Pee-Wee and Pals Return

The bow tie, the gee-whiz-ness, the talking chairs and cowboy comrades and ladies in chiffon and screaming flowers. The riot of color and sound and cheekiness and slyness that was "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" still kind of ricochets through our mind, trailing sparkles, and it has been years since we've seen episode.

Maybe you have a similar reaction. Because if you were a kid in the '80s -- or had a kid in the '80s -- or were alive in the '80s, with access to a television set -- you knew Pee-Wee Herman, you knew about his bicycle-fun movies, and you knew his eponymous, Emmy-laden, retro-fied children's show that was wink-wink, kind of for grown-ups, too. And you knew about the Secret Word.

Before we sing the praises of the Secret Word -- and we won't go on for *too* long, because you know all about it, we expect -- we should get to the jimmies on top of this particular slice of cake: Pee-Wee Herman is returning to the stage, at the Music Box at the Fonda, for a very, very limited run in November. It's billed as "The Pee-Wee Herman Show" and Groundlings alum Paul Reubens will be there, be-bow-tie'd and peppy; plus a lot of his friends like Miss Yvonne and Cowboy Curtis.

If this piques your interest, we can only say it is simultaneously piquing a lot of other people's interests, too. No crystal ball need tell us this will be a hot, hot like a hot potato, ticket of the fall.

Now, about that Secret Word, which was a special word that viewers of the show were supposed to listen for, and to scream over, when they heard it. We miss it. It was fun. It put the spotlight on words and language. It helped us all listen better. And we're glad it is going to find new life on a stage in Hollywood.

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