Sunday, September 23, 2012

10 Reasons Why Pee-Wee's Playhouse Was Awesome

As a child/teen of the '80s and '90s, I've watched a lot of kid shows that have left a lasting impression on me. Some of my fondest memories include: singing Ren and Stimpy's "Happy, happy, joy, joy" song, listening to Lion-O's deeply soothing voice on ThunderCats, studying the consistency of the green slime from You Can't Do That on Television, learning life lessons from Clarissa Explains It All and pretending I was a hero in a half shell just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

But there is one show that I absolutely loved, and truly believe can never be duplicated ever again. Despite its star getting arrested for indecent exposure, he's still one of the coolest bow tie-wearing characters in history. Yes, I'm talking about Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

Why is Pee-Wee's Playhouse so awesome? Here are 10 good reasons:

1. The Intro

Where else can you find an intro that combines claymation, puppetry, a catchy song sung by a blue chair, a grown man dancing with a robot and a flying Pterandon?

2. Laurence Fishburne As a Cowboy with a Jheri Curl Mullet

Before he starred in films like Boyz n the Hood and The Matrix, Fishburne was acting in his most hardcore role to date: a singing Cowboy Curtis.

3. Penny, the Claymation Version of Every Awkward Little Girl

I loved hearing the crazy stories from Penny. She talked about real things that every girl could relate to: pets, annoying family members and being forced to eat healthy food by our parents.

4. Conky and His Secret Word of the Day

Conky was a stuttering robot made from spare electronic parts that danced around with Pee-Wee and spit out a "Word of the Day" from his boombox stomach. What's not to love?

5. Dancing Fridge Food

Every time Pee-Wee opened his fridge viewers got an entertaining look at his claymation food items. Sometimes the food would dance, like in this video.

6. "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho"

Annoying? Maybe. Catchy? Somewhat. This is what Pee-Wee's blue-faced boxed genie Jambi would say to grant Pee-Wee a wish.

7. The Puppetland Band

A dirty dog, a cool cat and a chicky baby that often spoke in Beat generation rhyme.  These were the awesome puppets that made up Pee-Wee's puppetland jazz band.

8. The Dinosaur Family

They were a normal, everyday family that also happened to live inside a mouse hole in Pee-Wee's Playhouse. Oh, and they were dinosaurs. But cute nonetheless.

9.  This Puppet Dance

Pee-Wee and Miss Yvonne do an absurd, yet entertaining, puppet dance. Remember the "This is your brain on drugs" commercials from the '80s? Well THIS is your brain on drugs, specifically acid.

10. The Closing Credits

This was just as unique as the opening credits. It consisted of Pee-Wee pulling a secret lever in his house, which opened up to his scooter. He'd put on his helmet (which had a huge eyeball on it), hop on the scooter and then blast out of the room, past Mount Rushmore, onto the street. That's awesome.

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