Paul Reubens, back in bowtie for HBO’s Emmy contender The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, explains why his stage show is only now Emmy-eligible and where his script for Judd Apatow‘s forthcoming movie script for Pee-wee is.
THR: You’re not just a stand-up comic in a tight suit. Pee-wee’s Playhouse (CBS) won 22 Emmys, you got a Primetime Emmy nom for Murphy Brown, you were awesome in Blow. So if you crush your current Emmy rivals Lady Gaga, Carrie Fisher, David Hasselhoff, Paul McCartney and Bette Midler just like you broke a chair over Anderson Cooper’s head on SNL, do you plan to tear an arm off Chairy and beat them with it???
Paul Reubens: Ha-ha!! What incredible competition! I think Carrie and I are the only non-singers and I’m not even sure about that — she might have an album out somewhere I’m not aware of. Listen, I’m grateful to even be eligible for an Emmy nomination! The show I have on HBO, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway, is adapted from the show that started my career. When we produced it in 1981, it wasn’t eligible. Cable was brand new, and its programming wasn’t eligible for Emmy consideration.
THR: You won Emmys for design. Your Broadway show now up for an Emmy didn’t win design Tonys. Are Tony judges blinder than Emmy judges?
Reubens: I am baffled by our set and set designer not being nominated for a Tony. David Korins. This is the truth: Every single performance of my show on Broadway, the set received not only applause, but a collective gasp from the audience. It was unbelievable. I thought many of the technical achievements were overlooked; sound design, costumes, lighting. Maybe on my next Broadway show…
THR: What has Judd Apatow brought to the Pee-wee party, creatively speaking? And when is the script done and the film out already?
Paul Reubens: Paul Rust and I just turned in a draft to Judd last week. He’s bringing such an interesting side to it. He’s constantly having us talk about and address the emotional core of Pee-wee Herman. It’s adding a dimension I never had before. Judd, if you’re reading this, I think it’s ready to green light!