Pee-Wee's Playhouse
Series Name
Season 5, Episode 1
Air date September 15, 1990
Written by John Paragon
Directed by John Paragon & Paul Rubens
Episode Guide
I Remember Curtis

Conky’s Breakdown is the 1st episode of Pee-Wee's Playhouse season 5.

Episode Plot[]

Pee-wee puts on "The Billy Baloney Show." Unfortunately, Conky shows us that today's secret word is "grrrrr". Conky apologizes and says he has a big problem. He tries again until he reveals the right secret word, which is "great". He suddenly malfunctions (everyone suggests remedies for his malfunction; Conky thanks everyone but states that most of them are not right for him), with the robot becoming almost "dead" completely (really, in a very deep sleep) when Mrs. Rene messes with him and finds a loose spring. As she leaves, Conky sputters and sparks. Everyone "mourns" while Conky sleeps. On Globey's suggestion, Pee-wee finds the Conky 2000 owner's manual that he got when he first bought him, but takes Conky apart in his attempt to fix him himself, Conky having woken from his being "dead" earlier. When the King of Cartoons arrives to show a cartoon (Foxy's final short, One More Time) and remedy the situation, Pee-wee calls the company on the Picturephone and they send Johnny Wilson, the authorized Conky Repairman, to fix Conky and upgrade him.

Pee-wee wants to help save his friend, but Johnny tells him he should stay out of the way for now and that he's got everything under control. Pee-wee makes Conky a get-well card in the meantime. Conky is soon fixed, and Johnny tells Pee-wee that Conky just needed a tune-up and some upgrades, and it's always best to hire a qualified repairman when it comes to fixing mechanical and electronic things around your home, as it takes far less time and effort.


  • Mrs. Rene, King of Cartoons, Johnny Willson, and Miss Yvonne visit in this episode.
  • This is the second time that it is revealed that Miss Yvonne's real first name is Yvonne. The first time was Luau for Two back in Season 1.
  • Although their friendship was explored in previous episodes, this is one of the few times where Herman mentions that Conky is his best friend. He does this at the end of the episode before he leaves on the Scooter Eject.
  • The show is now filmed with cameras that are far less grainy than the ones used to film the previous seasons; the picture, frame rate and resolution could be said to be nearly high-definition (which was impressive in 1990).
  • A new opening sequence was introduced. This time, it shows Herman riding on his scooter to his playhouse rather than away from the playhouse, there is new "valley and mountain" footage, and showing clips from past openings, as well as clips from various episodes. Mr. Window no longer says "Huh, huh, huh, ho, ho, huh, huh, huh" in the intro.
  • Conky is heavily focused on in this episode. His family is revealed in the following episode.
    • Conky's previously-revealed hardware accessories (his RADAR and smoke alarm systems from season 1) are implied to also deactivate when Conky shuts down.
  • Jimmy Smits played Johnny.
  • El Hombre is shown in this episode.
  • The secret word is said and screamed at 6 times, but "grrrrr" was screamed at only once.
  • Pee-wee uses Crayola crayons while making his get-well card for Conky.


  • Yvonne: (gasps) Conky, are you okay?
  • (Johnny carries Conky's head over to his body.)
  • Conky 2000: Well, right now, I'm feeling kind of lightheaded.
  • Johnny Wilson: Hi. (to Conky) I'm almost finished here, Conky.
  • Yvonne: Oh, well, who's this?
  • Johnny Wilson': Johnny Wilson, authorized Conky repairman, at your service, miss.
  • Yvonne: Yvonne.
  • Herman: How do you feel, Conky?
  • Conky: Great!
  • (Everyone screams as "great" flashes on screen)
  • Herman: What was wrong with Conky, Johnny?
  • Johnny Wilson: Oh, nothing serious. He just needed a little tune up. And you know, when it comes to fixing mechanical and electronic things around the house it's always being to hire a qualified repairman. He has the right tools, and he knows how to use 'em.
  • Yvonne: Awwww. Hey Johnny, do you mind swinging by my house? I'm sure there's something there that needs to be fixed. And if not, we can break something.
  • (Herman groans and rolls his eyes.)
  • Johnny Wilson: Well, I'd be glad to, miss.
  • Herman, Conky, and the others: (annoyed) YVONNE!!
  • Chairry: The Playhouse won't be the same without Conky.
  • Floory: The Playhouse won't be the same? Whattaya mean?
  • Mr. Window: No more secret words.
  • Pee-wee: Gee. I don't even wanna think about a Playhouse without secret words.
  • Pee-wee: Are you sure this doesn't hurt, Conky?
  • Conky: No, Pee-wee. The good thing about being a robot is that I don't feel pain.
  • Pee-wee: Well, I guess that's one advantage to being a robot.


  • Secret word: great ('grrrrr' due to Conky's malfunction)
  • Connect-the-dots: none
  • Snack: none
  • Wish: none


  • Herman does not give Conky the get-well-soon cards that he made for his best friend.