn't compare to NEW EPISODES OF VENTURE BROS.
posted by Galvatron at 11:37 AM on July 18, 2006


word, stavx; I'm thrilled that Pee-Wee's playhouse is back on the air; If you haven't seen it in a while, it's worth revisiting, if only for the double-entendres. Funny to think he started the "Why don't you marry xyz meme." Until of course you encounter a fruit salad. That's when things get serious.
posted by AllesKlar at 11:39 AM on July 18, 2006


PeeWee didn't start the "then why don't you marry it?" meme. No way.
posted by tula at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2006


boo_radley - It was 'The Bugaloos'.
posted by MrToad at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2006


...and Joy was hot, btw.
posted by MrToad at 11:55 AM on July 18, 2006


Here's another vote for Pete and Pete.
posted by wabashbdw at 12:02 PM on July 18, 2006


they should also start airing old episodes of The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

HERE HERE!!!

We have a bar/diner/music venue here, Ralph's, that screens Pete and Pete a lot on Sundays. There are few finer things in life than sitting down in a cool space with a beer and a few dozen avid fans and watching that show.
posted by rollbiz at 12:14 PM on July 18, 2006


PeeWee terrified me as a child, and my sister loved him.
I have a hatred of PeeWee that is a mix of fear and sibling rivalry.
posted by ackeber at 12:21 PM on July 18, 2006


Saved by the Bell also happens to be one of the worst shows in the history of television.

I'll see your ante with The Hat Squad and raise you Out of This World.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:25 PM on July 18, 2006


Peewee's Playhouse was a brilliant show.

I second that. I was big 'ol grown up and could fully appreciate all the hiden little gems in that masterpiece. It was simple, inventive, creative, sweet, slightly creepy, insane, yet never vulgar. Perfect for kids.

The original Pee-wee Live show - whence it came - was amazing.
His "pen pals from around the world" segment was HI-larious.

"Dear Pee-Wee,

My name is Shlomo. I am eight years old. I live is Isael. I am in the Army. Are you in the Army?"


And Jombie the Genie? Played by a disembodied head in a box? C'mon.

Jombie: "Pee Wee, do you know what channeling is?"

Pee Wee: "No."

Jombie: "Well, Pee Wee today Jombie will grant you a wish that you can talk to anybody from the beyond -- you know -- anyboidy from history you want. Who do you want to talk to and I will channel their spirit for you."

Pee Wee: "I want to talk to George Washington!"

Jombie: "Uh. Ok. George Washington... Meka-lekka-hi-mekka-hiney-ho... I conjure you the First president of the United States... George Washington... (head spins)...

(long pause as Jombie is just smiling up at pee wee. Still looking like himself)

Pee Wee: Um? George?

Jombie (as George Washington): Pee Wee?

Pee Wee: Heeeey! Wait a minute How does he know my n...

Jombie (head spiins): Ooops. Sorry I'm losing him Pee Wee...

Meka-lekka-hi-mekka-hiney-ho! Long live Jombie!
posted by tkchrist at 12:40 PM on July 18, 2006



I too love Pete and Pete. I went to a diner in Manhattan at two in the morning once and was sitting in the booth next to the guy who played the older Pete. Woohoo.
posted by bukharin at 12:52 PM on July 18, 2006


John Paragon, who plaed Jambi (also Pterri), wrote both of the Elvira movies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:17 PM on July 18, 2006


My friend's sister used to date the little Pete.
posted by inigo2 at 1:19 PM on July 18, 2006


I was a little surprised the first time I saw a promo for Pee Wee's Playhouse running on Adult Swim, but after thinking about it, I think it really does fit what they're doing (or at least, that it appeals to the people they usually appeal to). I watched the show as a kid, and have watched it once or twice since it started airing on AS.

Airing Saved By The Bell would be totally for the irony-enjoyment, and we all know that.

What shocked me was that when I did a little digging into the show after seeing the AS promo, I discovered that Pee Wee's Playhouse won 22 goddam Emmy awards over the course of its run. 22!
posted by sparkletone at 1:33 PM on July 18, 2006


The Pee Wee Christmas special is astounding.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:08 PM on July 18, 2006


And every time they announce Jason Giambi going up to bat, I chant "Mekka lekka heigh, mekka heinie ho!"
posted by grubi at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2006


Saved by the bell was a complete goof by them--- to what purpose I have no idea-

[as] does kinda enjoy insulting and torturing its viewers (ever read the bumps? Sometimes they are straight callouts of the audience). That's what SBTB was all about--what can we get away with? How much will you take before you crack? Lookit, we can show whatever crap we want and it doesn't change anything!

This week they listed the ratings so far for Pee Wee: terrible, terrible. Nielsen ratings are such a stupid way to gauge viewership though--their sample audience is just a few thousand homes. I'm surprised at the "it doesn't hold up well" comments too. I find the show to be just as entertaining now as it was then (even more so, catching a lot of little things I missed the first time)
posted by First Post at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2006


And Jombie the Genie? Played by a disembodied head in a box? C'mon.

Right on. Then that one time he got a package in the mail, and it was a pair of hands. "I'll see you later, Pee Wee; there's something I've been wanting to do with these for a long time!"

(Actually I think that was from the HBO special based on the more risque live show, with Pee Wee having mirrors on his shoes to look up Miss Yvonne's dress and etc.)
posted by First Post at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2006


The Pee Wee Christmas special is astounding.

Agreed. KD Lang, Grace Jones, Anette Funacello, Little Richard [ice skating, no less] and Magic Johnson [saying he's magic screen's cousin] ....ALL IN THE SAME HOUR? i nearly dies of excitement the frst time I saw it.
posted by piratebowling at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2006


And CHARO! the glittering ruby of the xmas special, herself...
posted by HellKatonWheelz at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2006


Actually I think that was from the HBO special

I think you're right. I remember seeing that on Comedy Central.
posted by concrete at 2:58 PM on July 18, 2006


The inclusion of Pee Wee's Playhouse in the CN lineup sparked a conversation with a friend of mine. What exactly is the origin of the term 'Cartoon'. According to Wikipedia, it's original greek meaning was "big paper".

All in all, 'cartoon' certainly doesn't imply animation per se.

I think this gives CN near unlimited boundaries to explore all sorts of whimsy and humor.

Besides, there's a great deal of animation in Pee Wee's Playhouse. Way the hell more than that Tom Goes To The Mayor slideshow bullshit. Penny, King of Cartoons, Tiny Dinosaurs, Refrigerator Claymation, Puppets.
posted by _aa_ at 3:03 PM on July 18, 2006


One of the Law & Order actors (Lt. Anita Van Buren) got her start as Reba the mail lady. Whee!

I saw the PeeWee website last week and couldn't figure out why a long-cancelled show had such a sophisticated official site. I guess this explains it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:04 PM on July 18, 2006


Don't recall ever seeing an episode of PW's teevee show, but his Big Adventure movie is easily one of the 10-best movies ever created. I'm looking forward to seeing some of his shows on CN now.

And yes, Joy (from Bugaloos) was WAY HOT. Even my 6 or 7-year old brain, at the time, knew something was going on.
posted by davidmsc at 6:24 PM on July 18, 2006


I have a totally unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about Adult Swim's airing of "Saved by the Bell" and "Pee Wee's Playhouse".

Several months ago: "Maybe we can increase our audience with cool non-cartoon shows like Pee Wee." "But how will the hardcore toonheads react?" "Let's test 'em. We'll put on a totally UN-cool live action show for a couple weeks and count the angry e-mails. Like SBTB. Our parent company owns the cable rights until the year 3000, so it won't cost anything. And if the toonheads let out all their rage at SBTB, then we can put Pee Wee on later and most of 'em will say 'It's not a cartoon, but it's way cooler than SBTB. We'll accept it.'" "You're brilliant! How did you ever get a job at a TV network?"

And I'm not optimistic for Pete and Pete to show up on CN. It was made for Nickelodeon, it's owned by Viacom, and they have never (to date) sold rerun rights for their original shows to a Time Warner-owned channel. Of course, there's always a first time, but they've already rerun it (Mon-Fri, two years ago) on one of the Nick spin-off channels, "the N", and Degrassi High got much better ratings. Viacom has plenty of their own cable channels (including Comedy Central, rescued from a difficult co-ownership deal with TW) that they could put it on if they think it'll draw an audience. The first two seasons are on DVD, but haven't sold well enough to get Season 3 released yet (not a good sign).

There's better chance for the Krofft shows (H.R. Pufnstuf, Bugaloos, Land of the Lost), but only if Pee Wee's ratings pick up. (BTW, Joy-lusters, Bugaloos has just been released on DVD)

As for me, I'm going to use all my (non-existant) influence to get somebody to air Rocky & Bullwinkle. (157 channels and no room for the Moose and Squirrel?)
posted by wendell at 7:24 PM on July 18, 2006


Someone at Cartoon Network wanted Dustin Diamond to get more residuals so he could keep his house.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:51 PM on July 18, 2006


I like your theory better, Grimgrin, it sounds more like a real TV executive.
posted by wendell at 7:59 PM on July 18, 2006


by the way does anyone know why AS is not on Friday nights?

Cartoon Cartoon Fridays is a BIG deal with the lucrative elementary set. Think sleepovers and permissive babysitters. That's the only time all week that you'll see kid's cereal commercials after 9 PM.

Pee-wee's triumphant return fills me with joy, and I agree that the otherwise inexplicable SBTB run was setting us up for this. What a fantastic show, and just a brilliant addition to Adult Swim. I may never watch The Daily Show again.

Pete & Pete or Rocky and Bullwinkle would be awesome, but what we really need is a new season of Sniz & Fondue.
posted by ulotrichous at 8:02 PM on July 18, 2006


I want me some Land of the Lost dammit.

Marshall, Will and Holly,
On a routine expedition,
Met the greatest earthquake ever known....
(mp3)

We'd never before seen special effects of this magnitude on Saturday Morning. Remember the raft going over the falls in the opening sequence? Brilliant!

Those slimy Sleestacks scared the babyjesus outta me and Chakka got away with murder!

Memories. Misty, watercolored, Memories..
posted by HyperBlue at 10:49 PM on July 18, 2006


Weird PW's Playhouse trivia nugget: the crew-cut marionette bully named "Billy Baloney" (watch a few episodes, he'll show up eventually) was the long-ago inspiration for those "Bad Boy" stickers you used to see (and sometimes still do) on the back windows of pickup trucks driven by meatheads with small wee-wees.
posted by turducken at 11:07 PM on July 18, 2006


Entertainment begins and ends with Thigmund.

or maybe, 'ent'
posted by Ritchie at 12:51 AM on July 19, 2006


I tivo PeeWee every night and my kids watch it in the morning. I'm so excited to share the insanity with my offspring.
posted by glenwood at 7:03 AM on July 19, 2006


peewee rules--but putting it up against Daily Show was not a good move-- i'm still pulling for peewee tho ; >
posted by amberglow at 9:50 AM on July 19, 2006


I'm still pulling for pewee

Heh. Some current MeFites are probably too young to remember the Pee Wee jokes that accompanied his first arrest.

—Did you hear that Pee Wee declined to have a court-appointed lawyer? He's sure he can get himself off!

—Have you heard about the movie that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Pee Wee Herman are working on? Onan the Barbarian!

—Q: Why didn't Pee Wee bother to attend his sentencing hearing? A: He knew he was going to be pulling a long one.
posted by Creosote at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2006


He's pulling for himself, methinks.
posted by bardic at 11:20 AM on July 19, 2006


Creosote : >
posted by amberglow at 12:43 PM on July 19, 2006


I participated in a CN multimedia survey about retro shows 6-12 months ago, and Pee Wee's Playhouse was my top pick, if i recall correctly (perhaps Fraggle Rock was up there as well). Glad I wasn't the only one...
posted by VulcanMike at 4:23 PM on July 19, 2006


perhaps Fraggle Rock was up there as well

DOWN AT FRAGGLE ROCK. DOWN AT FRAGGLE ROCK.

/dances
posted by thanotopsis at 11:49 AM on July 20, 2006


Fraggle Rock kids grew up to follow Phish around, i'm thinking.

Us HR Pufnstuf kids just did drugs and had freaky (and unsafe) sex ; >
posted by amberglow at 3:45 PM on July 20, 2006


(after all, that magic flute wasn't a cigar metaphor, you know)
posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM on July 20, 2006


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