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Pee-wee's Playhouse #1 - Seasons 1 and 2

104 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Nov 16, 2004)
"Please retry"
$36.47 $6.42

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Paul Reubens, Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman. The madcap adventures of Pee Wee's Playhouse charmed a generation of kids with its incredibly inventive and hilarious characters, including Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the Mail Lady, Captain Carl, the King of Cartoons and so many more. Includes all 23 episodes from the first two seasons on 5 DVDs. 1986-87/color/9 hrs/NR/fullscreen.

The secret word is overdue in regard to a DVD release of the delirious Pee-Wee's Playhouse, but this boxed set, packaged with the assistance and approval of series creator and star Paul Reubens, brings back all the bizarre charm and energy of this terrific Saturday-morning series. In creating Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Reubens blended the innocence of early children's television shows with the surreal visual style of music videos and Reubens' own gleefully manic creation (Pee-Wee grew out of Reubens's stint with the legendary comic improv group the Groundlings). The end result was the rare '80s children's program that encouraged creativity and individuality (and screaming, which was the proper response whenever the "secret word" was uttered) in its younger viewers, and delivered sly, subversive humor for Pee-Wee's older fans that had seen his live shows and movies. Critics were tickled by his antics as well, and gave the show the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Children's Program in 1987 (it would also pick up numerous Emmy awards and nominations for writing, editing and art direction through its five-season run).

The five discs in Playhouse #1 include all of Pee-Wee's first- and second-season adventures (including two unaired episodes) with his puppet pals Chairry, Conky the Robot, and Pterry, as well as a host of offbeat human performers like the late Phil Hartman (who played Captain Carl and served as one of the show's writers), Laurence Fishburne (Cowboy Curtis), Natasha Lyonne (the precocious Opal), William (Blacula) Marshall as the King of Cartoons (Marshall replaced Gilbert Lewis, who reigned as the King from 1986-87), Shirley Stoler from The Honeymoon Killers as Mrs. Steve, and Law and Order's S. Epartha Merkerson as Reba the Mail Lady. Highlights include the first episode, "Ice Cream Soup," which introduces most of the Playhouse crew; "Playhouse in Outer Space," which teaches a sweet (if thoroughly cracked) lesson in friendship; and the frantic "Party," which culminates in a rousing game of Pin the Tail on the Globey. PW faithful, take note: the 1988 Christmas Special is not included here, but fret not--it's available as a separate disc. This set has no supplemental features. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Region 0 (NTSC format)
  • 23 episodes on five discs, including two "lost" shows never before released

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Reubens, John Paragon, Phil Hartman, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Carlson
  • Directors: Paul Reubens, Bill Freiberger, Guy J. Louthan, Stephen R. Johnson, Wayne Orr
  • Writers: John Paragon, George Mcgrath, Max Robert
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Run Time: 575 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002IQB3A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,459 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pee-wee's Playhouse #1 - Seasons 1 and 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 7, 2004
Has there ever been a more surreal and bizarre opening sequence to any show ever made in America than that of PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE? The Surrealists felt that one of the keys of art lay in our dreams, and the intro to this show seems like a happy nightmare of sorts. The music, Pee Wee's odd vocal interjections, the variety of visual images, the introduction of the strange group of inhabitants living in the playhouse, all combine to announce to the would-be viewer that his was a show that wasn't going to go down any path that had been traveled by any previous show.

For five seasons beginning in 1986, this was simply one of the most amazing shows TV has ever produced. Paul Reubens was amazing as Pee Wee Herman, literally a child with the appearance of an adult, who was a veritable encyclopedia of irritating habits that kids can assume, with every annoying verbal come a kid has ever used. Armed with a great group of writers, a stellar cast, and some remarkable set and character designers, this show did things that no kid's show had ever done before or has done sense, though the influence on the more anarchistic line of kid's cartoons can still be detected. I would be willing to be that the makers of shows like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS are fans of Pee Wee.

Unfortunately, this all came crashing to an end when a sex scandal caused CBS to pull the show off TV. In fact, before the scandal they had already ceased making new episodes of the show. But the incident did two things: 1) it caused CBS to cease showing the show in reruns and 2) killed off any future use of the Pee Wee character by Reubens.
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207 of 230 people found the following review helpful By J. McAndrew on September 14, 2004
This years edition of the show may have all the episodes but it's lacking in the special features department. According to the site there will be another edition coming out in 2005. The 2005 edition will be chocked full of heavenly goodness. It is being produced with the help of the great Paul Reubens. The 2005 addition will contain all 5 seasons in one handy-dandy boxed set and everybody listening..........have audio commentary with Paul Reubens himself. Woo-hoo! If you are a hard-core fan of the show you may want to just wait till next year when the better edition is released. Until then, thanks for reading my review.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nic on December 2, 2004
This is an absolute classic, that has been awarded numerous Emmys and critical acclaim. It's a show that both kids and adults can have a great time watching. Paul Reubens is an underrated genius, imo, who unforunately had some 'bad luck' along the way. I was sorry to see the series go, due to CBS's decision. Not many people were aware at the time that the Pee Wee's Playhouse theme song was sung by noneother than the underrated and extremely talented singer Cyndi Lauper, who used the pseudonym "Ellen Shaw." This is definitely one to own.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Sam Adams on November 11, 2004
A box set containing all 45 episodes PLUS audio commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and other extras is scheduled for next year. Real fans will want to wait, if they can stand it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Melody Siroty on November 16, 2004
Verified Purchase
A must have for any DVD library, this groundbreaking, innovative series, Pee-wee's Playhouse, was created and produced by the genius of Paul Reubens who also stars as pop culture icon, Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee's Playhouse is marked by a campy sensibility and frequent use of double entendre, engaging viewers of all ages.

Incorporating clips from vintage cartoons, 3-D animation, hand puppets, marionettes, and a cast of endearingly eccentric memorable characters, Pee-wee's Playhouse is non-stop fun that might best be described as a wild mix of Mr. Rogers, The Wizard of Oz and MTV. Each episode Pee-wee Herman welcomes you into his kaleidoscope, fantasy clubhouse for adventure through a labyrinth of zany characters and sci-fi inventions. Music for the shows was provided by cutting edge artists such as Mark Mothersbaugh, Todd Rundgren, Danny Elfman, and Van Dyke Parks.

This set of DVD releases divides all 5 years (45 episodes) of the Playhouse into 2 affordable box sets (which includes 8 lost episodes) in all their side splitting hilarity sparkling in never before seen DVD clarity.

Also, check out the newly released DVD of Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special -- a charming, star-studded Christmas classic.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Levi on October 15, 2005
This tv show had a strong effect on me as a child, probably not unlike the effect Gumby had on my dad growing up as it's totally surreal in similar kind of way. The humor is unique, and the variety is astounding; from claymation and other cut-out and hand drawn animations, to the acting and puppetry, I can't imagine the chore it must've been to crank out an episode every week (although the exorbatantly long intro was proabably designed to take off some of that pressure). Truly, this is a entertainment masterpiece.

With my personal opinon about the show out the way, I have to say, I'm a little dissapointed by the dvd box sets. Not only are they devoid of any special features (save a few "lost" episodes), but the editing is rather annoying as well as you cannot skip the intro theme without skipping part of the first scene. This makes watching several episodes in a row kind of tedious as, despite its quality, the intro's high pitched vocals and length will start to get to you and you'll want to start fast forwarding though it. While this is a minimal gripe it could have been avoided.

The quality of Pee-Wee's Playhouse alone demands five stars and since this is the only available dvd set it's essential for fans with some expendable income who want to get re-aquainted with it. The quality of this particular collection, however, deserves a pretty low score, but i'm going to be generous and give the collection as whole a 4/5 for the show's merits alone.
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