Pee Wee’s Playhouse: The Christmas Special

What can be said about the greatest TV Christmas Special in history, other than it’s criminally unavailable to stream?

Like everything else in Paul Reubens’ post-modern regurgitation of 1960’s Americana and children’s television, the Christmas Special simultaneously embraces and ridicules the world of celebrity-packed TV specials. It’s hard to appreciate just how brilliant and forward-thinking this was, 32 years ago- given that today it’s impossible to read or watch anything that isn’t a self-aware, self-referential reimagining of America’s pop culture past.

But even with today’s cluttered landscape, Pee Wee’s Playhouse is still head-and-shoulders better than everything that has come since, and this Christmas Special is a high point in this already-high-pointed series. Abusing 60’s teen idols, hanging up on Oprah Winfrey, and bumping into Magic Johnson while inside a Magic Screen (they’re cousins)- every minute is packed with insanity. One can only imagine what went through some of these famous folks’ minds when reading the script.

As an added bonus, this taped-off-the-TV copy comes complete with ads from a 1988 Columbus, Ohio broadcast, proving that today’s crass commercial is tomorrow’s ironic historical statement. It also makes the hour that much more fun. Watch it during the holidays! Watch it in July! It’s good either way!

One thought on “Pee Wee’s Playhouse: The Christmas Special

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s