Genius, or insane? You be the judge. Pee-Wee Herman is heading to Broadway. Come October, he’ll have six weeks for The Pee-wee Herman Show at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. Paul Ruebens, who plays Pee-Wee, is excited. “I can hardly believe it,” Reubens told The New York Times earlier this week. “Honestly, I’ve been pinching myself.” The 57-year-old is lucky, and this is a great time for 80’s childhood favorites to come back, since children of the 80’s love to relive their childhood. (Why do you think so many things like The Transformers movie are popping up right now?)
I’m sure many of you have fond memories of the cult Tim Burton movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and the Saturday morning kids show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Back in January, Reubens was at Club Nokia in L.A., playing Pee-Wee Herman again. Because it was so popular, it’s now being taken to Broadway. I wonder if Chairy gives autographs?
While I appreciated watching Pee-Wee’s Playhouse back on Saturday mornings, looking at pictures of him now I feel a bit creeped out. So that may give an indication that not all people will be able happily embrace this, or even feel entertained by it anymore. And there’s also the people who may have accepted this fun act, if not for Reuben’s name being linked to two criminal offenses involving sex and children. If I may reference (and I’m gonna!) an interview that Paul Ruebens gave to Dateline with Stone Phillips:
Stone Phillips: “Even at the height of your popularity not everyone was entirely comfortable with the persona you created. Newsweek, I think, at one point wrote, ‘You either love him or he gives you the willies.’”
In that interview, Ruebens mentions he was working on a script for a new Pee-Wee movie. And then there’s this:
Reubens: “I spent an awful long time 12 years ago thinking to myself, you know, this can’t be my final thing. I’m a big believer in the happy ending. I want a Pee-Wee movie to have a happy ending. Pee-Wee gets his bicycle back. I don’t know what the ending is to my story. But I think it’s going to be a happy one.”
Reubens seems like a genuinely nice guy. Is this is comeback? Will it work?
Previously: Lea Michele Twirls in Dresses for a new Dove Ad