My childhood was filled with strange and wonderful television shows. Most memorable was the character “Pee-Wee Herman”.
I first saw him on Superchannel when I lived in Edmonton. It was 1981 or 1982, I was around five or six at the time. It was Paul Reubens’ first TV special devoted to his character, Pee-Wee Herman. Most of the adult jokes went over my head, but it was so much fun for me to see a grown man in a suit acting as a child. All the adults at that time in my life appeared super serious and well in control of reality. Then Pee-Wee showed up on my television. Quirky, strange, and wishing to fly. My little mind was shaken up: Adults have dreams?
Years later, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” came out. I was ten years old when I saw it on video. I rented the film numerous times from our local video store. I could probably quote to you nearly every scene. I also became a huge Tim Burton fan. Later in my life, I even dressed up as Mr. Herman for Halloween.
“Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” became my regular Saturday morning routine from ’85-’90. I watched and sang along to the theme song every week. After watching each show, my friends and I would try and make each other say the secret word of the day.
Fast forward from the early 90’s to 2011. “Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway” was released. My memories came rushing back. I showed this gem to my children (It allowed me to explain the safe way to use our deep-fat fryer through visual effects). Paul Reubens was back. I started following him on Facebook and Twitter. A fun and crazy world opened up in the virtual world. My childish humor came back; I can joke with my children, and they joke back. Then Netflix did something crazy. They announced a new Pee-Wee Herman film. I was excited. Soon after, a release date was announced. The perfect gift for my 40th birthday. Unfortunately, I was going to be in a hotel when it was released, hoping for a strong enough wi-fi. A few days on the open road is worth a lifetime… I waited up until 00:01 March 18, 2016 to be one of the first to watch “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday”.
Something strange and special about the film resonated with me. It was quirky, unrealistic, laughable, and fun. I could never expect anything less. Father Time has been exceptionally kind to Paul Reubens: he still looks and acts like an oversized, naïve child stuck in an adult body. Thank you Pee-Wee Herman. You haven’t changed a bit.
“You look really busy. Let me let you let me run.” ~Pee-Wee Herman