For more than 20 years, viewers have had the pleasure of watching Ralphie's desperate search for a Red Ryder BB gun for 24 hours straight every Christmas on TBS, as part of the network's day-long marathon of A Christmas Story. For those in need of a holiday marathon tune-up, head to IFC on Thanksgiving for an all-day showing of Pee Wee's Playhouse, as the network announced the planned marathon via Twitter this week.
"Save room for Pee-wee." The tweet reads, accompanied by a video compilation of clips from the show, which ran from 1986 to 1990. The clips chosen for the video were fitting, to say the least, as we see Pee-wee announce that he's "in your living room."
Pee-wee Herman, played by Paul Reubens, hosted the hit kids comedy show in the late 1980s, as the show spanned five seasons. The show won a number of daytime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Graphics and Title Design, Outstanding Hairstyling and Outstanding Makeup. Years after its release, the show would rank in the top 10 of TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever. The show was sparked by the cult success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which hit the big screen in 1985, just a year before the premiere of Pee-wee's Playhouse. The film was one of the first hits for director Tim Burton, and it currently holds an 87-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Other films, such as Big Top Pee-wee and Pee-wee's Big Holiday followed afterward.
Pee-wee's Playhouse aired 45 episodes during its five season run, including a Christmas special, so, giving each episode a half hour broadcasting window, IFC could theoretically (and mathematically) show the entire show from premiere to finale in 24 hours. The premiere was an hour long, but that would still leave them enough time to make it happen.
Holiday marathons have become enormously popular among television networks trying to increase holiday ratings, and is something IFC tried last Christmas with a Karate Kid marathon. A number of other networks have taken the same approach, broadcasting all-day showings of shows like Futurama, South Park, Criminal Minds and Doctor Who.
The Pee-wee marathon is just the beginning of IFC's broadcast of the show, as it can be seen on Saturday mornings following the Thanksgiving marathon, so there will be plenty of chances to catch Pee-wee on the small screen. Of course, there is the added challenge of commercial-free streaming for IFC, who is competing with Netflix, which already has the show (including the Christmas special) available for viewing.
The marathon kicks off at 6 am on IFC Thanksgiving morning.