Friday, March 4, 2011

Paging Mr. Herman, Mr. P.W. Herman

I don't generally use this blog to plug products, or people, or productions I think people should watch. And Lord knows I've never been paid by anyone to say or suggest anything. But today, I want to stop and give a grand ol' Mommy shout-out to the great Pee-wee Herman (who, by the way, is almost 60 years old).

It is true that I have always loved him and his shows. I remember having recorded the made-for-adults stage play "The Pee-wee Herman Show" on our VCR when I was a kid and watching it so many times I could recite whole parts of it. The day I put together that the hilarious Phil Hartman and Captain Carl were one and the same, I honestly believed that Hollywood was a decent place where good people worked hard for the sole purpose of entertaining me. But then Phil Hartman was senselessly murdered and Pee-wee brought on his own demise and well, things hadn't been quite as magical since.

But the magic still exists! Pee-wee is back on my radar because I happened upon DVDs of his made-for-kids show "Pee-wee's Playhouse" at the library. I know I recently wrote about how my kids don't watch much TV. But honestly, if they wanted to stay up until midnight in a "Play All" Pee-wee frenzy, I'd let them. This show is even better than I remember.

First of all, you probably don't even realize who all is in it. Laurence Fishburn, S. Epatha Merkenson (also know [by me] as "that lady from 'Law & Order'"), and the actress who plays Charlie's mom in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Okay, perhaps I've lost some of you here. But a star-studded cast notwithstanding, the show is still an across-the-board winner.

First and foremost, it is hilarious. The kids crack up over it; and, because it's written on two levels, my husband and I also laugh at every episode. Secondly, it is a lesson in imagination. You know how high that is on my agenda, and well, this show sells it. Pee-wee has fun no matter what he does. And the vast majority of his fun is based in pretend play. It's also wholesome and a wee bit educational.

It's a show I feel good about having my kids watch. So good that I have borrowed the DVDs no fewer than four times from the library--and then, while still having a set out on loan, went and purchased online. They should be coming any day now. And I can't friggin' wait!

I'll get back to Mommy blogging next time. But I thought I'd take some time to share one of my 22-minute pick-me-ups so you can stop guessing just what on earth keeps me going day in and day out. Now you know. My secret is Vitamin Pee.

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