Remembering Pee Wee Herman, Cheech & Chong While Eating A New York Sirloin

Watching Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, all I see is Pee-wee Herman in Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke.[1] I’ve owned the DVD for years, a classic stoner gem. Paul Reubens (who henceforth will be referred to as “Pee-wee”) as a coke-head in a Chinese restaurant with Cheech & Chong[1] and they go under the table and come up with coke on their noses; Pee-wee pushing his nose, going “Ehrrr, ehrr” prior to going under the table, putting the closed vial in his nose. Cheech later says, “I always get crazy when I do coke.” This is not an exact quote[2]. Later Chong made a movie without Cheech (When Cheech Marin went all Nash Bridges, though I support him trying to play a role other than a pothead), and Chong said coke messed up his friends, as in you never meet a druggy that’s all like there was coke and it was awesome, but instead says there was coke and it’s evil and they did it and got all sketched out, where in comparison, an opiate addict will claim that the drug is evil, but will speak fondly of it.

I’m watching Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I’m a 35-year-old buzzed and stoned man. On my birthday when I was a kid, I went to the theatre and watched the sequel, Big Top Pee-Wee. It was good. It was a sunny day and we went to the South Bay Galleria in Torrance. Looking back, comparing it with say a birthday at Medieval Times, it seems lacking, but has a golden California sun memory to it.[3]

Seems in the 80s, I saw a Pee-wee Herman’s Playhouse Special on HBO and there were boobs. And then there was the Saturday morning show, but it confuses me because I always found Pee-wee weirdly sexual. If you’re in Pee-wee world, you’re stoned and you’re fucking. That’s adult perspective to me now. But there was something subversive, but in a way kid’s love the subversive. As a child I didn’t not think of it, sex, but it was just innate and watching Pee-wee… I don’t know how to finish this.

Pee-wee is flying off a cliff in a convertible at night with an escaped con, maybe serial killer, and the car is floating for a long time, the convertible ‘top’ acting as a parachute, before they land safely. The escaped con tells Pee-wee, “You don’t want to get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner. I’m a rebel.” Now Pee-wee will get picked up by Large Marge, the Ghost Trucker.

I guess Millenials might not know this, but “Be sure to tell them Large Marge sent, ya.”

I’m about to eat a steak. I took my dog, Franklyn, for a walk, and stopped by my buddy’s apartment and had a ‘dab’ of hash. I worked hard and I’m getting high. I’m talking about Friday, and you know this.

Watching Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke reminds me of LA elementary school field trips to museums, Olvera St., or city hall, ice plant embankments below freeways, like when they drove over the freeway overpass to play at The Roxy, and Cheech says something like, “We don’t need to know how to play, man, because it’s punk rock. We just got to be punks.” Some 90’s punk band that started a riot sampled it on a record. I know this, Jesus…. [4]

I was born in 1978 when Up in Smoke came out. I take vitamins like Chong. I watched the movie Cheech & Chong’s Corsican Brothers a lot as a kid on cable, staring Cheech & Chong as non-pot smoking want-to-be gigolos, kind of, just like Cheech & Chong, but without the weed, but the same. Don’t pigeon hole these guys. And my elementary school friend had a cassette tape of Cheech & Chong with Blind Melon Chitlin’-bit, fart-lighting joke (that killed us), and the Dave’s-not-here bit.

“Hey man, what’s up, man. It’s me, Dave. Open up.”

“Dave’s not here, man.”

“No, it’s Dave, let me in. I got the stuff.”

“No, man. Dave’s not here.”

“No, man. It’s me, Dave. Let me in. There’s cops out here. I got the stuff.”

“Dave not here, man.”

I would always drive by the big dinosaurs by the side of the freeway in the desert that are in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure on the way from the South Bay of LA to my grandparents in Palm Springs, really Indian Wells.

Oh, the air conditioning and pools.

I wish I was bourgie, again.

My fiancé just said “Dotty”, the actress playing her in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Elizabeth Daily, was recently on The Voice and made it, but got voted off. We’re eating now. The steak is delicious. The actress was also in Valley Girl and Better Off Dead, or just sang the “Better Off Dead” song in the movie of the same name. Now Pee-wee is dressed like a cowboy.

My fiancé said, after I initiated the conversation regarding, “Pee-wee is very sexual, but in a very asexual or non-sexual way.”

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure ends with him at a drive-in theatre watching the movie Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure starring an 80’s night-time soap opera looking ‘hunk’ as Pee-wee and Morgan Fairchild[5] as “Dotty”.

Pee-wee’s postmodern as fuck[6].

Pee-wee, the character in the movie, has a role in the postmodern fake movie in the movie. He plays a hotel clerk[7] with badly dubbed lines. The escaped convict’s name is Mickey. He tells Pee-wee, “He’s fantastic.” He’s leaning out of a prison bus window. I don’t think Mickey was a serial killer, just an escaped con.

I’m done with my steak. It was a New York, but thick, almost Filet Mignon like

Pee-wee’s bike has an ejection seat. (He’s trying to find his bike that was stolen most of the movie, but while it is the plot, it is, over all, unimportant, a ‘vehicle’ if you will, something not to be cognizant of, like an existentialist rumination of the journey a person takes: the delusions of self, blaring in their face. Looking back, they see their emotions and decisions so heated at moments. The self divested, only glad to arrive, moving forward, still searching for the prized bike, or riding the found prized bike. The afternoon passing like a movie, or even life.)

Dotty asks Pee-wee, “Don’t you want to see the end of the movie?”

And he says, “I don’t have to see the movie, Dottie. I lived it.”

Footnotes:

  1. Pee-wee’s role in Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams is actually what I meant, but changing this will, in essence, render the following content, all non-Pee-wee related commentary based on Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke in non-sequence, when their meaning, to me, is like a comforting childhood blanket, the crux and venerable ‘rudder’ of my altered, but if not more so than less, sublime thoughts regarding.
  2. All quotes and summations are based on memories, the capsulation of the energy of the movie, are not checked, and has been stored in my mind for many years, distilled, re-processed, like fuckin’ Picasso, man
  3. I remember so vividly my mom’s love for me, her warm smile, her sweet words; she may have been wearing jeans and a red shirt, but that could just be me. It must have been during the day, in the smaller theatre away from the mall. Then I had friends over for cake that night.
  4. Guttermouth.
  5. Morgan Fairchild.
    image - YouTube
    image – YouTube
  1. The Pee-wee Herman character was a collaboration with Paul Reubens long-term friend, colleague and comedic genius, Phil Hartman (“Who you might know as the voice of Troy McClure.”; amongst other things.) who has a cameo at the end as a reporter, and co-wrote the screenplay.
  2. Pee-wee plays a hotel clerk in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980), and an angry comedian, at a comedy club. I watched it the following night, and have before, like a hashassin ready to run off a cliff if someone told me to. Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke and Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams (1981), are more memorable because they have more of a plot, like the prior driving a van made of weed from Tijuana to LA and playing in a punk show (and they meet in the beginning, of course). And in Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams they’re selling weed from an ice cream truck and the weed turns Stacy Keach into a lizard, and the dude, that’s “real tripped out”, that’s growing the weed in the empty swimming pool with the tarp, just repeating, “Buds. No buds. Big buds.” But with Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, it is more skits, loosely tied together, and has a whole section where Cheech plays his ‘country cousin’ Red. But it’s good. And there’s aliens, and then it just ends. I slept well. TC mark

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featured image – Shutterstock

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