TV Series created by Paul Reubens

Pee-Wee's PlayhousePee-Wee's Playhouse
CBS, 1986 | Comedy, Children

This half-hour CBS-TV Saturday morning live-action "children's show" aired from 1986 until 1991 and was enormously popular with both children and adults. The program won six Emmy Awards and a host of other accolades during its first season. Incorporating clips from vintage cartoons and old educational films, newly produced 3-D animation, hand puppets, marionettes, and a cast of endearingly eccentric characters led by a gray-suited and red-bow-tied Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), Pee-wee's Playhouse might best be described as a flamboyant take off on the genre of children's educational TV-a sort of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood meets MTV. The childlike Pee-wee each week welcomed viewers into his technicolor fantasy-land, and led them through a regimen of crafts and games, cartoon clips, "secret words," and "educational" adventures via his Magic Screen. Yet, in stark contrast to the high moral seriousness of its predecessors, Pee-wee's Playhouse was marked from its outset by a campy sensibility and frequent use of double entendre, allowing different types of viewers to enjoy the show in many different ways.