onion a.v. interviews paul reubens
POSTED ON 7/26/2006 | PERMALINK |0 Comments | BOOKMARK

The Onion A.V. Club has a great interview with the underappreciated Paul Reubens. He talks about the early days of Pee-Wee, his voiceover work, two new Pee-Wee films and other projects.

He responds to the internet rumor that Andy Kaufman had the idea for Pee-Wee's playhouse:
No, it's not. I've heard that a lot, but I don't know where that came from, actually. Andy had Andy's Funhouse around the same time. I saw it performed—I was this huge Andy Kaufman fan. But no, we were just both doing kids' shows. In fact, around the same time, David Arquette's father, Lewis Arquette, was doing this kids' show for late-night television called Uncle Late Night. So there were a lot of things that were kind of the same thing. When I look back at them now, I think what Andy did wasn't really similar to what I did.
And talks about the very few changes he made to the show to please the network:
There was an episode they got a letter about, where there was a fire in the playhouse, and a firefighter showed up and he and Miss Yvonne were flirting, and he said "You have to have a smoke detector," and she said "I have one in my bedroom, above the bed." They asked us to change that for subsequent airings of the show, so we went in and looped dialogue over it, so instead, she said "I have one in my kitchen." I put it back to the original version for the DVD release.

Pee-Wee on the old Letterman show

I assume this interview was done to promote the DVD release of the original live performance of the original adult-oriented Pee-Wee stage show. I think this is the first time I've seen an interview with Reubens that seriously focused on his art. The piece could have easily been much longer, but I'll take what I can get.

And it would've been nice to hear about Phil Hartman's contributions, too. Come to think of it, between Reuben's unfortunate run-ins with the law and the sad stories of alumn like Phil Hartman and Natasha Lyonne, one might come to the conclusion that the program has a Different Strokes style curse. Although, Lawrence Fishburne turned out O.K.
previously on wtg:

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