George McGrath talks about his work on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and writing the movie Big Top Pee-Wee

George McGrath is known for voicing the characters Cowntess / Fish / Globey / Flower / Pterri in “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”. He is also the writer of various episodes of the show including the theme song.

George also wrote the film “Big Top Pee-Wee” and was a writer on the HBO series “Tracy Takes On”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” and his work on the show.

Kevin Carlson talks about working on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Beetlejuice & working with The Muppets

Kevin Carlson is the voice/puppeteer of Clockey / Conky / Floory / Fish and Knucklehead from “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”. He also worked on projects like “Beetlejuice, Child’s Play 2” and “Team America: World Police”.

Kevin has also worked with Jim Henson on projects like “Muppet*vision 3-D” and is the voice of Timmy the Tooth in “The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth”.

Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Kevin about his roles and what it was like to work with The Muppets.

Follow Kevin on Instagram at

Blu-ray Review “Pee-wee’s Playhouse: The Complete Series”

Starring: Paul Reubens, Lynne Marie Stewart, William Marshall, S. Epatha Merkerson, Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman
Number of discs: 8
Studio: Shout! Factory
Rated TV-PG
Running Time: 1103 minutes

Series: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

If you grew up in the 80’s then you properly watched “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” as a kid. This show is the simple definition of ADD. Watching this show today literally gives me a headache but this show has never lost it’s charm. This Complete Series Blu-ray release includes all 45 wacky episodes, plus Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, that have been completely remastered the original film elements. This is the first time that this series has even been released in high definition and it is one hell of a release, thanks to Shout! Factory.

If you are looking to meet back up with Pee-wee Herman and his pals: Jambi the Genie, Miss Yvonne, Cowboy Curtis, Reba the Mail Lady, Captain Carl, Magic Screen, Conky, Globey, Chairry, Pterri, Randy and many more, I would highly recommend picking up this amazing series. This show isn’t just a cult classic though, it was the winner of an amazing 22 Emmy® Awards during it’s run. I am excited to be able to share this show with my two year old daughter, who has really been enjoying it so far. She calls it the “weird man show”, which she is totally correct in saying. We also already have her yelling “Mecka-lecka hi… Mecka-hiney ho!”

Shout! Factory delivered an amazing release here. Even the case is hard stock and had some amazing new cover art. The reverse side of the art also includes a complete episode list including each episodes “Word of the Day”. The  high definition transfers are presented in 1.35:1 and looks amazing. Shout! has said that it was taken from original film elements and that the restoration process was supervised by Paul Reubens himself. The colors are amazing and look extremely vibrant. Same goes for the series’ uncompressed LPCM 2.0 audio track, which works well with the zany madness and Mark Mothersbaugh.

In terms of special features, this release still impresses. There are over four hours of brand-new interviews with the cast and crew, plus never-seen, behind-the-scenes footage with ten featurettes, including: “Building the Playhouse”, which goes into the show production design. “Opening the Playhouse” looks into the title sequence. “Writing for the Playhouse” looks into the scripts and also the music with composer Mark Mothersbaugh. “The Look of the Playhouse” shows the construction of the Playhouse.

“Music of the Playhouse” is a full focus on Mothersbaugh’s tunes. “The Cast of the Playhouse” is a near 50 minutes feature jam-packed with great interviews. “The Puppets of the Playhouse” is a 30 minute look into the shows puppet work. “Animating the Playhouse” looks into the various aspect of animation. “Fans and Memorabilia of the Playhouse” shows the fans obsession with the show of the year. Lastly there is a behind-the-scenes look at the “A Very Merry Christmas Special”. I would have also loved some commentary tracks but there are so many interviews thrown in here, it makes up for the loss. A must own for any Pee-wee fan!

Concert Review: The Machine, Ridgefield Playhouse – Ridgefield, CT

The Machine
Ridgefield Playhouse
Ridgefield, CT
January 25, 2013

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Above all other bands, Pink Floyd live concerts were a feast for the eyes and ears – a true spectacle combining finely-crafted progressive music and a grand scale high-tech theatrics. At their best, they blended these elements perfectly and their shows were in a league of their own both aurally and visually. With this in mind, any band that exclusively covers Pink Floyd faces a massively daunting task in trying to recreate what going into the “Floyd void” was like. It’s a Davis versus Goliath situation that requires one hell of a slingshot.

Out of the trifecta that currently dominates the Faux Floyd scene – The Machine, The Australian Pink Floyd show, and Brit Floyd – the New York City-based Machine has been tackling this task for the past 25 years making them the band that’s been in the game for the longest span of time. And for good reason: on a musical level, they’ve really mastered the Floyd back catalog with a degree of virtuosity and meticulousness that borders on the realm of the uncanny.

This phenomenon was clearly on display at the Ridgefield playhouse who were treated to a broad-ranging set list that not only included many of the well-known song staples from mega-selling LPs “Wish You Were Here”, “The Wall” and “Dark Side of the Moon” but also from almost every other Pink Floyd album – including ones from the David Gilmour-led “Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “Division Bell” albums. To the delight of the assembled masses, the band delved into the epic “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from 1977’s oft-desired but seldom heard in live performance “Animals” album – songs from which the Floyd themselves last performed during the 1978 tour supporting that album. Even the title track from the last studio album to feature Roger Waters, “the final cut” as well as the first song of their encore set, “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, were there to please the fanatics who hungered for the deepest of deep tracks.

As a band, The Machine rarely takes any liberties with the songs; they’re pretty much note-for-note renditions of the classics that the Floyd committed to vinyl for over 30 years. When they do break the mold, however, the results are mixed. In general, the excursions work best when they involve softer more hushed tones, such as shifting into acoustic mode mid-way through 1994’s “Coming Back to Life” or adding a spacey outro jam to “Money”. Things don’t fare as well when the band cranks their amps past 11, as was evidenced during “Echoes” in a spacey Grateful Dead-style jam that disintegrated into a cacophony of swirling keyboard looping. It was an ear sore – one compounded by its bisecting a track that is one of Pink Floyd’s most defining and sacred songs.

On a visual level, however, the show lacked the true spectacle of latter era Floyd mega-shows. Sure, the iconic circular movie screen was there for all to see but, like the rollercoaster that’s shut down undergoing repairs the day you’re at the amusement park hoping for the thrills that it can usually provide, it remained dormant throughout the vast majority of the show. And while the fog machines were clearly working overtime, there were no lasers to be found – only a bank of Vari-lites that frequently maneuvered themselves to point directly at the crowd. This had the effect of making the band difficult to see due to the need to squint and occasionally turn away completely.

Overall, The Machine’s show was a worthwhile one – but could indeed use a fair degree of fine-tuning to truly provide an approximation of what the total Pink Floyd experience was all about.