The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway debuted on HBO Saturday night to mostly tepid reviews. A lot of critics said that Pee-Wee’s stage show wasn’t updated enough since its initial run in 1981, that it wasn’t trying to say anything at all.
I’m going to have to ask those reviewers to please quit ruining my dreams.
I would hand off my child to Pee-Wee while he is recollecting all of his arrows at a busy archery range. I’d leave Pee-Wee and my dog in a hot, locked car with the windows up for hours while I wandered around a mall. If he ran for Senate under the campaign slogan, “EVERYBODY GETS A FREE BAZOOKA!” I’d risk imprisonment to vote for Pee-Wee twice.
I trust him endlessly. That’s why I have no idea whether or not this show was as tremendous as I thought it was on Saturday night.
Many people are confused as to why I like this dude so much. His character is very weird—Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was a Tim Burton movie, after all—and people get hung up on the big fish story that had become of his early-90s imprisonment.
So, when people ask why I have the love of a thousand Disney movie climaxes, I have a very reasonable explanation for them: I have no idea why I like this dude so much.
I’m confused, too. And that’s part of why I like him so much. He seems to be a genuine diversion when everything seems way too big, way too confusing. Like, say, childhood. Or massive earthquakes and ceaseless war.
He’s simple yuk-comedy with potential to be a lot more. He’s like Mr. Rogers, if Mr. Rogers occasionally threw his shoes at you.
This is going to sound sort of Stockholm Syndrome-ish, but I’ll say it: I’m just glad he’s back. And I’ll say it since it’s not creepy at all.
Because here are a bunch of old women talking to him on The View. Watch how subtly he doesn’t respect their program.