Mecka-lecka-hi, mecka-oh-no-no. Sad to report that we've lost one of the good ones. Actor John Paragon has passed at the age of 66. You probably best know him as Jambi, the sassy genie in a jeweled box on Pee-wee's Playhouse. An alum of the improv group, The Groundlings, he worked on several post-school projects with classmates Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman, and Elvira (Cassandra Peterson).
His bio on The Groundlings site:
John Dixon Paragon was born in Alaska, but grew up and attended schools in Fort Collins, Colorado. He got his start in the Los Angeles-based improvisation group, The Groundlings, alongside Paul Reubens and Phil Hartman. John is best known for his work on children's show, PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE, where he played Jambi the Genie and voiced Pterri the Pterodactyl. In addition to writing many of the regular season episodes of PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE (1986), John also co-wrote with Paul Reubens the acclaimed PEE-WEE'S PLAYHOUSE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL in 1988, for which they were nominated an Emmy Award for Best Writing in a Children's Special. He has also collaborated with fellow Groundling Cassandra Peterson on numerous projects, including the recurring role of The Breather, an annoying caller, for her first television series, MOVIE MACABRE, on KHJ-TV-Los Angeles and was co-writer on her 1988 feature film, ELVIRA MISTRESS OF THE DARK. Some of his other memorable roles include Cedric, one half of the homosexual couple Bob and Cedric on the television series, SEINFELD; the title character in the children's movie, THE FROG PRINCE; the sex shop salesman in the cult favorite, EATING RAOUL; and the owner of a Strip-o-gram business in the 1986 film, ECHO PARK. In recent years, John has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering on ways to incorporate improvisational performance into attractions at Disney parks. He returned to his performance as Jambi the Genie in the Broadway outing of the new "Pee-wee Herman" stage show that began performances October 26, 2010 at the Stephen Sondheim Theater.