Known to many as Jambi the Genie on longtime friend Paul Reubens’ “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” we’ve learned the sad news that actor, writer and filmmaker John Paragon has passed away.
Paragon was 66 years old, and he reportedly passed away on April 3, 2021.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska on December 9, 1954, John Paragon got his start as a member of the well-known improvisation group The Groundlings, where he met Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman and Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson. Paragon and Peterson became longtime friends and collaborators, writing the script for the 1988 feature film Elvira: Mistress of the Dark together.
Paragon later wrote the script for 2001 movie Elvira’s Haunted Hills, while also working with Peterson on “The Elvira Show,” “13 Nights of Elvira,” “Elvira’s Movie Macabre.”
Peterson paid tribute to her friend on Twitter today, writing: “Lost someone that meant the world to me and was such a huge part of “Elvira” and my life that it’s impossible to express how sad I feel. John Paragon, my writing partner of 27 years…my friend, my brother, my soul-mate. I will miss you and love you forever, Johnny.”
John Paragon was also a filmmaker, directing episodes of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” “Pacific Blue,” and “Silk Stalkings.” He directed the films Double Trouble (1992) and Twin Sitters (1994). Additional writing credits include The Pee-Wee Herman Show, Elvira’s MTV Halloween Party, Christmas at Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Ring of the Musketeers, and “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”
Paragon appeared in Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Eating Raoul, Pandemonium, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, UHF, Double Trouble, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, and “Seinfeld.”
For his work on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” Paragon was nominated for four Daytime Emmys.
Lost someone that meant the world to me and was such a huge part of “Elvira” and my life that it’s impossible to express how sad I feel. John Paragon, my writing partner of 27 years…my friend, my brother, my soul-mate. I will miss you and love you forever, Johnny #RIPJohnParagon pic.twitter.com/ajz0nhIXLs
— Elvira (@TheRealElvira) June 18, 2021