Happy Birthday, Pee Wee Herman, and the Fall of other Childhood Heroes

“Today is Pee Wee Herman’s 60th birthday,” Scott informed me yesterday morning.  He just received a text from his mom that stated the fact.  It was a random text, but we love them.  I mean, we never would have known that August 27 was Paul Reubens‘ birthday otherwise.

“Huh.  I never would have guessed he was so close to my parent’s age,” was all I could think to say at the time.

However, for some reason, the thought of Pee Wee Herman lead me back to his silly show from my childhood.  I was probably around 7 when the show started and I watched it every Saturday morning.  I am sure I found it funny, interesting, and silly, although today, he is just annoying. I always wanted to sit in his big chair; his house and playhouse were so cool!  (His house was on the movie, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.)

I know, you are wondering what is my point and where is this heading?  Well, you see, Pee Wee Herman, or Paul Reubens was the first fallen actor in my world.  I watched the show as a kid, and I will never forget, in the early ’90s when he was arrested for indecent exposure.  I was probably about 10 or 11, and it was the first time I realized that actors are people and they can make BIG mistakes.  I swore I would never watch Pee Wee Herman again, I am pretty sure I have kept that personal promise.  While Pee Wee Herman was not a hero to me, he was an icon in my childhood.  His scandal left me with the idea that actors and famous people are not to be trusted, and we really don’t know what goes on their world.

My husband, who loves to bike, has always adored Lance Armstrong.  We have watched him on TV, read his biography, and both of us have and wear the Livestrong bracelet.  I applaud him going from fighting the fight of his life and beating Cancer, only to return to cycling and win the Tour de France so many times.  Now, more than ever before, we all question: Did he cheat?  I don’t know. Me, not wanting us to lose a hero, wonders: In a sport that is really dirty, does it matter?  I say, does it matter because he has retired.  He is done with the sport and what does stripping him of his titles do?  Can we prove that NO ONE in those races cheated?  [I am not advocating for cheating in sports, if you think that then you missed my point.]  I am sad that a role model, someone who has done a lot of GOOD on this planet has been tainted.  It leaves me questioning, “Does anyone have talent?”

Now that I am a mom to a kid who LOVES sports and idolizes baseball players, I am more aware than ever before about heroes.  My son, who often refers to his teachers by just their last names, excluding the Mr. and Mrs., loves to call his favorite baseball players Mr. Ortiz, or Mr. Pedroia.  He has so much respect for the players and worships everything they do.  Luckily, so far, none of the players he absolutely adores and respects has been accused of anything.  Every time Scott is reading something related to baseball and says, “Oh, no!” or “Not another one!”  My heart skips a beat and I always ask, “David Ortiz hasn’t done anything wrong?”  So far, the answer is no, and I pray that he is one of the good guys.  I pray David Ortiz is one of the athletes with talent, determination, and plays clean.  I want this so bad because I want my son to have his hero.  He is 7 and I would hate for him to lose respect for someone he hopes to be like someday.  I want my son to dream about being a baseball player and watch the sport without the realization that sometimes good players make bad choices.

The media has been on a witch hunt since I was young.  They are constantly trying to catch famous people doing the wrong thing.  I wonder: How is that helping America? Doesn’t it just reward those who do naughty things?  Shouldn’t we be concentrating on those who do good deeds?  I know it’s the scandals that sell and I wonder why as people we are attracted to wrong-doing instead of good-doing?

I know I can’t change this mentality.  I can’t control others and what the media reports.  What I can do is teach my kids about real life heroes.  I want them to idolize real people, who do good things.  They won’t know about them, unless I teach it to them.  I also can teach my kids how to be good people, but that choice is completely theirs.  I can be there for them if their idols fall. We don’t know what happens behind closed doors until it’s all over the media, and even then, we don’t  know what really happened.

Who are your heroes?


Tried a Like Party Today:


6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Pee Wee Herman, and the Fall of other Childhood Heroes

  1. I always found peewee to be creepy. Lance was too good to be true and looks like a big liar at the moment. It is so sad how the heroes seem to be falling like flies. My hero is my Dad…but he will not disappoint…so maybe that is why he is my hero. 🙂 thought revoking blog!

  2. I still love Pee Wee and he makes me laugh every time. He managed to go on after that silly flap over nothing really and I admire him for that. No one is infallible. No one should be worshiped. Something I’ve learned through the years. Interesting post.

    • I like it when actors and famous people can move on after their scandals. I don’t think anyone should be completely done after making a mistake that didn’t hurt anyone. We all make mistakes. That’s another thing I try to teach the kids too.

      Did you hear they might bring back Pee Wee Herman? I am sure I will want to see it, out of curiosity if nothing else.

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the comment and the visit!

  3. Sadly I think we do this with more than just celebrities. So many times we build ourselves up by learning about the downfalls of others. We are too focused on comparing who we are to others, instead of just living our life to the best of our ability for ourselves and our family!!

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