Monday, October 02, 2006

Pee-wee Herman and One Degree of "The Grammar Mechanic"

In the mid eighties I acted in a public television educational program called The Grammar Mechanic. Don't look it up on IMDB, really. Almost twenty years later, I tracked down VHS copies of every episode, and here's a clip of the opening credits and a little bit of the show. I'm the white kid:

Ahh, the show had everything: killer theme lyrics, independent mom, token black kid, token chick, token talking computer. Did the producers foresee the future of this fine republic with laser focus, or what?

There is little more notable about the show (unless you know me and want to mercilessly mock me and my bad acting) except that we had one brush with greatness. Allison Mork was a set decorator and makeup artist on the Mechanic, and soon she would jet off (drive more likely) to work on Pee-wee Herman's new Saturday morning show on CBS.

Here is puppeteer and actress Allison Mork on the Pee-wee's Playhouse episode "The Rainy Day" playing a housewife crank called by Randy and Pee-wee. Mork was also the puppeteer and voices for Magic Screen, Chicky Baby, and Chairry, and I think this may be the only on-screen performance she delivered on the show:

Thanks to Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, we're rediscovering the playhouse and bringing back lots of memories on this 20th anniversary of the show's debut. Grammar-y!


Anonymous said...

Love the hair, Kel!
You are 1 degree of separation away from Pee Wee :) This should be the new "Kevin Bacon" game!

Oberon said...

........the art of peace is medicine for a sick world......morihei ueshiba.

Ryan said...

Kelly... we have discussed this in the past and this is nothing short of genious! The only thing missing are the stripper poles and boobie tassels. We want to see more Kelly... more!

Phil said...

Kelly, just got your comment on my post and left this one...

"Andrea Stewart (apparently the Grammar Mechanic on your show) was my junior English teacher at Hume Fogg.

Six degrees of separation indeed."

Kelly said...

Phil: yes, Andrea Stewart (no relation) was the writer and producer of the show. She was great to work with and was very forgiving of us college students who never remembered our lines.