FOF #1343 – Pee Wee Herman is Back!

Mar 14, 2011 · 72284 views

In the late 1970s, Paul Ruebens developed the character of Pee-wee Herman as a challenge by the LA based improv group, the Groundlings, to create a comic that could never make it in real life.

A few years later, along with his friend, the late Phil Hartman, Ruebens developed a full fledged show centered around this character who who lived in a magical playhouse. The show toured the country, sold out Carnegie Hall and eventually became an Emmy award winning TV series.

In the late 80s, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, with its mixture of live action, puppets and animation became a Saturday morning institution that will influence generations to come. Paul Ruebens truly subversive humor walks the line between comedy fit for a child that would appeal to adults.

After they decided to end the series, Reubens was arrested in his home town of Sarasota, Florida for masturbating in an adult theater. Although this sex scandal pales in comparison to the likes of today’s Kardashians and Paris Hiltons, it launched a witch hunt into Reuben’s life that kept him out of the public eye for years.

It seemed like Pee Wee Herman would never come back, but miracles do happen, and Pee Wee Herman is back with a new HBO special of his Broadway show and the promise of a new film directed by Jud Apatow.

Joining us is film maker Kerthy Fix- her new documentary “Who Took the Bomp: Le Tigre On Tour,” that focuses on the electroclash band Le Tigre premiers at SXSW.

How do people in the riot girl music overtake oppressive symbols embracing them with sex and humor?

Kerthy’s upcoming puppet film on the life of Christine Jorgenson

And the hot news:

The lost city of Atlantis is found again, but this time in Spain.

An English vicar gets into hot water for dressing up in drag.

and the intense life of young Internet tycoons.

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Featured Music:
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  1. Angela says:

    OMG, Kerthy, you produced Who Does She Think She Is? I loved that film. It was concurrently uneasy and inspirational to watch, as someone who got a late start embracing her art and probably due to start a family in the next few years. I’ll be honest, I’m not confident about my skills as an artist or a mother; I don’t have a lot of role models for either or both to talk to.

    About Christine Jorgensen and trans visibility, it’s interesting to wonder how many trans individuals would continue to downplay or hide their pre-transition lives if the world became more queer-friendly across the board. If you see it as a time of unwellness or a sad and difficult phase, it’s understandable to want to forget it; if it’s hidden out of fear of trans-bashing, it’s also understandable to dissociate from it.

    There’s also the question of why does anyone choose to identify according to a sexual binary, which Kate Bornstein has addressed; I believe ze has said that if ze were young today, ze would not have chosen to medically transition, ze would just be genderqueer. So there are trans people whose goal is to take on one set of gender roles and characteristics and give up those of their born gender entirely, and then there are people who see gender as a continuum or a spectrum with multiple points to align oneself with; I wouldn’t say the former have it at all easier, but have a better chance at “passing” in a rigidly-gendered queer-phobic society than the latter do, and probably spend less time explaining themselves to well-meaning but clueless types.

    I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just have a number of friends who have undergone SRS or have at least changed their lives to reflect something that falls outside of current gender definitions, and I wish there was more discussion of the social and psychological boundaries that keep their life experiences on the fringe.

  2. Dag says:

    Hiyah sexxee’ men! i cant wait to see PeeWee Herman on HBO! …i wish i was able to see him NYC, Broadway! many huggz. iLuv U – Dag

  3. david says:

    Oh I love hearing Kerthy. Her work is so interesting! The Christine Jorgenson project sounds amazing. Kerthy, I need to start following you and your ‘people’ more closely so I can share all this with colleagues in the glbt round table of the american library association . Our pals in the women and gender studies section of ALA would also be interested in this kind of work. Awesome show as always guys!

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