[[caption-width-right:300: "'[[SignatureLaugh Ha ha heh heh heh]]"\\
"[[CatchPhrase I know you are, but what am I?]]"]]

Born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952 in Peekskill, NY, Paul Reubens is an American actor, writer, film producer and comedian best known for his role as hyper ManChild Pee-wee Herman.

Spending significant amount of his childhood in [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkState Oneonta, New York]], Reubens visited the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, its atmosphere sparking his interest in entertainment and influenced his later work as well as wanting to make people laugh on account of his love of watching ''Series/ILoveLucy'' reruns. He joined the local Asolo Theater at the age of eleven, appearing in a variety of plays during the next six years. After graduating from Sarasota High School in 1970, he attended Boston University for a year before seeking his fortune in Hollywood.

In the mid-1970s, Paul Reubens' acting career grew steadily yet slowly with small roles in theater productions, gigs at local comedy clubs and four guest appearances on ''Series/TheGongShow''. During his time of pursuing an acting major at California Institute of the Arts as well as working in a string of pay-the-rent jobs, Reubens joined improvisation comedy troupe called ''The Groundlings''. Among Reubens' contributions to the comedic community were a philandering husband named Moses Feldman, an Indian chief named Jay Longtoe and cult character Pee-wee Herman, who debuted in 1978. Only appearing in ten minutes of ''The Groundlings'' as character Pee-Wee Herman, Reubens nonetheless built up a considerable following, turning out to be a star of the '80s, marking his comedic fictional character's first significant appearance on stage show ''Series/ThePeeWeeHermanShow'' Reubens developed.

Sadly, Reubens' image of Pee-wee Herman was destroyed on July 28, 1991 when he fell victim to a police sting operation while visiting his parents in Sarasota on his summer vacation. Seeking to escape from boredom, Reubens went to catch a showing of X-rated film ''Nurse Nancy'', where he was arrested for sex charges when detectives allegedly saw him [[CaughtWithYourPantsDown playing with his private parts]]. Released on $219 bail, nobody realized what happened until somebody recognized him beneath his long hair and goatee. As a result, Creator/{{CBS}} dropped ''Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse'' and related merchandise was released from its shelves. Reubens agreed to pay a $50 fine plus $85 in court costs as well as producing a memorably {{Narm}}y [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLZptx6UQLk PSA]] for the Partnership for Drug-Free America commercial. As part of the deal, the county sealed all legal papers relating to the actor's arrest, not leaving Reubens with a criminal record.

In 2002, 11 years after being arrested for masturbating in a movie theater, Reubens was arrested for items of child pornography in his Hollywood Hills home. Originally, a year earlier, ''[[UsefulNotes/AmericanNewspapers The National Enquirer]]'' reported that a 15-year-old-boy accused Reubens and Creator/JeffreyJones (who also worked with Tim Burton) of child abuse. The boy claimed Reubens and Jones forced him to perform oral sex on them, and was doing so for awhile, until the boy backed out, when he was afraid of what might happen to him if it continued. The story was later debunked as related to Reubens, with the child-abuse charges being limited to Jones. The contents of the "child porn" turned out to be some old teen muscle magazines found among his large collection of vintage erotica that he would purchase in bulk through a buyer, as well as Creator/RobLowe's notorious 1988 sex tape (the one that showed him having sex with a random 16-year-old he had met at a nightclub in Atlanta). Nevertheless, this was technically a violation, and Reubens agreed in 2004 to probation for three years, in which he was not allowed to be in the company of minors without their parents' permission.

Despite promising to never reprise his role of Pee-wee Herman after the scandal marked the virtual death of his iconic character, Paul Reubens revived his cult persona Pee-wee Herman character, bringing him full circle to the more adult theme of the original acts in a [[Theatre/ThePeeWeeHermanShowOnBroadway 2011 theater]] revival.

Though his career may never reach Herman's heights again, Reubens landed in offbeat character roles as well as vocal roles.

Pee-Wee got one more big moment in the spotlight in 2016, with the Website/{{Netflix}} original film, ''Film/PeeWeesBigHoliday.''

!!Notable Filmography:

[[folder:As Pee-wee Herman]]
* ''The Groundlings'' (1978)
* ''Film/CheechAndChongsNextMovie'' (1980)[[note]]The first motion picture to feature Paul Reubens as Pee Wee Herman[[/note]]
* ''Series/ThePeeWeeHermanShow'' (1981)
* ''The 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards'' (1985)
* ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' (1985)
* ''Rock 'n' Wrestling Saturday Spectacular'' (1985)[[note]]TV movie[[/note]]
* ''Film/BackToTheBeach'' (1987)
* ''Film/BigTopPeeWee'' (1988)
* ''[[Series/SesameStreet Sesame Street Special]]''[[labelnote:segment]]"Put Down the Duckie"[[/labelnote]] (1988)[[note]]TV movie[[/note]]
* ''Film/{{Moonwalker}}'' (1988)[[note]]Voice and uncredited[[/note]]
* ''Series/PeeWeesPlayhouse'' (1986 - 1990)
* ''[[Creator/{{MTV}} MTV Video Music Awards 1991]]'' ([[CaptainObvious 1991]])[[note]]TV movie[[/note]]
* ''Pee-Wee Gets an iPad!'' (2010)[[note]]Video short[[/note]]
* ''Pee-wee Goes to Sturgis'' (2010)[[note]]Video short[[/note]]
* ''Theatre/ThePeeWeeHermanShowOnBroadway'' (2011)
* ''[[Wrestling/WrestleMania WrestleMania XXVII]]'' (2011)[[note]]TV Movie[[/note]]
* ''Film/PeeWeesBigHoliday'' (2016)[[note]]Netflix original film[[/note]]

* ''Pray [=TV=]''[[labelnote:aka]]''[=KGOD=]''[[/labelnote]] (1980) - Jack Chudnowski[[note]]Paul Reubens' feature film debut[[/note]]
* ''Film/MidnightMadness'' (1980) - Pinball Proprietor
* ''Film/NiceDreams'' (1981) - Howie Hamburger Dude
* ''Pandemonium'' (1982) - Johnson
* ''Likely Stories, Vol. 2''[[labelnote:segment]]'School, Girls & You!'[[/labelnote]] (1983) - Wally Bile
* ''Film/FlightOfTheNavigator'' (1986) - Trimaxion/Max
* ''Film/BatmanReturns'' (1992) - Tucker Cobblepot, the Penguin's Father
* ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' (1992) - Amilyn
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas (1993)'' - Lock
** ''The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge (2004)''
* ''Film/DunstonChecksIn'' (1996) - Buck [=LaFarge=]
* ''Film/{{Matilda}}'' (1996) - FBI Agent Bob
* ''Film/{{Buddy}}'' (1997) - Professor Spatz
* ''Film/MysteryMen'' (1999) - Spleen
* ''South of Heaven, West of Hell'' (2000) - Arvid Henry
* ''Film/{{Blow}}'' (2001) - Derek Foreal
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TeachersPet Teacher's Pet: The Movie]]'' (2004) - Dennis
* ''The Tripper'' (2006) - Frank Baker
* ''[[Series/OutOfJimmysHead Re-Animated]]'' (2006) - Golly Gopher[[note]]TV movie[[/note]]
* ''Life During Wartime'' (2009) - Andy
* ''Film/TheSmurfs'' (2011) - Jokey Smurf
** ''Film/TheSmurfs2 (2013)''
** ''[[VideoGame/TheSmurfs2 The Smurfs 2: Video Game]] (2013)''
* ''[[WesternAnimation/RobotChicken Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special]]'' (2012) - The Riddler[[note]]TV Movie[[/note]]
* ''The Final Moments of Karl Brant'' (2013) - Bennett Ferryman[[note]]Short[[/note]]
* ''[[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Tom and Jerry's Giant Adventure]]'' (2013) - Screwy Squirrel[[note]]Direct-to-video[[/note]]

* ''Working Stiffs'' (1979) - Heimlich
* ''Series/FaerieTaleTheatre'' (1984) - Pinocchio
* ''Series/MurphyBrown'' (1995 - 1997) - Andrew J. Lansing III
* ''Area 57 (2007)'' - Alien[[note]]Name of a pilot for Creator/{{NBC}} centering on an Area 51-esque military base the alien (Reubens) it houses that wasn't picked up[[/note]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'' (2007 - 2009) - Reuben
* ''Dirt'' (2007) - Chuck Lafoon
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'' (2007) - Oscar Vibenius
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'' (2007) - Prince Gerhardt Hapsburg
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' (2009 - 2011) - [=BatMite=]
** ''Batman: The Brave and the Bold -- The Videogame'' (2010)
* ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'' (2012 - 2013) - Pavel
* ''Series/YouDontKnowJack''-- Short-lived game show; Paul hosted as "Troy Stevens."

!!Tropes associated with Paul Reubens:

* AsHimself: While portraying his Pee-wee Herman role, Paul Reubens wanted the character to be thought of a real life stand-up comedian who expanded his career by playing himself in films and TV series. It's also worth noting Reubens' ManChild character has been credited as "Pee-wee Herman" on talk shows as well like ''Series/JimmyKimmelLive'', ''Series/TheEdSullivanShow'' and ''Series/EntertainmentTonight''. For much of the '80s, he always appeared in character as Pee-wee in public. A big part of what made his arrest so shocking was that his mug shot looked so different.
* TheCameo: Has a small part as 'Pinball Proprietor' in ''Film/MidnightMadness'' as well as the waiter serving [[Film/TheBluesBrothers Jake and Elwood]] when they go find Mr. Fabulous.
** Paul Reubens also cameos as his cult character Pee-wee Herman in ''Film/BackToTheBeach''.
* IconicOutfit: As Pee-wee Herman, it's the signature grey glen plaid suit a size too small, small red bow tie, short black hair, pale skin with red rouge and red lipstick.
* RoleReprisal:
** Reubens appeared at Creator/SpikeTV's ''Guys' Choice Awards'' as Pee-wee Herman for the first time since 1991 and plans on doing more projects with the character.
** He also portrayed the father of Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot/The Penguin in ''Film/BatmanReturns'', a role he will reprise in a different incarnation and capacity in ''Series/{{Gotham}}''.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Paul Reubens originally auditioned for ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' in 1980 (when the original cast members, writers, and Creator/LorneMichaels left, and Jean Doumanian was hired). On the one hand, the idea of Pee-Wee Herman as a recurring character would have made ''SNL'' at the time more palatable (but only if Creator/EddieMurphy were never hired). On the other hand, Reubens' career probably would have stalled or never gotten off the ground if he was a cast member during the sixth season (cited by many as the worst season ever), as, outside of Eddie Murphy and Creator/GilbertGottfried (and, to a lesser extent, Denny Dillon[[note]]who appeared on such shows as ''Series/NightCourt'' and ''Series/DreamOn'' before retiring from acting to do art and dollhouses[[/note]], Charles Rocket[[note]]who appeared in a lot of supporting roles in TV and movies until his suicide in 2005[[/note]], and Gail Matthius[[note]]whom most kids who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s will remember as a voice actress on ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'', ''Animaniacs'', ''WesternAnimation/BumpInTheNight'', and ''WesternAnimation/BobbysWorld''. Matthius is now an improv teacher and performer.[[/note]]), nobody from season six went on to lasting fame since they were associated with such a horrible season.
** Not to mention getting spurned by SNL inspired him to put together his own show. He conceived of the Pee-Wee Herman character on the plane ride home, borrowed some money from his parents, cast his friends from improv, and the rest is history. So he walked away with a successful original character that was all his, not Lorne Michaels' or SNL's.
** Reubens was also supposed to be the voice of Flapjack on the Cartoon Network show ''The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack'', but never showed up to audition, so Thurop van Orman (the show creator) stepped in, doing a Pee-Wee Herman-esque voice.