Paul Reubens Explains How He Created the Character Pee-wee Herman in a 1981 Interview on CNN

The late, great Paul Reubens explained to Lee Leonard of CNN how he created his iconic Pee-wee Herman character during a 1981 interview. This was the first interview he gave as himself.

Reubens also discussed his early theater work in Florida and his time with The Groundlings in Los Angeles. At one point in the interview, Reubens mentioned that it was his father Milton’s birthday, so he and Leonard sang “Happy Birthday” to Milton.

In a 1981 interview on CNN, actor and comedian Paul Reubens explained how he came up with his alter ego Pee-wee Herman.

Thirty years later, Reubens sat down with moderator Mike Sampson during SXSW 2011 to discuss how he was always in character as Pee-wee.

Join us as Paul discusses his remarkable body of work and the upcoming HBO special broadcast of ‘The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway’. We can’t wait, and hope you can’t either

Pee-wee Herman was a regular guest on Letterman.

Reubens sadly passed away on July 30, 2023, due to cancer. Rest in Peace, Paul. The world is a little emptier without you.