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Comic-Con 2011: Pee-wee Herman Hosts Hall H, Talks of Film Plans With Judd Apatow

Pee-Wee Herman
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Extra

Pee-wee Herman, bringing mirth and whimsy to the Hall H as he made his first Comic-Con appearance, was exactly as you would expect from the Paul Reubens-created character.

Herman/Reubens was attending the Con in support of his upcoming DVD release of his HBO special The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway.

No footage was shown but the audience was treated to a Q&A that treaded a lot on his long history as the whimsical and child-like character, dressed in his trademark grey suit and  bowtie, that imprinted itself on the minds of a generation that grew up in the 1980s.

“What is today’s secret word?” asked one fan, recalling a schtick on the Saturday morning show.

“It begin with a C and ends with an N,’” falsettoed Herman. "Comic-Con!’”

The answers were often humourous, he sang a jingle, and talked of how he is co-writing a new movie starring the character to be produced by Judd Apatow.

THR's COMPLETE COVERAGE: Comic-Con 2011

“The studio is reading (the script) right now,” Herman said. “It’s a road picture. Mr. Apatow felt really strongly that we make something in the feel to Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”

Herman told of how he learned his voice was yanked from the revamped Star Wars-themed Star Tours Disneyland ride and how he also lost his lifetime annual pass. But then weeks afterwards he received a letter reinstating his lifetime pass.

“Like you care at all,” he said.

The panel threatened to end on a low note when Herman/Reubens discussed the bittersweet experience of shooting Blow, where director Ted Demme passed away but he finished up with a sincere thank you to the audience.

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He said that when he was making the shows and movies in the 80s he didn’t have time to interact with the audience and never really knew the kind of impact the show was having. But with last year’s Broadway play and his recent promotion, he’s had his eyes opened.

“This time, I have felt so much love from so many people,” he said. “I mean this very seriously. This has been an eye opening experience. I never had that feeling first hand and I just want to thank you so much. This means something to me that you showed up here. It has real meaning for me.”