Chairy, Jambi, Pterri, Randy… on September 13, 1986, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse introduced dozens of lovable characters to millions of viewers on Saturday mornings. Expanded from a live stage show into a children’s program by Paul Reubens, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was a smashing success that featured Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman, a kid at heart who enjoyed the company of his fanciful Puppetland friends. Steve Binder, producer of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, talks about the early days of the program and the decision to go off the air after the fifth season, in 1991:
Mekka Lekka Hi-Mekka Hiney Ho!
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About this interview:
Producer/Director Steve Binder was interviewed for the Archive’s Living Television Collection in 2004. He talks about his early work at Los Angeles’ KABC, and directing The Steve Allen Westinghouse Show in the early 60s. He discusses at-length writing and directing his breakthrough rock documentary, The T.A.M.I. Show, which showcased such stars as The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, and James Brown. He also discusses many other programs he worked on including Hullabaloo, The Danny Kaye Show, Gilligan’s Island, Diana Ross in Central Park and Lucy in London, a CBS special starring Lucille Ball. He talks at length about producing and directing NBC’s Elvis: The ‘68 Comeback Special, which relaunched Elvis Presley’s career and set the bar for music specials. Steve Binder was interviewed at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters in North Hollywood, CA on March 4, 2004 by Stephen J. Abramson.