Pee Wee Herman: SubGenius

So I was reminiscing, and watched the opening theme song from Pee Wee’s Playhouse, as one does, and noticed something interesting.

Very clearly, we see J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, of the Church of the SubGenius. A search turns up this retrospective, and they note:

Somehow, against all odds, the Church of the SubGenius became a real thing, if not exactly a real religion. It spread well beyond Dallas, capturing the imaginations of a number of important counterculture figures of the era. Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh, actor Paul Reubens (known for his role as Pee-wee Herman), Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, cartoonist R. Crumb, gonzo bluesman Mojo Nixon, and more all claimed a SubGenius affiliation. All of them sought Slack, an unspecified philosophical state that the church maintained as its answer to enlightenment.

So I guess it’s not a curious random thing. Apparently there was an actual connection. But this only makes me wonder about the picture in the upper right of the photo. Who is that? What was the connection there?

I also note that a standard, half-hour show in the US is 22 minutes of air time, allowing for commercials. The intro and outro takes up 3:43, leaving just 18 minutes of programming time. No wonder I was always surprised and sad when the show would jump cut — apropos of nothing, since it was stock — to the scooter ending.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.