Pee-Wee's Playhouse
Series Name
Season 2, Episode 1
Pee-Wee encounters the viewer.jpeg
Air date September 19, 1987
Written by George McGrath, Paul Reubens, and Max Robert
Directed by Guy Louthan & Paul Reubens
Episode Guide
Puppy in the Playhouse

Episode Plot[]

The opening theme song to Pee-Wee's Playhouse plays, and Pee-Wee looks at the stuff being covered. When Pee-Wee enters, the theme music cuts off abruptly, due to Pee-Wee realizing that he's forgotten something: he's redecorating the playhouse!

Pee-wee redecorates the playhouse and invites his friends over to help because the full opening was not shown. His new ventriloquist dummy, Billy Baloney, asks him what today's secret word is. Pee-wee finds Conky under the tarp. Conky gives him the episode's secret word, which is "house". Just when Pee-wee's about to try it, Pterri has a question: Does everyone still scream if the secret word is part of another word? He decides to stick with a second secret word: playhouse. Pee-wee then has us scream even louder when someone says "playhouse".

Pee-wee tricks everyone into cleaning up by pretending that the work is fun. While Cowboy Curtis and Ricardo are working in the bedroom, they move the teepee, and see a piece of the bedroom floor come to life, causing Cowboy Curtis to whoop in surprise. The talking floor piece is named Floory, who hasn't spoken or been seen for a long, long time (not even for the whole first season). Then Reba delivers a package from the Wacky Clock Warehouse. Clocky is new for this episode. Pee-wee finds a piece of foil, but realizes his foil ball's oversized and donated to a foil museum. So, he finds a rubber band for his rubber band ball. After redecorating, they have a tea party and play London Bridge. Everyone meets Pee-wee's new neighbor, Mrs. Rene.


  • Many viewers thought Conky displays the two secret words HOUSE and PLAYHOUSE, like in the Season 4 episode Heat Wave.
  • The secret word is now typed on a piece of card stock big enough to fit the whole word capitalized, however the word flashes on screen in all lowercase letters.
  • This episode marked the first time that the flowers announced the King of Cartoons' arrival. In Season 1, Dixie played her trumpet or called with dialogue to introduce the King of Cartoons.
  • The scene showing Pee-Wee and Miss Yvonne making sun tea and cookies were cut from initial home video releases, and television airings on Fox Family.
  • Originally, Thomas Jefferson on Mount Rushmore was shown gasping over Pee-wee flying past the landmark. All versions from 2004 on cut the gasp, but the audio has remained since.
  • First appearance of Herman's scooter helmet.
    • This may have been in part due to America beginning to pass helmet laws. California became the first state to do in 1987, which was also where production on the show moved to in that year; the first season was shot in New York.
  • The reason why this episode was produced was because the show moved from its New York City warehouse studio to facilities at the Hollywood Center Studios, creating changes in personnel, slight cast changes and a change to the set that allowed the show to take advantage of the additional space. The show changed production facilities again in 1989 during its fourth and fifth season, this time at the Culver Studios, also in Los Angeles.
    • After the show ended, the set was stored away at the Culver Studios; it would later be reused for several informercials for the special edition Playhouse VHS collection.[1] Thy current whereabouts of the set are unknown.
  • When Pee-wee reads the name of the place where he got Clocky, he says the word warehouse, but no one screams even though the secret word is "house".
  • Pee-wee tricking everyone into cleaning up by pretending it's fun rather than work is a nod to the famous fence-painting scene in the book "Tom Sawyer".
  • The Pee-Wee's Playhouse theme does not play in this episode, due to Pee-Wee redecorating the playhouse.
  • Feature Cartoon: Philips Broadcast of 1938 (1938)
  • First appearances of Ricardo, Mrs. Rene, Floory, and Clockey and revised Globey.
  • William Marshall takes over the role of The King of Cartoons from Gilbert Lewis. Johann Carlo left the show so Dixie no longer appears.
  • George McGrath assumes the role of Pterri from John Paragon, who would reprise his role, the following season.
  • First appearance of Pee-Wee's athletic friend Ricardo. Rather than be a lifeguard, Ricardo is a pro soccer player and competitive dancer.
    • As a result, the pool is dropped as a main location except for a small line by Miss Yvonne in Heat Wave.
  • The King of Cartoons now shows cartoons on a TV (that he purchased for Herman) with a special remote.
  • Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne, Reba, Ricardo, and Mrs. Rene visit in this episode.
  • First appearance of Pee-Wee's ventriloquist dummy Billy Baloney.
  • Pee-wee donates his foil ball to the foil museum and starts a rubber band ball instead.
  • This marked the first time that Pee-wee began wearing the helmet, when he leaves on his scooter at the end of this episode. In Season 1, Pee-wee does not wear a helmet when he leaves on his scooter.
  • Starting with this episode, Pee-wee flies past Mount Rushmore on his scooter in the closing.
  • The toy shelf from Season 1 makes a surprise cameo among the pile of stuff Pee-wee gives away. Clocky takes the toy shelf's place.
  • Originally, Stephen R. Johnson, the director from the first Season, was hired to direct this episode. However, he clashed with Steve Binder over storyboarding, and was promptly fired. The assistant director was then promoted, and used a barber crane, a new form of technology at the time, for the boom microphone. However, upon looking at the dailies, they were less than satisfied. The camera was bouncing all over place. Instead of moving on to the second episode of the Season, Binder ordered the footage for the first attempt at the Season premiere destroyed, and fired the newly-promoted director. He hired his friend Guy Louthan to fill in, and it was decided to re-shoot the premiere. It cost $800,000. Afterwards, the rest of the Season had cameraman Wayne Orr directing with Paul Reubens.


  • Secret word: house/playhouse
  • Connect-the-dots: none
  • Snack: sun tea and cookies
  • Wish: Jambi wishes for another cup of tea

Home Videos[]

  1. Volume 1