Cowboy Curtis and Pee-wee live within a horseback-ride's distance from the Grand Canyon (okay) so they make a trip out there and play with their echoes for about fifteen minutes. They eat dinner, Cowboy Curtis sings "Amarillo by Morning" or whatever on the guitar, and they go to sleep. But before they do they have one of the sweetest moments in the entire run of the show, and one of the very few times Pee-wee remained serious for more than two facetious seconds. It's hard to see the stars at night when you're playhouse is fitted with 20,000 lightbulbs and is sitting underneath a sphinx. So Pee-wee is amazed by the beauties of the open night sky. Laying head to head with Curtis he asks whether or not somebody just like them is up on one of those stars, looking back. Cowboy Curtis reckons there has to be. Then they just lay there for a minute, and Pee-wee smiles up at a twinkling star. It's cheesy, yeah, but it's the same theorem that Futurama used so well: The serious moments will mean a lot more if you aren't expecting them. Pee-wee's Playhouse never said anything deep about our humanity and never pretended to be anything more than a way to get people to scream more than usual. But this moment really works to show that even unbridled insanity should stop every now and then to think about the stars.
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