If you grew up in the 90s, you watched "The Pee-wee Herman Show." And you also looked on in horror as the star of the show was arrested for pleasuring himself in an adult movie theater in 1991.
Paul Reubens and his alter-ego Pee-wee Herman will be back in the spotlight this fall when his live show premieres on Broadway.
But despite Reubens' return to show business, he cannot escape the indecent exposure scandal that almost ruined his career, even after two decades have passed. Claiming innocent, the former children's television star who pled "no contest" to the charges in 1991, sat down with "Playboy" to discuss what was like for someone in his position to go through a sexual scandal, reports Playboy.com.
â€œHad we gone to trial, we had ready an expert from the Masters and Johnson Institute who was going to testify that in 30 years of research on masturbation the institute had never found one person who masturbated with his or her nondominant hand. Iâ€™m right-handed, and the police report said I was jerking off with my left hand. That would have been the end of the case right there, proof it couldnâ€™t have been me.â€
Huh?? So, we're supposed to believe Pee-wee was sitting in an adult movie theater, moving around in such a way that looked as though we were pleasuring himself, but he wasn't actually pleasuring himself, and we should believe him because he can prove it based on which hand he was caught using?? That doesn't really add up.
Not to argue with the "expert" of self-pleasure at Masters and Johnson, but people do, in fact, use their non-dominant hand. Ask around.
All concern for former legal problems aside, Reubens' Broadway show will debut in November 2010. He took stage earlier this year for a live production of "The Pee-wee Herman Show" in Los Angeles and said it was a positive experience.
But as much as Reubens loves playing Pee-wee, he admits that having an alter-ego made his 1991 arrest in Florida that much more difficult for his fans. "I had never been seen out of character before. Suddenly I went straight from being just Pee-wee Herman to that scary mug shot," he said, according to Playboy.com.
More than anything, the actor seems to want to put the past behind him and focus on his comeback. He feels the media reaction to his legal trouble was blown way out of proportion, especially when compared to other news events at the time.
"Keep in mind I got arrested at the same time the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmerâ€™s story was breaking," he said, "And yet my story led the news for five days in a row. This man killed lots of people, drilled holes in their heads and poured acid into them. And he got the second spot on the news, after me."
Good point, Pee-wee. Dahmer's story should have been the first spot. But people still believe you were caught with your pants down in that movie theater. Literally.