The Pee-wee Herman Show Is Unstreamable



PG-13 wasn't a risk for Cleopatra in 1970, PG-13 was added in 1984. About nine years before you were born, so you're forgiven.



I know a bunch of trivia about the PG-13 rating. It was created in reaction to people being upset about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom depicting child abuse but only having a PG rating. The first movie to receive a PG-13 movie was The Flamingo Kid; however, the first movie to get the rating and be released in theaters was Red Dawn (The Flamingo Kid got held up for some reason before being released). So maybe this is well known trivia but I like to brag that I know things others don't know even though they probably do.


I don't think that many people saw The Pee-wee Herman Show. He wasn't the big star that Steve Martin was.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure, on the other hand, was a huge success. I'm a bit older than Gen-X (I'm barely a boomer) and I loved it. I think people of all ages did. I think that for most people, that was their introduction to the guy.

Pee-wee's Playhouse leveraged that success. That is where the analogy starts making sense. I enjoyed that show as well, but it was especially fun for kids (since it was a kids program). A lot of the children's programming then was crap (still is -- the difference is kids have more options, not a handful of channels). I wouldn't say that it was the only good kids show at the time, but it was certainly towards the top.


no shade to millennials but sponge bob never had guest appearances from grace jones and charo

@2 pg-13 was in response to gremlins too


Agreed that Safe was a very quietly disturbing and thought-provoking movie. I actually saw it in theaters, and had completely forgotten about it since then. But on reading this article, most of it pops clearly back to mind. It really did leave an impression.

Another movie to watch mostly to see early-1970s Seattle is McQ. John Wayne plays a Seattle cop, not at his best and past his prime. But McQ was set and filmed in Seattle. It's like a 1970s Seattle time capsule on film.


@1 Thanks! My bad. Fixed.
@4 No shade but Pee-wee never had guest appearances from Betty White, Robin Williams, and... Pink?


Maybe the significant generational divider is that Pee Wee’s sex scandal was the last of the old Mary Astor-style offenses against antiquated morality, instead of the current Harvey Weinstein-style offense against human rights.


I remember Pee-Wee's Playhouse on Saturday mornings. That bites that Paul Reubens was rejected by SNL. I see the SpongeBob Squarepants connection, too.
Connie Stevens played a P.I. named Scorchy, filmed on location in Seattle? I'll have a take a look at at that.

Chase, Jasmyne, and fellow commenters, since we've gone back to as far as 1970 in unstreamable films, here, have any of you ever seen the 1971 film, Bless the Beasts and Children, produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, and starring 1960s child star Bill Mumy (possibly best known as Will Robinson in Lost in Space, and LOTS of other TV and film---think Disney--roles)? The sad, tragic, and emotionally powerful tale was based on the adolescent novel and a true story by Glendon Swarthout (c. 1970) and set at the location where the series of events took place, about a group of six wealthy, socially awkward teenage boys who, while away at a summer riding camp attempt to free penned buffalo at a game reserve intended for slaughter by sport hunters. The book was required reading when I was in high school.


auntie G @8

I DO remember Bless the Beasts and the Children. Well, vaguely. I was mortified about the poor buffalo. I was probably about 10 or 12 when I saw it. I barely remember any particular cast member (and hadn't made the Lost In Space connection). What sticks in my memory now was the theme song, by the Carpenters, I think. Thanks for the flashback!


@2: The "thing" in Temple of Doom was a how the human sacrifice was depicted. Is that what you referred to by "child abuse"?


@9 Reverse Polarity: Bless the Beasts and Children will forever stick out in my mind. I saw the film for the very first time in 1976 when I was twelve, too, at my school district, in the 6th grade. It was "Movie Day"; Bless the Beasts and Children was offered to grades 4 - 6 (Grades K-3 were shown the Disney documentary, White Wilderness). For me, the story was sad, tragic, and heartbreaking. I, too, was mortified by the cruel fate of the buffalo. The film included actual footage of what happened at the game reserve. What emotionally shook me additionally was the weird coincidence of the actor, Barry Robins (who played the leader of the boys, John Cotton), who bore a haunting resemblance to an uncle on my mother's side of the family, who committed suicide by fatally shooting himself at age 16. This was in 1969, incidentally a year before Glendon Swartout's novel was published and two years before the 1971 film adaptation came out.
If you should happen to see the film again, look for the tall, thin, redheaded boy cast as the rebellious, car-stealing Laurence Teft. That was Bill Mumy at age 17. Mumy also co-wrote a featured song in the film, It's a Beautiful Day, sung a cappella by the six boys.
One more trivia fact: listen for Nadia's Theme, composed by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. at the end of the film, later used for honoring the Romanian gymnast Nadia Comanechi in the 1976 Olympics, and as the TV theme song for TV's long-running soap, The Young and the Restless.


I'd heard that people were more upset about all the children being slaves in the mine and getting abused by the guards and that was why pg-13 was proposed. I was just a kid back then though so I could be mis-remembering


@12 must have really trolled something fierce.


Connection that you missed is that both Paul Reubens and the creator of SpongeBob, the late Stephen Hillenburg, graduated from CalArts.


@15 Noodles: Thank you for the additional fact. That's good to know.


@15 Thanks for that! I love CalArts. I almost went there, but it was so expensive. Suzan Pitt, one of my favorite animators, taught there for so long.


Thanks, Chase and Jasmyne! I can't wait to see / read your next list of unstreamables.