Pee-wee Herman takes Manhattan
My heart belongs to Pee-wee Herman.
For years, people would look aslant at me, when I would make that statement. Didn't I know about "The Incident?" Of course I did. I didn't care. I loved Paul Reubens, the man behind the bowtie, and I knew he would find redemption.
It may have been 20 years in the making, but he has worked his way back into the public's heart. First with roles in "Blow" and "30 Rock," and finally by embracing the role that made him famous. In January, after years away, Reubens resurrected the famous gray-suited character of Pee-wee Herman. "The Pee-wee Herman Show" opened in Los Angeles to rave reviews. The Los Angeles Times finally averred: "Reubens' perceived sins have been forgiven." (Note:I had only ever perceived free-wheeling joy.)
Now, Reubens will be chuckling his way on to Broadway next week where the show will open on October 25 for a ten-week run, and Judd Apatow has signed on to produce the next Pee-wee film.
"I knew that people cared about Pee-wee, but when he's getting a one-minute long standing ovation as soon as he arrives onstage, you see that he's not only an icon, he strikes a deeply emotional chord with his fan base," the stage show's director told Paper magazine in their cover story this month.
And oh, what a sweet-sounding chord it is. The grinning, goofy man has been bouncing around town, first at the Regis and
Kathy Lee Kelly show, then on a scavenger hunt with the Internet app Four Square, and last night at Jimmy Fallon's show, bringing absurd joy wherever he may be.
It's good to have Pee Wee Herman back. God love the man, cause I sure do.
A friend just admitted her love for the man too. "The show embraced all kinds of characters, all kinds of ethnicities, without ever drawing attention to the fact that it was doing so." Yes, indeed it did.
| October 15, 2010; 9:31 AM ET
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