SNL: S11E03... HOST: PEE-WEE HERMAN... DATE: NOVEMBER 23, 1985

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Pee-Wee's Playhouse On A Saturday Night

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I don't know if I first saw Pee-Wee Herman in his first HBO special that was definitely aimed at adults, or if I first saw him in a Cheech and Chong movie. Either way, I knew him as an adult performer way before he starred in the movie Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, which I why I was excited about this episode where he got to take over Saturday Night Live.

I mentioned this before when members of Monty Python hosted the show, but I love guest like this that seem to have extra control over the content making the show feel more like a hybrid episode of SNL mix with whatever it is that made the host famous enough to land the hosting role in the first place.

This was definitely the case with Pee-Wee Herman as he was in almost every single sketch throughout the episode and everything was written for the character of Pee-Wee Herman which may be my only complaint of the night. I kind of wanted to see Paul Reubens as other characters but then again, I also love how he's so committed to the bit that he wouldn't even play Pee-Wee playing somebody else.

So, other than my slight disappointment that Paul Reubens didn't play Pee-Wee playing anybody else, I found this to be a fun episode of late night Pee-Wee's Playhouse that's worth watching if you are a Pee-Wee fan but might come across as a one note episode if you're not which is not the case when it comes to me because as I already said, I'm a fan of the ageless man-child.

Now that I've gotten my Pee-Wee thought out of my system, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Pee-Wee doing a tightrope walk between The World Trade Center Buildings, only to fall off the rope when a bird lands on his balancing pole. During the fall Pee-Wee announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Pee-Wee Herman then officially opened the show by doing his Pee-Wee routine just like he was hosting Pee-Wee's Playhouse, with his famous Big Show Dance to the song Tequila and joke about how Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was beaten in the box office by Back To The Future.
  3. This was followed by a fake PSA that looks like it's going to be anti-drugs/drinking/smoking but it's actually pro-vice and anti-military as the message is Army: Say No.
  4. We then went to a gym locker room where Randy Quaid is talking to Pee-Wee Herman about his married life and how he is contemplating getting a hooker only he doesn't actually say the word leaving Pee-Wee's "innocent mind" to fill in the blank with a bunch of suggestions that are way off and complicated that he ends on the note it would be easier to just see a hooker.  
  5. Pee-Wee Herman's Thanksgiving Special is one of those sketches that lets the entire cast try out an impression to create a star filled holiday special filled with Pee-Wee Herman style activities to keep the show moving along.
  6. The Pat Stevens Show then returned with Nora Dunn as the host who answers view mail and interviews Randy Quad who plays an expert on depression in that he's an expert in being depressed and not an expert in finding a cure. This is another one of those sketches that can be kind of fun but I don't know the show being referenced so I feel that I am missing out on some of the humor.
  7. Die Foreigner Die! was a fake ad for a Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris collaboration where the enemy is anyone who is non-American.
  8. The Pathological Liar then returned this time he's in jail with Pee-Wee Herman where he lies about why he is doing his time, while Pee-Wee tells tall tales of his own as to why he is being held but he treats it more like a playful lying competition than actually trying to pull something off. In the end, it turns out they're actually both in for jaywalking as the prison guard informs them that they both made bail.  
  9. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Dennis Miller breaks down the Mick Jagger/David Bowie collaboration, Dancing In The Street and how lame it is. Father Guido Sarducci also dropped in with financial advice where he tells us to start a church to get around having to pay taxes and how he started a church of his own where every single member gets to be the Pope. 
  10. Dinosaur Town was a sketch where the owner of the prehistoric theme park is holding out as long as he can before selling it off to avoid foreclosure which almost breaks Pee-Wee Herman's heart as an avid visitor. The sketch then gets very convoluted when Pee-Wee Herman joins in on a scam to find a mouse in a bottle of Coke in order to sue the soda company to get the money required to rebrand and reopen the park. That said, it's convoluted in a way that could only make sense with Pee-Wee Herman as host.
  11. Queen Ida & The Bon Temps Zydeco Band then took to the stage to perform La Louisiane and Frisco Zydeco back to back.
  12. Pee-Wee Herman then got told to stay after school by his teacher named Miss Patterson who found one of Pee-Wee's notebooks filled with love letters about her. At first, he denies that this is his work but then finally gives in after she reads a couple examples. This then turned into a sentimental/sweet sketch as Miss Patterson tries to set boundaries but ends up falling in love in the process. This only works in this cast because Pee-Wee is such a man-child without coming across as an actual child.
  13. The character Cabrini Green then got another segment to talk about all of the vices a young adult has to avoid while pregnant. 
  14. Hal Fisher's Money Magnet Method was a sketch about Randy Quaid as a motivational speaker with a crazy idea to use a "money magnet" to attract all of the money you need. This sketch's tone is almost too spot on that a majority of it doesn't seem like a joke and it never seemed to build to any of the jokes I was wanting/expecting.
  15. Finally, Pee-Wee Herman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights and then performing James Brown's Sex Machine.

Once again, this was a fun episode of Pee-Wee's Saturday Night Adventure with these three funniest moments. First, I loved Pee-Wee's tightrope walk because even though it was rather simples it was also one of the most signature Pee-Wee moments of the night. Next, I really liked Pee-Wee having a lie off with the Pathological Liar because of how watching the two forms of lying turned out to be really fun. Finally, I was a fan of Pee-Wee's crush on Miss Patterson because it was one of those end of the night sketches that is more cute and sentimental than laugh out loud funny that I really like whenever they manage to get it right.

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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.