Pee-Wee Herman Actor Takes a Dark Turn in New Role

By: Mike Tuttle - August 28, 2014

“There’s a lotta things about me you don’t know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you shouldn’t understand.”

Paul Reubens is most widely known for his role as Pee-wee Herman in the memorable children’s television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, as well as Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, an early film by Tim Burton. Though the Pee-wee character is seen as droll and silly, there has always been something of a menacing undercurrent about the way Reubens plays that role. You were just sure that, any minute now, news would break that the character of Pee-wee Herman was a molester.

Perhaps that feeling was retrofitted by Reuben’s arrest in 1991 for masturbating during a movie in an adult theater. Following the release of Reuben’s mugshot, CBS stopped airing re-runs of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and the character, as well as the actor, became a national punchline.


The Pee-wee Herman clothing line is now discounted nationwide. All pants are half off.

Pee-wee Herman has a good chance at returning to the big screen. Audiences say they’d rather see him on screen in the theater than have him sitting behind them.

But Reubens got the last laugh when he appeared in character as Pee-wee at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards and asked the audience, “Heard any good jokes lately?” He received riotous applause and a standing ovation.

Reubens has revived his Pee-wee television show, but is looking to get the character back on the big screen, reportedly striking a deal with Judd Apatow to make that happen.

In the meantime, Reubens is next set to appear on the popular NBC drama The Blacklist, where he will portray “a dapper, finicky ‘muscle’ who handles delicate situations in the criminal underworld.”

“It’s going to be something totally different, and it’s going to be awesome,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp said in an Entertainment Weekly interview. “It can’t get strange enough for me. One of the most fun things is being able to write for actors who I’ve admired and think are interesting and try to play against expectations. I’d say he’s gonna shake things up a bit when he enters Red’s orbit.”

“It started with the character,” he says. “We knew what he would feel like and sound like, and then as we started kicking around names, Paul’s name came up as, ‘Well, that would be cool. That will never happen, but we might as well ask.’”

About the Author

Mike TuttleWriter. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.

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  • the great master

    “Reuben” Casserole video for a story about Paul Reuben. So who’s getting fired over there?

    • Helen Ann

      My thoughts exactly! :)

    • adam thompson

      I thought recipe commercial was just a glitch on my P.C. Hasn’t someone over there NOTICED this BIG MISTAKE YET!!!!!

    • Researcher Advanced Degree

      Men/boys, even Obama, now wearing Pee Wee’s short, buzz, “homosex” HIV victim-haircut few dare wear in the 80’s

      • gator

        fuckin idiot

        • Researcher Advanced Degree

          Gator, You (among millions) MUST be one of the buzzcut, “homosex” HIV victim-haircut people–along with Obama!

  • Guest

    My thoughts exactly, great master!

  • Pablo Cervantes

    It has always interested me how selective Hollywood is when it comes to ablack balling certain actors for misdeeds as well as the length of banishment. Reubens was caught doing exactly what folks do in those large porn theaters…and then folks act all surprised and gut him.

    • steever63

      you are right!. He paul is only human, we ALL fall short of the glory sometimes. His dirty laundry was unfortunate,I if it was I who got caught, it would not even been new’s. Reuben should of know better though..

  • Dembabe

    Woody Allen is still revered in Hollyweird, yet PeeWee gets blackballed for doing something which hurt no one!

  • Gretchen

    I was thinking American Horror Story…

    • kgomez4

      I would have LOVED to have seen him in American Horror Story!!! Now THAT would be awesome!

  • PJ

    Can I read just one darn article about Paul Reubens or Pee-Wee Herman that doesnt rely on the most obvious 25 year old smut and stupidity story? The world moves on, journalists. Tbere’s a lot more to a person than one wrong evening.

    • InvisibleZombie

      No kidding, the first half is just old news we either know or don’t care about anymore. Insult to injury is the recipe video!

  • Deborah Stanger

    Don’t they even check if the correct story is there? Very unprofessional.

  • Natalie

    I love you Paul Reuben. I loved your show and would watch it today if it was on! You made me laugh out loud and that is not something just any TV show can do. I had bunny slippers for years and every now and then I would throw a carrot on the floor and let my bunny slippers “sniff” around it just for a laugh with the kids. I thought that you were treated unfairly and have missed you through the years. I wish you success in bringing back your show. I look forward to the silliness and laughter again!

  • King_Vlad

    I love how these writers immediately go to the jerking off story of the early 90’s that shamed Paul Reubens and almost ended his career. Yet they won’t talk about his achievements like his role in movies like Blow which was a huge success. I’m sorry but its 2014 leave it alone around. Paul Reubens has come so far in his career and proven he’s more than just Pee Wee Herman. He’s a highly skilled actor and comedian who can taken on any role and knock it out of the part yet this writers go the cheap route and bring up the 1 sorted part of his past to bring in as many readers as possible.

  • DrB

    Paul’s genius runs deeper than we give him credit. It will be nice to see him in a few roles that showcase his brilliance and dispel our misunderstanding of him.

  • crazybitxh

    Ewwwwww!!!

  • peasant

    heard about those girls there dipping in wax at the wax museum ?

  • Dan Stewart

    Name two people who were shot in the head in a theatre. One was Abraham Lincoln, the second was the guy sitting in front of Pee-Wee Herman.

  • kathleenholmes

    will suit him now that he has grown up, i hope.

  • Researcher Advanced Degree

    Men/boys, even Obama, now wearing Pee Wee’s short, buzz, “homosex” HIV victim-haircut few dare wear in the 80’s

  • the great master

    He was so good in Tron Uprising.

  • ctgng

    I can’t think of the name of it offhand, but Paul has a terrific little scifi short on YouTube – serious role, and it shows he can really act. Worth looking up.

  • I SEE YOU 420

    I think you were way out of line saying any minute now news would break that Pee Wee Herman was a child molester. And everyone has heard the story about him masturbating at an X rated movie theater (what do you suppose people go there for?) What people forget to say is that he was found NOT guilty of the offense.

  • Barbara Richards

    Hmmm. What a difference 20 something years makes. It’s now ok to masturbate in public.