This touch­es on themes run­ning through­out the entire series. Reubens, in inter­views, usu­al­ly as Pee-wee, desired to craft a series with a moral mes­sage, one focused on accept­ing oth­ers, of shar­ing, reci­procity, and of engen­der­ing empa­thy through play and enter­tain­ment. In 1988, the domain of Gen X, what could be more unhip than that? But it’s this know­ing sin­cer­i­ty, this will­ing­ness to be corny, that makes the show in gen­er­al, and this spe­cial in par­tic­u­lar, so sub­ver­sive. Huey Lewis said it best: “it’s hip to be square.” Pee-wee’s Play­house: Christ­mas Spe­cial is as blocky as they come.