The iconic grey suit and red bowtie have returned: Pee-wee Herman is back and heading to HBO for a special filmed presentation of his Broadway show, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway.
The 90-minute comedy show is not unlike an extended version of his Emmy-winning Pee-wee's Playhouse series, which ran for four years on CBS. Pee-wee ran in Los Angeles a year ago and is currently playing in New York's Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where it has been met with favorable reviews.
"It's cyclical," Reubens said at Friday's Television Critics Association's winter preview sessions. Reubens appeared via satellite from New York in full Pee-wee attire. "If you wait long enough, these things come back. I just waited long enough and now all the people seem to like it again, I guess."
While Paul Reubens has more recently appeared as himself in the series Pushing Daisies, 30 Rock and Reno 911!, Pee-wee has been basically absent from the airwaves for more than 20 years.
The young-at-heart character — which Reubens developed in 1982 for a series of stand-up shows, followed by a successful HBO special, two feature films and a CBS Saturday-morning children's program — went MIA a few years before Reubens' not-so-childlike arrest for indecent exposure in 1991.
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Returning to the world of secret words, magic glasses and Conky the Cowboy was easy, but surprising for the 58-year-old actor. "If anyone had told me I would be doing this 30 years later, I would've laughed. Now, I plan on doing it 30 years from now, when I'm 140."
Pee-wee's HBO special will premiere in March.