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25 Big Facts About Pee-wee Herman

Pee-wee Herman is Paul Reubens, and Paul Reubens is Pee-wee Herman. But Paul Reubens just turned 65, and Pee-wee will always be young. Over thirty years ago, when Reubens became Pee-wee, he went all in for character, and became the Pee-wee we know and love.   


Reubens says the character’s many distinctive traits were "a bunch of stuff all mixed in together. The voice came from a stage production that I was involved in. And then the name came from a kid I knew who was kind of off-the-wall. The name 'Pee-wee' came from a little harmonica I had that said ‘Pee-wee’ on it. I loved the idea of a nickname, because it sounded so real to me. ‘Pee-wee Herman’ sounds like a name that is so odd, how would you make that up? If you were going to make up a name, you’d make up a better name. It seemed real to me; it was a nickname with a last name that’s also a first name … And it went hand-in-hand with what I wanted to do, which was to make people think this was a real person, not an actor.”


To further enforce the idea that Pee-wee Herman is indeed a real person, when Paul Reubens is appearing as Pee-wee Herman, the credits simply list “Pee-wee Herman as Himself.”

Read plenty more facts you didn't know about Pee-wee Herman, including his Dating Game success, at Mental Floss.

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