Sitting down to watch "Pee-Wee's Big Holiday", it took me a few minutes to remember what it was like to be a Pee-Wee fan in that long ago era of childhood. I didn't immediately place all of the antics and mechanical sight-gags as patently Pee-Wee, but the moment I did, that forgotten headspace returned to me in a rush. His genuine, childish and always mildly obnoxious persona impacted me once again for the first time, and yet in such a way that I was, for a brief time, that as of yet unjaded little boy sitting on the living room floor.
This was not, as I half expected, a passing homage to the Pee-Wee shtick, riddled with low-brow innuendo aimed at pleasing the adults all µs old fans have certainly now become. No, this was unadulterated, classic Pee Wee- innocent, unselfconscious, lighthearted and light-handed, pointless fun. Just as it should be. Pee-Wee, in spite of his shall we say, quirky nature, always manages to remain the sane one in the room; the one who sees things for what they are, and makes decisions based on what he sees- not what others want him to. However, he always does so with understated firmness, inoffensive lack of tact, and occasionally, with a wacky retreat involving outrageous sight-gags. He knows who he is, he knows what he wants, and he has the self-respect to stand by it. In this way, he plays both the child and the adult in the room; both awakening the the simple imagination and kindness from those around him, and of holding a non-judgmental mirror up to their own everyday silly foolishness.
This was a great, simple, ridiculous return to my childhood- like a walk through a neighborhood I once knew as home, but had long since moved away from. It was the enjoyment of re-discovery, and of reminiscing on things long forgotten.