Pee-Wee Hermania: Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday


To celebrate the new Netflix-produced Pee-Wee Herman movie, I invited a bunch of friends over for a breakfast-food themed movie night.

Read on for friends, food, film and fun! And wine. There was also wine.

The Movie

I don’t think the movie completely captured the whimsy of Pee-Wee’s original adventures, but it did catch hold. Reubens himself originated the character and has barely aged, and considering that he is 63 YEARS OLD, that is pretty impressive.

I’d also like to admit that this movie finally got me a seat aboard the Joe Manganiello train. I have never seen Magic Mike and only knew his name and reputation as a hot nice guy, but I think he honestly seems like a fun, goofy type of dude and this movie is a perfect example of it. He and Pee-Wee’s borderline bromance was really, genuinely precious.

BFFS!! Literally! 

Honestly I’d characterize this movie as a strange analogue to the chick-flicks where some small-town girl, living in a lonely world, takes the midnight train across the country on a series of misadventures to visit her best friend. And the movie plays with that, showing Pee-Wee and Manganiello cavorting like millionaire children at the greatest birthday party in the world. It’s the kind of fireworks and giant ice-cream cones party you dream about when you’re 9. Manganiello even dons the legendary slim-fit gray suit and bow tie during their shenanigans. Both actors were having so much fun during these scenes that I didn’t even care what the rest of the movie was about, which is part of its charm.

FUN FACT: The supporting cast is peppered with some familiar faces, like Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development, Diane Salinger from the original Big Adventure, Frank Collison, Jr. from everything, AND Leo Fitzpatrick, who I know best from The Wire as homeless junkie Johnny Weeks. The latter is great as a kindly Amish farmer.

I grew up with the originals, so naturally it’s hard to be completely objective about this new installment. The lack of Tim Burton’s involvement was definitely felt, as well as Danny Elfman’s score, but overall I thought the movie was fun. There’s nothing here to give a child nightmares, which is kind of a mixed blessing – realizing there are scarier things in the world than Large Marge or those GODDAMNED CLOWNS was a personal rite of passage for me at age 12.

Overall, it was definitely a fun entry to the Pee-Wee legacy and worth the watch. If I was grading it I would give it a solid B.

The Food

I like to do potlucks with friends, so I made a bunch of stuff and invited them to bring a bunch of stuff, too.

I contributed:

  • Kale, egg, and goat cheese mini-quiches
  • A LOT of nice, thick bacon, mostly fried in my cast-iron skillet but the rest done in the oven because the house filled up with smoke and I got tried of pouring out the grease
  • A plate of cut up red and green apples and strawberries, and more goat cheese to go with them
  • Coffee
  • Cheerio Treats (which are like rice Krispy treats but instead, Cheerios!)
  • Various -ades of the orange, lemon, and lime variety
Not mine, but they looked like this – photo from

My friends brought:

  • Prosecco and stuff to make mimosas
  • Amazing Home-made biscuits (a friend grew up in Louisiana and worked as a cook for a while, and he is SERIOUS about southern food)
  • Red pepper jelly
  • Chocolate donuts with rainbow sprinkles

AND – in case someone turned out to be vegan/vegetarian, I was standing by with stuff to make strawberry/ almond butter crepes, from coconut or almond flour. Or I guess I could have done an apple crepe. But nobody was vegan/vegetarian, so it worked out.

So overall it was a fun movie night with friends! I am going to try and make them a more regular thing, and invite more people along. Maybe I’ll even remember to take my own pictures, who knows?

Adios, and have a great week!

Author: jennnanigans

Orlando-area writerly person.

3 thoughts on “Pee-Wee Hermania: Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday”

  1. Not a Pee Wee fan but I would’ve come just for the food. Joe Manganiello was a werewolf in True Blood. And he was yummy … just sayin’

    1. He was adorably sweet in this. I never watched True Blood (saw the first episode and just never got hooked) but I might give it another go eventually. I am dreadful about discovering things WAY past when everyone else has stopped caring about them LOL!

      1. True Blood was great for about 2 1/2 seasons. Then it seem to go downhill. But I saw everything right up to the finale. It’s good they wrapped it up because they seemed to run out of ideas.

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