Tag Archives: pee wee herman

Explaining Pee Wee Herman to a Modern Kid

I had the following conversation, more or less, with a kid who discovered Pee Wee Herman while browsing Netflix:

KID:  Why is this guy so…I don’t know.

ME:  Weird?

KID:  Yeah, he’s so stupid.

ME:  He’s like an adult who hasn’t figured out he’s an adult yet so he acts like a kid.

(ME IN MY MIND): Crap.  Should I just tell the kid to turn this off?  I really don’t want this kid thinking it is ok to talk to adults who think they are kids.  Adults who think they are kids are freaking perverts.

KID: Was this a long time ago?

ME: Yes.

KID: Did you watch this when you were a kid?

ME: Yes. All the kids loved to watch Pee Wee when I was a kid. We would watch Pee Wee every Saturday morning and scream real loud whenever he said the secret word.

ME IN MY MIND: Yeah, because it was a more innocent time when there wasn’t a freaking thirty year old who has yet to grow up trying to lure kids into his weirdo bachelor pad on every street corner.  Or perhaps there was just as many adult man child perverts back then but the media didn’t report on it as much because the TV only had like three channels to watch in those days.

KID: He’s funny.

ME:  Yeah he is.  Hey, just an FYI this is all make-believe.  If you ever see an adult who acts like a kid, run away real fast and don’t talk to them ok?  Because adults who act like kids are super weird and they might hurt you because they’re so stupid ok?

KID: OK. How old is Pee Wee?

ME:  I don’t know.  I think he just stays the same age forever.

KID: Is he still alive?

ME: Yes.  He just made a movie.  He looks the same.  He probably exercises and eats his vegetables and colors his hair and stuff.

KID: Why isn’t his show on now?

ME: He got busy.

ME IN MY MIND: He did a terrible thing.  Also, whereas in my day there were a plethora of children’s shows in which neighborhood children would visit the homes of grown adult men they weren’t related to, ranging from Pee Wee, to Mr. Wizard to Mr. Rogers, today, you just don’t see shows like that, because the safest thing a parent can do is chain their kid up so no one gets the kid and especially never allow the kid to visit the home of a random adult and especially not without supervision.

FINAL THOUGHT: I watched “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” with the kid in question and it holds up.  It was so funny back then and it is equally hilarious today.  I feel bad that Pee Wee ruined his career by doing what he did in a porn theater.  I mean, seriously, all that money he made, he couldn’t afford a home VHS?  Seriously.


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Movie Review – Pee Wee’s Big Holiday (2016)

Home on a Friday night watching a Netflix movie about a man-child.

Oh life, where did you go wrong?

BQB here with a review of Pee Wee’s Big Holiday.

Oh Pee Wee.  You could have been a contender.

Come to think of it, you were.  Like every Generation X kid, I too talked in your silly voice and did my take on your “Ha ha!” and “Argh!” and so on.

But then you just had to go and do…well what you did at that adult theater in 1991.

To this day, I’ve never really understood it.  Sure, perverts have it a lot better today, what with a vast cornucopia of pornography available thanks to the Internet (so I’ve heard) but even in the 1990s, people had VCRs to watch risqué movies on (again, so I’ve heard.)

Pee Wee.  Oh Pee Wee.  You weren’t like Mr. Rogers, trying to lecture us on morality or Sesame Street, trying to teach us shit.  You just invited us along to be silly and have a good time and you had to go and get yourself in trouble.

Eh.  Did it matter?  Two movies and a TV show, I’m not sure how much more Pee Wee the public could have tolerated.

Either way, he’s been in more movies (as Paul Reubens) and we’ve forgiven him.  (But Jesus Christ, even in the 1990s they had Playboys and Penthouses and Hustlers you could check out in the privacy of your own home so what the hell was he thinking? (Again, so I’ve heard.)

Pee Wee is back (because thanks to Netflix, everyone who had a hit twenty years ago is coming back for one last hurrah).

Did you know that Pee Wee is 63 years old?  I always thought he was younger for some reason.  Holy Shit.  He aged well.

The Plot – Pee Wee lives in Fairville and he is afraid to leave.  But then he meets Joe Manganiello (the actor from True Blood and Magic Mike, though if you’ve never heard of him, it is ok because Pee Wee hadn’t heard of him either.)

Yes, Joe plays himself.  Meta.

They learn they have a lot in common and become fast friends.  But Joe is worried that Pee Wee has lived such a sheltered life so he challenges our favorite man boy to trek across country to his birthday party in New York City.

That’s about it.  It’s a romp from there on, a series of skits as he gets in various predicaments along the way.  Bank robbing babes, snakes, Farmer’s daughters, and balloon loving Amish folk slow him down.

I have to admit I didn’t laugh as much as I thought I would.  I’m concerned this means maybe Pee Wee was never funny.  Maybe I just thought he was when I was a kid.

But then I recall Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and classic lines like, “There’s no basement at the Alamo” and how he called that spoiled Francis guy “France-ass” and the bikers and I laugh and laugh.  (“Paging Mr. Herman.  Mr. Herman.  You have a telephone call at the front desk.)

Eh.  Maybe there’s just few people around who understand/appreciate 1980’s humor enough to make a movie that lives up to the legend.

Anyway, it was cute but not as good as the original or Big Top Pee Wee, the sequel.

MAIN COMPLAINT:  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe he said “I know you are but what am I” to anyone in the entire film.  That’s his patented catch phrase.  Even those hacks at Fuller House knew they had to jam “Cut it out” and “How rude” and “Have mercy” into the first ten minutes.

Isn’t that the whole point of these TV shows/movies?  Long in the tooth actors grabbing one last pay day by placating adults who loved those actors when they were kids before the next generation of adults comes along and doesn’t give a shit?

“Look BQB.  That TV show/movie you liked as a child is still relevant…time isn’t passing you by…say the catchphrase!!!”

SIDENOTE: Pee Wee’s 63 but all his chicks in this movie are way younger.  Maybe because he’s just an ageless perpetually young guy…or maybe Hollywood couldn’t let him get with a 63 year old perpetually ageless female?

I don’t know.  Maybe I’m too much of a conspiracy theorist.  And to be fair, he does go on a flying car ride with a Katherine Hepburn type.

Not really shelf-worthy but if you haven’t seen them, I hope this inspires you to see his first two movies.

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BQB Live Tweets Pee Wee’s Big Holiday

3.5 READERS: BQB, you are a giant nerd for live tweeting Pee Wee’s Big Holiday!

BQB: I know you are but what am I?  Ha ha!  Argh!

(If you’re on the twitter-mo-bob, follow @bookshelfbattle then get on Netflix and join in.)

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