Back in the late 80s and early 90s, the world belonged to Pee-wee Herman. Until he got busted masturbating in a porno theater (a lesser man could only hope to go so nobly), he could do no wrong.
So it’s no surprise that before shit went down, Pee-wee had been in talks to make his own breakfast cereal, just like every single other 80s icon. You know how it goes. You take oddly shaped hunks of oats and goat peckers (or whatever), add tiny, stiff marshmallows that are 99% sugar, and voila! Breakfast.
But Pee-wee had other things in mind.
The cereal was going to be made and marketed by Purina. As in, the dog food company. It was going to have the red checkerboard logo, and it would even be called “Pee-wee Chow”. But if you think a cereal that sounds like it was named after an actual bowl of dicks is the craziest thing you’re going to hear, hang on.
The most baffling part was the commercial. According to the esteemed Mr. Herman, it featured a 1950s style mother pouring a bowl on the floor while kids crawl up to it and eat it like dogs. Holy shit. If you saw that commercial in any other context you’d think it was a PSA for child abuse.
So what killed Pee-wee Chow? Turns out, kids just didn’t like it. It was a knock-off version of Trix, Pee-wee’s own preferred childhood cereal. The kids wanted something even sweeter. How the hell did anyone make it out of that decade without getting diabetes?