Rob Zombie is among the many artists and fans honoring the late Paul Reubens following the Pee-wee Herman actor’s passing this week. The rocker/filmmaker recalled his experience working on Pee-wee’s Playhouse in an Instagram tribute posted on Monday (July 31st),
As Zombie has revealed in the past, one of his earliest industry gigs was being a production assistant on the set of Pee-wee’s Playhouse in the mid ’80s.
He explained at the time that he was mostly a runner — “delivering stuff to doing little crap work around the set … lowest rung on the ladder” — but as a Pee-wee Herman fan, it was “cool” to be on the set around Reubens and other comedians like Phil Hartman.
In his tribute, Zombie offered an anecdote about his sole one-on-one interaction with Reubens:
“So sad to hear about death of Paul Reubens. 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. I can still remember his first day in the office. Everyone was waiting for Pee Wee to step off the elevator when the doors opened out stepped Paul looking exactly like his mugshot. 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.”
Reubens died at the age of 70 on Sunday (July 30th) after privately battling cancer for several years. You can read more on the legacy of the late actor and comedian here.
Zombie kicks off a co-headlining North American tour with Alice Cooper on August 24th in Dallas. TIckets for the outing, which also features Ministry and Filter, are available here.
Below you can see Rob Zombie’s Instagram post and watch a separate interview in which he discussed his time working on Pee-wee’s Playhouse.