Pee-Wee's Playhouse

The King of Cartoons, originally called "King Cartoon", is a man who rules a kingdom called Cartoonland with his queen. Unlike many kings who have fancy travel, the King of Cartoons is a humbler and more economical king (understandably; this further suggests that while he has vast wealth due to his bloodline, he prefers to use it frugally and responsibly). In Season 1, he hires Dixie and her taxi service to chauffeur him to the Playhouse or wherever he wishes to travel. In Seasons 2-5, however, Dixie still stays at the palace but he always comes to the Playhouse on foot (his queen has remarked that it is "such a journey" to travel to the Playhouse by foot), while the Flowers present him in song, and displays cartoons on a TV screen (that he bought for Herman as a housewarming present with, again, his own funds).

The king is a good friend of Herman and the Playhouse denizens; often making visits to the Playhouse to show the viewing audience old-time cartoons from the 1920s to the 1970s.

His method of presenting the cartoons varied; sometimes he would simply turn on a television set, other times he would bring an old-fashioned projector. In both methods he would often announce "Let the cartoon begin!"

The King of Cartoons had a slightly different role in Pee Wee's Christmas Special, he appears not expecting to do his usual cartoon introduction, but to enjoy the party. Herman agrees and says that is fine so long as he does not get a fruitcake (a gag in the special that the guests kept gifting him with it). When the King says no, Herm expresses relief, only for the King to give his gift, "TWO fruitcakes!". Then Annette Funicello asks the King if she can "say it just this once," and he kindly obliges. The cartoon itself, "Christmas Comes But Once A Year" is from 1936 and is set in an orphanage. All of the kids are crying, an old man named Pappy pulls up in a motorized sled, and climbs in the window. He begins to make toys with household items (a pot with a lid and string make a guitar, a train set out of a coffee pot and tea set), he decorates the orphanage with a tree made from several umbrellas which once lit transfers to a claymation tree. The orphans cheer and the Santa like old man laughs.

It was revealed in the episode Spring that he is married to the Queen of Cartoons and that the marriage has issue, a little boy aptly named the Prince of Cartoons.


  • The King was parodied in issue #228 of Cracked Magazine, in the four-page comic Pee-Yoo's Playhovel, as the Duke of Cartoons. Dorksy (parody of Dixie) runs over him in a bad car accident and he dies. Toe Jambi (parody of Jambi) grants Pee-Yoo's wish to return him to life, and he presents a "crummy old cartoon", only to be accosted and kicked out by Pee-Yoo shortly thereafter.[1]
  • Many of the cartoons that the King presented were directed by Ub Iwerks, who was one of the people that worked with Walt Disney in creating Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and, later on, Mickey Mouse. Due to possible legal battles with The Walt Disney Company, however, Reubens likely chose not to use clips from these cartoons, though many of the cartoons he received for editing, such as Sinking in the Bathtub, Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! and Piano Tooners, are very similar in animation and comedic style to a Mickey or Oswald cartoon (Piano Tooners, remarkably, features mice that strongly resemble Mickey in appearance, complete with black fur, round ears, white three-fingered gloves and white shoes, while Smile, Darn Ya, Smile! is a remake of Trolley Troubles, a Disney short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in whose creation Hugh Harman had once been involved). During the show's run, many cartoons were shown from the "Golden Age" of animation. However, they were not featured with their respective titles, nor credited, and generally only brief clips were shown. As Reubens stated in a 2004 radio interview, almost all of the cartoons they obtained were in the public domain.


The King has brown skin and short dark gray hair and a mustache. He wears a gold king's crown, a red bow tie, a blue blazer, a swirl-designed vest, dark gray pants, and black shoes.

The King of Cartoons

King of Cartoons.jpg

First Appearance
Last Appearance
Voice Actors
Gilbert Lewis(Season 1) William H. Marshall(Season 2+)
Telling Stories to His Ancestors Fire in the Playhouse

Giving Soup to Jambi (Sick,Did Somebody Say Sick?)

Giving a Tv To Pee Wee (Instead of a Projector(Open House)
Monsters(Monster in the Playhouse)

Hitting his Taxi with a Flat Tire (Restaurant)

Crashing while roller-skating (Stolen Apples)
The Queen of Cartoons (wife), The Prince of Cartoons (son)

Played by: