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Pioneer Planet


Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2000

Q & A

Paul Reubens may try resurrecting Pee-wee

Q. Whatever happened to actor Paul Reubens, who played the character Pee-wee Herman? He had some personal problems a few years ago, but I haven't seen anything about him since. Is he still in show business?

A. He appears to be finished with the ``sabbatical,'' as he termed it, that followed in the wake of his 1991 arrest and conviction* for indecent exposure in a Florida adult theater.

After his conviction, CBS pulled his ``Pee-wee's Playhouse'' series off the air, and stores yanked Pee-wee toys off the shelves. He was the punchline in countless jokes, and even he made a joke about himself on an MTV video music awards program a few weeks after his arrest. He stepped out of the public eye, building up his ``ET'' memorabilia collection, gardening, and spending time with friends.

Now, he appears to be moving to regain his ruined career, although taking it slowly.

In 1995, he appeared in a recurring role as a TV executive on ``Murphy Brown.'' He also had parts in the films ``Dunston Checks In,'' ``Matilda'' and ``Mystery Men,'' and finished a Dwight Yoakam-directed Western, ``South of Heaven, West of Hell.''

As he told an interviewer last year, he also plans to resurrect Pee-wee in what he termed ``a semi-autobiographical movie . . . about fame in our times. Pee-wee becomes famous and turns into a monster.'' *Editor's note: Reubens was never convicted after his 1991 arrest.