Rob Zombie Remembers Working on ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’


Rob Zombie swinging his dreadlocks during a show at DTE Energy Music Theatre.

Rob Zombie once worked on the set of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” – Story by Cat Badra, photo by Ken Settle

Metal musician Rob Zombie worked on “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” during the show’s early days

For those who grew up in the 1980s, watching “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” was a rite of passage. The popular Saturday morning TV show aired from 1986 to 1990 on CBS. Reruns of the program aired through 1991. Earlier this week, news broke of the death of actor and comedian Paul Reubens, known as Pee-wee Herman. What’s interesting is that one of metal’s biggest names, Rob Zombie, actually worked with Reubens, as he was a P.A. on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

Reubens passed away at the age of 70 after a private battle with cancer. He created the character of Pee-wee Herman as a stand-up comedy routine and eventually brought the character into TV shows and movies. Reubens’s comedy routine and HBO special “The Pee-wee Herman Show” inspired the creation of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” As it turns out, Zombie was once a member of the staff of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Zombie took to social media to pay tribute to Reubens and their time working together. “So sad to hear about death of Paul Reubens,” Zombie wrote. “He was amazing. Back in 1986, I was lucky enough to be working at a place called Broadcast Arts in NYC when they announced they were doing his new show ‘Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.’ It was a very unconventional set up with the playhouse built in a loft space on Broadway, not a sound stage.”

Zombie went on to recall his first day on the job. He didn’t have a super personal encounter with Herman, but Zombie still fondly remembers the experience. “Everyone was waiting for Pee-wee to set off the elevator when the doors opened out stepped Paul looking exactly like his mugshot,” Zombie wrote. “He took one look at the live band playing ‘Tequila,’ rolled his eyes and walked straight into a meeting. Everyone was bummed. I thought it was hilarious. Only talked to him once. He asked me where the restroom was and I said ‘right over there.’ After the first season they moved the whole show to California and the rest is history.”

In other news, Zombie and Alice Cooper are hitting the road together later this summer. Find Rob Zombie and Alice Cooper tour dates here.

Cat Badra
Posted by Cat Badra | Metal, Music, Rock, Rock News

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