My friend Jojo sent me this link to a snippet from an interview with Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman himself) in which he discusses the remastering of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse for its blu-ray release. The gist: The Christmas Special was shot on film with effects added to the dubbed tapes. So, they now are going back in and essentially re-editing the whole thing and relaying in effects. Prepare ocular sensors for incoming eyegasm.
Personally, as a child, I found the show terribly frightening. Like all good 80s kitsch entertainments, it sat on a thin line between candy-colored dreamscape and grotesque nightmare zone.