A whey-faced, cherry-lipped, matchstick-thin child-man who lived in a massive playhouse with sentient furniture and a floating head was one of the most subversive and original characters in 1980s popular culture.
According to BrooklynDad Defiant Tweet, Paul Reubens wore a red bow tie, white tasseled loafers, a shrunken grey suit, and white tasseled loafers. Paul Reubens, an actor who pἀssed away from canceɼ at the age of 70, developed and portrayed Pee-wee Herman.
OMG Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, has died from cancer. He brought years of laughter to millions.
RIP Pee wee. 🙏😥 pic.twitter.com/odMTyQmOGe
— BrooklynDad_Defiant!☮️ (@mmpadellan) July 31, 2023
The Pee-wee Herman Show featured the character on stage in the early 1980s, but he wasn’t widely recognized until the 1985 movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which served as Tim Burton’s directorial debut. See Paul Reubens’s Obituary details below:
Paul Reubens Obituary
This big-screen outing for Pee-wee, who was already infused with the spirit of bygone children’s shows such as Howdy Doody and Captain Kangaroo, fell somewhere in the middle of the Reagan era’s heavy reliance on the iconography of the 1950s and early 1960s, whether for sweet (Back to the Future, Peggy Sue Got Married) or unsavory (Blue Velvet, Parents).
The film’s undercurrent of kinkiness and innuendo never tarnished its appearance of joyous innocence, unlike the stage and television adaptations. Pee-wee searches all over the US for his beloved stolen bike in a tale based on the Italian neo-realist masterpiece Bicycle Thieves.
He meets the zombie truck driver Large Marge along the way, pretends to be the prisoner’s wife to win over a group of snarling bikers by dancing on the bar in platform heels, saves the people inside a burning pet store (saving the snakes for last because he’s afraid of them), and ends up at the premiere of a Hollywood film about himself.
Pee-wee’s loud laugh and nasal voice appeared to be intentionally irritating in the same way as his playground jabs. Reubens’s success, which soared with the children’s TV program Pee-wee’s Playhouse (1986-90), was largely due to his singular commitment to playing him absolutely straight if that’s not the incorrect term for a character immersed in camp.
Pee-wee’s Playhouse intensified the surrealist elements of the movie. In one episode, Pee-wee weds a fruit salad bowl that is decked out in a veil. Although it would be difficult to find a scene from Pee-wee’s body of work that did not serve that purpose, the scene was held up as an illustration of the character’s progressiveness years later.
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Pee-wee represented queerness without frightening the horses, whether by including LGBT+ performers and allies in his 1988 Christmas special, including Grace Jones, kd lang, Cher, and Little Richard, or by employing muscular, shirtless construction workers to build a fruitcake extension on the side of his playhouse.
Reubens claimed that “nonconformity isn’t bad” was one of the show’s messages. A lackluster sequel to the movie, Big Top Pee-wee (1988), and two scandals were setbacks. The first, Reubens was fined and arrested in 1991 for masturbating in an adult movie theater.
In the second, in 2002, a police search of his collection of vintage erotica led to a misdemeanor charge for possessing child pornography, which was later dropped to possession of obscene material and probation.
He was born in Peekskill, New York, to parents teachers Judy (née Rosen) and Milton Rubenfeld, a former Israeli air force founding pilot who later sold automobiles and ran a lamp shop. When Reubens was nine years old, the family relocated to Florida’s Sarasota.
David Hasselhoff was one of his classmates while he studied acting at the California Institute of the Arts after receiving his education at Boston University and Sarasota High School. There is no information available about Pee-wee Herman’s obituary on the internet.
He established himself as a dependable fixture in the comedy club scene and made 14 appearances on The Gong Show, a popular TV variety show. Reubens elucidated:
“You could go on more than once if you were in disguise,”
After winning the competition, he became a Screen Actors Guild member. He created Pee-wee Herman while a member of the Groundlings, a Los Angeles-based improv comedy troupe. In the UK, The Dating Game is known as Blind Date, and he appeared in it as Pee-wee after applying and being cast totally in character.
In order to stage The Pee-wee Herman Show, Reubens borrowed $5,000 from his parents after failing an audition for the 1980–1981 season of Saturday Night Live. It ran for five months in Los Angeles before touring the country.
Reubens never broke character, and it inspired an HBO one-off special and absurdist appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. He stated:
“I always felt it was conceptual art, but no one knew that except me, I went out of my way to make people feel Pee-wee was a real person. It worked way better if people were going: ‘Who the hell is that?’”
His non-Pee-wee appearances were mostly limited to the years following the 1990 finale of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. In 1992’s Batman Returns, Burton granted him a cameo as the Penguin’s father, and in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the first movie, he portrayed a vampire.
He appeared in the 1996 family comedies Matilda and Dunston Checks In, and in the comedies Mystery Men (1999) and Blow (2001), he played a pot-dealing hairdresser and a sneering superhero, respectively.
Most of his latter appearances were voice acting for animated films or bizarre cameos on comedies like 30 Rock (2007) and What We Do in the Shadows (2019). Periodic visits from Pee-wee were always met with adoration.
The charming, Judd Apatow-produced Netflix feature Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016) and the 2010 stage adaptation of The Pee-wee Herman Show allowed Reubens the chance to finally mend any remaining damage caused by his arrests.
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