IFC has announced that they will be running a special 24-hour marathon of Pee-wee's Playhouse on Thanksgiving. The upcoming holiday is usually known for college football and The Twilight Zone marathons from years ago as well as the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, you can skip all of that and get into some more zany antics while grandma forgets to turn on the oven to cook the turkey and the rest of the family gets into some type of political argument.
The Pee-wee's Playhouse marathon starts at 6AM on IFC with the Ice Cream Soup episode. For fans who are wondering about the iconic Christmas special, it's covered in the marathon, and it will air at exactly 6:12PM, so set your DVRs or eat your Thanksgiving meal in the living room. After the marathon ends, the beloved show, which originally ran from 1986-1990 will air every Saturday morning on IFC starting in December. It looks like the holidays are about to get a whole lot more bearable this year.
Pee-wee's Playhouse is an adaption of Paul Reubens' popular stage show, which was later turned into an HBO special, but for adults. The idea was then taken and turned into the iconic 1985 movie Pee-wee's Big Adventure with Tim Burton directing and Reubens starring. After the popularity of the movie, CBS offered Reubens an animated show, which never made it past the development stage. Later, the network agreed to let Reubens act, produce, and direct his own live-action Saturday morning children's program, which turned into Pee-wee's Playhouse. Reubens was even able to score $325,000 per episode and allowed full creative control over the series.
Paul Reubens created an entirely new world for children to check out on Saturday mornings, which would often even bring mom and dad in to watch some humor that worked on an adult level as well. Reubens was able to hook up a cast full of ex-Groundlings and cast members from The Pee-wee Herman HBO Show, including Phil Hartman, John Paragon, Lynne Marie Stewart, Laurence Fishburne, and S. Epatha Merkerson. The show was immediately popular and critically praised. Reubens just wanted kids to know that it was okay to be different and wanted to inspire creativity with Pee-wee's Playhouse.
When asked about the popularity of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Paul Reubens noted that children liked it because it was colorful, fast-paced and that it "never talked down to them," while parents were into it because it reminded them of their childhood. The show has since been released on Blu-ray and is available to stream on Netflix. However, this return to TV is an awesome place for Paul Reubens' characters to reach a wider audience and hopefully create some new fans that would not have ever seen it. So, try and wrestle the remote from dad's hands this Thanksgiving and bring some Pee-wee into the house. You can check out the marathon announcement below, thanks to the IFC Twitter account.