Pee-wee Herman is not only a fun kinda guy, but truly an original and, indeed, a superstar. But, you know, The Pee, like many of our truly great American celebrities, hails from humble beginnings and had a typical down-home, all-American upbringing.
Through his rise to success from the neighborhood fun-loving prankster to an internationally known television and film star, Pee-wee has never forgotten from whence he came. yes, his is truly a success story, and we would like to share a little of it with his pals in the Fun Club.
Pee-wee was raised in Florida by his parents Herman and Honey Herman, who later moved to Hollywood where they owned a curio shop, but who just recently returned to Florida - but that's another story.
The rest of Pee-wee's family consists of his older brother, Herman, Jr., a scientist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who now works for DuPont, his younger brother Harvey, who works in a bank, and his sister, Hermione Herman, who gave up a promising career as a ballerina to marry and raise two children.
Pee-wee's grandfather from the old country, Hermann Herman, lives in the attic of the Herman's four-story Victorian house.
The elder Herman, formerly a radio sound effects specialist, and his ex-singer-actress-comedienne wife enthusiastically encouraged their young son to perform. Miss Marvel Ra nell, Pee-wee's fourth grade teacher, recognizing the potential being developed by Pee-wee's parents, worked with Pee-wee after school and willingly taught him all she knew.
With the support of his family, a creative style and self-confidence taught by Ms. Ra nell, and a tremendous desire to make the world laugh, Pee-wee hit the streets seeking fame and fortune.
In his snazzy, if too small suit, nifty bow tie, white shoes and stand up, butch-waxed haircut, Pee-wee began his career as a cook and stand-up comic in a chili house in Tampa. But he first achieved fame with "The Pee-wee Herman Show" at The Roxy in hos Angeles along with his TV debut in a taped HBO special.
Pee-wee hit big time when he made his major film debut in 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure," an international success that broke box office records in London and Paris. He then made millions of people very happy by letting us spend Saturday mornings with him in the television series "Pee-wee's Playhouse," which has revolutionized Saturday morning network programming - attracting as many adults as children and walking off with six (count em-6) Emmy Awards the first year. The second season The Playhouse pulled in 14 Emmy nominations.
"Big Top Pee-wee," his second film, introduced a whole new Pee-wee world: the circus.
What does the future hold for Pee-wee Herman? Well, for starts, he's got an album planned. He's also working on "Pee-wee [and," an amusement park planned for a top-secret location somewhere in the United States.
What is the secret to his succes&? You may conclude that it's not something about Pee-wee Herman that's funny, but the comic himself who appears to have been touched at birth by the wand of a wacky wizard and given the power to render an audience helpless with laughter.
Perhaps his secret lies in the fact that, in addition to being funny, Pee-wee is fun, appealing to the mischievous kid in each of us.