Paul Reubens heads to Broadway
November 1st, 2010
08:00 PM ET

Paul Reubens heads to Broadway

Nearly two decades after a public scandal nearly destroyed his career, Pee-wee Herman is back and headlining on Broadway. But Paul Reubens, the man behind the beloved impish character, tells the New York Times it's been a long road to get to the Great White Way.

After helming two popular Pee-wee movies and the successful Saturday morning series "Pee-wee's Playhouse" in the '80s, Reubens made headlines in 1991 when he was arrested for indecent exposure in a Florida movie theater. In 2002, he was arrested again and vintage erotica was seized in his home; he pleaded guilty to possessing obscene materials in 2004.

“I had to go through a horrible time of feeling like I didn’t want to go anywhere or be anywhere, see anybody,” Reubens, 58, says of those dark days. “I, at a certain point, thought, ‘Well, if I just wait long enough, everything will go away, and I won’t be famous anymore and I’ll go back to my total anonymous civilian life.’ ”

Reubens continued to act, taking small film and TV roles, but it wasn't until two years ago that he was approached to put on his slim gray suit and bring Pee-wee back for an L.A. stage show.

“I felt like this was my window, right now. If I didn’t do it now, I would really be too old, and I don’t want to do it with a new face," Reubens tells the Times, adding that he didn't want to resort to plastic surgery.

Following a successful run at L.A.'s Club Nokia earlier this year, "The Pee-wee Herman Show" has made its way to Broadway's Stephen Sondheim Theater, and Reubens says he isn't worried about the New York critics' reviews.

“Honestly, I’m somebody who there’s nothing more horrible left to say to me. You know? There really isn’t," he explains. "And there’s enormous power in that.”


soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Nick

    WTH is with the seizing obscene material from his home? I don't get that. If it was put away in his private residence how can he be fined for that? As long as it wasn't child p*rn than what business was it of anyone elses what he had in his home? There are laws in some states like this. Some s*x toys are illegal in certain states. When did the government get the right to tell us what we can do in our bedrooms between two consenting adults? Ridiculous.

    November 4, 2010 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. rsw

    clone him dont we have enough wackers in this country as it is also how do you know how hung he is were you in the theater with him that night

    November 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PEEWEEFAN1

    AND DID YOU KNOW THAT HE NAMED THE CHARACTER PEE WEE AS AN OXY MORON. HES ACTUALLY HUNG LIKE A BLACK MAN IN SHANGHAI

    November 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PEEWEEFAN1

    HELL YEAH HOW ELSE AM I GONNA CLONE HIM

    November 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RSW

    peeweefan01 i bet you would be the first one there to collect and add to your own foil ball

    November 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PEEWEEFAN1

    HELL YEAH PEE WEE IS BACK. I HOPE HE JERKS OFF ALL OVER THE CROWD. YOU CAN SAVE IT IN SOME FOIL AND START YOUR VERY OWN FOIL BALL.

    November 2, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Elizabeth

    Go Paul!! I just wish Phil Hartman was still around-he would make it perfect! I wish Paul all the luck!!

    November 2, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. portalpunk

    Way to go pee wwe, rock out with your frock out.

    November 2, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  9. MadCityBabe

    I so love his Tequilla dance with those nice bright white platforms........you rock

    November 2, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Cranky

    I adore Paul -and I'm so proud of him. There's a lot of talent there and I for one look forward to seeing his work.

    November 2, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jill

    Pee Wee is the shizz. I wish I could go to the show in NY but I'm in Florida :( I have been hinting to my husband that this would be an awesome Christmas surprise gift!

    November 2, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  12. jawn

    fred, fred, fred.... his show was brilliant.... and you can't spell manure... pleeeease...

    November 2, 2010 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. FredErick

    Just goes to show that if we wait long enough – everything and anything will make a comeback.... even talentless menure such as Reubens! What's next? The return of Milli Vanilli?

    November 2, 2010 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Jester

      Yeah that may happen if one wasn't dead... Don't be jealous because you've made nothing of your life!

      November 2, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |

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