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Trivia / Pee-wee's Playhouse

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  • 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.
  • Defictionalization: Pee-wee's scooter was reproduced as a full-size replica for kids, as was Pee-wee's ventriloquist dummy, Billy Baloney.
  • The Merch: Though normally known for die-cast model cars, Matchbox produced a line of 5" figurines and a full-sized Playhouse playset for themnote . The company also produced a talking puppet of Pee-Wee's porcine pal Vance when Big Top Pee-wee came out.
    • Doing It for the Art: Paul didn't want the series to appear Merchandise-Driven, and licensed goods didn't hit shelves until the second season. He set in place many rules for potential licensors, most notably that the toys should be suitable for children of any age.
  • 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.
    • Cool Cat is not to be confused with that one or that cringey one.
  • Schedule Slip: There was supposed to be a full 10-episode 3rd season in 1988, but due to conflicts with the WGA Strike and the filming of Big Top Peewee, Paul Reubens could only deliver a Christmas Special and two regular episodes to CBS in late 1988 when the series briefly returned to production. And even stranger, one of these two regular episodes aired early in 1989, while the other one aired in the fall of that year with the season 4 lineup.
  • The Character Died with Him: After Phil Hartman was shot and killed by his deranged wife, Paul Reubens decided not to recast him for the new stage show out of respect. All traits of being Miss Yvonne's love interest were given to Cowboy Curtis instead.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • The King of Cartoons was played by Gilbert Lewis in Season 1 and William H. Marshall in the other four seasons.
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    • 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.
    • In the first season also, Gregory Harrison voiced Conky 2000, but from the second season on, Conky was voiced by Kevin Carlson.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, CBS was interested in doing a sixth season, but Paul 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, at least for a time).
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    • Originally CBS wanted an animated series based on Pee-wee Herman, but Paul Reubens insisted that it be live-action to fully pay homage to the classic children's shows it was emulating. NBC and Hanna-Barbera eventually tried and failed to compete with their own animated series based on a different comedy skit about a Manchild character to with The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley.
    • The series almost began life as an adaptation of Louis Sachar's Sideways Stories from Wayside School, with Pee-wee hosting the episodes. In the end, the concept...ahem...fell by the wayside, but the ideas that were generated for School then went over to Playhouse.


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