Pee Wee Herman

Pee Wee Herman is pure camp for as Sontag describes, it represents “the love of the exaggerated, the “off” of things-being-what-they-are-not.” (3) This scene from Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure clearly depicts the over the top nature of the Pee Wee character down to his every movement and laugh. Even more, Paul Reuban literally embodied the character of Pee Wee until even in everyday life he became the outrageous and ridiculous person he played on screen (as shown in the video below). As Sontag quotes Wilde, “one should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” (Sontag 2) The Pee Wee character best represents this as he became more than simply a television character but a work of art that functioned throughout many levels of popular culture. It is important to note that the camp represented by Pee Wee is better read as the type of camp Sontag labels as “deliberate” or “wholly conscious” rather than completely naive of its intention.


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