“Remembering the Whimsical Legacy of Pee wee Herman: 10 Surprising Facts About Paul Reubens”
Yesterday, the entertainment world bid farewell to a true icon, Paul Reubens, the mastermind behind the beloved character Pee wee Herman. With a heavy heart, we announce that Paul Reubens, an extraordinary American actor, comedian, writer, and producer, passed away at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer. He leaves behind a trail of laughter, positivity, and kindness that touched the hearts of countless children and adults alike.
Newman, in a heartfelt tribute on their official Instagram account, expressed, “Last night, we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer, and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy, and belief in the importance of kindness.”
In a prepared statement to his devoted fans, Pee wee Herman humbly apologized for not sharing his six-year-long struggle publicly. He expressed deep gratitude for the immense love and respect he received from friends, fans, and supporters throughout his career, saying, “I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
As we remember this extraordinary talent, let’s explore some lesser-known facts about Paul Reubens and his beloved creation, Pee wee Herman:
- The Genesis of Pee wee: Paul Reubens revealed that the inception of the Pee wee Herman character can be traced back to an improv assignment during his time with The Groundlings, a prestigious comedy and improv troupe in Los Angeles. Little did he know that this impromptu creation would become an enduring cultural phenomenon.
- A Lifelong Performer: Paul Reubens continued to grace the entertainment world until 2021. While his heyday was in the 1980s and 1990s, he never stopped entertaining his audience, leaving his mark in TV shows, movies, and even video games, such as Gotham, The Tom and Jerry Show, and Call of Duty.
- The Real Identity: To blur the line between fiction and reality, Reubens insisted on being credited as “Pee wee Herman as Himself” in films, further cementing the notion that Pee-wee was more than just a fictional character.
- A Stoner Movie Debut: Paul Reubens’ first credited acting role came in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, an unconventional start for the soon-to-be legendary comedian.
- HBO: The Launchpad to National Fame: Pee-wee Herman was first introduced to a nationwide audience through HBO, which aired performances from The Pee wee Herman Show in 1981, catapulting him to stardom.
- A Pedal-Powered Fortune: In Pee wee’s Big Adventure, a red bicycle became an iconic symbol of the film. This very bike was later auctioned on eBay, fetching an astonishing $36,600.
- Box Office Triumph: Despite its modest $7 million budget, Pee wee’s Big Adventure turned out to be a colossal box office success, grossing over $41 million.
- The Platform for Future Stars: Pee-wee’s show served as a launchpad for several future celebrities, including Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman, Natasha Lyonne, and S. Epatha Merkerson.
- Interrupted Playhouse: The third season of Pee-wee’s Playhouse was cut short due to the 1988 WGA writer’s strike, resulting in just three episodes, with the notable exception of the beloved Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special.
- A Theatrical Encore: In October 2010, Pee-wee made an unforgettable comeback of sorts, as Broadway embraced a limited run of his sensational hit show.
As we bid farewell to Paul Reubens, we cherish the joy and laughter he brought into our lives through Pee wee Herman, a character that will forever be etched in the annals of entertainment history. Let us celebrate his legacy, his talent, and his enduring message of kindness and whimsy. Rest in peace, Pee-wee Herman.