Paul Reubens Reunites Pee-wee Herman and Friends for a Radio Show After Fans Call the Station
Pee-wee Herman is back!
Paul Reubens, the man behind the beloved 1980s children's TV show character, brought back Pee-wee and friends on Friday for The Pee-wee Herman Radio Hour on the Los Angeles radio station KCRW-FM (89.9).
He was joined by beloved Pee-wee's Playhouse characters Chairry, Magic Screen, Miss Yvonne and even the bully Randy, in addition to a surprise appearance from Jack White. The hour consisted of soul songs and cheesy jokes in his memorable Pee-wee voice.
Pee-wee's turn as a DJ was the result of a social media campaign and a letter that got lost in the mail. The character's verified Twitter account called out KCRW earlier this month, after he sent them a piece of snail mail
"Hi @KCRW, did you get the letter I sent you? I really REALLY want to be a radio Disc Jockey. But I never heard back from you. #DJlife #DreamBig," he wrote in the tweet, sharing the letter. "This seems too good to be true...is this REALLY Pee-wee Herman?" KCRW responded, to which Pee-wee pointed out his blue checkmark.
He followed it up with several persistent tweets, minutes apart, also leaving a voicemail with the radio station and encouraging his 2 million followers to do the same. KCRW eventually conceded to his demands after the overwhelming amount of calls.
"The name's Pee-wee. Pee-wee Herman. KCRW is making my dream of being a radio DJ come true!" Pee-wee said in a statement published by KCRW. "They're giving me a real-life radio studio where I'll be donning some cans to play some of my favorite tunes. We call 'em 'tracks' in the 'biz.' It'll be one awesome hour of crazy-good FUN!! Haha!!!"
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Reubens, 69, created Pee-wee Herman when he was a member of the Los Angeles-based improv comedy team the Groundlings in the '70s. The character took off when HBO aired his stage show The Pee-wee Herman Show in 1981, followed by the 1985 movie Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Pee-wee's Playhouse, which aired for five seasons from 1986 to 1990.
After retiring the character in the early '90s, Reubens has portrayed Pee-wee on several occasions over the years, including in the 2016 Netflix film Pee-wee's Big Holiday. "I never said, 'I don't want to be Pee-wee anymore.' I loved what I was doing," Reubens told PEOPLE in 2016. "But I needed a break."
Pee-wee and Reubens will next be the subject of a two-part HBO documentary from Josh and Benny Safdie, the brother filmmaking duo behind Good Times and Uncut Gems.