Jewish Entertainment:
Jewish Actors, Playwrights, Comedians, Musicians

Paul Reubens
Jewish Name - Paul Rubenfeld

Paul Reubens is an American actor, writer, film producer, and comedian, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman. Paul Reubens joined the Los Angeles troupe The Groundlings in the 1970s and started his career as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1982, Paul Reubens put up a show about a character Paul Reubens had been developing during the last few years. The show was called The Pee-wee Herman Show and it ran for five sellout months with HBO producing a successful special with it. Pee-wee became an instant cult figure and for the next decade Paul Reubens would be completely committed to his character, doing all of his public appearances and interviews as Pee-wee. In 1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure, directed by the then-unknown Tim Burton, was a financial success and, despite receiving mixed reviews, it developed into a cult film. Big Top Pee-wee, 1988's sequel, was less successful than its predecessor. Between 1986 and 1990, Paul Reubens starred as Pee-wee in the CBS Saturday-morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse.

Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952.

In July 1991, after deciding to take a few years' sabbatical from Pee-wee, Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure in an adult theater in Sarasota, Florida. The arrest set off a chain reaction of national media attention that changed the general public's view of Paul Reubens and Pee-wee.[1] The arrest postponed Paul Reubens' engagement in big projects until 1999, when Paul Reubens appeared in the big-budget Mystery Men and Blow and started giving interviews as himself rather than as Pee-wee.

Since 2006, Paul Reubens has been making cameos and guest appearances in numerous projects, such as Reno 911!, 30 Rock, Dirt, and Pushing Daisies. Since the 1990s, Paul Reubens has worked on two possible Pee-wee films — one dark and adult, dubbed The Pee-wee Herman Story, and one a family-friendly epic adventure called Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie.[2] In 2010, Paul Reubens starred on Broadway in The Pee-wee Herman Show.

Early life and education

Paul Reubens as a high school senior, 1970.

Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld in Peekskill, New York, and grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where his parents, Judy and Milton, owned a lamp store. His mother, Judy, was a teacher and his father, Milton, an automobile salesperson who had flown for Britain's Royal Air Force and for the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, later becoming one of the founding pilots of the Israeli Air Force during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[3] Paul has two younger siblings, Luke (born 1958), who is a dog trainer,[4] and Abby (born 1953),[5] who is an attorney, and board member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.[6][7][8]

Paul Reubens spent a significant amount of his childhood in Oneonta, New York. As a child, Paul Reubens frequented the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, whose winter headquarters was in Sarasota. The circus's atmosphere sparked Paul Reubens' interest in entertainment and influenced his later work.[9][10] Paul Reubens also loved to watch reruns of I Love Lucy, which made him want to make people laugh.[11] At age five, Paul Reubens asked his father to build him a stage, where Paul Reubens and his siblings would put on plays.[12]

Paul Reubens attended Sarasota High School, where Paul Reubens was named president of the National Thespian Society. Paul Reubens also got in Northwestern University's summer program for gifted high-school students and joined the local Asolo Theater and Players of Sarasota Theater, appearing several plays.[4] After graduation, Paul Reubens attended Boston University and began auditioning for acting-schools. Paul Reubens was turned down by several schools, including Juilliard, and twice by Carnegie-Mellon, before being accepted at the California Institute of the Arts and moving to California, where Paul Reubens worked in restaurant kitchens and as a Fuller Brush salesman.[4]

In the 1970s, Paul Reubens performed at local comedy clubs and made four guest appearances on The Gong Show as part of a boy–girl act Paul Reubens had developed with Charlotte McGinnis, called The Hilarious Betty and Eddie.[4] Paul Reubens soon joined the Los Angeles–based improvisational comedy team The Groundlings and remained a member for six years, working with Bob McClurg, John Paragon, Susan Barnes, and Phil Hartman. Hartman and Paul Reubens became friends, often writing and working on material together.[13] In 1980, Paul Reubens had a small part as a waiter in The Blues Brothers.
Pee-wee Herman
Main article: Pee-wee Herman
Paul Reubens giving an interview in character at the 1988 Academy Awards

The character of "Pee-wee Herman" first originated during a 1978 improvisation exercise with The Groundlings, where Paul Reubens came up with the idea of a man who wanted to be a comic, but was so inept at telling jokes that it was obvious to the audience that Paul Reubens would never make it.[14] Fellow Groundling Phil Hartman would afterwards help Paul Reubens develop the character while another Groundling, John Paragon, would help write the show.[15][16] Despite having been compared to other famous characters, such as Hergé's Tintin and Collodi's Pinocchio,[17][18] Paul Reubens says that there is no specific source for "Pee-wee" but rather a collection of ideas. Pee-wee's voice originated in 1970 when Paul Reubens appeared in a production of Life With Father, where Paul Reubens was cast as one of the most obnoxious characters in the play, for which Paul Reubens adopted a cartoon-like way of speaking that would become Pee-wee's.[19][20] Pee-wee's name is a mixture of a one-inch Pee Wee brand harmonica Paul Reubens had as a child while Herman was the surname of an energetic boy Paul Reubens knew from his youth.[9][20] The first small grey suit Pee-wee ever wore had been handmade for director and founder of the Groundlings Gary Austin, who passed it on to Paul Reubens, while "someone" handed him the "little-kid bow tie" before a show.[21][22]

The Pee-wee Herman Show: 1981–1984

Paul Reubens auditioned for Saturday Night Live for the 1980–1981 season, but Gilbert Gottfried, who was a close friend of the show's producer and had the same acting style as Paul Reubens, got the place[12][22] (ironically, Gottfried would later get in trouble for joking about Paul Reubens' indecent exposure arrest as an award presenter at the Emmys).[23] Paul Reubens was so angry and bitter that Paul Reubens decided Paul Reubens would borrow money and start his own show in Los Angeles using the character Paul Reubens had been developing during the last few years, "Pee-wee Herman".[24]

With the help of other Groundlings like John Paragon, Phil Hartman and Lynne Marie Stewart, Pee-wee acquired a small group of followers and Paul Reubens took his show to The Roxy Theatre where "The Pee-wee Herman Show" ran for five sellout months, doing midnight shows for adults and weekly matinees for children, moving into the mainstream when HBO aired The Pee-wee Herman Show in 1981 as part of their series On Location.[25] Paul Reubens also appeared as Pee-wee in the 1980 film Cheech & Chong's Next Movie.[4] Paul Reubens' act had mainly positive reactions and quickly acquired a group of fans, despite being described as "bizarre",[26] and Paul Reubens being described as "the weirdest comedian around".[27] Pee-wee was both "corny" and "hip", "retrograde" and "avant-garde".[28]

When Pee-wee's fame started growing, Paul Reubens started to move away from the spotlight, keeping his name under wraps and making all his public appearance and interviews in character while billing Pee-wee as playing himself; Paul Reubens was trying to "get the public to think that that was a real person".[14][25] Later on Paul Reubens would even prefer his parents be known only as Honey Herman and Herman Herman.[19] In the early and mid 1980s, Paul Reubens made several guest appearances on Late Night with David Letterman as Pee-wee Herman which gave Pee-wee an even bigger following.[26] During the mid 1980s, Paul Reubens traveled the United States with a whole new The Pee-wee Herman Show, playing notably at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Caroline's in New York City and, in 1984, in front of a full Carnegie Hall.[13]

Pee-wee's Big Adventure: 1985

The success of The Pee-wee Herman Show prompted Warner Bros. to hire Paul Reubens to write a script for a full-length Pee-wee Herman film. Paul Reubens' original idea was to do a remake of Pollyanna, which Paul Reubens claims is his favorite film. Half-way through writing the script, Paul Reubens noticed everyone at Warner Bros. had a bike with them, which inspired Paul Reubens to start on a new script with Phil Hartman.[29] When Paul Reubens and the producers of Pee-wee's Big Adventure saw Tim Burton's work on Vincent and Frankenweenie, they decided Burton would be an excellent director for their film.[30] The film tells the story of Pee-wee Herman embarking on nation-wide adventure in search of his stolen bicycle and it went on to gross $40,940,662 domestically, recouping almost six times its $7 million budget, making it a financial success.[31] At the time of release in 1985, the film received mixed reviews, but Pee-wee's Big Adventure developed into a cult film.[32]

Pee-wee's Playhouse: 1986–1990

After seeing the success of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, the CBS network approached Paul Reubens with an ill-received cartoon series proposal.[18] In 1986, CBS agreed to sign Paul Reubens to act, produce, and direct his live-action children's program, Pee-wee's Playhouse, with a budget of $325,000 per episode, the same price as a prime-time sitcom,[25] and no creative interference from CBS; although CBS did request a few minor changes throughout the years.[11] After casting actors like Laurence Fishburne and S. Epatha Merkerson, production began in New York City.[22] The opening credits of the show were sung by Cyndi Lauper.

Playhouse was designed as an educational yet entertaining and artistic show for children and, despite being greatly influenced by 1950s shows Paul Reubens watched as a child like The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, The Mickey Mouse Club, Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody, it quickly acquired a dual audience of kids and grownups.[17][20][21] Paul Reubens, always trying to make of Pee-wee a positive role model, was after making a significantly moral show, one that would teach children the ethics of reciprocity.[21] Paul Reubens believed that children liked the Playhouse because it was fast-paced, colorful and "never talked them down"; while parents liked the Playhouse because it reminded them of the past.[21]

In 1986, Paul Reubens (billed as Paul Mall) was the voice of the ship's computer in Flight of the Navigator. In 1987, Paul Reubens provided the voice of REX, the main robot in the George Lucas produced Disneyland attraction, Star Tours,[4] and reprised the role of Pee-wee Herman in a cameo appearances in the film Back to the Beach and TV show Sesame Street, the latter of which made a cameo in Playhouse.[33]

Right after the success of Pee-wee's Big Adventure Paul Reubens began working with Paramount Pictures on a sequel entitled Big Top Pee-wee. Paul Reubens and George McGrath's script was directed by Grease's director Randal Kleiser. The film was not as successful as its predecessor, receiving mild reviews and doing just over one third as well in the box office,[34][35] earning only $15 million.[36]

Paul Reubens attended 1988 Academy Awards with Top co-star Valeria Golino, which stirred rumours that the two were dating.[37][38] The following year Paul Reubens exchanged vows at a mock wedding, presided by Imelda Marcos, in Shangri-La, Doris Duke's mansion in Honolulu, Hawaii with Duke's adopted daughter Chandi Heffner.[9]

Pee-wee's Playhouse aired from September 13, 2021 until November 10, 1990. Paul Reubens had originally agreed to do two more seasons after the third, and when CBS asked Paul Reubens about the possibility of a sixth season Paul Reubens declined, wanting to take a couple of sabbatical years.[22] Paul Reubens had been suffering from burnout from playing Pee-wee full time and for the last few years had been warning reporters that Pee-wee was temporary and that Paul Reubens had other ideas Paul Reubens would like to work on.[4] Both parties mutually agreed to end the show after five seasons, which included 45 episodes and a Christmas Special.[39] Playhouse garnered 15 Emmy Awards, all of them in the Creative Arts Emmy Award category.[40]

Pee-wee's legacy

Paul Reubens had not always thought of his character as one for children, but sometime during the mid-1980s, Paul Reubens started forming Pee-wee into the best role model Paul Reubens possibly could, making of his show a morally positive show that cared about issues like racial diversity.[21] Paul Reubens was also careful on what should be associated to Pee-wee. Being a heavy smoker, Paul Reubens went to great lengths never to be photographed with a cigarette in his mouth, even refusing to endorse candy bars and other kinds of junk food, all the while trying to release his own sugar-free cereal "Ralston Purina Pee-wee Chow cereal", a project that died after a blind test.[9]

With his positive attitude and quirkiness, Pee-wee became an instant cult figure, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by 1989,[9] and successfully building a Pee-wee franchise, with toys, clothes and other items generating more than $25 million at its peak in 1988.[41] Paul Reubens also published a book as Pee-wee in 1989 called Travels with Pee-Wee.[42] CBS aired reruns of Playhouse until July 1991, when Paul Reubens was arrested, pulling from their schedule the last two remaining reruns.[43] Fox Family Channel briefly aired reruns of the Playhouse in 1998.[22] In early July 2006, Cartoon Network began running a teaser promo during its Adult Swim lineup. A later press release and many other promos confirmed that the show's 45 original episodes would nightly air from Monday to Thursday starting on that date.[44] Playhouse attracted 1.5 million viewers nightly. In 2007, TV Guide named Playhouse one of the top 10 TV cult classics of all time.[21] Several children's television personas cite Pee-wee Herman as an inspiration, including Blue's Clues's Steve Burns[45] and SpongeBob SquarePants's Stephen Hillenburg.[46]

In November 2004, all 45 episodes of the Playhouse, plus six episodes that had never before been released on home video, were released on DVD split between two box set collections. Paul Reubens planned to re-release the DVDs with audio commentaries by the following year,[47] but this has yet to materialize.

Pee-wee's small glen plaid suits seemed ridiculous during the 1980s, but since the late 1990s have made him a "style icon",[48] with fashion houses and designers like Christopher Bailey, Ennio Capasa, Miuccia Prada,[49] Viktor & Rolf,[50] and Thom Browne creating cut tight suits with high armholes and short trousers that have been compared to Pee-wee's.[51] In early 2007 Nike released a collection of Nike SB sneakers called "Fallen Heroes". The collection was loosely inspired by Milli Vanilli, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee's sneakers use a grey and white color scheme with red detail, with an illustration on the insole of a man in a suit sitting alone in a theatre with his hand on his lap suggesting Paul Reubens' 1991 theatre arrest.[52]

Paul Reubens has mentioned Paul Reubens has plans for a museum, which would contain many of the Playhouse sets and props Paul Reubens still owns.[43]

1991 arrest and retreat from public eye

In July 1991, while visiting with relatives, Paul Reubens was arrested in Sarasota, Florida for masturbating while secluded in a darkened adult theater.[41] Detectives would periodically visit pornographic theaters to observe the audiences, arresting anyone who engaged in indecent exposure.[53] After arresting a number of other men, a detective who had been observing Paul Reubens stopped him on his way out. When detectives examined his driver's license, Paul Reubens told them, "I'm Pee-wee Herman", and offered to do a children's benefit for the sheriff's office, "to take care of this".[54] The next day, after a local reporter recognized Paul Reubens' name, Paul Reubens' attorney made the same offer to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in exchange for withholding the story.[54] This was not Paul Reubens' first arrest in the county however; in 1971 Paul Reubens was arrested for loitering and prowling near an adult theater, though charges were later dropped. His second arrest was in 1983 when Paul Reubens was placed on two years' probation for possession of marijuana, although adjudication was withheld.[55] The night of the arrest Paul Reubens fled to Nashville, where his sister and lawyer lived, and then to New Jersey, where Paul Reubens would stay for the following months at his friend Doris Duke's estate.[9] Paul Reubens had not been in character for a year and a half, but because CBS was still running reruns of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Paul Reubens' infamous mug shot, which did not depict the clean-cut look Paul Reubens had shown for the last decade, shocked the public, and many thought that the show had been canceled because of the arrest.[14][55][56] The arrest was widely covered, and both Paul Reubens and his character became the subject of ridicule. CBS stopped airing Playhouse, and Disney-MGM Studios suspended a video that showed Pee-wee explaining how voice-over tracks were made from its studio tour. Toys "R" Us removed Pee-wee toys from its stores.[41] Paul Reubens released a statement denying the charges, which was largely ignored by the media.[57] Paul Reubens' attorneys agreed to a plea in which Paul Reubens plead no contest, while maintaining his innocence, so as to avoid what would have been a highly publicized trial. The plea kept the charge off Paul Reubens' record and obligated him to spend seventy-five hours performing community service, by making an anti-drug public service announcement that Paul Reubens would write, produce and finance.[53] Despite the negative publicity, many artists who knew Paul Reubens, such as Cyndi Lauper, Annette Funicello, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Valeria Golino, spoke out in his support.[33][41] Bill Cosby defended Paul Reubens, saying "Whatever [ Paul Reubens has] done, this is being blown all out of proportion." Other people who knew Paul Reubens, such as Playhouse production designer Gary Panter, S. Epatha Merkerson, and Big Top Pee-wee director Randal Kleiser, also spoke out against the way Paul Reubens was treated by the media.[22][33] Paul Reubens' fans organised support rallies after CBS canceled the scheduled reruns, with several dozens of "Pee-weeites" picketing in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.[41][58] The general public also appeared to sympathise with Paul Reubens—the TV news magazine A Current Affair received "tens of thousands" of responses to a Pee-wee telephone survey, in which callers supported Paul Reubens in a nine-to-one majority.[41] Paul Reubens remained in a state of shock for weeks, and was haunted by the arrest for several years, refusing to give interviews or appear on talk shows.[57][59]

Paul Reubens made a subsequent public appearance as Pee-wee at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards, where Paul Reubens asked the audience, "Heard any good jokes lately?" After Paul Reubens received a standing ovation, Paul Reubens said, "Ha, that's so funny I forgot to laugh!" Paul Reubens appeared as Pee-wee once more in 1992, when Paul Reubens participated in a Grand Ole Opry tribute to Minnie Pearl.[18][22]

1990s and comeback in Blow

During the 1990s, Paul Reubens kept a low profile, dedicating himself to write and collect a variety of things, "everything from fake food, to lamps",[25] although Paul Reubens did do some dubbing and took small parts in films such as 1992's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Tim Burton's Batman Returns ( Paul Reubens portrayed the Penguin's father) and 1996's Matilda and Dunston Checks In. In 1993, Paul Reubens dubbed for Lock in another one of Burton's productions, The Nightmare Before Christmas. ( Paul Reubens would later dub Lock for the video game The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge in 2004.) During the mid-1990s Paul Reubens landed a recurring role on the hit TV series Murphy Brown. The role earned him positive reviews and his first and only non-Pee-wee Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Paul Reubens appeared six times on the show between 1995–1997. The show brought Paul Reubens a new interest in acting and Paul Reubens embarked in his first big project since Playhouse, a pilot for NBC entitled Meet the Muckles, a show that would be based on You Can't Take It with You. The show got stuck in development hell, and was later dropped, when Paul Reubens' ideas grew too elaborate and expensive, although Philip Rosenthal blamed NBC's negative on Paul Reubens being on the "blacklist".[9]

His several appearances on TV's Murphy Brown opened the door for Paul Reubens' come-back. By 1999, Paul Reubens gave several interviews as himself and made public appearances while promoting Mystery Men, the first being on The Tonight Show in 1999.[60] Paul Reubens also starred in Dwight Yoakam's western South of Heaven, West of Hell as a rapist and cold-blooded killer. In 2001, Paul Reubens had his first extended television role since Playhouse as the host of the short-lived ABC TV show You Don't Know Jack, based on the game of the same name. Paul Reubens had doubts about the show, which was considered a risk, but eventually agreed to do it. The show was cancelled after six episodes due to low ratings.[61]

Paul Reubens' comeback seemed definitive when Paul Reubens played a flamboyant hairdresser turned drug dealer in Ted Demme's drama Blow, which starred Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp. His performance was praised and Paul Reubens began receiving scripts for potential movie projects from various sources.[62][63]

Paul Reubens dated actress Debi Mazar in 1993 after Paul Reubens started attending film premieres with her. From 1994 until 1999 Paul Reubens was rumored to be engaged to Mazar.[64] Paul Reubens has since credited Mazar with ending his depression from his arrest.[65]

Pornography arrest: 2002

In November 2002, while filming David La Chapelle's video for Elton John's "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore", Paul Reubens learned that police were at his home with a search warrant, acting on a tip from a witness in the pornography case against actor Jeffrey Jones,[66] finding among over 70,000 items of kitsch memorabilia, two grainy videotapes and dozens of photographs that the city attorney's office characterized as a collection of child pornography.[1] Kelly Bush, Paul Reubens' personal representative at the time, said the description of the items was inaccurate and claimed the objects were "Rob Lowe's sex videotape, and a few 30- to 100-year-old kitsch collectible images."[67] Paul Reubens turned himself in to the Hollywood division of the LAPD and was charged with possession of obscene material improperly depicting a child under the age of 18 in sexual conduct.[68] The District Attorney looked at Paul Reubens' collection and computer and found no grounds for bringing any felony charges against him, while the city attorney, Rocky Delgadillo brought misdemeanor charges against Paul Reubens on the last day allowed by the statute.[69] Paul Reubens was represented by Hollywood criminal defense lawyer Blair Berk.[70] In December Paul Reubens pleaded not guilty through Berk, who also complained that the city attorney failed to turn over evidence to the defense, which City Attorney Richard Katz countered that prosecutors were not required to do until after arraignment, after which they did; neither side disclosed the contents.[71]

"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."

Paul Reubens on the charges.[25]

In March 2004, child pornography charges were dropped. For the next three years Paul Reubens had to register his address with the sheriff's office and could not be in the company of minors without their parents' permission.[25] Paul Reubens later stated that Paul Reubens was a collector of erotica, including films, muscle magazines and a sizable collection of mostly homosexual vintage erotica,[1] such as photographic studies of teen nudes.[25] Paul Reubens claimed that what the city attorney's office viewed as pornography, Paul Reubens considered to be innocent art and that what they described as people underage engaged in masturbation or oral copulation was in fact a judgmental point of view of the nudes that Paul Reubens described as people "one hundred percent not" performing sexual acts.[25] Being a big collector, Paul Reubens had often bought in bulk, with one of his vintage magazines dealers declaring that "there's no way" Paul Reubens could have known the content of each page in the publications Paul Reubens bought and that Paul Reubens recalled Paul Reubens asking for "physique magazines, vintage 1960s material, but not things featuring kids".[1]

Paul Reubens spent the next two years caring for his terminally ill father in Florida, who died in February 2004 of cancer.[3][72]

Recent career

2004–2008

Paul Reubens has made cameos and guest appearances in numerous projects. Paul Reubens played Rick of the citizen's patrol on the popular Comedy Central show Reno 911!, which gained him a small role in the 2007 movie Reno 911!: Miami.[73] That same year Paul Reubens appeared in the second music video version of The Raconteurs song "Steady, As She Goes". The video has the band engaging in a comical soapbox car race, with Paul Reubens playing the bad guy who sabotages the race.[74]

In 2007, Paul Reubens attended his own tribute at the SF Sketchfest, where Paul Reubens talked about his career with Ben Fong-Torres.[12] Paul Reubens also signed with NBC to make a pilot on a show called Area 57, a sitcom about a passive-aggressive alien,[73] but it was not picked up for the 2007–2008 season.[75] Paul Reubens did however appear on the hit NBC show 30 Rock as an inbred Austrian prince, a character Tina Fey created for him.[76] Paul Reubens also made three guest appearances on FX's show Dirt. This time Paul Reubens was recommended for the role by Dirt star and close friend Courteney Cox. Cox's husband, David Arquette, would then cast Paul Reubens for his directorial debut, the 2007 film The Tripper.[72]

Paul Reubens has also had small parts dubbing or making cameos in a series of Cartoon Network projects such as the 2006 television film Re-Animated, the animated cartoon series Chowder, Tom Goes to the Mayor, and Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!.

In 2008, Paul Reubens was slated to appear as homeopathic antidepressant salesman Alfredo Aldarisio in the third episode of Pushing Daisies, but the role was recast with Raúl Esparza.[77][78] Paul Reubens instead appeared in the role of Oscar Vibenius in the series' 7th and 9th episodes.

Also during 2008, Paul Reubens did a PSA for Unscrew America, a website that aims to getting people to change regular light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones in the form of CFLs and LED.[79] Paul Reubens has also been working on David O. Russell's Nailed and Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime.[80][81]

In 2009, Paul Reubens voiced Bat-Mite in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Legends of the Dark Mite."[82]

2009–present: the new Pee-wee Herman Show and future films

In January 2009 Paul Reubens hinted that negotiations were under way for his stage show to come back,[83] and in August the return of The Pee-wee Herman Show was announced.[84] Paul Reubens said Paul Reubens felt Pee-wee calling, “I just got up one day and felt like I’m gonna come back, that was it".[85] The show is also a way to "introduce Pee-wee to the new generation that didn't know about it", preparing the way for Paul Reubens' main project, the Playhouse movie.[86] Before this comeback, Paul Reubens' present age and shape had been pointed out as a possible issue, since Pee-wee's slim figure and clean skin have been one of his trademarks. But after appearing for the first time since 1992 as Pee-wee at Spike TV's 2007 Guys' Choice Awards, Paul Reubens had remained optimistic and had jokingly said he's no longer nervous about being young Pee-wee again thanks to digital retouching.[22]

The show was originally scheduled to begin November 8 and continue until the 29th at the Music Box Theater in Hollywood. Due to high demand, the show moved to Club Nokia @ LA Live and was scheduled to run between January 12, 2022 and February 7.[87] To promote the show Paul Reubens once again gave interviews in character, appearing as a guest on The Jay Leno Show, The Tonight Show with Conan O' Brien (as well as O'Brien's subsequent Legally Prohibited Tour) and Jimmy Kimmel Live! among others. A Twitter account, a Facebook account and a new website were made for Pee-wee after the show changed venues.[88]

On November 1, 2010, Paul Reubens was a special guest star on the WWE as Pee-wee.[89]

On November 11, 2010, the show relocated to New York for a limited run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, selling over $3 million in advanced tickets.[90] An extra performance was taped for the HBO network on January 6, 2022 and debuted March 19.[91]

On Jan 15, 2011, Paul Reubens appeared on Saturday Night Live as Pee-Wee in an extended and well received segment depicting Andy Samberg and Pee-wee getting drunk, taking a ride on a mechanical bull, doing the tequila dance and ambushing Anderson Cooper in an alley way with a chair.
Upcoming Pee-wee ventures

Ever since Paul Reubens started giving interviews again after his 2002 arrest, Paul Reubens has talked about the two scripts Paul Reubens has written for future Pee-wee Herman films.

Paul Reubens once called his first script The Pee-wee Herman Story,[9] describing it as a black comedy. Paul Reubens has also referred to the script as "dark Pee-wee" or "adult Pee-wee",[11] with the plot involving Pee-wee becoming famous as a singer after making a hit single and moving to Hollywood, where " Paul Reubens does everything wrong and becomes a big jerk".[92] Paul Reubens further explained the film has many "Valley of the Dolls moments".[63] Paul Reubens thought this script would be the first one to start production, but in 2006 Paul Reubens announced Paul Reubens was to start filming his second script in 2007.[11]

The second film, a family friendly adventure, is called Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie by Paul Reubens,[24][93] and follows Pee-wee and his Playhouse friends on a road-trip adventure, meaning that they would leave the house for the first time and go out into "Puppetland". All of the original characters of the show, live-action and puppets, are included in Paul Reubens' script. The story happens in a fantasy land that would be reminiscent of H.R. Pufnstuf and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[92] In January 2009, Paul Reubens told Gary Panter that the rejected first script of "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" (which they co-wrote) could have a movie deal very soon, and that it would be "90 minutes of incredible beauty".[83] On December 2009, while in character, Paul Reubens said this film is “already done, the script is already fully written; It’s ready to shoot." Most of the film will take place in Puppetland and claymation might be used.[2]

Although Paul Reubens hasn't revealed much about the scripts, Paul Reubens has said that one of the two films opens in prison.[63] Paul Reubens has also said that using CGI for "updating" the puppets' looks could be an option, but it all depended on the budget the films would have.[11] Paul Reubens once mentioned the possibility of doing one of the two as an animated film along the lines of The Polar Express, which uses performance capture technology, incorporating the movements of live actors into animated characters.[92]

Paul Reubens approached Pee-wee's Big Adventure director Tim Burton with one of the scripts and talked to Johnny Depp about the possibility of having him portray Pee-wee, but they both declined.[92]

In January 2010, Paul Reubens reprised his role as Pee-wee and reused the set of Pee-wee's Playhouse (albeit slightly modified) for a short sketch on Funny or Die. In the sketch, Pee-wee comes home and shows off a brand-new iPad given to him by Steve Jobs. This leads to a long argument between him and his puppet friends, who point out all of the iPad's disadvantages - even Conky himself points out its flaws by stating that "it looks like a giant iPhone". In the end, Pee-wee uses the iPad as a serving tray to hold glasses of milk and lemonade during a party being held at the Playhouse hours later.[94] All the voices of the puppet characters are dubbed in by different actors than the TV series, all except for Globey whose voice is still done by George McGrath.

In June 2010, various film news sites reported that Paul Reubens was working with Judd Apatow on a new Pee-wee Herman feature film.[95] The new film is said to follow Pee-wee Herman on a road trip.
References

^ a b c d Goldstein, Richard (2022-01-14). "Persecuting Pee-wee Herman". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ a b Carrol, Larry (2021-12-09). "'Pee-Wee's Playhouse: The Movie' Is Incoming, And We've Got Story Details". MTV. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
^ a b Scheibner, Hildegard (2022-02-24). "Veteran of British, U.S., Israeli air forces.". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b c d e f g Gertler, T. (2022-02-01). "The Pee-wee perplex". Rolling Stone.
^ Klemesrud, Judy (2021-12-16). "Never Underestimate Power of a Woman, Even at Princeton". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
^ "Abby R. Rubenfeld". Vanderbilt Law School. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
^ "Past Chairs". National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. Retrieved 2008-10-17.
^ "A Brief History of the American Bar Association". American Bar Association. 1999-08-05. Retrieved 2008-10-17.[dead link]
^ a b c d e f g h Bruce Handy (September 1999). "The Pee-wee Herman Story". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
^ "Playing hooky?". St. Petersburg Times. 1990-10-22. Retrieved 2008-10-12.[dead link]
^ a b c d e Robinson, Tasha (2021-07-26). " Paul Reubens". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b c "SFist Goes to the Paul Reubens Tribute". SFist. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b Wachs, Jeffrey. "In the Playhouse with Paul Reubens". Reel.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2005. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
^ a b c Hurwitt, Sam (2022-01-07). "Much bigger than Pee-wee". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Thompson, Bob (2021-12-01). "The jerky guy". Jam!. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Tucker, Ernst (2022-05-09). "Pee Wee's back on tour, so bring along your toys". The Desert News. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ a b La Ferla, Ruth (2022-05-20). "The Once and future Pee-wee". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
^ a b c Lloyd, Robert (2022-07-10). "Pee-wee's back in the limelight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ a b c Lipper, Hal (2021-11-25). "Local boy makes good". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.[dead link]
^ a b c Cuprisin, Tim (2022-07-13). "Pee-wee's back in the playhouse again". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
^ a b c d e f "Pee-wee's Small Adventure". Time. 2006-07-13. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
^ a b c d e f g h Raftery, Brian M. (2021-09-01). "Pee-wee Turns 20". Entertainment Weekly: p. 1. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
^ Debellis, John (2022-01-28). "An Interview with Gilbert Gottfried". Huffington Post.
^ a b Hartlaub, Peter (2022-01-24). "Pee-wee may be heading back to his Playhouse. But for now, he's happy to be Paul Reubens.". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ a b c d e f g h Phillips, Stone (2022-04-05). "Pee-wee Herman creator speaks out". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ a b Uricchio, Marylynn (2021-08-09). "Pee-wee pedals his way into your heart". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
^ Sherwood, Rick (2022-05-17). "Today in preview". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Sherwood, Rick (2021-08-01). "The Prince of Prepuberty Grows Up". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Paul Reubens, Tim Burton, audio commentary, 2000, Warner Bros.
^ Mark Salisbury; Tim Burton (2006). Burton on Burton. Faber and Faber. pp. 42. ISBN 0-571-22926-3.
^ "Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
^ Salisbury, Burton, p.50
^ a b c "Speaking Out". Entertainment Weekly. 1994-08-16. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Hinton, Hal (2022-07-22). "Big Top Pee Wee". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ James, Caryn (2022-07-22). "Big Top Pee-Wee (1988)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ "Who killed Pee-wee Herman?". Rolling Stone. 1991-12-01.
^ "Love Finds Pee-wee Under the `Big Top,' Paul Reubens discovers romance". Chicago Sun-Times. July 17, 1988.
^ Kim Masters (July 20, 2022). "Smooch Ado About Pee-wee". The Washington Post.
^ Christopher Short (July 20, 2022). ""Pee-wee's Playhouse" comeback aimed at adults". The Gazette (Colorado Springs).
^ ""Pee-wee's Playhouse" (1986) - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-03-04.
^ a b c d e f Burr, Ty (2021-08-14). "Pee-wee Herman' and Sympathy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ "Travels with Pee-Wee". Amazon. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
^ a b Itzkoff, Dave (2021-11-07). "I, Pee-wee". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Colin Mahan (6 June 2022). "Pee-wee Coming Back". Tv.com. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
^ Iovine, Julie (2021-11-18). "AT HOME WITH -- STEVEN BURNS; A Few Clues in Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
^ "Soaking Up Attention". TIME. 2001-12-17. Retrieved 2009-07-12.
^ "Pee-wee's Playhouse". Cinematical. 2004-06-08. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ Bryan, Robert E. (2021-09-18). "The Talk; Short Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ Trebay, Guy (2022-05-22). "Sizing Up the Cut of a Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ Trebay, Guy (2022-01-14). "A Search for Men's Fashion Starts at the Lost and Found". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ Colman, David (2021-10-19). "A Man in Short". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ Beall, Mark (2021-09-06). "Pee-wee Herman Shoes". Cinematical. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ a b Rohter, Larry (2021-11-08). "Pee-wee Herman Enters a Plea of No Contest". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b "Reports says Pee-wee offered benefit". The Victoria Advocate. 1991-08-04. Retrieved 2008-10-12.[dead link]
^ a b "`Pee-wee Herman' Pleads No Contest". The Seattle Times. 1991-11-08. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Stuever, Hank (2021-10-30). "Question Celebrity". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b "The US Weekly Interview: Paul Reubens". US Weekly. 1999-10.
^ "Pee-wee Herman". E! True Hollywood Story. episode 42. season 2. 1998-06-21.
^ Stein, Joel (2022-04-01). "Bigger Than Pee-wee". Time. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
^ Dunn, Jancee (2022-04-05). "All Blown Up". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Gay, Verne (2022-06-21). "Do you know Jack?". Newsday. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Vercammen, Paul (2022-04-10). "A long way from Pee-wee Herman". CNN. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ a b c Hundley, Jessica (2022-05-26). "Herman's hermit". Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Burkhart, Dan (2022-05-06). "Odd couple". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
^ " Paul Reubens: Playboy Interview". Playboy. Retrieved 2011-01-14.[dead link]
^ "'Pee Wee' Star Charged With Child Porn Possession". NBC San Diego. 2002-11-18. Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
^ Rush, George (2022-01-10). "'Pee Wee' Says His Porn Was Legal Kitsch". NY Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2008-10-10.[dead link]
^ Winton, Richard (2021-11-16). "2nd actor arrested on kid porn charges". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Feldman, Charles (2021-11-16). "Pee Wee Herman actor charged". CNN. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ "Gibson brings in veteran defense lawyer amid drink driving charge". The Space. 2006-08-05. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
^ "Actor charged with child porn". Associated Press. 2002-12-13. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ a b "The return (again) of Pee-wee Herman". MSNBC. 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ a b Hubler, Shawn (2022-04-04). "Pee-wee's all grown up". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ "Hollywood star guests in new Raconteurs video". NME. 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ "NBC pickups". Variety. 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ Cohen, Sandy (2022-06-19). " Paul Reubens and Pee-Wee Herman Are Back". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ "Pee-wee Pushes Daisies". IGN. 2007-08-22. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ Hernandez, Ernio (2021-10-17). "Broadway's Esparza Keeps Chenoweth Company on "Pushing Daisies"". Playbill. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ Walter, Nicole (2022-02-21). "Unscrew America". Green is Universal. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
^ Fogle, Adam (2022-04-16). "Pee-wee’s Big SC Adventure". The Palmetto Scoop. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Child, Ben (2021-08-28). "Todd Solondz's Happiness 'sequel' features Pee-wee Herman". Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-10-10.
^ Fritz, Steve (2022-03-26). "Animated Shorts - The Voice of CN's Batman Talks Season 2". Newsrama. Retrieved 2009-06-01.
^ a b Panter, Gary (2022-01-28). "Icons: Paul Reubens". Swindle. Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
^ Ng, David (2021-08-11). " Paul Reubens revives Pee-wee Herman for new stage show". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
^ " Paul Reubens revives Pee-wee Herman for new stage show". Access Hollywood. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
^ Cidoni, Mike (2021-12-12). "Pee-wee Herman's big comeback". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
^ Ng, David (2021-10-06). "Pee-wee Herman moves to Club Nokia, pushes back show dates". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
^ Adams, John (2021-12-07). "Pee-wee Herman makes Los Angeles his new playhouse". NBC Los Angeles. Retrieved 2009-12-11.
^ "Upcoming Raw guest hosts". WWE. 2010-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-24.
^ Dave Itzkoff (October 28, 2021). "Candy-Colored Bow-Tied Redemption". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
^ Thomas Peter (January 6, 2022). "'Pee-wee Herman Show' Tapes for HBO Jan. 6". Playbill. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
^ a b c d Horowitz, Josh (2021-12-11). "Pee-wee's Big Return? Paul Reubens Discusses Plans For Two Pee-wee Films". MTV. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ Arnold, Thomas K. (2021-11-08). "Back to Pee-wee's Playhouse". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-10-12.
^ The Huffington Post - Pee-wee Gets an iPad (Video)
^ Variety - Apatow Developing Pee-wee Herman pic

References

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  3. ^ a b Scheibner, Hildegard (2022-02-24). "Veteran of British, U.S., Israeli air forces.". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Gertler, T. (2022-02-01). "The Pee-wee perplex". Rolling Stone.
  5. ^ Klemesrud, Judy (2021-12-16). "Never Underestimate Power of a Woman, Even at Princeton". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-10-08.
  6. ^ "Abby R. Rubenfeld". Vanderbilt Law School. Archived from the original on March 6, 2022. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  7. ^ "Past Chairs". National Lesbian and Gay Law Association. Retrieved 2021-10-17.
  8. ^ "A Brief History of the American Bar Association". American Bar Association. 2021-08-05. Retrieved 2021-10-17.[dead link]
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Bruce Handy (September 1999). "The Pee-wee Herman Story". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2022-02-06.
  10. ^ "Playing hooky?". St. Petersburg Times. 2021-10-22. Retrieved 2021-10-12.[dead link]
  11. ^ a b c d e Robinson, Tasha (2021-07-26). " Paul Reubens". A.V. Club. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  12. ^ a b c "SFist Goes to the Paul Reubens Tribute". SFist. 2022-01-23. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  13. ^ a b Wachs, Jeffrey. "In the Playhouse with Paul Reubens". Reel.com. Archived from the original on September 9, 2021. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  14. ^ a b c Hurwitt, Sam (2022-01-07). "Much bigger than Pee-wee". San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  15. ^ Thompson, Bob (2021-12-01). "The jerky guy". Jam!. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  16. ^ Tucker, Ernst (2022-05-09). "Pee Wee's back on tour, so bring along your toys". The Desert News. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  17. ^ a b La Ferla, Ruth (2022-05-20). "The Once and future Pee-wee". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  18. ^ a b c Lloyd, Robert (2022-07-10). "Pee-wee's back in the limelight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  19. ^ a b c Lipper, Hal (2021-11-25). "Local boy makes good". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2021-10-06.[dead link]
  20. ^ a b c Cuprisin, Tim (2022-07-13). "Pee-wee's back in the playhouse again". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2021-10-10.[dead link]
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Pee-wee's Small Adventure". Time. 2022-07-13. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h Raftery, Brian M. (2021-09-01). "Pee-wee Turns 20". Entertainment Weekly: p. 1. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  23. ^ Debellis, John (2022-01-28). "An Interview with Gilbert Gottfried". Huffington Post.
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  38. ^ Kim Masters (July 20, 2022). "Smooch Ado About Pee-wee". The Washington Post.
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  42. ^ "Travels with Pee-Wee". Amazon. Retrieved 2021-10-16.
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  45. ^ Iovine, Julie (2021-11-18). "AT HOME WITH -- STEVEN BURNS; A Few Clues in Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-07-12.
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  51. ^ Colman, David (2021-10-19). "A Man in Short". The New York Times. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  52. ^ Beall, Mark (2021-09-06). "Pee-wee Herman Shoes". Cinematical. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
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  56. ^ Stuever, Hank (2021-10-30). "Question Celebrity". Washington Post. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  57. ^ a b "The US Weekly Interview: Paul Reubens". US Weekly. 1999-10.
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  60. ^ Dunn, Jancee (2022-04-05). "All Blown Up". Time Out New York. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
  61. ^ Gay, Verne (2022-06-21). "Do you know Jack?". Newsday. Retrieved 2021-10-12.
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  89. ^ "Upcoming Raw guest hosts". WWE. 2022-07-20. Retrieved 2022-07-24.
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  94. ^ The Huffington Post - Pee-wee Gets an iPad (Video)
  95. ^ Variety - Apatow Developing Pee-wee Herman pic

 

 
 

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