Writing

The Day I Almost Produced the Next Pee-Wee Herman Movie


My apologies at how blatantly lame today’s post is. My allergies are making me have the articulation and personality of a lamp right now…

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…

πŸ™

I have a fucking huge head.
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14 Comments

  • Reply Sophie Neutron July 2, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Maybe you don't get to produce the next Pee-Wee Herman movie.
    But m a y b e
    you gave him that little extra kick that kept him going to this point.
    Or maybe not
    But I'll always think of you as,
    at least partly,
    responsible for this movie being made.

  • Reply WILDasaMINK July 2, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    awe, this is making me feel for you! You were so close…so close to a dream come true! But it's closer than many of us will ever be so think of it that way.
    And you should meet my friend Adriane–this whole time I thought only she could love PeeWee as much as she does–but clearly she has you to give her a run for her money when it comes to Pee Wee LOVE!
    Have a great 4th of July weekend by the way! Hopefully those allergies subside so you can enjoy it!

  • Reply Charmalade July 2, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    You know how in life we have those moments where you want to get down on your knees and melodramatically go "nuuuuuuuuuuu?" They can be minor and major. And in your case, they sound slightly devastating. But I can bet that you'll probably be first in line for the movie premiere, amirite? πŸ™‚

    Do feel better! It's Fourth of July coing up after all! I hear that punching a Soviet helps with allergies. Or so I've heard.

    Toast with Charmalade

  • Reply Hipstercrite July 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    @Sophie- Ha….thank you! At least someone feels that way… πŸ™

    @Mink- Ha! I'm trying for a visit to NYC. We're meeting! Happy 4th to you too!

    @Charmalade- No! I'm boycotting the premiere! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply Big Mark 243 July 2, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I agree with Sophie and you are a beautiful chickie whether you see a big head or not! Your eyes are playing a trick of sorts on you!!

  • Reply TabithaVenasse July 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Can I please come and shadow your life? Seriously. You have an awesome life. I am fully jealous.

  • Reply Boulette de Viande! July 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Your head is not huge. Paul's is small… and brilliant. You have that moment with him and this fucking awesome picture. I'd say things worked out just so.

  • Reply Kerri July 4, 2010 at 2:00 am

    crap. so close, huh!!?

    maybe pee wee just has a small head!

  • Reply Emily July 4, 2010 at 2:18 am

    youre not the only one with the pee-wee obsession. this inspired me to write my own blog post about pee-wee.

    http://emilyrahrahrah.blogspot.com/2010/07/pee-wee-will-you-do-me.html

    p.s i love your blog. it's my favourite out of any blog on the internet ever.

    xx

  • Reply Corte Inglesa July 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    just found your blog. I think this is a great subject for a post! How dare your boss say Pee Wee has no international appeal? In Britain they love him! not so much here in Spain though.

  • Reply James Deagle July 5, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Sometimes it's much worse to *almost* accomplish something than not even come close. In my own way, I think I can relate. When I was (sort of) making a living as an actor in Toronto, I had this dream that I had gotten a speaking part in a Julia Roberts musical(!). In the dream the teaser trailer used footage of Julia and I leading a chorus of teenage dancers down the street during some big number.

    In any case, when I awoke it still hadn't dawned on me that this was all just a dream. Then, as reality set in, I was greeted with a cold and rainy Sunday morning and the sorry fact that I was still very broke.

    Perhaps it's not an exact parallel, but I think I can relate to your resounding disappointment.

  • Reply cjschlottman July 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Lauren,

    Please don't apologize for any of your posts! This one is great, and it will forever link in my mind a connection between you and Pee-Wee.

    I sympathize about the allergies. I have trouble with that sort of thing, too!

    Feel better,
    cj

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  • Reply Guise July 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    You do have a huge head. But that's a good thing. So does Gillian Anderson. Tiny-headed people are not to be trusted.

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