The Pee Wee Herman character was first brought to fame on HBO for the “Pee Wee Herman Show” in 1981. The Pee Wee character started off as a stand up comic at first. How did Paul Reubens create the character? Where did Pee Wee come from? The Pee Wee Herman character was inspired by an improvisational comedy team that Reubens used to be in, way back in the 70’s. The character went from there. Paul wanted the character to be an adult man that acts like a child. After the “Pee Wee Herman Show” aired on HBO in 1981, the character became hugely popular quickly. The character wasn’t just made for children, the character is mainly aimed to entertain adult audiences.
Since the characters success, the character became a little more mainstream in pop culture when Reubens teamed up with Tim Burton to bring the character to the big screen with a film titled, “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”, about a man out to find his stolen bicycle. The film was a major hit. The movie inspired a new TV series that is supposed to be aimed for children titled, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse”, which is supposed to tone down the adult content and make it a family friendly series. The show was very successful and lasted for 5 seasons, it went from 1986 – 1991.
In 1988, another Pee Wee film was brought to the big screen, titled, “Big Top Pee Wee”, directed by Randal Kleiser. The film is about Pee Wee wanting to become a famous singer in front of screaming fans, so he does it by joining a circus in which he falls in love with a trapeze artist named, Gina. The film flopped in the box office.
In 1991, Reubens was arrested for masturbating in a adult porno theater. This forced, “Pee Wee’s Playhouse” to be canceled and Paul retired the Pee Wee character. During the 1990’s, Paul still acted in a variety of films while not in the Pee Wee character. He had roles, in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Batman Returns”, “Matilda”, “Blow”, and many other films.
In 2002, Reubens was arrested again being accused of collecting child pornography. Reubens pleaded not guilty and charges were dropped in 2004, clearing his name from the law. In 2004, Reubens father died of cancer.
In January of 2009, Reubens suddenly announced that he is finally giving Pee Wee Herman, a huge comeback. Now that he finally got his personal life straightened out, he figured this would be a perfect time to bring the character back to the mainstream. To hype up his return, he appeared in a slew of late night talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, Letterman, Conan O’ Brien, etc. to announce a four week show schedule at Club Nokia to bring his character to the stage. The shows were a major success, which gave Pee Wee an opportunity to bring Pee Wee’s Playhouse back to the stage on Broadway in New York City.
The New York City Broadway show aired last night on HBO for the first time. It was a very entertaining show. I loved it. I laughed all the way through and had a smile on my face, the entire time. I’m happy for Paul that he came back with Pee Wee in a huge way. All the characters from Pee Wee’s Playhouse, made a return last night, the whole gang. Cowboy Curtis, Captain Carl, Miss Yvonne, The King of Cartoons, Jambi, Chairry, Mr. Window, the Ant Farm, Penny the Claymation cartoon, etc. Yes, the whole gang.
Paul Reubens did a great job. I’m proud of him. What’s next for Pee Wee after this? Hopefully another big screen movie for the character. I think it’s time for a third Pee Wee film, don’t you? Pee Wee is successful enough that he deserves another film. Him and Judd Appatow are working on a script for another one, so that’s good news. Whether the next Pee Wee film will be based on the Playhouse show or another Tim Burton styled movie, I don’t care, either way is good for me. I just want him back on the big screen. I’ll see the new film, no matter what the material is. Congrats Paul!