Paul Reubens, Pee-wee Herman creator and son of a pilot in Israel's war of independence, is dead at 70


August 4, 2023

(JTA) — I was just out of college when I got a freelance assignment from a small entertainment magazine to interview a rising comic named Pee-wee Herman.

Of course that wasn’t his real name, but the man-child persona — one part Howdy Doody, one part third-grade nerd, who spoke as if he just took a hit off a helium balloon — was created by a comic and actor named Paul Reubens.

The publicist warned me that Reubens would be only talking to me as Pee-wee, but the voice at the other end of the call spoke in a flat, polite baritone. It was Reubens as Reubens, who had decided to drop the Pee-wee char...

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