R.I.P. John Paragon, the Man Who Gave Us Jambi the Genie on 'Pee-wee's Playhouse'
Meka leka hi meka hiney ho
Published Jun 18, 2021John Paragon — who many best know as Jambi the Genie from Pee-wee's Playhouse — has died.
While news of the actor's passing only broke late last night, Paragon passed away in April, TMZ confirmed via the coroner's office in Riverside County, CA. However, his cause of death has not been revealed. Paragon was 66.
Paragon started his career with the Los Angeles-based improv comedy group the Groundlings, which featured both future Pee-Wee Herman star Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. Paragon would later team up with Reubens again for the 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure as Jambi the Genie — a blue-painted head who lived life within a jeweled box.
Paragon would go on to reprise the role for Pee-wee's Playhouse, where he also voiced the character Pterri the Pterodactyl. In addition to those roles, Paragon wrote several episodes of the TV series and even got an Emmy Award nomination for Best Writing in a Children's Special for his work on 1988's "Pee-wee's Playhouse: Christmas Special" with Reubens.
In 2010, he returned as Jambi the Genie for the Broadway adaptation of Pee-wee Herman.
Beyond Paragon's work in the Pee-wee universe, he had a reoccurring role on Seinfeld, where he played one-half of the seriously terrifying couple Bob and Cedric. As Bob, he appeared in such classic episodes as "The Soup Nazi," "The Sponge" and "The Puerto Rican Day."
Paragon also had the starring role in 1986 children's movie The Frog Price.
Revisit just a few of Paragon's many memorable moments below.