It’s a Pee-Wee Herman Kind of Day

It’s B-List Actor Thursday again! A day to celebrate the true talent that gets overshadowed by the hacks in A-list.
Being a child of the 80’s, Pee-Wee Herman epitomized my early introduction to unconventionality. To me, Pee-Wee represented confidence- feeling comfortable in your own skin…or tiny suit. He did his own thing, did not care what people thought of him, and though enjoyed interacting with others, found solace in his own world. As years went on, Pee-Wee took on a secondary significant role as a symbol of my childhood. When I watch him now, I recall the days I would sit in front of the television mimicking the “Tequila” dance over and over in my mother’s platform shoes. His movies and TV show now have dual entertainment purposes- I remember all the scenes and jokes that struck me as a five year-old- how they made me feel- but now as an adult I understand the irreverence, the eccentricity, and the reminiscence of a time long past. Just as Pee-Wee served as a nostalgia gatekeeper for my mother and the 1950’s, he is now serving the same purpose for me.

Though I was only eight when Paul Reubens was arrested for allegedly masturbating in an adult theatre, I understood that Pee-Wee as we knew it was over. I remember news footage of angry citizens boycotting him and friend’s parents loudly voicing their delight that his show was not coming back.

Luckily, I was raised in a pro-Pee-Wee Herman household. My mother to this day loves Pee-Wee nearly as much as I do and we both stop what we’re doing if Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure or “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” comes on the television.

Unless you live under a rock, you will have noticed that Pee-Wee Herman has recently made a resurgence. After a successful revival of his 1980 stage show, “The Pee-Wee Herman Show“, in Los Angeles, Reubens brought the show to Broadway where it is currently running. Reubens is also taking every media opportunity to get the PW name back out there, having appeared on everything from WWE to daytime and nighttime talk show to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. If that weren’t exciting enough, Judd Apatow is attached to produce the next Pee-Wee Herman movie.

Of course being a nearly life-long Pee-Wee fan, I’m happy that our lovable little man-child is back. However, now an objective adult, I find it inspiring that a man who was unjustly chastised, pushed into hiding, and forced to kill off a character that he loved so dearly, is able to come back better than ever… and all at 58 years old!

The beauty of Hollywood is that everyone has second chances…and third (Robert Downey Jr.)…and fourth (Charlie Sheen). The fairy-tale ending is viable if the individual wants it badly enough. Though it may have taken many years for Reubens to feel comfortable bringing PW back and for America to accept him, the amount of positive response upon his resurrection has proven that PW has always had a special place in our hearts. My peers are now having kids of their own and introducing them to his movies and television show and the homophobic, staunch conservative assholes who fought against him before…well, no one really gives a shit what they think, do they?

To Paul Reubens- for encouraging us to be who we are and to never give up fighting.

Do you like Pee-Wee? Was he an important part of your childhood?

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  • Reply Lola Nicole November 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Ahhhhh LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post!

    I got to see Pee-Wee in April when I went to see Conan O'Brien in NYC. He was a surprise guest. We gave him a standing ovation. =D

    So happy he's back!

  • Reply Emily November 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Once again Lauren you prove why you're one of my favourite bloggers ever. The night before last me and my friend sat up and watched The Pee Wee Herman Show and laughed for hours, we were pretty wasted but whatever.

    I'll always love the Pee.

  • Reply Jessica November 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Unfortunately, I was raised in a hyper-religious/crazy household and my father put an end to my Pee-Wee days after Mr. Reubens was arrested (I think I was about 10).

    I loved the Tequila dance and it's all I picture whenever that bit of music is played. I can't wait to teach it to any of my future children.

  • Reply theTsaritsa November 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I was never allowed to watch Pee Wee Herman when I was little. At the time I knew something weird had happened, but didn't really understand. I was more of the Shining Time Station set with Ringo Starr as Mr. Conductor.

    I saw Reubens on TV recently and he was hilarious. Glad to hear he's making a comeback.

  • Reply Melanie's Randomness November 4, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I totally caught Monday Night Raw & was like Wtf? When i saw Pee Wee & the the Tall wrestler all dressed! This man is everywhere lately!! I remember when the movie came out I thought it was really funny & I loved the couches on his show talked. My bf almost did Pee Wee for Halloween! Maybe he'll do it next year! hehe. =P

  • Reply Jill November 4, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I used to watch Pee Wee all the time !!!

  • Reply Hipstercrite November 4, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    @Lola- Thanks! Oh man, I'm so jealous! How was it?

    @Emily- Wasted or not wasted- Pee-Wee is always fun to watch! The Pee-Wee Herman Show in particular is wonderful!

    @Jessica- The great thing about Pee-Wee is that he is kind of timeless. I'm sure kids 100 years from now will still love him. I hope?

    @Tsaritsa- You know, I never watched that show! I did like Mr. Rogers and Fraggle Rock though!

    @Melanie- Tell your boyfriend that he should dress as Pee-Wee tomorrow. 😉

    @Jill- 😀

  • Reply Christopher November 5, 2010 at 12:21 am

    that is so awesome, welcome back pee wee!

  • Reply Christina In Wonderland November 5, 2010 at 4:01 am

    Are you kidding? Pee Wee was the EPITOME of my childhood. I think I should probably count him as the reason I love socially awkward man-child guys.

    I'm seriously happy he's back and can be embraced by a new generation of kiddies and adults alike. 🙂

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