Paul Reubens, popularly known as Pee-wee Herman, passed away last night after a private battle with cancer. He was 70.
From Newman’s official Instagram account:
“Last night we said farewell to Paul Reubens, an iconic American actor, comedian, writer and producer whose beloved character Pee-wee Herman delighted generations of children and adults with his positivity, whimsy and belief in the importance of kindness.”
Herman also included a prepared statement to his fans that was also shared in the Instagram post. ““Please accept my apology for not going public with what I’ve been facing the last six years. I have always felt a huge amount of love and respect from my friends, fans and supporters. I have loved you all so much and enjoyed making art for you.”
Reubens commanded generations of young children with his show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which began in 1985, with his child-like Pee-wee Herman persona. His comedy career began in the 1970s and he has acting credits recorded as late as 2021.
Keep scrolling to see even more interesting facts about Paul Reubens that you may not have known! This list was compiled from a previous post by Mental Floss.
RIP Pee-wee Herman: 10 Facts You May Not Have Known About Paul Reubens was originally published on wzakcleveland.com
1. The Pee-Wee Character Began As ImprovSource:Getty
Paul Reubens claimed that the origin of the Pee-wee Herman character actually started as an improv assignment. While working at The Groundlings, a comedy and improve troupe in Los Angeles, Reubens tried the character out on stage. And the rest, as they say, is history!
2. Reubens Acted Until 2021Source:Getty
While a majority of his acting and entertainment career took place in the 1980s and 1990s, Reubens did in fact work through just a few years ago. His most recent acting credits include rolls in TV, film, and videogames, including Gotham (2016, 2017), The Tom And Jerry Show (2021), and Call Of Duty (2016)!
3. Reubens Wanted To Be Credited As Pee-wee HermanSource:Getty
To further sell the premise that Pee-wee was actually a real person and not just a made-up persona, Reubens only wanted to be credited in films as Pee-wee Herman as Himself!
4. Pee-wee’s Film Debut Was In a Stoner MovieSource:Getty
As a budding actor and comedian, Paul Reubens’ first credited acting gig came in the old stoner franchise by the infamous Cheech & Chong in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie.
5. His First Network Break Was With HBOSource:Getty
Pee-wee was first put in front of a national audience as a comic by the legendary TV/Film network HBO, which aired performance from The Pee-wee Herman Show‘s in 1981.
6. Pee-Wee’s Famous Red Bike (yes, that one) Sold For $36,600 OnlineSource:Getty
Reuben’s blockbuster film Pee-wee’s Big Adventure featured a red bicycle, that eventually sold at auction on eBay for a whopping $36,600.
7. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure Made Mega Money At The TheaterSource:Getty
Speaking of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure… The film cost studios about $7 million to make, but ended up bringing in more than $41 at the box office.
8. Pee-wee’s Show Broke Major StarsSource:Getty
Among the future celebrities to get their TV debut on Pee-wee’s show were Laurence Fishburne, Phil Hartman, Natasha Lyonne, and S. Epatha Merkerson.
9. Pee-wee’s Third Season Cut Short With Writer’s StrikeSource:Getty
After two wildly popular seasons, the third installment of Pee-wee’s Playhouse was cut short due to the 1988 WGA writer’s strike. It only featured three total episodes, with one of them (Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special) being a primetime special.
10. Pee-wee Made It To BroadwaySource:Getty
In October of 2010, Pee-wee made a comeback… of sorts. Broadway momentarily picked up a limited run of his hit show.