I picked up a used DVD box set of Pee Wee's Playhouse at a local used record store (Vinyl Fever in Tampa — Florida folks should check it out) on a lark and was blown away by how many tiki references there were on the show. Here, right smack dab in the tiki-hating 1980s, Paul Rubens brings out his love for mid-century pop culture and is perhaps responsible for planting a seed in a generation that would bring back the lounge scene a decade later.
Right off the bat, the show's opening theme song pays homage to Martin Denny's "Quiet Village" as the camera slowly pans through the jungle up to the playhouse. Once inside, we find not one, but two tikis among the retro-kitch decor. Then, in the episode "Luau for Two," Pee Wee throws a luau for his friend Miss Yvonne.
The box sets of the show are selling for next to nothing ($24.99 new, around $19 used), so it's affordable even for the mildly curious to check out.
Pick up Pee-Wee's Playhouse Vol. 1 at Amazon.com