"PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE," RAN FOR 5 SEASONS, 45 EPISODES FROM 1986-1990.
The show's fantasy was perfect for Andrew and he liked the idea of a childish adult. Plus the colorful silliness, odd-ball characters, music, animals, cartoons and nutty educational/ life lessons made each show a feast for little children's senses.
TO FURTHER ENHANCE THE PEE-WEE MOOD, GO TO THE LINK ABOVE FOR THE SHOW'S THEME SONG.
Pee-Wee was even relevant to older kids and adults. I'm not afraid to say that I was entertained too. Even better, I loved watching my boy's interactions...like, to the "word-of-the-day." Even better was seeing Andrew's reaction to the semi-recurring "door-to-door salesman" character. Pee-Wee would answer a knock at his door. Someone dressed in a humongous head costume (complete with a suit and tie) would be there.
A voice-over for the giant head would cut-on, "I have an incredible offer!"
ON FAR RIGHT, SEE HOW SMALL PEE-WEE IS COMPARED TO THE SALESMAN. THE LAST TIME THE SALESMAN APPEARED, PEE-WEE INVITED HIM IN.
When I had the dealer school, a gentleman (salesman), who called himself Cappy used to come in. He had produced cheesy audio cassettes that included "can't miss" gambling systems for winning at, blackjack, craps, roulette etc.
Cappy was like the scary salesman puppet on the Pee-Wee's show. He would NEVER take no for answer. He wanted to sell us the tapes with the idea that it was included as a "freebie" to each new student. I told him his product was inappropriate, we train people to become casino dealers...not gamblers.
Although some might commend the stick-to-itiveness of his frequent drop-ins, I looked at him as nothing more than a nuisance.
Cappy eventually got the hint and de-emphasized the hawking of his tapes. His new shtick was to rant on as a self-proclaimed gambling expert/consultant. To further promote this knowledge (and cassettes too), he produced, somewhere in the northern tip of rural Jersey, a regional cable-access TV show, "CAPPY'S CORNER." The program's focus was casinos, related gambling topics and entertainment that directly or indirectly dealt with the gaming industry.
A natural showman, he blended a pushy, off-the-wall personality with an earthy, obtuse intellect, to tell interesting stories. So if I wasn't too busy, I'd let him bend my ear. Without the specter of sales dangling over my head...he seemed more human. At one point my partner and I recruited the knucklehead to be the talent on the school's only TV commercial. Somewhere, buried in the bowels of my house, I have a VHS copy of that ad. It was a take-off of the old, "Hey Jerry, what's the story?" JGE Appliance Store commercial. I'll keep looking for it but I haven't seen it in 15+ years.
Once our commercial was aired, the prima donna visited more often and became harder to get rid of. Around the school, as they say in Latin, Cappy took on the role of, "celebriti non grata." One day, he sensed the bum's rush and tried to sweeten the pot by inviting me on his show.
Cappy got defensive, "I get top flight guests and discuss only cutting edge issues."
I said, "Really, give me an example."
When I shrugged, "That's not quite the Queen of England..."
Cappy added, "Don't you know who he is? For crissakes, he's Al Lewis...Grandpa...from, "THE MUNSTERS!" You should be honored that I'm putting you on the same stage as him."
I said, "I'm an adult. I'm not easily star-struck by 'Grandpa' Al Lewis...and I don't need his autograph. Plus, I can't kill a day and drop my responsibilities to be seen in by a handful of yahoos in Hunterdon County."
"No," he said, "you're not dropping responsibilities, you'll be advertising. You come on my show and tell everyone how great and easy your training will be and how rewarding of a job they can get."
I didn't think he could handle the concept of the limited impact his viewership would have on our enrollment. So without a reason, I firmly but politely turned him down.
The next time Cappy dropped-in he excitedly said, "Wanna be on my show next Thursday?"
I said, "Nah."
"Don't say no so fast. This time you're gonna want to kiss my damned feet."
I looked at my watch and lied, "This isn't a good time for me now."
In a sing-song voice Cappy said, "You'll never guess who's gonna be appearing with you?"
"I dunno. Who?"
"Aw, c'mon guess."
"You just said, I'll never guess...don't play games. You wanna tell me--then tell me."
"SINATRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "OLD BLUE EYES," THE PRIDE OF HOBOKEN NJ, FRANCIS ALBERT SINATRA.
I said, "Yeah, I can adjust some appointments for Sinatra."
Cappy said, "Trust me while you're waiting to go on, you'll be one-on-one with him in the green room. Then you'll treasure the on-camera experience and chit-chat with me and him for the rest of your life."
"You don't have to sell me...count me in!"
"No, no, no," Cappy interrupted, "Not Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra...Junior!"