Pee-wee Herman and his friends have wacky, imaginative fun in his unique playhouse.


“Pee-wee’s Playhouse” arrives on DVD with a remastered look at its first two seasons. This show has always been one of those standards that I’ve never lost appreciation for as I’ve aged. The first two years are where the show found its footing. The kids changed around a lot and a few of the Playhouse visitors never returned. But, the gist of the show remained. This was a show about fun and creativity in an age where every other show was trying to sell a toy line. There’s a reason that people my age have so many old toys still crowding up their parents’ homes. Any damn thing got at least a season of animated episodes back in the 1980s.

While I wanted to check out the series in HD, this DVD redux is magnificent. When I compare it to the old Image Entertainment discs, the digital noise and general haze is gone. I don’t know if they want tape to tape or if they found an old film master. Was the show even shot on film? Needless to say, I appreciate that both of the first two seasons were compiled together. The change-up between shooting in NYC and Los Angeles reflected a major change in the program. A lot of that old school TV DIY vibe when away when the show got way slicker. Still, it works on its own level.

For some reason, I thought the second season was missing episodes, but they were the two episodes that actually made up the Third Season. The history of it was that the WGA Strike coupled with Big Top Pee-wee just obliterated that third year. Due to the influx of re-runs and being a small child, details merged together until Shout Factory straightened it out for me. For those that are interested, the inside of the case includes every secret word for every episode. I know that shouldn’t tickle me as much as it does.

The DVD comes with brand new interviews with the cast as the special features. It’s neat to see that everyone comes back and still appreciates the show. The A/V Quality is sharp with a robust transfer for standard definition. Plus, the Dolby 2.0 track really kicks things into gear. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 10/21/2014

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