Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pee Wee's Big Protest

Pee Wee's Big Adventure is my all-time favorite movie. Aside from providing the perfect 'vehicle film' for a pre-existing creative property, the introduced the world to Tim Burton, and was this hilariously absurd sister film to Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves.

It was also the inspiration for this hilarious protest banner:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This all reminds me of a blind date I had arranged for Gu, my former co-host, as part of a contest we had arranged on the air. We picked her up and took her to this Chinese restaurant, and she asked me, "What is your favorite film of all time?"

This was, obviously, a hard question for me to answer, but I gave her my best reply, "Most likely either Rushmore or Pee Wee's Big Adventure."

"Pee Wee's Big Adventure?" she asked.

"Yeah."

"I'm sorry," she replied.

"I'm not. It's a really good movie."

"I'm sorry," she said again, as if I did not understand her insulting demeanor the first time.

"But it's this beautiful and absurd film - sorta like an old Fellini movie in color." I was on my last leg, here.

"I'm sorry," she said for the third time in a row. That's why we don't do blind-date contests for my single co-hosts anymore. (Sorry, Mike). Fortunately, Gu decided not to go on a second date with the Pee Wee-hater. Better yet, the person he is now engaged to seems like she could at least pretend to understand why someone would like Pee Wee's Big Adventure just fine. And I'll tell you what, if my wife was as intolerant against Pee Wee's Big Adventure as Gu's blind date when I met her, there would be a different person sleeping in my bed right now as I type this post -- if anyone at all.

For some reason, many of the people who 'hate' Pee Wee's Big Adventure have not even seen it. The haters just know they are supposed to dislike Pee Wee Herman for some reason, and hate one of the greatest American films of the 80's by proxy. When I would show this film to a group of kids when I worked at a summer camp two years ago, I would say 80% of them walked away saying it was one of the greatest films they had ever seen.

Folks need to learn how to separate the art from the artist. Seriously.

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