Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
I love Pee Wee Herman. I really don’t care that he was caught whacking off in a dirty birdy movie theater circa 1990 – these things happen (right Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, etc.?). Pee Wee is an icon and Pee Wee is on Broadway.
Last night HBO aired Rueben’s The Pee Wee Herman show – following the crazed PW and a familiar cast of Cowboy Curtis, Randy, Miss. Yvonne, Konkie and the gang through the 1 1/2 hour stage frenzy.
Pee Wee’s Playhouse – the Saturday morning show – was always laced with adult humor. Nothing nasty, but subtile cues that run through all the best children’s cartoons and programs. Broadway flung the door wide for the Playhouse to haul off and let its freak flag fly. Sexy dances by Sergio the repairman featuring a strategically placed day-glo rope, Jambi’s fabulous homosexual tendencies, Miss Yvonne’s open lust for Cowboy Curtis – all hilarious.
But my favorite displays came when Pee Wee shared with the Playhouse his abstinence ring – his unwavering pledge to purity – and, when Konkie - in defense of Chairy’s ability to marry a lady – rattled off a list of states where same-sex marriage is legal. Huffington Post commented on PW’s appearance on the Jay Leno Show back in aught-nine where he flashed his purity ring as a mockery of his 1991 arrest for indecent exposure.
Whatever the impetus for his Jonas style ring and the commentary on the rights of same-sex couples to get married – it is funny and a reminder that the real absurdity goes on outside the Playhouse.