- Pee-wee's Playhouse
Format Children's television series, Comedy Created by Paul Reubens Starring Paul Reubens
Lynne Marie Stewart
S. Epatha Merkerson
Theme music composer George McGrath, Mark Mothersbaugh, & Paul Reubens Opening theme Mark Mothersbaugh Ending theme Mark Mothersbaugh Composer(s) Mark Mothersbaugh
The Residents (2.1, 2.9, 3.2)
Danny Elfman ("Monster", "Cowboy and Cowtess", "Store", "Pee-wee Catches a Cold")
Mark Snow (5.1, 5.8, "Love That Story")
Tom Snow (4.4)
Ron Grant (5.6)
Todd Rundgren (1.11, 1.13)
George S. Clinton
Gleen A. Jordan
Dweezil Zappa (3.1, 4.1, 4.2)
Scott Thunes (3.1, 4.1, 4.2)
Bruce Roberts (5.2)
Jonathan Sheffer (5.2)
Van Dyke Parks (Christmas special)
Cliff Martinez (2.5)
Jay Cotton (1.12, 4.8)
Mitch Froom ("Now You See Me, Now You Don't")
Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 5 No. of episodes 45 (List of episodes) Production Location(s) New York City (1986)
Hollywood Center Studios, Los Angeles, California(1987-1988)
The Culver Studios, Los Angeles, California (1989-1990)
Running time 22–24 minutes Production company(s) Pee-wee Pictures (1986-1990, entire run)
Broadcast Arts Productions (1986)
Binder Entertainment (1987-1988)
BRB Productions (1987, some season 2 reruns)
Grosso-Jacobson Productions (1989-1990)
Broadcast Original channel CBS Picture format NTSC (480i) Audio format Mono Original run September 13, 1986– November 10, 1990 Chronology Related shows The Pee-wee Herman Show External links Website
Pee-wee's Playhouse is an American children's television program starring Paul Reubens as the child-like Pee-wee Herman. The show was developed from Reubens' popular stage show and the one-off TV special The Pee-wee Herman Show, produced for HBO, which was similar in style but featured much more adult humor.
On November 1, 2011, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the show, a book by Caseen Gaines called Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon, was released by ECW Press.
Show creation and format
The Pee-wee Herman character was developed by Reubens into a live stage show entitled The Pee-wee Herman Show in 1980. It featured many characters that would go on to appear in Playhouse, including Captain Carl, Jambi the Genie, Miss Yvonne, Pterri the Pterodactyl and Clocky. While enjoying continuous popularity with the show, Reubens teamed with young director Tim Burton in 1985 to make the comedy film Pee-wee's Big Adventure. It became one of the year's surprise hits, costing a relatively modest $6 million to make but taking in $45 million at the box office.
After seeing the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, the CBS network approached Reubens with an ill-received cartoon series proposal. In 1986, CBS agreed to sign Reubens to act, produce and direct his own live-action Saturday morning children's program, Pee-wee's Playhouse, with a budget of $325,000 per episode, (comparable to that of a half-hour prime-time sitcom) and full creative control (although CBS did request a few minor changes over the years).
Reubens assembled a supporting troupe that included ex Groundlings and cast members from The Pee-wee Herman Show, including Phil Hartman, John Paragon, Lynne Marie Stewart, Laurence Fishburne and S. Epatha Merkerson. Production began in New York City in the summer of 1986 in a converted loft on Broadway, which one of the show's writers, George McGrath, described as a "sweatshop". Reubens moved the production to Los Angeles for season two in 1987, resulting in a new set and a more relaxed work atmosphere
Playhouse was designed as an educational yet entertaining and artistic show for children, and its conception was greatly influenced by 1950s shows Reubens had watched as a child, like The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, The Mickey Mouse Club, Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody. The show quickly acquired a dual audience of kids and grownups. Reubens, always trying to make of Pee-wee a positive role model, sought to make a significantly moral show that would teach children the ethics of reciprocity. Reubens believed that children liked the Playhouse because it was fast-paced, colorful and "never talked down to them", while parents liked the Playhouse because it reminded them of the past.
The premise of the show was that host Pee-wee Herman went to play in a fantastic house (situated in Puppetland) known as the Playhouse, which was filled with toys, gadgets, talking furniture and appliances (e.g. Magic Screen and Chairy) and puppet characters such as Conky The Robot, Pterry the baby pterodactyl and Jambi the Genie (John Paragon), a disembodied genie's head who lives in a jewelled box. The Playhouse was also visited by a regular cast of human characters including Miss Yvonne (Lynne Marie Stewart), Reba The Mail Lady (S. Epatha Merkerson), Captain Carl (Phil Hartman), Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne) and a small group of children, The Playhouse Gang.
Although primarily a live-action show, each episode included segments featuring puppetry, video animation and prepared sequences using Chroma-key and stock footage (e.g. when Pee-wee jumps into the Magic Screen) as well as inserted clay animation sequences (some made by Peter Lord and Nick Park, creators of Wallace & Gromit) and excerpts from cartoons from the Golden Age of American animation, usually presented by the character "The King of Cartoons". Each episode also featured specially written soundtrack music by noted rock/pop musicians such as Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), Todd Rundgren, Mitchell Froom and The Residents. The show's theme song was performed by Cyndi Lauper, although she is credited under the pseudonym "Ellen Shaw".
Each episode usually contained a running gag particular to that episode, and/or a specific event or dilemma that would send Pee-wee into an emotional frenzy. The show had many recurring gags, themes, and devices – for example at the beginning of each episode, viewers were told the day's "secret word" (often issued by Conky the Robot) and were instructed to "scream real loud" every time a character on the show said the word. This always bookended at the end of each episode with Pee Wee accidentally saying the word himself just before he leaves the playhouse.
CBS and Reubens mutually agreed to end the show in 1991 after 5 seasons and 45 episodes. In July 1991, Reubens was arrested for allegedly exposing himself in a Sarasota, Florida adult movie theater, causing CBS to immediately stop airing Playhouse re-runs.
The art of the playhouse
The creative design of the show was concocted by a troop of artists including Gary Panter (the art director), Craig Bartlett, Richard Goleszowski, Gregory Harrison, Ric Heitzman, Phil Trumbo, and Wayne White. The first day of production, right as Panter began reading the scripts to find out where everything would be situated, set workers hurriedly asked him, 'Where's the plans? All the carpenters are standing here ready to build everything.' Panter responded, "You just have to give us 15 minutes to design this thing!" When asked about the styles that went into the set design, Panter said, "This was like the hippie dream...It was a show made by artists...We put art history all over the show. It's really like...I think Mike Kelley said, and it's right, that it's kind of like the Googie style – it's like those LA types of coffee shops and stuff but kind of psychedelic, over-the-top." Several different artistic filmmaking styles and techniques were featured on the program including chroma key, stop-motion animation, and claymation.
The music for the show was provided by a diverse set of musicians, including Mark Mothersbaugh, The Residents, Todd Rundgren, Danny Elfman (who provided the score for both of the Pee-wee movies), Mitchell Froom, Van Dyke Parks, George Clinton and Dweezil Zappa.
“ [Paul Reubens] asked me to do Pee-wee's Playhouse, and I had some time, so I was like, yeah, let's do it.
Pee-wee's Playhouse was really chaotic. They'd send me the tape from New York on Tuesday. I'd watch it Tuesday night; Wednesday I'd write the music. Thursday I'd record the music, it'd go out Thursday night to them, they'd have Friday to cut it into the picture, and then Saturday we'd watch it on TV. And it was like really fast, and instead of writing an album once a year I was writing an album's worth of music once a week, and it was really exciting. It was a new experience and it was a different creative process.
The opening prelude theme is an interpretation of Les Baxter's "Quiet Village". The theme song, which originally followed the prelude, was performed by Cyndi Lauper (credited as Ellen Shaw) as an imitation of cartoon character Betty Boop.
Cast and crew
Many now-well-known TV and film actors appeared on the show, including Sandra Bernhard, Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman, Steve James, Natasha Lyonne, S. Epatha Merkerson, Jimmy Smits, and Lynne Stewart. Future heavy metal musician and filmmaker Rob Zombie was also a production assistant and future filmmaker John Singleton was also a security guard.
Season 3 (which consisted of only 3 episodes) included an all-star Christmas special featuring the regular cast, with appearances by Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, Magic Johnson, Dinah Shore, Joan Rivers, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Little Richard, Cher, Charo, k.d. lang, the Del Rubio triplets and Grace Jones.
Character Played by Description Cowboy Curtis Laurence Fishburne An African-American "cowboy" in the 1950s pop culture sense. He also has his hair in a jheri curl mullet. Captain Carl (first season) Phil Hartman A gritty, unshaven sea captain with a gruff voice, but a somewhat shy demeanor. He came by the playhouse to show Pee-wee interesting things from the ocean. His tolerance for Pee-wee's antics was often tested whenever he stopped by. Captain Carl was more adult-oriented in the HBO special and Miss Yvonne appeared to have deep feelings for him. Miss Yvonne Lynne Marie Stewart A woman obsessed with beauty and cosmetics, who often flirted with Pee-wee and many of the other male characters on the show. She was given the title "the most beautiful woman in Puppetland" by the puppet characters (especially Mr. Window, who would usually introduce her). Yvonne wore a large brown bouffant-style wig, gaudy dresses and heels, and her appearance was always accompanied by some sort of theme music. She, like Ricardo, also has a medical background, as evidenced by her nurse get-up and actions in "Pee-wee Catches a Cold". Unlike many regulars, Yvonne appeared in almost every Playhouse episode, and in a few episodes, she even danced with Pee-wee herself. Pee-wee appeared to have a slight crush on Miss Yvonne in some episodes, and most of the time commented on how beautiful she looked upon greeting her. Reba the Mail Lady S. Epatha Merkerson An African-American female mail carrier who was often confused by the rules of the playhouse; over time, she gets really annoyed at having to be screamed at in her ears. At one point in the series, she had a boyfriend named Derek (who was played by martial arts movie actor, Steve James). She also had a pet dog which Pee-wee recovered when she lost him. Rarely acknowledged the viewing audience. The King of Cartoons Gilbert Lewis (first season);
William H. Marshall (subsequent seasons)
He showed a brief cartoon clip during his segment. His catch phrase was "Let the cartoon begin!" The original King of Cartoons used a film projector to show the cartoons (which he would aim at the lens of the camera shooting the actual show). On later seasons, the King would turn on a television set with a remote control. Tito
(first season only)
Roland Rodriguez The Latino playhouse lifeguard. He usually came into the house during snack time or during a gathering. Ricardo Vic Trevino A Latino soccer player with an apparent medical background. He replaced Tito after the first season. Mrs. Steve (first season only; mentioned in an episode of a later season) Shirley Stoler A frequent visitor to the playhouse during the first season. Enjoyed eating and "snooping around" when Pee-wee wasn't seen. Mrs. Renee Suzanne Kent A neighbor of Pee-wee's, who replaced Mrs. Steve after the first season. She is the polar opposite of Mrs. Steve, being much more tolerant and fun-loving. Dixie (first season) Johann Carlo A taxi driver who introduced the King of Cartoons in the first season by playing her trumpet (frequently referring to him as "King Cartoon"). The Playhouse Gang (first season) Natasha Lyonne (Opal);
Shaun Weiss (Elvis);
Diane Yang (Cher)
Three children who interacted with Pee-wee during the first season. They were replaced by three other children for the subsequent second season. The Playhouse Gang (second season) Vaughn Tyree Jelks (Fabian);
Alisan Porter (Li'l Punkin);
Stephanie Walski (Rapunzel)
Three children who interacted with Pee-wee, but only in two episodes of the second season. Their only notable personality trait is that Li'l Punkin never spoke, instead whispering in Pee-wee's or other characters' ears. She spoke occasionally, but only in unison with the other two, and once she sang a song.
Puppet and object characters
Character Voiced by Description Jambi John Paragon A blue-faced (later green) genie who lived in a jeweled box. Usually appeared once per show to grant Pee-wee a wish, often with unexpected results. Sometimes, he appeared more than once per show or not at all. His catchphrases included "Wish? Did somebody say 'Wish'?", and the magic words "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho" (which grew more complicated as the show progressed). Chairry Alison Mork A bluish-green armchair with eyes on the chair back, a mouth between the seat cushions, and armrests that flapped around and occasionally hugged Pee-wee when he sat on her. Magic Screen Alison Mork A screen on wheels that slightly resembled an Etch-A-Sketch, it flashed in an array of colors when not in use; it also showed films, and Pee-wee would frequently jump into the screen itself to interact with a fantasy land inside, usually to "connect the dots" (see below). Magic Screen once mentioned having a relative, Movie Screen. In the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, Magic Johnson stated that he and Magic Screen were cousins. Magic Screen is addressed as "she" and "her" in the puppeteers' commentary indicating that Magic Screen is actually female. Pterri John Paragon (Seasons 1, 3 — 5);
George McGrath (Season 2)
A green pterodactyl and one of Pee-wee's closest friends; he usually acted like a young child. Pterri was afraid of thunderstorms (as revealed in "Rainy Day") and was very sensitive. He was often picked on by Randy, and sometimes hung out with Globey. In the HBO special, The Pee-wee Herman Show, he worked for Captain Carl as a sort of "talking parrot" element. Mr. Window Ric Heitzman The window to the left of the playhouse door when inside the playhouse; he had googly eyes and talked by moving his yellow window pane up and down. His role on the show was to introduce other characters (usually Miss Yvonne), and occasionally serve as a means for Pterri to enter and exit the playhouse (though Mr Window would only open up his "mouth" about half to two-thirds of the time). Clockey Kevin Carlson A yellow and red clock shaped like a map of the United States; he often introduced "Penny" cartoons and the like by asking Pee-wee "Do you know what time it is?... Time for a Penny cartoon (etc.)!." He originated in the HBO special acting in a similar manner. Conky Gregory Harrison (Season 1);
Kevin Carlson (subsequent seasons)
The playhouse robot, who gave Pee-wee the "secret word" each week and served as a "brain" element in the show. He spoke with a stutter, and was made from various parts of old electronics, including an old camera attachments (eyes), a boombox (chest), phonograph (torso), and a typewriter with no keys (head)and Vacuum Cleaner Hood as the top skull. The robot referred to himself as "Conky 2000" (after the first season, though he used this in episode #3 in the first season) when Pee-wee turned him on. According to evidence suggested in the episode "Conky's Breakdown", there may be more than one Conky robot.Designed and built by Gregory Harrison, voice created and performed by David Powers and Gregory Harrison season one. Globey George McGrath A spinning globe with a pair of arms at the base and a large face in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Globey spoke with a French-sounding accent and would often help Pee-wee out with geography, language, astronomy, or history questions. He sometimes hung out with Pterri, and, like Pterri, acted in the manner typical of a young child. Puppet Band Wayne White (Dirty Dog);
Ric Heitzman (Cool Cat);
Alison Mork (Chicky Baby)
Three animal puppets who comprise a 1950s-style jazz combo, who live in a corridor of the Playhouse designed to resemble an alley. They normally spoke in rhyme, parodying Beat generation poetry. Mr. Kite Wayne White A pink kite that occasionally appeared in one of the playhouse windows. Occasionally, Pee-wee would ask for weather reports and Mr. Kite would tell Pee-wee what the weather was going to be like. Randy Wayne White A red-headed string puppet who served as the playhouse bully, usually making life miserable for Pee-wee and the playhouse characters. Once talked Pee-wee into prank-calling police officer "Daryl" (George McGrath) on the Picturephone, suggesting that he might be a juvenile delinquent. Billy Baloney Paul Reubens A ventriloquist dummy, slightly resembling Randy in appearance (but blonde), who Pee-wee himself operated on occasion. Dog Chair George McGrath A white chaise longue, which was similar to Chairry but resembling the face of a dog. He sat next to Chairry, but was used and referred to much less often. Ant Farm Miscellaneous. Occasionally, Pee-wee would check to see what the ants were up to; a short close-up animated sequence would follow depicting the ants engaged in some "human" activity. On one occasion, they actually managed to get out of the farm. The Dinosaur Family George McGrath (Red);
Alison Mork (Light Blue);
Ric Heitzman (Blue);
Kevin Carlson (Pink)
A den of miniature, claymation dinosaurs who lived in a mouse hole in the playhouse. The camera view would frequently zoom in on the dinosaurs to see what they were doing. Food Miscellaneous. The contents of Pee-wee's refrigerator. Various claymation food items including pizzas, vegetables, french fries and others that would dance and juggle to Pee-wee and friends' amusement. Flowers Ric Heitzman;
Three flowers living in a flowerbed in the window to the right of the playhouse door. After Dixie left the show, they introduced the King of Cartoons. Fish Ric Heitzman (Purple);
George McGrath (Yellow)
The fish lived in the playhouse aquarium. Their trademark was that often when something happened, the purple fish would make a snide remark regarding the situation, which the yellow fish would follow up with a witty comment. Both fish would then cackle, an act reminiscent of Muppets Statler & Waldorf. Penny Anna Seidman A claymation short featuring a blonde girl with pennies for eyes, who described some situations in her life and daily activities. She would reappear later outside the show on public service commercials. 37 different claymation shorts were featured on this show. Knucklehead Gregory Harrison (Season 1);
Kevin Carlson (Season 2)
A large image of a side view of a fist, with "googly eyes" and lipstick, who told bad knock-knock jokes. He had a bit part in the HBO special, The Pee-wee Herman Show, but as a sock puppet who acted and sounded differently. Cowntess George McGrath A life-sized, talking cow that spoke in an elegant accent. Door-to-Door Salesman Ric Heitzman A caricatured salesman, dressed in a tacky suit and a humongous head, who rang the doorbell and shouted "I'm going door to door to make you this incredible offer!" (occasionally he could be heard starting another sentence, "I'm sure by now you have realized-") while a horror movie-style effect played in the background. This caused Pee-wee to slam the door and scream, occasionally frustratedly saying, "Salesman!" This character was retired after the first season. Pee-wee once let him in during a party, saying, "What's your incredible offer?", to which the salesman replied "Free foil!", which Pee-wee gladly accepted for his foil ball. Floory Kevin Carlson A section of the playhouse floor that stood up and talked. For the first season he was covered by Pee-wee's tepee, but after Pee-wee and his friends remodeled the playhouse, he emerged. Chandelier Alison Mork A talking chandelier with a French accent who appeared in later seasons. Exercise Belt Ric Heitzman A vintage vibrating belt exercise machine. Pee-wee would sometimes get on it, turn it on, then get stuck on it. Conky would usually have to get him out. Toys Miscellaneous. Pee-wee's strange toys, that he keeps in a smiley face shaped window, with movable shelves inside. Their space on the wall was taken over by Clocky and were relocated to the back
wall of the playhouse behind a door that looked like a tire.
El Hombre Unknown. A Spanish language cartoon shown toward the later run of the series. 6 different claymation shorts were featured on this show, and was usually used as a substitute for the penny cartoon, but two episodes ("Miss Yvonne's Visit" and "Mystery") featured both.
Character Played by Description Roger Voiced by Janine Scherr A large, green monster that invaded the playhouse. He resembled a giant eyeball, had two mouths and one leg, and spoke in a language incomprehensible to Pee-wee until he wished he could understand the monster (at which point he learned his name in English). During this episode, Roger talked to his mother on the Picturephone; during the conversation, Roger's mother said the Secret Word in their language, at which point they both screamed while a bunch of symbols appeared on the screen. At the end of the episode, Roger left the Playhouse with Pee-wee on the back of Pee-wee's scooter. Roger made his second and final appearance in the "Pajama Party" episode. Rusty Calvert DeForest A strange old man who hung out with the Playhouse Gang in the first season – and acted exactly like them, if not more childish. Oddly enough, he wears a "Playboy" pin on his hat, among others. Yvona Lynne Marie Stewart A female alien, who was captured by Zyzzybalubah and locked in a cage as his personal slave. Bears a striking facial and bodily resemblance to Miss Yvonne and has similar theme music. It is implied by her in "Playhouse in Outer Space" that Zyzzy has kept Yvona as his slave for years (when she says "It's always been like this."). Pee-wee seems to develop feelings for her, probably due to her similarities to Miss Yvonne, whom he also had apparent feelings for. Zyzzybalubah George McGrath A malevolent male alien, who hypnotized Conky into making his own name the secret word and launched the Playhouse into space. He calls anyone he captures his "friends" but Pee-wee sets him straight. Conky Repairman Johnny Wilson Jimmy Smits Fixed problems with Conky, the playhouse robot. Rhonda Sandra Bernhard Picturephone operator, who has a crush on Pee-wee. Derek Steve James Reba's boyfriend, a fireman. He was going to take Reba to the firemen's ball, but after it got canceled because of a fire at the ballroom itself, they don't know where else to go. So Pee-wee allows Derek and Reba to have their date right there at the playhouse; they would play drive-in, with Magic Screen as the screen and Pee-wee and Miss Yvonne as Derek and Reba's chaperones (possibly for a double date).
At the start of season two, the show moved from its New York City warehouse studio to facilities at the Hollywood Center Studios, creating changes in personnel and a change to the set that allowed the show to take advantage of the additional space. The show changed production facilities in 1989 during its 4th season, this time at the Culver Studios, also in Los Angeles, California.
As soon as it first aired, Pee-wee's Playhouse fascinated media theorists and commentators, many of whom championed the show as a postmodernist hodgepodge of characters and situations which appeared to soar in the face of domineering racist and sexist presumptions. For example, Pee-wee's friends, both human and non, were of diverse cultural and racial origin. In its entire run, Pee-wee's Playhouse won 15 Emmys as well as other awards. Captain Kangaroo's Bob Keeshan hailed the show's "awesome production values." Adding, "with the possible exception of the Muppets, you can't find such creativity anywhere on TV."
"I'm just trying to illustrate that it's okay to be different — not that it's good, not that it's bad, but that it's all right. I'm trying to tell kids to have a good time and to encourage them to be creative and to question things," Reubens told an interviewer in Rolling Stone.
Golden Age cartoons
During the show's run, many cartoons were shown from the "Golden Age" of animation, usually courtesy of the King of Cartoons. However, they were not featured with their respective titles, nor credited, and generally only brief clips were shown. As Reubens stated in a 2004 radio interview, almost all of the cartoons they obtained were Public Domain.
First Season: 1986 Cartoon Title Year Director 1 Fresh Vegetable Mystery 1939 Dave Fleischer 2 Ants in the Plants 1940 Dave Fleischer 3 Summertime 1934 Ub Iwerks 4 Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! 1931 Rudolf Ising 5 Old Mother Hubbard 1935 Ub Iwerks 6 The Three Bears 1935 Ub Iwerks 7 Molly Moo-Cow and the Butterflies 1935 Burt Gillett, Tom Palmer 8 Flip the Frog: Puddle Pranks 1931 Ub Iwerks 9 Jack Frost 1934 Ub Iwerks 10 Mary's Little Lamb 1935 Ub Iwerks 11 Somewhere in Dreamland 1936 Dave Fleischer 12 Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! 1931 Rudolf Ising 13 Bunny Mooning 1937 Dave Fleischer Second Season: 1987 Cartoon Title Year Director 1 / 14 Philips Broadcast 1938 George Pal 2 / 15 To Spring 1936 Bill Hanna 3 / 16 Makin' Em Move 1931 Harry Bailey, John Foster 4 / 17 The Sunshine Makers (44 sec) 1935 Ted Eshbaugh 5 / 18 Piano Tooners 1932 John Foster, George Rufle 6 / 19 Philips Broadcast 1938 George Pal 7 / 20 Neptune Nonsense 1936 Burt Gillett 8 / 21 Much Ado About Mutton 1947 Isadore Sparber 9 / 22 Ship of the Ether 1934 George Pal 10 / 23 Musical Memories 1935 Dave Fleischer Third Season: 1988 Cartoon Title Year Director 1 / 24 Farm Foolery 1949 Seymour Kneitel 2 / 25 Christmas Comes but Once a Year 1936 Dave Fleischer 3 / 26 An Elephant Never Forgets 1935 Dave Fleischer Fourth Season: 1989 Cartoon Title Year Director 1 / 27 Hunky & Spunky 1938 Dave Fleischer 2 / 28 The Stork Market 1949 Seymour Kneitel 3 / 29 Spring Song 1949 Isadore Sparber 4 / 30 To Spring 1936 Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising 5 / 31 None 6 / 32 The Kids In the Shoe 1935 Dave Fleischer 7 / 33 The Song of the Birds 1935 Dave Fleischer 8 / 34 None 9 / 35 Little Lambkins 1940 Dave Fleischer 10 / 36 None Fifth Season: 1990 Cartoon Title Year Director 1 / 37 One More Time 1931 Rudolf Ising 2 / 38 Farm Frolics 1941 Bob Clampett 3 / 39 The Little Red Hen 1934 Ub Iwerks 4 / 40a* Freddy the Freshman 1932 Rudolf Ising 4 / 40b* Humpty Dumpty 1935 Ub Iwerks 5 / 41 Fin 'n' Catty 1943 Chuck Jones 6 / 42 Sinkin' in the Bathtub 1930 Hugh Harman, Rudolf Ising 7 / 43 Freddy the Freshman 1932 Rudolf Ising 8 / 44a* Allegretto 1936 Oskar Fischinger 8 / 44b* Balloon Land 1935 Ub Iwerks 9 / 45 None 10 / 46 None
* These episodes had more than one classic cartoon each
Later airings and home video releases
- On August 15, 1998, the show returned to television in reruns on Fox Family Channel, only to go off the air once again the following year.
- Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block began airing the show Monday through Thursday on July 10, 2006. After the first week only the "Quiet Village" part of the opening was shown, leaving out the Cyndi Lauper vocal. "Quiet Village" was not part of the first week of broadcasts. The newer opening theme and prelude created for the 1990–91 season was left off. Adult Swim originally slated to end airings on the weekdays on October 19, 2006 and move the show to Sundays at 10 PM. In late December 2006, Adult Swim moved the show to Sunday nights, returning it to the schedule at 1:30 AM.
- Several episodes were initially released by Hi-Tops Video, the "children's imprint" of Media/Heron Communications, in 1988. They were then reissued on video by MGM/UA Home Entertainment in 1996, along with several episodes that were not released on video the first time. Finally, all 45 episodes were released on DVD by Image Entertainment in 2004. It should also be noted that the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special was released during each of these three times.
VHS and laserdisc releases
Hi-Tops Video releases
Vol. 1 - Ice Cream Soup
Vol. 2 - Luau for Two
Vol. 3 - Rainy Day/Now You See Me, Now You Don't/Cowboy Fun (Just Another Day)
Vol. 4 - Beauty Makeover
Vol. 5 - Restaurant
Vol. 6 - Ants in Your Pants
Vol. 7 - Monster in the Playhouse
Festival of Fun - Monster in the Playhouse/The Cowboy and the Cowntess/Stolen Apples/The Gang's All Here/Party
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Vol. 8 - Open House
Vol. 9 - Puppy in the Playhouse
Vol. 10 - Pajama Party
Vol. 11 - Pee-wee's Store
Vol. 12 - Pee-wee Catches a Colrd
Vol. 13 - Tons of Fun
Vol. 14 - School
Vol. 15 - Why Wasn't I Invited?
Hi-Tops Video laserdisc releases
Fun-o-Rama - Ice Cream Soup/Luau for Two/Rainy Day/Now You See Me, Now You Don't
Potpurri - Just Another Day/Beauty Makeover/The Restaurant/Ants in Your Pants
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
MGM/UA Home Video Releases
Vol. 1 - Open House/Pee-wee Catches a Cold
Vol. 2 - I Remember Curtis/Conky's Breakdown
Vol. 3 - Store/Playhouse in Outer Space
Vol. 4 - Pajama Party/To Tell the Tooth
Vol. 5 - The Gang's All Here/Party
Vol. 6 - Luau for Two/Now You See Me, Now You Don't
Vol. 7 - Fire in the Playhouse/Love That Story
Vol. 8 - Sick? Did Somebody Say Sick?/Miss Yvonne's Visit
Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special
Vol. 9 - Dr. Pee-wee and the Del Rubios/Rebarella
Vol. 10 - Let's Play Office/Mystery
Vol. 11 - Front Page Pee-wee/Tango Time
Vol. 12 - Playhouse Day/Accidental Playhouse
Vol. 13 - Ice Cream Soup/Puppy in the Playhouse
Vol. 14 - The Cowboy and the Cowntess/Reba Eats and Pterri Runs
Vol. 15 - Tons of Fun/School
Vol. 16 - Why Wasn't I Invited?/Ants in Your Pants
DVD name Ep # Release Date Notes Pee-wee's Playhouse #1 23 November 16, 2004 Includes all episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 Pee-wee's Playhouse #2 22 November 16, 2004 Includes all episodes from Seasons 3–5 Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special 1 October 19, 2004 Pee Wee's Playhouse - The Complete Collection 45 + 1 October 19, 2010 Includes all episodes from Seasons 1–5 plus the Christmas Special
- ^ TV Guide's 25 Top Cult Shows - TannerWorld Junction TannerWorld Junction: May 26, 2004
- ^ TV Guide Names the Top Cult Shows Ever - Today's News: Our Take TV Guide: June 29, 2007
- ^ Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse on Amazon.com
- ^ Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse - Book Website Retrieved 2011-07-29
- ^ a b Lloyd, Robert (2006-07-10). "Pee-wee's back in the limelight". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul/10/entertainment/et-peewee. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
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- Official site for Pee-wee's Playhouse
- Pee-wee's Playhouse at the Internet Movie Database
- Pee-wee's Playhouse at TV.com
- Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse - Book Website
- ProgressiveBoink.com: "The 25 Best Pee-wee's Playhouse Moments"
- The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway
TV seriesThe Pee-wee Herman Show (1981, 2010–2011) · Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986–1990) Films Other PBS Kids shows Current shows PBS Kids GO! See also
PBS network shows · Educational television
First-run animated seriesThe New Adventures of Mighty Mouse and Heckle & Jeckle • The All-New Popeye Hour (1978–1983) • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972–1984) • Tarzan and the Super 7 • The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show • Drak Pack (1980) • The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour • The Kwicky Koala Show • Trollkins • Blackstar (1981–1982) • Gilligan's Planet (1982–1983) • Pandamonium (1982–1983) • The Dukes (February 5, 1983 – October 29, 1983) • The Biskitts (1983–1984) • Saturday Supercade (1983–1986) • Dungeons & Dragons (1983–1985) • The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (1983–1986) • The Get Along Gang (1984–1985) • Jim Henson's Muppet Babies (1984–1991) • Pole Position (1984) • Inspector Gadget • The Berenstain Bears • The Wuzzles (1985) • Jim Henson's Little Muppet Monsters • Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling (1985–1987) • Wildfire • Galaxy High (1986–1987) • Teen Wolf • Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater (1987–1988) • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures • Popeye and Son (1987–1988) • Dennis the Menace (1986–1988) • The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy (1988–1990) • Superman • Garfield and Friends (September 17, 1988-October 1995) • Dink, the Little Dinosaur (1989–1991) • The California Raisin Show (1989–1990) • Rude Dog & the Dweebs First-run live-action series Rebroadcasts Schedules1979-80 • 1980-81 • 1981-82 • 1982-83 • 1983-84 • 1984-85 • 1985-86 • 1986-87 • 1987-88 • 1988-89 • 1989-90 Related programming and topics First-run animated seriesDink, the Little Dinosaur (1989–1991) • Jim Henson's Muppet Babies (1984–1991) • The California Raisin Show (1989–1990) • Garfield and Friends (September 17, 1988-October 1995) • Rude Dog & the Dweebs • The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy (1988–1990) • CBS Storybreak (1985–1990) • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990–1996) • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures (1990) • Mother Goose and Grimm (1991–1992) • Back to the Future (1991–1993) • Where's Waldo? (1991–1992) • Fievel's American Tails (1992–1993) • The Little Mermaid (1992–1995) • Raw Toonage (1992–1993) • Marsupilami (1993–1994) • All-New Dennis the Menace • Cadillacs and Dinosaurs (1993–1994) • Conan and the Young Warriors • Beethoven (1994–1995) • Aladdin (1994–1996) • Skeleton Warriors • Wild C.A.T.s • The Adventures of Hyperman • Timon & Pumbaa (1995–1997) • The Mask • Santo Bugito (1995–1996) • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (1995–1997) • Project G.e.e.K.e.R. • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1995–1997) • Anatole • Dumb Bunnies (1998–1999) • Flying Rhino Junior High (1998–2000) • Birdz (1998) • Mythic Warriors (1998–2000) • New Tales from the Cryptkeeper (1999–2000) First-run live-action seriesPee-wee's Playhouse (1986–1991) • The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys • Beakman's World (1992–1998) • Bailey Kipper's P.O.V. (1996–1997) • Secrets of the Cryptkeeper's Haunted House • The New Ghostwriter Mysteries (1997) • Wheel 2000 (1999–2000) • The Weird Al Show (1997) • The Sports Illustrated for Kids Show Rebroadcasts Schedules1989-90 • 1990-91 • 1991-92 • 1992-93 • 1993-94 • 1994-95 • 1995-96 • 1996-97 • 1997-98 • 1998-99 • 1999-2000 Related programming and topics
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