• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 19, 2011
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Mar 21, 2011
    40
    Without the overwhelming nostalgia for this particular venue for Pee-wee and these supporting characters, I found The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway a long (close to 90 minutes) slog, cute in spots, but mainly just strange--a voyage through the fantasy life of a character I prefer to see fending for himself in a closer approximation of the real world.
  2. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Mar 21, 2011
    70
    Pee-wee was always a boy-man, but Reubens is pushing 60; when he is flying through the air singing "I'm the luckiest boy in the world" the words "Sunset Boulevard" do come unfortunately to mind. Still, fans of Pee-wee will no doubt delight in a return to those strange and halcyon days before the Wiggles and Blues Clues took over the world, when Barney was still Fred Flintstone's sidekick and not a purple dinosaur and Pee-wee's multi-generational appeal was subversive and unique.
  3. Reviewed by: Kris King
    Mar 21, 2011
    75
    The Pee-Wee Herman Show is manic, crazy, and most of all, a whole lot of, ahem, "fun."
  4. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Mar 18, 2011
    60
    Even lensed for TV, the special isn't wholly satisfying, but for anyone who visited "Pee-wee's Playhouse" in the late '80s, the experience is good enough. As for those who might say dismissing the show at that is snobbish, I know you are, but what am I?
  5. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Mar 18, 2011
    40
    Although it is 90 minutes long, it feels much longer, and the truly smart laughs are few.
  6. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Mar 18, 2011
    30
    For the most part, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway is stale sugary shtick on a candy-colored set with no new resonance--no undercurrents about childhood, or innocence, or even Pee-wee Herman.
  7. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 18, 2011
    75
    It's a long pull that can be fun and funny--and more than a wee bit tedious.
  8. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    It's mildly amusing, but it comes off as an extended appetizer, not a meal.
  9. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    While it seems apparent that seeing the show live would be a hoot, it doesn't translate to television all that well--it just feels shrunken and confined by the medium.
  10. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 17, 2011
    40
    To my eyes, in the end, those moments still don't make this show worth an hour and a half of a Saturday night. It just has too many giggly jokes about "toilet water." But if you're among those fans who feared a few years ago you'd lost Pee-wee forever, there's no arguing that you now have him back.
  11. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Mar 17, 2011
    50
    It's a happy mix of childlike wonder and mildly adult humor--too mild for "Two and a Half Men," but maybe too adult for Saturday mornings--that allows Reubens to be timeless and yet topical. But again, only mildly so.
  12. Reviewed by: Tanner Stransky
    Mar 17, 2011
    42
    While the acting and jokes are still solid, it's clear this particular iteration was meant for the stage.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 17, 2011
    88
    Reubens is getting a bit old for this, but Pee-wee's innocence, infantilism and camp haven't dated--there's a rebel in the ridiculousness. [21 Mar 2011, p.46]
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 20, 2011
    7
    Although the show becomes a bit tiresome with a 90 minute running time, Reubens' childlike joy is infectious and it is worth watching for fans of the series. Full Review »
  2. Mar 25, 2011
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The show is a slight upgrade from the original LA stageshow(and HBO special), with Phil Hartman's Captain Carl character written out. This is definitely a Pee Wee love fest, with a feel of Rocky Horror. And enough winks to 2011 to keep you listening carefully. You know the jokes, you know when to participate and you still love the Luckiest Boy in the World. Turn off your cynicism for a while, bring out your inner child and slide on down to Puppet Town. Full Review »