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Pee-Wee's Playhouse was a CBS children's television series that aired for 45 episodes from 1986 to 1990. The series was created by Paul Reubens. Reubens starred in the series as his childlike alter ego Pee-Wee Herman. Reubens had spent almost a decade perfecting and popularizing this particular character with the "Pee-Wee Herman Show" - a live stage production from the Groundlings and Roxy theaters, which was also broadcast as an HBO special. Pee-Wee Herman had become an even hotter commodity with the box office success of the motion picture Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. CBS had originally approached Reubens with an offer for a cartoon series, however, the parties ultimately agreed on a weekly live-action Saturday morning series with the budget of a 30-minute prime-time sitcom of the era.

Reubens assembled an ensemble cast that included Phil Hartman as Captain Carlk, Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis, John Paragon as Jambi the Genie, Lynne Marie Stewart as Miss Yvonne, and S. Epatha Merkerson as Reba The Mail Lady. Many of these characters had also appeared in the Playhouse live-show.

Inspiration for the series was drawn from the type of children's television that aired while Reubens was a child. Reubens grew up with Captain Kangaroo and the Howdy Doody Show. For this reason, the show, which featured vivid colors, puppetry, toys, gadgets, magic, video and clay animation, and talking furniture and appliances, appealed to not only children but parents as well. Members of Devo and The Residents, along with pop music luminaries like Todd Rundgren, Danny Elfman, George Clinton, Dweezil Zappa, and Cyndi Lauper, composed the soundtrack.

After five seasons on the air, a mutual decision was made by CBS and Reubens to end the series.

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CBS
4 Seasons, 45 Episodes - Canceled/Ended
Comedy, Children
9.8/10
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Pee-Wee's Playhouse Full Episode Guide

  • Will Pee-wee really sell the playhouse?

  • Pee-wee conquers his to-do list

  • Pee-wee goes camping with Cowboy Curtis

  • Miss Yvonne shows how to make lots of fun things.

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