Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pee-wee's Playhouse comes to DVD and Blu-ray!

I was a kid of the 80's - early 90's. Every Saturday morning, I'd get up, grab my bowl of technicolor cereal and plop down in front of our living room TV (which still had knobs, actually!) and watch Pee-wee's Playhouse.

I loved screaming the Secret Word... all day. Much to my parents' chagrin. I thought Miss Yvonne was the prettiest woman on TV (sorry, Murphy Brown). I wanted my very own big blue talking chair. Life was good.

Thanks to my friends at Shout! Factory, Pee-wee showed up in my mailbox for review as they celebrate the first time the series is on DVD (Seasons 1 and 2, available at Wal-Mart) and Blu-ray (Complete Series), which both hit the shelves on October 21st, 2014. I got the DVD version. It took some convincing at first, but TV Boy agreed to let me watch it... and he is hooked. Neither of the Pee-wee movies appealed to him (Big Top Pee-wee is on Netflix right now!), but he is in love with Pee-wee's Playhouse. My 80's mom heart swells with pride!

In fact, he is so hooked on Pee-wee, TV Boy built Pee-wee's Playhouse in Minecraft. No lie. With about a thousand villager "Pee-wee's". Yeah, this is serious.

There were a few things I remembered well from the show:

©Shout! Factory.
  • Pterri being afraid of the thunder and hiding under the bed
  • Pee-wee's awesome scooter
  • Shouting the Secret Word
  • Jambi's "Mecha lecha hi, mecha hiney ho!"
  • The Penny cartoons
  • That the King of Cartoons had an announcer for the first season, Dixie
  • That Pee-wee had a pretty obvious crush on Miss Yvonne
  • Captain Carl was played by Phil Hartman
  • Pee-wee had the coolest phone EVER
  • Randy was a jerk
  • Pee-wee married a fruit salad, like, for real. Because he loved it so much.
However, there were definitely a few things that slipped my mind, or that my young, naive self had no idea about:

This is a literal screen-shot... took a pic of the TV with my phone.
Aw, Reba! We love you! ©Shout! Factory.
  • Randy smoked in an episode! The message was fantastic, but holy cow can you imagine trying to get that past parents today?
  • Cowboy Curtis was actually Laurence Fishburne (billed as Larry, even)! And he was only in his mid-20's! How did I forget that?! Fishburne has some fantastic things to say about the cast and crew in the DVD special features (also available on the Blu-ray set).
  • Reba the Mail Lady (S. Epatha Merkerson) went on to be on Law & Order for pretty much ever.
  • The theme song is sung by Cyndi Lauper! I didn't know this until watching the special features, but wow! It doesn't even sound like her. 
  • The music for the show was done by Mark Mothersbaugh from DEVO, like all other great kids' shows of that era. Of course. The man is a legend. 

Aw look, little Laurence Fishburne! ©Shout! Factory.

I'm happy to have such an influential piece of my childhood in my home that I can pop on whenever I want to. Especially since TV Boy looks at me sideways when I tell him about the plight that was having to wake up at a specific time to watch my favorite shows and how you could only record them if you had set up your VCR and had room on the tape-over tape that lived in it. I'm older than DVR, and that blows the boy's mind. We had it rough, you guys. ROUGH.

You can pre-order the Blu-ray set on Amazon!

*Disclosure: I received a copy of the Seasons 1 and 2 DVD for review purposes. Please see my Disclosure tab for more information.

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