You’ve recently garnered acclaim for your paintings. Your work, especially yourword paintings, are funny. That’s something in the movie that you mention actually rubbing people the wrong way.
Humor is always considered lightweight and not worthy of analysis. I want to present humor as something deep and laughter as something sacred and human as worthy of art. Nevertheless, the best humor has a core of sadness. That’s what gives it its richness.
How much of that seeped into Pee-Wee’s Playhouse?
Well in Pee Wee’s we were deconstructing and satirizing the culture — the TV shows, the books, the comics and the sitcoms — that we knew as kids in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We filtered it with art history, our knowledge of cubism and expressionism and all that. A lot of us were underground cartoonists which is all about looking at the dark side of things, taking a toy and twisting it and finding the darkness to it. We weren’t doing it for kids. We were doing it for ourselves.