I loved — and I cannot stress this enough — LOVED Pee-Wee Herman when I was a kid. I would mimic his odd, cartoonish voice all the time, so much so that my mom still, to this day, asks me to say one particular line of his. I do not oblige her, though. Mostly because she complains that it’s “not the same” because my adult voice isn’t as squeaky as it was way back when (though my brother would tell you different). I even dressed up as Pee-Wee one Halloween. And no, I will not be sharing a picture of that. Sorry not sorry.
So what I’m trying to say is that no one was more tickled pink than I when I learned that the character’s creator and actor Paul Reubens was teaming up with producer Judd Apatow to bring a Pee-Wee movie to Netflix. Called “Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday,” the movie, which will be the character’s first film outing in more than 20 years, has actually been at the writing stage for about five years, Reubens told Entertainment Weekly. There is no premiere date as of yet, but production is slated to begin soon.
The premise of “Big Holiday,” Reubens said, will be akin to the 1985 masterpiece “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” in that it centers around a cross-country road trip. “But it’s not about a bicycle. I never really thought of ‘Big Adventure’ as a family movie, but I didn’t try to make an adult movie or a kid movie,” he explained. “We wanted to make something that appealed to a wide age range, and I think that’s the case with this movie also.”
Reubens also said that finishing touches on a new version of Pee-Wee’s signature suit are being done “and I’m getting new Pee-wee shoes made. The bow ties aren’t done yet, though, and the clock is ticking,” he added.
Be still my heart. I can’t wait, so without further ado, here are my 10 favorite quotes from Pee-Wee Herman.
1. [singing] “Connect the dots, la la la la. Connect the dots, la la la la.” (“Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”)
It wasn’t until my boyfriend and I recently started watching “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” on Netflix that I realized I did not, in fact, invent this saying, even though I’ve spent the past three decades thinking I did. I have said, and still say, this, proving that “Playhouse” is way more engrained into my very being than I actually thought.
2. “I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
3. “I’m trying to use the phone!” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
4. “Why don’t you take a picture, it’ll last longer.” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
5. “That’s my name. Don’t wear it out!” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
6. “Heard any good jokes lately?” (1991 MTV VMAs)
In July 1991, Reubens was arrested in Sarasota, Fla., for masturbating in an adult movie theater. News of the arrest (and his mugshot) exploded, well, as much as something could explode back then sans Internet, but CBS stopped showing reruns of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” and Toys-R-Us took all Pee-Wee toys out of its stores. Both the character and the man who played him kept a pretty low profile the next few years, but before that happened, Reubens made his first public appearance since the scandal at the MTV VMAs that September.
Dressed as Pee-Wee, Reubens took the mic and cheekily asked, “Heard any good jokes lately?” in that trademark voice. He got a standing O for that brilliant quip, and I remember laughing my ass off as I watched the show at home as a brand-new high school freshman. After the audience settled down, Reubens gave another quip, this time one of Pee-Wee’s famous quotes: “Ha, that’s so funny I forgot to laugh.” That’s what we call rolling with the punches, people.
7. “I know you are, but what am I?” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
This line considerably lengthened childhood fights with my older brother.
8. “There’s a lot of things about me you don’t know anything about, Dottie.” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
So dark, so dangerous that Pee-Wee.
9. [falls off bike trying to do a trick] “I meant to do that.” (“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure”)
This is so typically me.
10. “I call this the hot dog tree, because, we’ll, it’s a hot dog tree.” (“Big Top Pee-Wee”)
Can you even imagine if something like this actually grew? I can feel the heart attack already … but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t pluck from it at least twice a week.
Nikki M. Mascali is the editor of TheBlot Magazine.