Fast Facts

  • His father, Milton Rubenfeld, was an accomplished pilot , flying for both the Royal Air Force and the U.S. Air Force in WWII and was one of five original pilots for the Israeli Air Force.
  • Appeared on The Gong Show 15 times in the late 1970s.
  • Originally created the character of Pee-wee Herman, along with Phil Hartman, for a Groundlings improv-group sketch.
  • Auditioned for Saturday Night Live in the early 1980s, but was not cast.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse had a budget of $325,000 per episode, one of the largest ever for a children's show and won 22 Daytime Emmys.
  • His career was damaged by a 1991 arrest for exposing himself in an adult theater, resulting in a no-contest plea and a period of self-imposed seclusion.
  • Made a cameo appearance in Batman Returns (1992), playing the Penguin's father; in 2016, he played the same role in the TV show Gotham.
  • In 2010, presented The Pee-Wee Herman Show at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York.
  • Appeared in a 2011 Saturday Night Live digital short with Andy Samberg.


  • 1989, Emmy — Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program: Nominee
  • 1995, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2011, Emmy — Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Nominee


  • Debi Mazar — Ex-significant Other
  • Abby Rubenfeld — Sister
  • Luke Rubenfeld — Brother
  • Chandi Heffner — Ex-wife
  • Milton Rubenfeld — Father
  • Judy Rubenfeld — Mother


  • Attended Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, United States (1975)

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  • Birth Name: Paul Rubenfeld
  • Birth Place: Peekskill, New York, United States
  • Profession: Actor, Comedian

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