Large Marge sent him.
December 17, 2007 1:39 AM   Subscribe

He was born in 1980, during a risqué Groundlings show. After cameo roles (NSFW/language) in two Cheech & Chong movies, he earned his own HBO special. Four years later, Pee Wee Herman made his first feature film. Love him or hate him, his tv show won 22 Emmys... it seemed he was the luckiest boy in the world. Until one fateful day. Since then he's kept busy, and has regularly started and then nixed rumors of the bow tie's return. Recently he's changed his mind though, and in June a middle-aged Pee Wee made a surprise appearance after 15 years. Now he's promising two upcoming Pee Wee films... but will Johnny Depp take over his giant underpants?

Full episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (1988) Feliz Nahbehblah!

Full first episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse
Pee Wee's E! True Hollywood Story
Official Pee Wee website
Gary Panter's website (Art Director)
Danny Elfman's website (Composer)
Phil Hartman tribute page (Co-writer)

Vintage Pee Wee commercials
Commercials for Playhouse toys
Greenpeace commercial
Japanese commercials
Anti-crack public service announcement

Vintage appearances
Doing standup with Morgan Fairchild
His Letterman appearances
On Saturday Night Live (in jail with Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanagan, the Compulsive Liar)
Chatting and making crank calls with Joan Rivers
Showing Dolly Parton around the Playhouse
Hosting Friday Night Videos
Guest starring on an episode of 227 with Jackee
On Arsenio Hall

Miscellaneous
San Francisco's Paul Reubens' Day
Pee Wee's theme song played live
Pee Wee's theme on piano
Pee Wee sound board
The Pee Wee dance page
Jim Carrey as Pee Wee
Pee Wee Herman Se7en mashup
1987's foremost Pee Wee Herman impersonator
Pee Wee fan site
Paul Reubens mugshots
Pee Wee's Sodomy House Fan-made stop-motion animated Playhouse gay porn short (Very NSFW - duh)

Recent Paul Reubens interviews discussing Pee Wee
On NPR's Fresh Air in 2004
2006 AV Club interview
2006 Time Magazine article
Introducing Pee Wee's Big Adventure at Hollywood Forever Cemetary's annual screening
On Letterman
On Jimmy Kimmel
On Conan
On adult swim, talking about casting the Playhouse
posted by miss lynnster (104 comments total) 140 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is an amazing post.

Meeting Pee Wee in character (self-link) is one of the crowning achievements in my life.
posted by dhammond at 1:44 AM on December 17, 2007


“I was trying to do something about the golden rule and having good morals and being responsible, and then at the same time, being unique and exposing kids to art,” he says.

So it's "art" that he was exposing, now, is it? HA-HA!

Great post. It's going to be a long day before I can get home to watch the videos.
posted by grouse at 1:47 AM on December 17, 2007


And tangentially related... it's not too late to send Milly a card! :)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:48 AM on December 17, 2007


How is that even tangentially related, again?
posted by grouse at 1:53 AM on December 17, 2007


I remember being all confused when he appeared in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie soon after the fateful day... I just couldn't believe he would be simply playing a character in a movie, I kept expecting him to either break into the PeeWee persona or make some reference to his arrest.

Thanks for the post miss lynnster. Over the years I've occasionally found myself wondering what the heck PeeWee was doing, immediately followed by wondering if I really wanted to know.
posted by XMLicious at 1:54 AM on December 17, 2007


They're in the Christmas special. Paul Reubens gave them their big break.
posted by miss lynnster at 1:55 AM on December 17, 2007


From Wikipedia:
Eating gag: When Pee-wee ate or tasted something, typically during Snack Time, he often exclaimed enjoyment by saying, "Mmm, (object)-y!". For example, he would say "Mmm, lemony!" when tasting something with a lemon flavor. This gag was later used on The Simpsons by Homer and by Johnny Bravo in the Cartoon Network cartoon of the same name. An example of the joke being used during other situations was an innuendo, where Pee-wee was describing the bust that Dirty Dog made for Miss Yvonne in the episode Playhouse in Outer Space; he said "Mmmm, busty!" and laughed.
The censors must have been sleeping on the job.
posted by grouse at 2:06 AM on December 17, 2007


He's actually been in A LOT of stuff since Pee Wee, by the way. Murphy Brown, 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, Mystery Men, Blow, Everybody Loves Raymond, Batman Returns... he's definitely stayed employed.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:08 AM on December 17, 2007


Helluva post, miss lynnster. The Cheech and Chong connection was... unexpected. I look forward to spending way too much time looking at your links tomorrow!
posted by maryh at 2:11 AM on December 17, 2007


This is the last comment I'm making in here. Promise. But there's a MAJOR double entendre in the 1988 Christmas special. They're talking about mistletoe and how you have to kiss people who are holding it over their heads. So everyone is asking Miss Yvonne to stand next to them with her mistletoe so they can kiss her. Well, at one point, Floory says in a really creepy voice, "Hey Miss Yvonne! Come and stand over me!" Cracks me up every time, but it's typical since Pee Wee started out as a kid who put mirrors under girls' dresses.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:13 AM on December 17, 2007


I love heeeem.
posted by Wolof at 2:16 AM on December 17, 2007


Then why don't you marry him?
posted by grouse at 2:34 AM on December 17, 2007 [20 favorites]


The Conan interview is charming. Actually, so is the Letterman one; Letterman accidentally calls him Pee Wee at one point.

I know Phil Hartman at one time said his participation in the early Pee Wee shows was very limited, but the relationship between Captain Karl and Pee Wee is the heart and soul of the HBO special, which I still think is the single best appearance of the Pee Wee character. And he cowrote the first film.

Well, at least John Paragon, who played Jambee and Pterri, is still around, and he obviously had a big hand in shaping Pee We -- he cowrote many of the television shows, including the Christmas episode. Here's Paragon from his own show, Paragon of Comedy. which Paul Reubens cowrote. Paragon was also Cedric. And he wrote both Elvira movies, which are sorely underappreciated.

Now that I think about it, I'm quite a fan of John Paragon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:38 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have had sex with Pee Wee Herman and would like to comment.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:38 AM on December 17, 2007


Interview with Terry Gross.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:39 AM on December 17, 2007


I remember his first appearance on TV after the scandal: Heard any good jokes lately?
posted by jozxyqk at 3:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Wow! What an FPP! If I wasn't out of weed, I'd spend the rest of the night digging through all those video links.

Well done, miss lynnster. The handful I have clicked have me happily recalling watching Pee-Wee every Saturday morning, and all the fun my Dad and I used to have quoting Pee-Wee's Big Adventure to each other when I was little. Thank you!

I'm torn on the prospect of Pee-Wee Depp. I've no doubt that this master actor would turn in a fantastic performance. Johnny Depp could make Space Jam 2 worth watching, if he had to. But this a role that I have difficulty separating from Paul Reubens. No matter what he's playing, I can't help but see Pee-Wee when I watch him. I know that the truly great roles outlive their originators, and Mr. Reubens may well have grown too old to convincingly portray Pee-Wee, but the idea of anyone else in that bowtie is just a bit surreal.

But I guess if Zachary Quinto can play Spock, anything's possible.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:36 AM on December 17, 2007


I used to have nightmares about Pee Wee. There's this scene in one of his movies (I saw it when I was 5 and god help me I just can't remember what it's called) where it's raining and dark and he's alone and lost and he gets on a bus and he looks at all the people and they have monster/alien/animal heads, something really gross. That image used to come up in my childhood dreams every now and again.

And if we're speaking of Pee Wee references in popular culture, then it's worth mentioning that Arthur episode where he falls asleep on the bus on the way home from the public pool and then he has to get off at the last station. He has no idea where he is or how to get home and he gets on this bus and the people all have octopuses (sp?) for heads.
posted by alona at 3:49 AM on December 17, 2007


The 1987's foremost Pee Wee Herman impersonator link is a fucking incredible piece of documentary.

To be a Pee-Wee Herman impersonator is to so entirely miss the point, it's riveting.
posted by StopMakingSense at 3:51 AM on December 17, 2007


BUT.... How about his cameo in The Blues Brothers? EH? EH? Yup, he was a waiter in the fancy French restaurant that Jake and Elwood made a scene in so they could get their trumpet player back in the band.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:55 AM on December 17, 2007


Oh boy, there goes my entire friggin' day! Thank you, miss lynnster, one of Metafilter's finest sources of Word Avoidance Devices. I was thrilled to see Reubens show up in his recurring role as the sewer-dwelling odor specialist on Pushing Daisies. It's the sort of show that's just begging for his bizarro presence.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:58 AM on December 17, 2007


er, Work....Work Avoidance, Jesus.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:58 AM on December 17, 2007


alona, I am 100% positive that you are (mis)remembering the saga of Large Marge, referenced in the title of this very thread and traumatizer of thousands of children, myself included.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:24 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


when he appeared in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie soon after the fateful day

His death scene in this movie is brilliant and hilarious, I was still laughing long after they had cut away to the next scene
posted by poppo at 4:27 AM on December 17, 2007


Excellent post. If only we could all be a bit more like Pee Wee the world would be a better place.

Honest question: what's the big deal about masturbating in a pornographic movie theatre?! It's not like there are kids at risk, pretty much everyone is there because they would like to watch a pornographic film and masturbate, no? Lighten up, people, maybe if more of us masturbated in pornographic movie theatres the world would also be a better place! In fact, if I didn't have so much excellent pornography here on my computer, I'd probably be masturbating in a pornographic movie theatre right now.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:43 AM on December 17, 2007 [9 favorites]


Greatest. Post. Evar.
posted by malaprohibita at 5:11 AM on December 17, 2007


Pee Wee is 55. I am officially old.
posted by malaprohibita at 5:29 AM on December 17, 2007


Does anyone know what is up with his misdemeanor possession of kiddie porn in 2002? How did he plea? Was he convicted? What exactly constitutes a misdemeanor when it comes to kiddie porn? I don't remember hearing anything about it when it came out.
posted by brevator at 5:31 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nevermind, figured it out myself. From smoking gun:

"The misdemeanor child porn charge filed against Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman) should be tossed because the actor's extensive collection of adult erotica was produced decades before the 1989 enactment of California's child pornography laws, according to a legal motion filed today (1/24) by Reubens's lawyer. In the Los Angeles Superior Court filing, attorney Blair Berk also disclosed that prosecutors have now abandoned plans to claim that Reubens's ownership of the famous "Rob Lowe videotape" constituted possession of child porn. According to Berk, police executing a November 2001 search warrant at Reubens's home seized "well over 30,000 images and more than 650 hours of film" from the actor's "vast and valuable historical collection of artwork, kitsch memorabilia, and adult erotica." Of that haul, Berk stated, prosecutors have identified as child porn "isolated images contained in one vintage book, approximately 24 vintage magazines, and a single vintage film." "
posted by brevator at 5:39 AM on December 17, 2007


Brevator -- the charges were (IIRC) related to his possession of some vintage images:
From Wikipedia

"Reubens was arrested again in 2002 in connection with an investigation involving child pornography. Public news stories concerning his case cast doubt upon the suggestion that Reubens intentionally acquired child pornography, as he stated that he was a collector of "erotic artwork" and that he had a sizable collection of vintage erotica with samples dating back to the 18th century. On March 19, 2004, child pornography charges against him were dropped by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo after Reubens pleaded guilty to a separate "misdemeanor obscenity" charge.

"The DA waited 364 days (one day before the statute of limitations would have run out) and then alleged that some of it was 'child pornography' — decades-old physique poses, old art photos, and yellowed nudist magazines. Some of the nude photos were of minors — when the pictures were taken, but most of the models would have been dead of old age before Reubens was born. All of the photos, Reubens maintained, were legal when they were first published. The charges were reduced to 'obscenity', and Reubens pleaded guilty and paid a US$100 fine in exchange for probation."[10]

Said Reubens: "Personally, I think we're living in a very scary time. Do we let the legal system decide in a courtroom what's obscene and what's not obscene? I didn't want to be in a situation where there was a possibility I could go to jail... I mean, that just seemed insane to me.

"One thing I want to make very, very clear, I don't want anyone for one second to think that I am titillated by images of children. It's not me. You can say lots of things about me. And you might. The public may think I'm weird. They may think I'm crazy or anything that anyone wants to think about me. That's all fine. As long as one of the things you're not thinking about me is that I'm a pedophile. Because that's not true."[11] "

posted by anastasiav at 5:43 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks anastaslav.
What a crock of shit.
If I were him I would fight to get the obscenity charge expunged.
posted by brevator at 5:50 AM on December 17, 2007


My five year old has recently become obsessed with PeeWee's Playhouse, which is great because it's one of those rare shows that's funny to both kids and adults. Watching those old episodes really underscores how insulting current children's television can be. It's goofy, it's funny, it's juvenile, but it never talks down to its audience. Probably because Reubens never set out to make a "kids show."

And I'd love to see Depp as PeeWee. I think it would be really interesting.
posted by jrossi4r at 6:04 AM on December 17, 2007


My three year old son is really into the Pee-Wee's Playhouse series right now so I've been enjoying it with him. I was surprised when he played a doctor with a sexy girl (Miss Yvonne?) and dropped his head mirror and used it to look up her short skirt and laugh at the camera. I knew he used that bit in his stand-up but I was surprised it was on the children's show. It is such an awesome, fun show.
posted by saucysault at 6:06 AM on December 17, 2007


Am I the only person who, as a child, was SCARED by PeeWee's Playhouse? Hello? Anyone?
posted by Windigo at 6:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Miss Lynnster: don't you know I have had other things to do this week?
posted by not_on_display at 6:25 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Windigo: "Am I the only person who, as a child, was SCARED by PeeWee's Playhouse? Hello? Anyone?"

Well, I was in college at the time but I do remember watching it and thinking, "this is a kids show?" We had one of the only TVs in our group of friends so we'd usually get a crowd showing up at our house in the afternoons to watch PeeWee.
posted by octothorpe at 6:29 AM on December 17, 2007


Is that Bobcat Goldthwaite at the beginning of the Next Cheech and Chong clip?
posted by DU at 6:30 AM on December 17, 2007


The man should be on a stamp.
posted by DenOfSizer at 6:32 AM on December 17, 2007


I would've liked the experience of discovering Peewee's Playhouse as a child -- say, about six or seven years old. I think it was one of my art-major grad-school neighbors that introduced me to it, and I was all like, "WTF?" I laughed my butt off and had a rollicking good time with it, but I could scarcely believe that American network television would permit anything so edgy.
posted by pax digita at 6:45 AM on December 17, 2007


You can include S Epatha Merkerson to the list of those who have ably demonstrated that there is life after the Playhouse.
posted by Mike D at 6:50 AM on December 17, 2007


That 30 Rock episode just keeps getting better and better.
posted by Artw at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2007


I remember him in the end of Cheech and Chong saying "I'm sorry I took the money..... NO I"M NOT SORRY :>P"
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:10 AM on December 17, 2007


I could swear that a young Reubens also appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show as a Transylvanian, but a search of IMDB brings up nothing. He's one of the partiers standing on the curving rampway down to Frank n' Furter's laboratory. Anyone else see him in that?
posted by Koko at 7:21 AM on December 17, 2007


Pornography - The Secret History of Civilisation is an interesting documentary, that might leave you feeling that an historical collection is not such a crazy thing to be interested in. Thanks for the post, miss lynnster.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:29 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


That sarcastic giggle he does cracks me up every single time. Ten, twelve years ago I had a coworker who could do a perfect Pee Wee giggle, and once he discovered that he could make me break down in an involuntary fit of laughter, he made a point of doing it all the damn time, particularly at the most inopportune time and inappropriate situation, like when I was dealing with a livid customer or being reprimanded by our boss. Bastard.

Outstanding post, btw, miss lynnster. It's going to be a very amusing Monday.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:41 AM on December 17, 2007


Amazing post. I loved loved loved Pee-Wee. I was actually spared from Large Marge–I had to go to the bathroom just as that scene started. My childhood was kept safe.
posted by zsazsa at 7:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Wait, did nobody else find him creepy? I hated watching that show as a kid. He freaked my shit out.
posted by schroedinger at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2007


Sigh, this boy genius helped me cope with my awkward youth! I must have watched Big Adventure at least 20 times as a youngster. I loved his interview with Terry Gross. I think I saw him playing a teensy weensy role in the Reno 911 movie as Sir Terrence, the wealthy fur-coat wearing, jet-setting father of Terry, the rollerskating gay prostitute. On screen maybe less than 90 seconds, but it was enough to give me the warm fuzzies. Love this post.
posted by wowbobwow at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2007


Yeah, it's been 20 years. So time to cash in on the nostalgia trip. In 2027 all the hipsters will be wearing dora the explorer t-shirts while cruse around on their hoverboards.
posted by delmoi at 8:29 AM on December 17, 2007


I'm just really glad people are turning around to appreciate him now and that he's still been able to continue as a working actor. I always thought the way people ostracised him was totally unfair and wrong, especially since Pee Wee didn't even originate as a character for children. I mean, in Cheech & Chong's Next Movie he cursed like a sailor, in the stage shows he regularly looked up girls skirts whenever possible, and he regularly joked about Pee Wee's sexual experience on talk shows (see the first Joan Rivers' clip).

I used to show the Christmas special at my Christmas party every year, and after the arrest I continued to do so. For the first three or four years, it was tough. Inevitably there would be some groans from individuals who would threaten to leave the room (always men), but I decided to be stubborn so I'd put it on in the background anyhow. It always happened the same way... despite the protests, within ten minutes the whole party would be circled around the tv, completely hypnotized and laughing. Afterwards I'd tease the anti-Pee Wee people and they would begrudgingly admit they were entertained and enjoyed it... but I could tell they really really wanted to hate him and probably went right back to it after leaving the party.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:50 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


G.O.A.T.
posted by neilkod at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2007


He recently played a delightfully creepy character (Oscar Vibinius--hopefully recurring!) on Pushing Daisies on ABC. Luckily full episodes are online for the curious. "Smell of Success" and "Corpsicle" are the episodes in which he awesomely appears.
posted by hecho de la basura at 9:09 AM on December 17, 2007


Cornfed, during a tense situation in a biker bar: Why don't you do what Pee-Wee Herman did in that movie?
Duckman: That's disgusting! And secondly, I'm not in the mood.
Cornfed: No, not that movie...
posted by clevershark at 9:36 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


His death scene in this movie is brilliant and hilarious, I was still laughing long after they had cut away to the next scene

And don't they cut back to it during or after the closing credits?

Also, great post! Viva Pee Wee!
posted by brundlefly at 10:05 AM on December 17, 2007


Also, is Pee Wee appreciation generally a USian thing? I've only met two people who don't like him. One was German, the other English.
posted by brundlefly at 10:08 AM on December 17, 2007


There's not really that much British exposure to Pee Wee, so I'm suprised you found someone with much of an opinion on him. Possibly they're just going off the movie and for some odd reason (crappy taste would be my suggestion) didn't like it?
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM on December 17, 2007


I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:33 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think creating this post has done something to my brain. I just made a late breakfast for myself, humming and making Pee Wee noises the whole time... taking tiny bites of toast and then declaring my coffee post-sip to be "Mmm! Coffee-ey!" I think I've scared my dog.

Funny enough, finding myself doing that behavior has happily reminded me of why Pee Wee was so damn fun... when perhaps it should be reminding me that I'm nuts and probably need therapy.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:52 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fantastic collection of links. For all you fans, here's the Pee-Wee Herman Fan Club Membership Starter Kit, and an OCR from stage production while it was at the Roxy. (The In Crowd has suggested that he has vast closetfuls of Pee-Wee Herman paraphernalia, so keep an eye out.)
posted by carsonb at 10:54 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've included the the missing from my previous comment in this subsequent comment.
posted by carsonb at 10:57 AM on December 17, 2007


I had always told one of my ex wives that America was at its best when:
1. The Rat Pack played Vegas
2. Disco was tops
3. flat shoelacers were used rather than rounded ones.
4. Pee Wee Herman was on TV and in films

perhaps, then, number 4 can be revived and we can again rank right up there with Alabania, Indonesia, and Tierra Del Fuego
posted by Postroad at 10:59 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Best use of the 'mekkalekkahimekkaheinieho' tag ever.
posted by oats at 11:03 AM on December 17, 2007


Maybe somebody in this thread can answer my long unanswered question about what piece of museic it is that Pee Wee has on his record player to wake him up at the start of Big Adventure.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:05 AM on December 17, 2007


O god, Paul Reubens with big underpants on his head doing an impression of the Elephant Man while declaring, "I'm a human being!" has me tummy aching. (From the the end of the bit with Morgan Fairchild.)
posted by carsonb at 11:07 AM on December 17, 2007


Another song just popped into my head...

Oh, a sailor travels to many lands
anywhere he pleases
but he always remembers to wash his hands
so he don't catch no diseases!

Okay, off to do work now. Promise. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2007


Astro Zombie, are you talking about Breakfast Machine, from the soundtrack by Danny Elfman? Because if you are, may I just say that I worked in an office at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a year which abutted the back of their 3-D Funhouse, which played that all day long on a loop. My job there was children's party coordinator and host. I called forth the animatronic Jimmy Buffet Dog 8 times a day and took kids on the rollercoaster, where we got to SCREAM REAL LOUD. PeeWee made a lot more sense to me after that.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:24 AM on December 17, 2007


Metafilter: the Cheech and Chong connection was... unexpected
posted by Flashman at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2007


Mickey: Do you know those "Do Not Remove Under the Penalty of Law" labels they put on mattresses?
Pee-wee: Yeah?
Mickey: Well I CUT one of them off, see!
Pee-wee: Gee.
Mickey: Yeah, I have a real BAAAD temper.
Pee-wee: Boy, I always thought that was the dumbest law.
posted by tkchrist at 11:33 AM on December 17, 2007


I was a kid when Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Pee Wee's Playhouse were brand new, and my god did I love everything about them. I built a large-scale model of pee-wee's playhouse out of cardboard in 2nd grade, and then asked for - and received - the talking Pee Wee doll for Christmas that year. Unfortunately, my dog ate it when it was wrapped under the tree, resulting in the saddest Chrismas morning in history... I breathlessly ran from my bedroom at the crack of dawn to find a pile of cotton batting and scraps of grey plaid, Pee Wee's head, arms and feet jutted accusingly from their bendy wire skeleton.

I remember just how mind-blowing everything about that show was, from the insanity of the set design (and that's why Gary Panter has a square named after him in Japan) to the cartoon selection, to the Playhouse voices.... And how can I forget El Hombre (Thanks, Jimmy Smits)? I am happy to say that Paul Reubens really influenced the person I became.

But Johnny Depp as Pee-Wee? Despite myself, I liked him pretty well as Willy Wonka... but Paul Reubens really needs to get these movies made while he can still play the role.
posted by sluggo at 11:35 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie, are you talking about Breakfast Machine, from the soundtrack by Danny Elfman?

No. It's a child's record with a woman singing. He uses it as his alarm.

But now I have Breakfast Machine playing in my head.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:42 AM on December 17, 2007


To this day, it's hard for me to appreciate Laurence Fishburne in a serious role. He'll always be Cowboy Curtis to me.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:49 AM on December 17, 2007


Reubens took being a great seminal genius just one small step too far.
posted by jamjam at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie: You're looking for the song at the beginning of this clip, right? If so, I second that request.
posted by sluggo at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2007


Okay, I watched the clip. I think it's an original piece riffing on this.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:18 PM on December 17, 2007


San Francisco's Paul Reubens' Day was conceived by and is organized by fellow mefite sfslim {shown in the first link on the left}
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:24 PM on December 17, 2007


Pee Wee is excellent, and I hope he does come back, but only Paul Reubens should play him, ever. I couldn't imagine Mr. Bean being played by anyone but Rowan Atkinson, I can't imagine Inspector Clouseau as anyone but Peter Sellers (I'm looking at you, Steve Martin), and I can't imagine anyone else as Pee Wee. That's his character, and it doesn't really work with anyone else. Bring Pee Wee back, but only if he's really Pee Wee.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:29 PM on December 17, 2007


Um, I love you guys, but I never understood the whole Pee Wee thing.

All my life I've felt like some kind of freak. Everyone loves this stuff, but I just find it, well, grating. What's wrong with me? I have a great sense of humor! But this, I dunno, maybe it's just too sophisticated for simple ol' me.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:47 PM on December 17, 2007


I was a big fan of Pee Wee as a kid; I had the talking doll and even dressed like him for Halloween. The impersonator clip is from Cleveland and I probably saw that impersonator a few times since I went to Sea World a lot.
posted by Artnchicken at 12:54 PM on December 17, 2007


elwoodwiles writes "All my life I've felt like some kind of freak. Everyone loves this stuff, but I just find it, well, grating. What's wrong with me? I have a great sense of humor! But this, I dunno, maybe it's just too sophisticated for simple ol' me."

When he first hit it big with his film, I was already in high school and thought it sort of juvenile. But then I saw his movie, and I saw the Playhouse, and thought they were much better than I expected and laughed hard, and I smoked some weed and saw them again, and I was sold. Pee Wee's Big Adventure is one of the all-time great psychedelic kids movies. He is very subversive, but his material is fine for kids, because there are a couple different levels going on (much like the early Warner Brothers cartoons). And his goofy side is funny as hell, but that is subjective. If he didn't have more depth to him, then I'd probably find that grating, too.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:29 PM on December 17, 2007


Trivia: The theme song was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, and if you look carefully in the last part of the opening theme segment, you can find a Dobbshead.

Watching this show as a kid probably is what helped me get into Devo and the Church of the SubGenius. AIYIYIYI!
posted by SansPoint at 1:32 PM on December 17, 2007


There are only two shows I really remember watching as a small child on Saturday mornings - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Pee Wee's Playhouse. I distinctly remember watching TMNT, then waiting for the credits to get through to watch Pee Wee.

I had the talking doll too, with the pull string to talk and everything. I even remember getting it at Toys 'R Us.

Pee Wee was awesome. It's great he's slowly making a comeback.
posted by champthom at 2:15 PM on December 17, 2007


"I'm sorry I took the money..... NO I"M NOT SORRY :>P"

This was one of many long running inside jokes between me and my sister. I'm just old enough that when I first saw PeeWee, my first thought was "hey! it's the I'm not sorry guy"

Miss Lynster, this post has elevated you to the rank of best post-er ever.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:23 PM on December 17, 2007


Huh. It seems that every time you forget about the new-Pee-Wee-movie buzz, it starts up again. This has happened at least four times now, if memory serves.

I've watched the DVD of Big Adventure a dozen times. The last few, I've watched the awesome music-only version. What's amazing about that movie is that it's a three-auteur circus. Rubens, Burton, and Elfman all bring so much to the show, but somehow never get in the way of each other. It really is a very special movie.

Until something comes along that can match Big Adventure and make us forget about the crappy sequel, the whole franchise is like an unfinished book.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:29 PM on December 17, 2007


Is there something you want to share with the rest of us Amazing Larry?!
posted by cazoo at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh my God, I LOVE this picture of him with sfslim. Paul Reubens looks genuinely terrified.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:40 PM on December 17, 2007


Favored pw quote:
"Everyone has a big but. Tell me about your big but.

And my own Phil Hartman moment:
"Do Frank"
"I shit pieces of guys like yoooo."
posted by hexatron at 4:28 PM on December 17, 2007


“Lighten up, people, maybe if more of us masturbated in pornographic movie theatres the world would also be a better place!”

I don’t think there’s any maybe about it.
(And Diogenes’d join)

Rubens always reminded me of Looney Leo . I know the character was modeled after Bogey (and earlier silent era stars, sans Coke bottle perhaps) but the story and pattern of his life seem very much similar - the belief in character (Pee Wee), the problems with being a star for children, people hating him, etc. then the nostalgia come back thing and - really the whole story.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:36 PM on December 17, 2007


Yeah, it's been 20 years. So time to cash in on the nostalgia trip. In 2027 all the hipsters will be wearing dora the explorer t-shirts while cruse around on their hoverboards.

Dude, Dora the Explorer? You know it's going to be Sponge Bob.
posted by lunalaguna at 5:37 PM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fucking awesome post.
posted by the_bone at 6:11 PM on December 17, 2007


My favorite PeeWee is definitely from Cheech and Chong. Way back seeing that in the drive-in, I remember thinking that he really had something. Over the years I was hoping that his star would shine a little brighter like Tom Skerritt (Strawberry) or Stacy Keach (Sgt. Stedenko). Well, maybe he'll be passing Keach up soon!

It's for real this time, I think their Iranians!


The guy has chops. I'm gonna have to go check out all the links in the thread now.

Thanks miss lynnster, for the great flash-backs!
posted by snsranch at 6:16 PM on December 17, 2007


I just started watching the Christmas Special, and OH MY GOD it is a cavalcade of GAY like I've never seen! kd lang! Little Richard! Joan Rivers! Charo! Whoopi! Grace Jones! Princess Zsa Zsa!

This is already the most awesome fucking thing I've ever seen, and I'm 2 minutes in.

I loved Pee Wee back in the day (this came out when I was 18), but there's no way I could aprpeciate it then like I can now. THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU.
posted by tristeza at 6:59 PM on December 17, 2007


Don't forget Dinah Shore.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:09 PM on December 17, 2007


I just skipped ahead and glimpsed Cher. CHER!!!!!!!! God, I wish I were a gay 40 year old man right now. (I mean IRL, not just in my soul like I've always contended).
posted by tristeza at 7:20 PM on December 17, 2007


Yes, great post Lynnster. I almost expected Dr. Fad to come on next.
posted by dr_dank at 7:40 PM on December 17, 2007


"If god had wanted me to ice skate, I would have been born with skinny feet and a little head."

-Little Richard
posted by tristeza at 7:41 PM on December 17, 2007


THE LINKS! So many links! I love anyone that would put together such a gigantic collection of Pee Wee links (...just as long as your next post doesn't begin 'Hey, Vern!')!

I still dream of the room built of fruitcakes in the Christmas special.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:16 PM on December 17, 2007


Jim Varney will get his due. Time will be kind to him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:57 PM on December 17, 2007


Merry Christmas 2007 from Pee Wee
posted by miss lynnster at 12:43 PM on December 18, 2007


Obligatory Wayne White art link.

Wayne who?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 12:51 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always thought, that if Werner Herzog were ever to attempt to make dramatization of Grizzly Man like he just did with Rescue Dawn, that Paul Reubens would be perfect to play Timothy Treadwell.
I mean, forget Klaus Kinski - imagine the explosive chemistry you'd get between Herzog and Reubens!
posted by Flashman at 4:12 AM on December 19, 2007


What a cool dude. Thanks for sharing, 1f2frfbf.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:30 AM on December 19, 2007


Days late but this rocks in a way that redefines "rocking."

Thank you.
posted by the sobsister at 8:38 AM on December 20, 2007


Sweet merciful Herman, what a post! Thank you, miss lynnster!
posted by cog_nate at 12:26 PM on December 20, 2007


Also, is Pee Wee appreciation generally a USian thing? I've only met two people who don't like him. One was German, the other English.
Add another English person. After all the love here, I truly did try again. I just couldn't get past more than 3 or so minutes into any of the clips. His exaggerated facial and body expressions, his grating voice - it's all too over the top. My loss I guess.
posted by tellurian at 5:44 PM on December 29, 2007


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