The Once and Future Pee-wee | The New York Times…….

Mr. Herman

Hermanphiles rejoice!  Pee Wee Herman is back.  Could a new adventure be far behind?

But to a public that remembers him with intense affection, Pee-wee is indelible. He has even become an unlikely fashion role model for a new generation of Hermanphiles who parade around town in slickly updated interpretations of their idol’s gray geek suits.

Mr. Reubens remains the hero of legions of post-adolescents and their parents, who recall him as an anarchic imp, a shrewd merchant of anticonformity. He routinely dispenses his signature at autograph shows.

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TV Funhouse DVD…….

"But the more the society advances toward a super-symbolic economy, the more important it becomes to permit an extremely wide range of dissent and free expression.  The more any government chokes off or chills this rich, free flow of data, information, and knowledge–including wild ideas, innovation, and even political dissent–the more it slows down the advance of the new economy."  -Alvin Toffler, PowerShift: pg.362

TV Fun House

Good comedy shocks you into looking at the world in a whole new way.  Steve Martin said it best with his observation that, "Comedy is not pretty".  However, I would add, it certainly is effective.

Case in point, Robert Smigel–who creates cartoons which mix biting social commentary with the benign world of 1970’s Saturday morning cartoons.  

From the spoof of Saddam and Osama as a modern day version of The Wonder Twins-who defy American capture- to an Anna Nicole Smith inspired Smurfette Show, Mr. Smigel goes after the powerful and ridiculous with equal fury. 

Milk and Cookies delivers a sample of the goods

SNL TV Funhouse Conspiracy Theory Rock Censored By NBC, Only Aired Once…….

TV Funhouse was a comedy short run in the middle of Saturday Night Live.  Conspiracy Theory Rock seemed to strike a nerve by pointing out some of the corporate shenanigans pulled by all the major TV networks.  The short ran once and was never seen again.  Evidently, the mega-media corporations lack a sense of humor when it is at their own expense.

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Mac is a nine year old boy who has an imaginary friend named Blooregard Q. Kazoo, or Bloo for short.  Bloo is selfish and smart.  He likes to break rules just to see what will happen.  For reasons which are unclear, Bloo is not allowed to live with Mac.  Instead, Mac has made arrangements for Bloo to live at Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends. 

One morning Mac wakes up and there is a new imaginary friend in his bed–Cheese.  Now, Mac has to break the news to Bloo.  Bloo is none too pleased to have a new brother, one who would politely called challenged.   Bloo is even more outraged to learn Cheese will now be living with him at Fosters.

Cheese is a work of art.  He is the perfect balance of five year old selfishness and uninhibited imagination.  Cheese likes cereal, chocolate milk, and bunnies.  He likes to play cowboy and is lactose intolerant.  He perfectly captures the oblivious selfishness of small children.  It is hilarious to watch Cheese irritate the other characters.  No one knows how to deal with Cheese.  This is especially true for Bloo, who gets to experience a little of his own medicine.

Here is the funniest exchange between Bloo and Cheese when they argue over how best to paint the go-cart.  If you like this, check out more episodes of Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends on Cartoon Network.  I think this is one of the most imaginative and entertaining shows on television.  Prepare to be inspired.

Fill and Content…….

Spongebob Ladybugpants (c)SFR

Ocassionally, when I want a few minutes of escape I will mistakenly turn on the television in search of relief. Instead, I find myself suddenly tossed into a fast-paced, high-energy loop, bombarded by the repeating messages: buy a cellphone now, talk on it in your new SUV and drive as fast as you can to the nearest fastfood resturant, which happens to be open all night.

I like watching television. I will stick my neck out further and suggest there are shows on which are imaginative and even inspired. So, program the VCR or PVR, rent the disc or buy the box-set, it is time to enjoy the fruit of the airwaves without the harrassment.

First up, SpongeBob SquarePants! SpongeBob is the rare pop-culture phenomen which deserves all the sucess it has received. The show is funny with a subversive edge. Case in point would be the episode, Sailor Mouth, in which SpongeBob and Patrick learn a dirty word and keep repeating it until Mr. Crabs sets them straight. If a cartoon can make an adult feel guilty about their own use of "sentence enhancers" there are gifted people working on that program.

Take a look. Part One. Part Two.

The Ultimate Anti-Environment…….

"We have now become aware of the possibility of arranging the entire human environment as a work of art, as a teaching machine designed to maximize perception and make everyday learning a process of discovery." –Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage


I love Pee-Wee’s Playhouse so much that I just might want to marry it. The show, which is now available as a DVD box set, is a creative powerhouse. If you are lacking inspiration or feeling drained of your creative mojo help has arrived.

There is so much to love. The show is bursting with a campy exuberance which unifies all of the other elements. The eye-popping set is a perfect shrine to 50’s Americana. The retro musical sensibility further transports the viewer into the land of play and possibility. Name another tv show which has its credits open to a re-worked Quiet Village courtesy of Mark Mothersbaugh and the theme song belted out by Cyndi Lauper?

Cleverly, the story and characters are a mix of imaginative play. Something you would expect to see if you found a child playing alone with her toys.

The human actors interact with inanimate objects which have feelings, hopes and dreams. The furniture talks. Toys feel left out and at times the puppets seem more real that the humans they share the playhouse with.

If this wasn’t enough, the show is overflowing with talent. Laurence Fishburne plays Cowboy Curtis. Phil Hartman does a terrific job as the crusty Captain Carl. Miss Yvonne done by Lynn Marie Stewart is a perfect blend of naughty and nice. Finally, S. Epatha Merkerson provides the ideal straight woman as Reba the mail lady. What’s not to love?

Playlist track four: Cyndi Lauper with Girls just want to have fun from Twelve Deadly Cyns