As many of you probably read yesterday, it was announced that Judd Apatow is working with Paul Reubens on a new Pee-Wee Herman movie.
Everyone and their mother sent me the article because they know that in the evenings, I like to dress up as Pee-Wee and do the “Tequila” dance to an audience of stuffed animals. At 27, I’ve earned a lifelong legacy of being that girl who is obsessed with Pee-Wee Herman. I’m sure my mother is really proud.
This news came as both a delight and a disappointment to me.
You see, I could have produced that movie…
The Day I Almost Produced the Next Pee-Wee Movie
I met Paul Reubens at a movie premiere.
It was for a cheesy horror movie directed by David Arquette where an ax-wielding Ronald Reagan kills a bunch of stoners at a music festival.
My former boss, knowing how much I loved Pee-Wee, introduced me to Paul.
He was very shy and I don’t think that particularly interested in speaking with me.
I almost threw up on him.
I told him that I was a huge fan and heard that he had two Pee-Wee screenplays that he was looking to make.
He said “yes”.
I said “I work for a big producer and would you be interested in meeting him to discuss the movies?”
He said, “yes”.
I almost threw up on him.
We took the picture below.
I went home and cried.
The next day, I hunted down David Arquette’s assistant and asked for Paul’s assistant’s email.
I emailed Paul’s assistant and we scheduled a time for Paul and my boss to meet.
She sent us Paul’s two Pee-Wee scripts.
One was about the Playhouse and one was more like Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
The Playhouse script read like an LSD trip gone bad. Do they ever go good?
The other script was cute and funny and made me fall even more in love with Pee-Wee.
“If that is even possible!” my therapist said the next day.
The day Paul came in I dressed up in overalls.
I thought Paul would find that endearing.
Paul and my boss met.
The meeting went well.
My boss told Paul I orchestrated the meeting and he shook my hand.
At least I think my boss told him that.
He freakin’ better have told him that.
For about a day, my boss felt good about the project.
Then his foreign distributor told him that Pee-Wee has zero international appeal.
My boss, who has made very large budget, high-grossing films in the past, cares very much for pre-selling overseas territories.
I said, “But they have to love Pee-Wee in Japan!”
He said, “Even if they did, Japan is not a big market.”
So with that, my boss dropped the subject like a hot potato.
I tried for months afterward to recharge his interest, but to no avail.
A year later I left Hollywood and moved to Austin, Texas
A year after that, Paul brought back the stage show of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and had a successful run.
Now he’s making his friggin’ movie.
And now my lifelong dream of making the next Pee-Wee Herman movie is not coming true…