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C'mon Hollywood: Where in the hell is the new Pee-Wee Herman movie?

Mar. 12, 2013by: Paul Shirey

*Note: The secret word for this column is: “allegedly.” You know what to do.

Like many of you, I grew up on Saturday morning cartoons when they were still awesome. The topper to those cartoon mornings was seeing the grey-suited manchild in a red bowtie and shiny shoes known as Pee-Wee Herman bring the most absurd laughter into my house with Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. It was imaginative, crazy, hilarious, and infectious. Then, in 1985, I saw Tim Burton’s freshman outing with Mr. Herman in PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE, which has forever solidified quotes into my brain as if I were programmed like a robot working for Skynet.

I can remember popping in the VHS tape in our top-loading VCR that weighed at least 65 pounds and watching it over and over again (along with THE KARATE KID, of course). The movie had spirit and imagination unlike any I’d seen up to that point in my life. It was a showcase for both Burton and Pee-Wee, played brilliantly throughout his life by actor/comedian Paul Reubens serving as a launching pad for both their careers. Burton would go on to direct a bevy of gems (and a few lumps of coal), while Reubens would follow up with 1986’s FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR as the alien space ship voice, and then with 1988’s BIG TOP PEE-WEE, which wasn’t exactly the same caliber as his prior adventure, but still a fun jaunt.

Reubens was still running his Saturday morning show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse well into its fifth season at the time. However, as fate would have it, scandal struck the comedian when he was *allegedly caught masturbating in an adult movie theater, which led to his arrest (and infamous mugshot). The fallout after this incident, which seemingly trumped the capture of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the news (no, seriously) was a career killer for Reubens, who went into seclusion for about a year, before stepping onstage at the MTV Movie Awards in 1991, to see, ultimately, if he had a chance of saving Pee-Wee. This is what happened:

So, obviously people loved Pee-Wee, regardless of him *allegedly being caught spanking his puppet in a XXX theater. I mean, shit, is it the right thing to do that there? I don’t know, if I go to a pool I swim, if I go to a restaurant I eat, so what the hell do I know? Either way, the whole incident was struck from Reuben’s record (but obviously not from Hollywood’s memory) and even a second incident where his home was falsely raided under a child porn tip, which again was expunged, served as another nail in the coffin for Pee-Wee.

And, really, with that kind of shit going on, what can you do? Pee-Wee was chained, much like that crazy clown he chains his bike to in PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE. However, Reuben trickled in here and there, showing up in Burton’s BATMAN RETURNS as Penguin’s father and in a great turn as a villainous vampire in the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER movie. After that, it was a lot of voice work and a some stints on various TV shows like Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, and Pushing Daisies, and a solid role as a drug dealer in the Johnny Depp starrer BLOW. All of it seemed like a means to reestablishing a reputation, which took decades to do, thanks largely to a vicious media circus that tore the actor down every chance it could. Until, in 2009 – 2011, Reubens found his way back to his roots, bringing Pee-Wee’s Playhouse back to the stage where it began with a number of shows in Los Angeles and a Broadway special that eventually aired on HBO. Pee-Wee had finally returned from the abyss.

It was during one of these shows that writer/director Judd Apatow contacted Reubens about continuing the adventures of Mr. Herman on the big screen. It was one hell of an opening for someone who has seemingly had to claw his way back to the limelight. Yet, this was nearly three years ago and despite a few updates here and there about the movie progressing forward, we’ve heard nothing official. The reported idea is that the new Pee-Wee film would be another road movie, much like his first film, which suits me just fine, but the fact that it’s taken this long to get it off the ground is a little bothersome, especially since Pee-Wee is 61 f*cking years old! Time isn’t on anyone’s side here.

Reubens has more than made up for his supposed sins (and there are plenty of stars who have been caught doing much worse) and deserves the opportunity to bring Pee-Wee back to the big screen where he can shine again. You don’t get a lot of second chances in life, let alone in Hollywood (unless you’re M. Night Shyamalan), so for the love of all that’s good, get this movie behind the camera already! I’ve never met a single person who hated Pee-Wee after his “transgressions” and they’ve all wondered aloud the same question, “When will there be another Pee-Wee movie?”

Hollywood, the ball is in your court. How much longer are you going to hold down the talents of the one-and-only Pee-Wee Herman? You’re shit stinks just as much as everyone else’s (I know, because I had the misfortune of watching ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH over the weekend). It’s time to cut the scarlet letter off of Pee-Wee’s jacket and get him “Tequila” dancin’ again.

*Allegedly, you can commence with your masturbation references now...

Extra Tidbit: Who do you think would be a good fit to direct a new Pee-Wee movie? Personally, I think Wes Anderson would be the perfect fit, even if it's a longshot.
Source: JoBlo.com

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10:14AM on 03/13/2013
I'd watch it.
I'd watch it.
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-13
6:35AM on 03/13/2013
He had his time and it belongs there in my opinion.
He had his time and it belongs there in my opinion.
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+3
5:57PM on 03/12/2013

Bring it!

I really want to see a apatow directed pee movie!
I really want to see a apatow directed pee movie!
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-2
3:34PM on 03/12/2013

Extra Tidbit

Nevldine and Taylor OR Sam Raimi. Both have a kinetic style that I think would work well with a Pee Wee movie.
Nevldine and Taylor OR Sam Raimi. Both have a kinetic style that I think would work well with a Pee Wee movie.
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3:31PM on 03/12/2013
Last I saw pee wee he was doing some stuff with the wwe. Was pretty funny to say the least though not as hilarious as the muppets interaction with the wwe. That was worth quite a few good laughs.
Last I saw pee wee he was doing some stuff with the wwe. Was pretty funny to say the least though not as hilarious as the muppets interaction with the wwe. That was worth quite a few good laughs.
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2:59PM on 03/12/2013
I enjoyed Pee-wee as a kid but we really don't need another movie. Like Bill and Ted, it just seems silly now mostly cause well...they are old now. Not that they still can't do movies, but in Bill and Ted's case, are they still same old same old or did they get great jobs and made something of themselves? As much fun as these guys were, can a new movie really work? I just don't think so. People still root for Army of Darkness sequel and honestly as great as Bruce Campbell is in Burn Notice,
I enjoyed Pee-wee as a kid but we really don't need another movie. Like Bill and Ted, it just seems silly now mostly cause well...they are old now. Not that they still can't do movies, but in Bill and Ted's case, are they still same old same old or did they get great jobs and made something of themselves? As much fun as these guys were, can a new movie really work? I just don't think so. People still root for Army of Darkness sequel and honestly as great as Bruce Campbell is in Burn Notice, what can you possibly do with him in a 20+ year old sequel? Let it go. It's sad but let it go.
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2:50PM on 03/12/2013

Sort of agree

I think I'm a couple of years older than Paul (Shirey, not Reubens) so I have plenty of nostalgia. Also, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is in my top 3 comedies, and my favorite Tim Burton film. That said, I'd like to see PR get out from the shadow of Pee-Wee Herman and do something else. He's been typecast to some extent, but he's done little to counteract that - a few great castings aside. To hear Reubens describe it, Pee-Wee is this seminal character, akin to Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp. The
I think I'm a couple of years older than Paul (Shirey, not Reubens) so I have plenty of nostalgia. Also, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is in my top 3 comedies, and my favorite Tim Burton film. That said, I'd like to see PR get out from the shadow of Pee-Wee Herman and do something else. He's been typecast to some extent, but he's done little to counteract that - a few great castings aside. To hear Reubens describe it, Pee-Wee is this seminal character, akin to Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp. The difference is that not only did CC really push the Tramp character, but he went beyond it do do other important comediy roles. I feel like Reubens is content to coast on the persona, and basically wait for somebody to tee up a project for him. I have to think this guy is capable of coming up with something else.

Come on Paul Reuben: Where the hell is your second act?
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12:02PM on 03/12/2013
I'd rather see Burton do Beetlejuice 3 than this shit.
I'd rather see Burton do Beetlejuice 3 than this shit.
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1:44PM on 03/12/2013
Everyday I see people flame your comments for no reason whatsoever. Your comments will have -5 while someone who said the exact same thing has +5. Well now I get it. This is the reason. That shit's justified for several lifetimes. Shame on you.
Everyday I see people flame your comments for no reason whatsoever. Your comments will have -5 while someone who said the exact same thing has +5. Well now I get it. This is the reason. That shit's justified for several lifetimes. Shame on you.
2:29PM on 03/12/2013
agree with long, it's like as soon as I see that Ryan Renolds Green Lantern picture i know immediately to skip this opinion because it's filled with nothing but ignorance
agree with long, it's like as soon as I see that Ryan Renolds Green Lantern picture i know immediately to skip this opinion because it's filled with nothing but ignorance
2:53PM on 03/12/2013
Actually, I think it's because he dismissed something other people care about as "shit." But you guys are turning around and being just as disrespectful, plus hypocritical.
Actually, I think it's because he dismissed something other people care about as "shit." But you guys are turning around and being just as disrespectful, plus hypocritical.
3:23PM on 03/12/2013
I'm really just being sarcastic (this is the internet after all). I have no beef with The Soloist, though I disagree with him here. Pee-wee was a big part of my childhood, and honestly if Burton were to direct a new one, could it be any worse than his last couple of live-action films?
I'm really just being sarcastic (this is the internet after all). I have no beef with The Soloist, though I disagree with him here. Pee-wee was a big part of my childhood, and honestly if Burton were to direct a new one, could it be any worse than his last couple of live-action films?
10:43AM on 03/13/2013
Daaaaammmmmmn, Soloist! I agree with you on wanting to see another Beetle juice (don't know what that 3 is all about since we don't have 2) but it seems that everyone is hating on your comments. Never had I got hate like that for any comment, except for the one where I told a dude to shut up and you got butt hurt about it. You gotta think man, seeing a new peewee movie appeals to the grown ass child in all the 30 something people on this site, including me. Just saying man
Daaaaammmmmmn, Soloist! I agree with you on wanting to see another Beetle juice (don't know what that 3 is all about since we don't have 2) but it seems that everyone is hating on your comments. Never had I got hate like that for any comment, except for the one where I told a dude to shut up and you got butt hurt about it. You gotta think man, seeing a new peewee movie appeals to the grown ass child in all the 30 something people on this site, including me. Just saying man
10:43AM on 03/13/2013
Daaaaammmmmmn, Soloist! I agree with you on wanting to see another Beetle juice (don't know what that 3 is all about since we don't have 2) but it seems that everyone is hating on your comments. Never had I got hate like that for any comment, except for the one where I told a dude to shut up and you got butt hurt about it. You gotta think man, seeing a new peewee movie appeals to the grown ass child in all the 30 something people on this site, including me. Just saying man
Daaaaammmmmmn, Soloist! I agree with you on wanting to see another Beetle juice (don't know what that 3 is all about since we don't have 2) but it seems that everyone is hating on your comments. Never had I got hate like that for any comment, except for the one where I told a dude to shut up and you got butt hurt about it. You gotta think man, seeing a new peewee movie appeals to the grown ass child in all the 30 something people on this site, including me. Just saying man
3:22PM on 03/13/2013
There was a Beetlejuice 2??
There was a Beetlejuice 2??
-4
11:59AM on 03/12/2013

?

Stupid internet........post my comment 3x........
Stupid internet........post my comment 3x........
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+4
11:58AM on 03/12/2013

i care

Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
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+1
11:57AM on 03/12/2013

i care

Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
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+1
11:56AM on 03/12/2013

i care

Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
Unlike the follow below me, I would like to see a new peewee movie. I'm a child of the 80s, I grew up watching his show and remember the scandal. But it was still fun to watch, I even got my daughter into watching the movie afew years ago when I bought it on DVD. Sure bring back peewee!
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11:35AM on 03/12/2013

Sorry but...

I respect different opinions of course but I must be honest and say that I just read the title and skipped the rest thinking "Who the hell cares?!" (besides the writer and maybe a dozen people more...)
I respect different opinions of course but I must be honest and say that I just read the title and skipped the rest thinking "Who the hell cares?!" (besides the writer and maybe a dozen people more...)
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12:24PM on 03/12/2013
I'm perplexed why you would even comment on something you haven't read.
I'm perplexed why you would even comment on something you haven't read.
2:44PM on 03/12/2013
Not reading rarely stops people from commenting on posts on this site.
Not reading rarely stops people from commenting on posts on this site.
5:06PM on 03/12/2013
I think that goes for most of the Internet really.
I think that goes for most of the Internet really.
2:30AM on 03/15/2013
I guess you get perplexed really easy. Unless the title has nothing to do with the article and it's content does not advocate the need and/or benefits of making another Pee Whatever movie then I believe it was really easy to have an opinion and post a comment based on the title as I openly confessed... And you know what? I'm am not American, I don't live in America and therefore, like 99,999(...)99% of people fitting this description in 2013 I just don't give a flying **** about this Pee
I guess you get perplexed really easy. Unless the title has nothing to do with the article and it's content does not advocate the need and/or benefits of making another Pee Whatever movie then I believe it was really easy to have an opinion and post a comment based on the title as I openly confessed... And you know what? I'm am not American, I don't live in America and therefore, like 99,999(...)99% of people fitting this description in 2013 I just don't give a flying **** about this Pee character even though I saw his movie many years ago. I hope that helped.
10:34AM on 03/12/2013
It;s not that another Pee Wee movie needs to be made, its the fact does Pee Wee have the audience of today to warrant one. Movies are not made the way they were in the 80s when he was his most popular & it's a matter of which studio is willing to dish out the money or find the talents to make one. Yes I know Hollywood puts out crap now & remakes & pointless sequels. Kinda sad if you think about it.
It;s not that another Pee Wee movie needs to be made, its the fact does Pee Wee have the audience of today to warrant one. Movies are not made the way they were in the 80s when he was his most popular & it's a matter of which studio is willing to dish out the money or find the talents to make one. Yes I know Hollywood puts out crap now & remakes & pointless sequels. Kinda sad if you think about it.
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10:30AM on 03/12/2013
In unrelated but on topic news: [link]
In unrelated but on topic news: [link]
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12:26PM on 03/12/2013
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt: [link]
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt: [link]
2:19AM on 03/13/2013
Deejay: 0, Paul: 2
Deejay: 0, Paul: 2
10:24AM on 03/12/2013

yep.

Large marge still gives me nightmares.

If this movie were to happen, how awesome would it be if Lawrence Fishburn came back as Cowboy Curtis?
Large marge still gives me nightmares.

If this movie were to happen, how awesome would it be if Lawrence Fishburn came back as Cowboy Curtis?
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10:22AM on 03/12/2013

Another believer

I'm glad I'm not the only person with this on the brain. As a childhood fan of Pee Wee, who watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Back To The Future every day as a kid, I so badly want to see P.W. back on the big screen!
I'm glad I'm not the only person with this on the brain. As a childhood fan of Pee Wee, who watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Back To The Future every day as a kid, I so badly want to see P.W. back on the big screen!
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