Trivia: Pee-Wee's Playhouse

  • All-Star Cast: The Christmas Special. Its special guests included Cher, Grace Jones, a very young k.d. lang, Charo, Joan Rivers, Earvin "Magic" Johnson (cousin of Magic Screen), and Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello.
  • Channel Hop: Started out on CBS, then aired in reruns on FOX Family (as part of its afternoon kids' show line-up "The Basement"note ) and made its rounds on [adult swim], where, despite being a live-action show and airing during a time when Cartoon Network abandoned the "cartoons" and aired live-action shows, did find a following with those who remembered the show from their childhood and were now old enough to see and laugh at the risque jokes.
  • Defictionalization: Pee-wee's scooter was reproduced as a full-size replica for kids, as was Pee-wee's ventriloquist dummy, Billy Baloney.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Laurence Fishburne as Cowboy Curtis, S. Epatha Merkerson as Reba the Mail Lady, Jimmy Smits as the Conky Repairman, Phil Hartman as Cpt Carl (who played Captain Carl on The Pee-Wee Herman Show comedy special and appeared on the season 11 Saturday Night Live episode that Pee-wee Herman hosted as an extra [before becoming a cast member a year later]), Larry "Bud" Melman from David Letterman...
    • Not to mention Bernard Fox as Dr. Jinga-Janga, the wish doctor, who tends to Jambi the Genie when he falls sick. This doubles as an Actor Allusion, as Fox's character is alternately a parody and a homage to his role as Dr. Bombay, the witch doctor from Bewitched.
    • John Paragon (Jambi) also had a memorable supporting role in UHF.
    • The second King of Cartoons is also known as Blacula.
    • This also applies to people working behind the scenes as well. Both John Singleton and Rob Zombie worked as production assistants. In addition, many of the animations, such as Penny, the Dinosaur Family, and (maybe) the Toys in the first two seasons, were produced by a pre-Wallace & Gromit Aardman Animations. Also, Cyndi Lauper sang the theme song (under an alias and doing a spot-on Betty Boop impression), while Mark Mothersbaugh co-composed it. Mothersbaugh, Todd Rundgren, Danny Elfman, The Residents, Dweezil Zappa (Frank Zappa's son), George Clinton, and Van Dyke Parks (a frequent collaborator of Brian Wilson) also provided incidental music for the show.
    • 'Sunny'' fans know Miss Yvonne better as Bonnie Kelly, Charlie's mom.
      • She was also the actress playing the Mother Superior in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
      • More recently, she also appeared on an episode of Austin & Ally, as Miss Suzy, Ally Dawson's old teacher and now the proprietor of the restaurant Suzy's Soups.
    • Elvis of the Playhouse Gang is Shaun Weiss of Mighty Ducks and Heavy Weights fame, Opal is Natasha Lyonne who later appeared in But I'm a Cheerleader and now appears as Nicky on Orange Is The New Black, and Lil' Punkin later became Curly Sue.
    • Pee-wee's Japanese pen pal Oki Doki, played by Joey Miyashima, later went on to play Principal Matsui in the High School Musical series of films.
  • The Merch: Though normally known for die-cast model cars, Matchbox produced a line of 5" figurines and a full-sized Playhouse playset for them. The company also produced a talking puppet of Pee-Wee's porcine pal Vance when Big Top Pee Wee came out.
  • Name's the Same: The Mr. Kite of Pee-wee's Playhouse is not the one from The Beatles' song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", though he is named after some 19th century British circus performer named William Kite, whose mention in the Pablo Fanque Circus Royal Poster became the basis for the song.
  • The Other Darrin: The King of Cartoons was played by Gilbert Lewis in Season 1 and William H. Marshall in the other four seasons.
    • In the first season, Pterri was voiced by John Paragon (who portrays Jambi), but in the second season, he was voiced by George McGrath (who voices Globey). From the third season on, however, Paragon again voiced Pterri.
  • What Could Have Been: According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, CBS was interested in doing a sixth season, but Reubens said he felt worn out and wanted to try other things. His infamous 1991 arrest for indecent exposure and lewd conduct in a porno theater in Sarasota, Florida happened mere months later, but contrary to rumors, Reubens and others say that the show getting canceled was because Reubens decided to end the show, not because of the arrest (though the reruns were taken off the air and Pee Wee Herman's mainstream popularity was tarnished).
    • Originally CBS wanted an animated series based on Pee-Wee Herman, but Paul Reubens suggested a live-action kids' show instead. Coincidentally, NBC would do an animated show featuring a Man Child character as competition to Pee-Wee's Playhouse (The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley, featuring Martin Short's spastic, cow-licked optimist from the last two seasons of SCTV and his only season on Saturday Night Live).