Brow Beat

This Pee-Wee-Herman-Themed Samantha Bee Promo Is the Future of Advertising

Samantha Bee, dressed as Pee-wee Herman.
Samatha Bee’s dark reboot of the Herman franchise is a visionary work of art. TBS

Advertising. We all hate it. We’re all soaking in it. And far, far too much of it is made up of cynical attempts to convince the audience to buy something, do something, or watch something, while far too little of it—virtually none, really—recreates the set of Pee Wee’s Playhouse to make a convincing argument that the show’s anthropomorphic chairs, Etch-a-Sketches, and globes were trapped in the Playhouse as eternal punishment for their sins, tormented forever by a sadistic man-child in a grey suit. It’s no wonder that advertising has such a terrible reputation.

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That all changes now, and it changes forever:

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It’s part fan theory, part No Exit, and all “the only kind of advertisement I ever want to see ever again ever.” There is a pitch for Samantha Bee’s “Christmas on I.C.E.” special buried in there, and it’s likely that this is just a clip of the first half of a segment from the show that will end up being about Trump saying “Happy Holidays” or something, but great art is getting so rare these days that as long as we can pretend this is a standalone piece, we definitely should. “PeeBee’s Christmas Nightmare” is best understood as a video essay, an incisive act of television criticism that will forever change the way you understand Pee-wee’s Playhouse. See for yourself:

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I had not thought Pee-wee had undone so many. Going forward, it should be completely unacceptable to American consumers to advertise anything—cereal, automobiles, presidential campaigns—without also creating an eternal-suffering-themed reboot of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in which the show’s garish colors, loud noises, and arbitrary rules are reimagined as hellish instruments of punishment, and we should all be writing our Senators and Congressmen about this issue every day until at long last, our great work complete, we breathe our last and are sent to the Playhouse forever to pay for what we have done, and also maybe meet Jambi the Genie. Come in and pull yourself up a chair—we’ve all been waiting for you!

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