Monday, 15 February 2016

Pee-Wee Herman: Anarchic Queerness

‘‘Playhouse’’ flouted repressive ideas about sexuality too, in a sly way that still feels fresh. Almost from the moment Reubens became famous, cultural-studies scholars, feminist writers and queer theorists seized upon and celebrated this quality: In 1988 the academic journal Camera Obscura devoted a chunk of its May issue to essays analyzing Pee-wee. In The Village Voice 15 years later, the cultural critic Richard Goldstein hailed Reubens as an emblem of ‘‘anarchic queerness.’’ One of the greatest achievements of ‘‘Playhouse’’ was that it created a place where desires are not policed, otherness is not demonized, gender roles are juggled and erotic energies attach where they will: Pterri the Pterodactyl ogles Miss Yvonne’s breasts, Conky the robot enjoys a robot-nudie magazine, Pee-wee play-acts a date with Cowboy Curtis. In one ‘‘Playhouse’’ episode, a monster named Roger appears, scaring the Playhouse dwellers; Pee-wee fixes him a snack and strikes up a friendship. In another, Pee-wee loves a fruit salad so much he marries it, ceremony and all. Reubens told me, ‘‘I’ve had so much feedback from people saying, ‘I was so confused as a kid, and your show helped.’"

From a New York Times Magazine profile.

A bit silly he still won't say he's a fag, though.


Which is odd cause Pee Wee's Big Holiday looks pretty gay.


PS Pee-Wee's Big Holiday blah blah blah Netflix.

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