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Paul ReubensThe titular character and host of Pee-wee's Playhouse.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Playhouse gang learned the hard way that, while Pee-wee is extremely childlike, he will assert his authority when necessary.note
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: It helps that he lives in Cloud Cuckoo Land
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pee-wee is capable of genuine heroics when the situation calls for it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly slips into this at times, generally when dealing with the more obnoxious characters.
- Drunk with Power: Pee-wee often becomes this when playing games where he has the center responsibility and takes such way too seriously, to the point of abusing the other characters (i.e., a head librarian in "Love That Story", an office boss in "Let's Play Office", etc.).
- Excited Kids' Show Host: Pretty much. So much so that Paul Reubens eventually began suffering from exhaustion.
- Every Episode Ending: At the end of each episodes, He lifts an iron (and later, cranked the statue's arm) to open the secret door that reveals his scooter. Gets on and gives out one last speech and ending with the Secret word before heading out. During the second, and beyond that point, Pee-Wee started wearing a decorated Cyclop Helmet. This was due to the new Helmet law in 1987.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Towards Ricardo.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Cowboy Curtis.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Pee-wee can be downright terrible at times, but this is clearly more out of childish naivety than any real malice as he's shown to be a nice guy most of the time.
- The Leader: Of the Playhouse gang. He also tends to take charge when the cast are put into crisis situations.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He becomes more focused when the situation darkens.
- Manchild: Obviously.
- Mr. Imagination
- One of the Kids: Some of his closest friends are little kids.
- Papa Wolf: Towards the Playhouse gang. Generally harming them is one of the only ways to see him act like an adult.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive guy to Captain Carl and Cowboy Curtis' manly man.
- Ship Tease: With Miss Yvonne.
- Silence, You Fool!: Says this to the Playhouse denizens in "Love That Story" (due to playing a librarian), but shouts a more appropriate line in "Pee-Wee Catches a Cold".Pee-wee: STOP ALL THAT SCREAMING! CAN'T YOU PEOPLE HAVE A LITTLE CONSIDERATION?!
- Supreme Chef: While his snack recipes are ridiculously simple, the entire cast will always gush about how great it is.
- Unknown Rival: He views Ricardo as a rival. Ricardo doesn't.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: His dynamic with both Reba the Mail Lady and Randy. With the former he's unaware, with the latter he's considerably snarkier.
Jambi the Genie
John ParagonThe floating head of a genie who lives inside a box in Pee-Wee's playhouse.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: He has green skin.
- Benevolent Genie
- Catch-Phrase: He has several.
- "Wish, did somebody say wish?"
- His magic words. "Mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho."
- "The wish is granted, long live Jambi."
- Once an Episode: He can grant Pee-wee (or anyone else) one wish per day. The reason is given in the episode "Sick? Did Someone Say Sick?".
Lynn Marie StewartThe most beautiful woman in Puppetland.
- The Chick
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Less so than Pee-wee though.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Some of her outfits have white feather trim.
- Happy Holidays Dress: Wore one in the Christmas special.
- Informed Attractiveness: With a title like that it's hard not to have this.
- In Love with Love: Pretty quick to get swept off her feet by just about anyone.
- Nice Girl: Generally shown to be an incredibly kind person.
- Pink Means Feminine/ True Blue Femininity: Her dresses are generally one of these colors.
- Ship Tease: With just about everyone, though most prominently Pee-wee and Cowboy Curtis.
- Smarter Than You Look: Suggested a few times to be an absolute genius.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to Reba's tomboy.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Miss Yvonne is routinely stated (by Pee-wee and others) to be the most beautiful woman in Puppetland, where the Playhouse is apparently situated.
Phil HartmanA character who originated in the stage show, who also appeared in the first season
- Added Alliterative Appeal
- Badass Beard
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's always rarin' for a fight.
- Cool Old Guy: He gets along pretty well with Pee-wee.
- Father Neptune
- Grumpy Old Man: Tends to be a bit of a grump.
- Large Ham
- Put on a Bus: He's only seen in Season One and the original stage show.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Pee-wee's sensitive guy. (One of two)
- Added Alliterative Appeal
- Adorkable: Gets flustered around Miss Yvonne pretty easily.
- Alliterative Name
- Black Best Friend: Pee-wee's.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Pee-wee. Emphasized in the camping episode, which is almost exclusively the two of them paling around.
- The Lancer: To Pee-wee.
- Large Ham
- Nice Guy: Generally a very sweet, agreeable person.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly man to Pee-wee's sensitive guy. (One of two)
- Ship Tease: With Miss Yvonne.
Fireman DerrickA Firefighter who appeared on the 4th season ("Rebarella" and "Fire in the Playhouse").
- One-Shot Character: Well, He only appeared twice, One where when he went on a date with Reba the Mail Lady. They couldn't go to the Fireman's Ball because the ballroom burned down. The other time is when there was a fire in the playhouse (well, Burned homemade bread after Randy ruined the bread by setting the oven to 700 degrees). Derrick gives everybody a lecture about fire safety.
Suzanne KentPee-wee's nosey- but kind-hearted neighbor.
- Ambiguously Jewish: As revealed in the Christmas special.
- Drama Queen: Tends to blow things way out of proportion and immediately spread rumors about them.
- Gossipy Hens: Tends to cause trouble for the Playhouse by spreading gossip.
- Large Ham
- Nice Lady: Especially in comparison to Mrs. Steve, Mrs. Renee is a very fun person to be around.
- Nosy Neighbor: Tends to butt into Pee-wee's house unannounced and is quite a gossip, though Pee-wee doesn't seem to mind.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Mrs. Steve, though only to the extent that they're both the Nosy Neighbor.
- Third-Person Person: She does this occasionally.
Shirley StolerPee-wee's other, much less nice neighbor.
- Butt-Monkey: Pee-wee pulls pranks on her quite a bit.
- Cranky Neighbor: Overlapped with Nosy Neighbor
- Grumpy Bear
- Jerkass: Especially compared to the rest of the cast.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's still occasionally shown to care about Pee-wee at least somewhat.
- Nosy Neighbor: She once snuck into Pee-wee's house when she thought he wasn't home!
- Put on a Bus: Only appears in the first season
Reba The Mail Lady
- Beta Couple: With her boyfriend fireman Derek to whoever Miss Yvonne is currently obsessed with.
- Butt-Monkey: Tends to get dragged into Pee-wee's antics unwillingly.
- Character Development: She begins the show completely confused and even terrified of Pee-wee and his bizarre world but later on becomes considerably more adjusted to it and friendly with Pee-wee.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Ms. Fanservice: In "Rebarella", after Miss Yvonne gives her a makeover to give her a dress and a hairdo to look like Miss Yvonne herself.
- Only Sane Woman: Easily the most normal character in the show and was early one completely stupefied by the absurdity around her.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Reba is rarely seen out of uniform. There have been at least two exceptions, however. First, she dresses up nicely in "Party" (Pee-wee lampshades that he has hardly ever seen her out of uniform). But that's nothing compared to the second time she dressed up: in "Rebarella", in preparation for her date with Derek, Miss Yvonne gives her a beauty makeover so that she looks a lot more like Yvonne herself! When Pee-wee first sees Reba's new look, he is appropriately agape with amazement.
- The Smart Guy: Tends to be the most logical thinker of the cast, not like it's hard.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Miss Yvonne's girly girl.
- Unfazed Everyman: Later on begins to just roll with the craziness around her.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Pee-wee. She does like him, he's just hard to put up with.
Vic TrevinoA dashing Latino Soccer Player who is a friend and rival of Pee-wee's.
- The Ace: Much to the annoyance of Pee-wee, Ricardo is great at everything.
- Chick Magnet: If he and Miss Yvonne are in the same episode, she will fall for him.
- Latin Lover
- Mr. Fanservice: His main purpose is to provide eye candy.
- Nice Guy: Always incredibly kind and helpful to Pee-wee.
- Satellite Character: Generally only around for Pee-wee to be jealous of.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Tito
Johann CarloThe King of Cartoons' snarky cab driver.
- Ambiguously Gay: Though intended to be a representation of homosexual and/or bisexual women, Miss Yvonne offered to give Dixie a makeover so she can possibly find a boyfriend, and is very close friends with Pee-wee.
- Deadpan Snarker: To a truly hilarious degree.
- The Driver
- Fanfare: done traditionally on a trumpet, then followed by a jazz solo.
- Grumpy Bear: To and extent. She hates her job, but seems to like both Pee-wee and the King of Cartoons.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rather surly, but still pretty nice to Pee-wee and the King.
- Joisey: Has a rather thick accent.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: In "Party!", she is seen wearing a light peach party gown with diamond earrings. All the guys begin hitting on her.
- Put on a Bus: She's only in the first season.note
- The Stoic: Pretty much always has a neutral expression on her face and a flat voice.
The King of Cartoons
Gilbert Lewis (Season 1) and William H. Marshall (all others)The King of all cartoons and the only authority figure in Puppet Land.
- Big Good: More or less fills this position.
- Cool Old Guy: He is the King of Cartoons after all.
- Modest Royalty: He's the King of Cartoonland, but is perfectly okay with hanging out with Pee-wee on a regular basis.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Pretty much the only one around.
- Royal Decree: right before showing a cartoon"Let the cartoon begin!"
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He joins in one Pee-wee's antics on occasion.
The Playhouse Gang
Season 1: Natasha Lyonne (Opal), Shaun Weiss (Elvis), Diane Yang (Cher) Season 2: Vaughn Tyree Jelks (Fabian), Alisan Porter (Lil' Punkin), Stephanie Walski (Rapunzel)A group of kids who drop by the Playhouse from time to time.
- Big Brother Worship: Towards Pee-wee, whether it's a good thing or not.
- Kid-Appeal Character: More or less their role.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The three kids from the first season (Elvis, Cher, and Opal) were replaced by three other kids in the second (Fabian, Rapunzel, and Lil' Punkin).
Tito The Lifeguard
Roland RodriguezThe Playhouse's handsome lifeguard for Pee-Wee's swimming pool and frequent object of Miss Yvonne's affections.
- Ambiguously Gay: Though intended to be a representation of homosexual men, Miss Yvonne flirted with him in the first episode.
- Mr. Fanservice: More or less his only purpose.
- Put on a Bus: Like Captain Carl and Mrs. Steve, he's only in season one.
- Satellite Character: Fills out the same role as Ricardo does later on.
- Shirtless Scene: All the time, except for "Party".
George Mc GrathA malevolent but lonely alien who captures the Playhouse denizens so he can have "friends".
- Force Field: Uses this to capture Pee-wee and recapture Yvona.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood
- Silence, You Fool!: Says this during a Picture Phone call so he can inform Herman of his intent to capture him and the Playhouse denizens.
- Viewing Globe: He uses this to peer into the Playhouse and hypnotize Conky into making his own name the Secret Word.
Allison MorkA talking blue chair.
George McGrathA white chair that resembles a dog and is next to Chairy
- Don't Say a Word: But does occasionally bark.
- Recurring Extra: He's used and referred to far less than Chairry, despite always being right next to her.
George McGrathA life-size sophisticated cow puppet.
- Grande Dame: She has shades of this.
John Paragon (seasons 1, 3 onward), George McGrath (season 2)A small green pterodactyl puppet.
- Berserk Button: Don't call him a baby!
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs
- Flanderization: He was originally called Pterry-Dactyl and was Captain Carl's right-hand pet (similar to a Pirate Parrot) in the stage show. Later became Pee-wee's pet.
- Odd Friendship: With Globey.
- Ptero Soarer
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Randy was his.
Wayne WhiteA red-headed marionette, who acts like stereotypical 1950s greaser/school bully. Conceived as kind of an "Anti-Howdy Doody".
- Designated Villain: Not a villain per se, but probably as close to one as can be depicted on this show. Granted, he could be very, very cruel.
- Evil Redhead: Not evil, just unpleasant.
- Manipulative Bastard: Once tricked Pee-Wee into making a prank call, telling him he wouldn't get in trouble. Also, claimed himself host of the show when Pee-Wee was out and made everybody bark like dogs instead of screaming during the secret words.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Mainly toward Pterri
- Took a Level in Kindness: Rarely.
Conky (AKA Conky 2000)A robot made from various objects like a turntable, a boombox, and camera flashbulbs. He provides Pee-Wee with the secret word of the day, but helped Pee-wee out with other tasks occasionally and is his very close friend.
Gregory Harrison (season 1), Kevin Carlson (season 2 onward)
- Homemade Inventions: Implied. His head looks something like a flashbulb camera with two flashbulbs for "eyes", and his torso is a modified "ghetto blaster" boombox that was well known at the time show was made, while his lower half is a record player. He also has a right hand that appears to be a food holder.
- Catch-Phrase: Conky 2000! Ready to assist you, Pee-Wee!
- Robot Buddy: Herman and Conky are very good friends, but sometimes he can be a bit abusive to Conky (not intentionally though). He even was in "mourning" with the others when Conky was malfunctioning.
- Speech Impediment: He stutters quite frequently, Max Headroom-style.
Alison MonkA colorful screen that contains a fantasy land inside.
- Cyberspace: Contains some kind of magical fantasy land inside of her.
- Robot Buddy: In a very special, cute way. For example, she foreshadows GPS in the first episode, and can play games like checkers and tic-tac-toe.
Wyane WhiteA pink kite with glasses and a bow tie who would often fly above the playhouse. Pee-Wee would often ask him about the weather.
Rick HeitzmanA yellow window that resides next to the playhouse's entrance. He often lets everyone know when someone is about to enter.
- Catch-Phrase: "Someone's coming!"
Wayne White, Ric Heitzman, George McGrathA trio of flowers next to the door. They'll announce whoever is coming inside, which includes singing the King of Cartoons' theme song.
- Catch-Phrase: After Mr. Window's catchphrase, they'll announce who's entering the door.Mr. Window: Someone's coming!Flowers: It's Cowboy Curtis!
- Cross-Dressing Voices: They look and sound feminine, yet they are all voiced by males (White, Heitzman and McGrath).
Ric Heitzman (Purple), Wayne White (Yellow)Two wisecracking fish who regularly make jokes at Pee-wee's expense (and everyone else's for that matter).
- Statler and Waldorf: The fish act as this show's equivalent of the two old guys.
GlobeyA spinning globe with a face and arms. He gives out the locations of countries and cities by pointing to them on his head.
- Catch-Phrase: Whenever the name of a country or city comes up, or something that just sounds like one ("Grease" becomes "Greece", "Tampon" becomes "Tampa") he'll say "That's over here!" and then point on his head the location of said country or city.
- Maurice Chevalier Accent: He has a vaguely French accent.
- Odd Friendship: With Pterri.
The Puppetland Band
Wayne White (Dirty Dog), Ric Heitzman (Cool Cat), Alison Mork (Chicky Baby)Featuring three beatniks (Dirty Dog, Cool Cat and Chicky Baby), the Puppetland Band provided music and rhymes for the Playhouse.
- Alliterative Name: Except Chicky Baby.
- Nice Hat: Dirty Dog has a bowler hat and both Cool Cat and Chicky Baby have berets.
- Odd Name Out: Chicky Baby.
- Rhymes on a Dime
The Dinosaur Family
George Mc Grath (Red), Alison Mork (Light Blue), Ric Heitzman (Blue), Kevin Carlson (Pink)A clan of stop-motion dinosaurs with live in a mouse hole.
- Ambiguously Jewish: They celebrate Hanukkah in the Christmas episode.
- Everythings Betterwith Dinosaurs
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Or, red girl and blue boy in this case. Inverted by their parents, however.
Kevin CarlsonA sentient piece of the floor, discovered by the others at the start of the second season.
- Ascended Extra- literally!
Kevin CarlsonA talking clock in the shape of the United States.
- Speech Impediment: He has a noticeable lisp when speaking.
El HombreA Latin Spanish speaking animated super hero who appeared in the 4th and 5th season.
- Fun with Subtitles: This segment uses English subtitles so that viewers can understand.
AntsThey live in the ant farm next to the video phone.
- Don't Say a Word: They don't speak. Instead, They make resemble to sentence with words that Pee-Wee and other characters can read. (For example: In the episode Mystery!, When Pee-Wee ask them, What are they doing? The Ants respond with the message that reads "Hanging Around" and Everybody screamed because "Around" was the secret word).
SalesmanA horrifying giant-headed salesman who would come to Pee-Wee's door to try and sell him something, only for Pee-wee to scream and slam the door on him.
- Horrifying the Horror / Catchphrase Interruptus: A couple of times, the salesman was scared off partway through his spiel—once when Roger the Monster answered, and once when Pee-Wee answered the door while his head was invisible.
- Once an Episode / Running Gag:"I'm going door to door to make you this incredible offer!"
- Put on a Bus: Only appears in the first season.
- Psycho Strings: Whenever he appears.
RefrigeratorThe various food products in Pee-Wee's refrigerator have various antics when he needs to get a snack or an ingredient to make a snack with. At least one or two episodes also involve Pee-Wee's freezer as well.
Toy ShelfOnly appearing in the first season, the toys on Pee-wee's toy shelf also get into various antics. Replaced by Clocky beginning with the second season. However, in the 2 episodes ('Mystery and Tango Time) of the 5th Season, The toy shelf was relocated between the video phone and the ant farm.
Avriel HillmanA claymation girl with pennies for eyes who appears in her own segment talking about her experiences.
Gergory Harrison (Season 1), Kevin Carlson (Season 2)A hand with eyes and a mouth who tells knock-knock jokes. He appeared Once an Episode in the first season but only made occasional appearances in the second season onwards.
Magic GlassesA pair of sunglasses with a monkey head that shows Pee-wee various archival movie and TV footage, although in one second season episode (his only appearance that season), he distorted Pee-wee's vision making him run wild around the playhouse. Otherwise made occasional appearances in the first season, and a limited number of appearances afterward.
Wayne WhiteA green cyclops monster with two mouths.
- One-Shot Character: Not quite, He only appears twice, In Monster in the Playhouse, and Pajama Party.
The Talking CactusA Cactus who appeared at the end of Let's Play Office. As they put the cactus next to the three flowers, He told Pee-Wee and Cowboy Curtis "I will stick around, But don't needle me!"
- One-Shot Character: That's right, he only appeared in Let's Play Office.