There's here's something familiar about the actor playing a flamboyant cocaine-dealing hairdresser in Ted Demme's Blow, now on general release. Perhaps it's the arched eyebrows, or the impish grin. Yes, it's Pee Wee Herman!
To somebody who grew up in a world with Pee-wee Herman, it seems unfathomable that he might need an introduction to a new generation. Pee-wee, after all, does not submit to the tyranny of time. Pee-wee is ageless.
Paul Reubens loves his iPhone. The man behind Pee-wee Herman uses it for everything—as a translator, as a distraction from other conversations—and he reaches for it to demonstrate its miracles or answer its beckoning dings throughout lunch on a Saturday in Los Angeles. He also called me from it to very considerately apologize for being stuck in traffic and running barely ten minutes late for our meeting at El Cholo.
The day after Paul Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure in a Sarasota pornographic theater, the bright red door of Pee-wee's Playhouse -- the Saturday-morning kids' show that even parents loved -- was boarded up. Unsold Pee-wee Herman dolls became orphans. Disney-MGM Studios dropped him from its two-minute tour video.
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Mere hours before it became available to a global audience of more than 75 million Netflix subscribersPee-wee's Big Holiday — a feature film resurrecting the iconic '80s man-child Pee-wee Herman — premiered at Austin's Paramount Theatre during the South by Southwest Film Festival. With an audience made up of devoted Pee-wee fans, and many of the film's creative team on hand, the conclusion of Big Holiday was greeted by an unsurprising and thunderous ovation. This is, after all, Paul Reubens' first significant reprisal of the role in nearly 28 years.
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The Pee-Wee Herman scandal -- The kid-show star's indecent exposure arrest became the summer's biggest show-biz story. As he zips through the air courtesy of intentionally cheesy special effects, the campy mood suddenly turns unexpectedly touching. Nothing brings a star crashing to earth like the words sex scandal, and this particular scandal — a kid-show host charged with exposing himself in a porno theater — looked like a career killer of the first order. Banishment, disgrace, and permanent pop-cultural ignominy seemed guaranteed.
Actors create characters all the time. It's literally what they do. The truly great ones create characters that seem to exist on its own.
Pee-Wee Herman Source: Netflix. The show is a nice offset to awkward family conversations. Plus laughing at the silly show gives the abs a nice workout after a full meal and pumpkin pie. Reubens has also had an expansive career, making appearances in shows like Murphy Brown and Everybody Loves Raymond.