It’s been over 30 years since we last saw Pee-Wee Herman on the big screen. The film was directed by John Lee (Broad City), produced by Judd Apatow (Anchorman, Bridesmaids) and written by Paul Rust (Arrested Development). Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday marks John Lee’s feature film directorial debut.
In the film, Pee-Wee meets a mysterious stranger, played by Joe Manganiello, who inspires him to take a first-ever holiday, leave his comfort zone and travel across the U.S.
Reubens was greeted with open arms as fans chanted “Pee-Wee” as he exited his vehicle. There was also dozens of pedicab drivers dressed in the iconic gray suit and red bow tie, riding throughout the city. Reubens also stopped to chat with fans and give a few lucky Austinites tickets to see the film.
In attendance: Director John Lee, Writer Paul Rust, Judd Apatow, Paul Reubens, Joe Manganiello, Alia Shawkat, Stephanie Beatriz, Jessica Pohly, Tara Buck, Meredith O’Leary, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Ted Sarandos.
Before the film, Reubens took the stage to thank everyone for making the film possible. He also cited Apatow on being the reason putting together this film was even possible. “Judd came to see the Pee-Wee Herman show in Los Angeles and asked to have a meeting. When we had the meeting, he pulled out a Polaroid picture that he took of me in 19–.” Reubens covers his mouth, avoiding to reveal the year, and the audience laughs.
Apatow added, “Yeah, It was from when I was 16 years old.” Reubens once again thanked Apatow for the opportunity, “That was the proof he was really a fan, Thank you so much!” Apatow then proceeded to take out a camera while they are both on stage and takes another photo of Reubens.
This was the final red carpet premiere for this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday is available now on Netflix.