The Death of Pee-Wee Herman


Pee Wee Herman
Pee Wee Herman


Paul Reubens was 38 years old, and wildly successful due to his creation/alter ego “Pee-Wee Herman.”   He had a brilliant kids show, and of course the fab Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, filmed around Los Angeles, and featuring of course, Large Marge.

On hiatus from work, he decided to spend some time with his parents, in South Florida. Obviously not getting enough stimulation at the folks house, he ventured to the South Trail Cinema, an adult XXX movie theater nearby.



It was around 10 p.m., and Reubens settled down to a happy heaping helping of the titty flick, Nurse Nancy.




According to the police report (complete with spelling errors) that refers to Reubens as the Def (defendant):

The officer “did observe the Def’s penis exposed. The Def did begin to masterbate his exposed penis with his left hand. At approx 2035 hrs, the Def did again expose his penis and masterbate again.”

There you go, in all its glory. Paul was arrested along with 3 other men that night.



A local reporter recognized the name on the police blotter the next morning, and within 48 hours, Pee-Wee’s weeny became a national media frenzy. Stars like Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, and Cyndi Lauper publicly supported Reubens, but it did seem that his career was over.

CBS immediately pulled reruns of the now cancelled Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Disney-MGM Studios suspended a two minute video that Reubens had narrated for its backstage tour, and toy stores removed Pee Wee dolls from the shelves.

On August 9th, he had a court appearance and was released on a $219 bond. He could have faced as much as 60 days in jail, and a $500 fine. 4 months later he pleaded “no contest” to the charge of indecent exposure, paid a $50.00 fine and was ordered to perform 70 hours of community service.

2 years after the fact, a Florida judge erased the incident from Paul’s permanent record.

Trivia: Showing at the theatre was a triple bill: Nurse Nancy, Catalina Five-O and Tiger Shark. Nancy star Sandra Scream stated in the press, “It’s increased notoriety of my name, but its unfortunate that it have to happen this way. I would like to stand in my own light. I don’t want a scandal to inflate my career. This is not a Jessica Hahn thing.” Who?



Contrary to legend, Reubens’ star was not removed from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Reubens continues to be quite active in show business.

But as far as Pee-Wee goes, rest in peace. friend Jason sends this in, February 2001:

Firstly, love your site!  Thought it was really fun.  Secondly, You may have to remove the listing for Pee Wee Herman.  In the current issue of “W” it is mentioned in an article about Paul Reubens that he is working on a new Pee Wee movie.  This is just FYI so your great site can be as accurate as possible.  Plus, I am a bit of an obsessive Pee Wee fan.  🙂

Thanks for the top tip, Jason!



UPDATE December 2004 from Findadeath friend Jeff:

My apologies if you have heard these before:

After Pee Wee was arrested, he decided to not hire a lawyer,

He could get himself off…


He had a great defense…

But, it wouldn’t stand up in court.


and finally:

What are Pee Wee’s two favorite baseball teams?

The Expos and The Yankees.


Sorry these are so horrible. Thought maybe you would enjoy them. I love your website.


Thanks, Jeff!



5 thoughts on “The Death of Pee-Wee Herman

  • November 18, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    I thought it was terribly unfair Paul Reubens got cancelled the way he did.
    Pee Wee Herman was brilliantly hilarious, and the first time I laid eyes on Phil Hartman was in the televised stage production of Pee Wee’s Playhouse when they were performing it live at the Roxy on Sunset Blvd.
    The show was hysterical, and I knew Phil Hartman was going to be a star.
    I remember when Reuben’s bust hit the evening news.
    His career instantly imploded, which I didn’t think was fair.
    His children’s TV show was beloved by both kids and their parents.
    I watched it a couple of times myself.
    It was awesome.
    But it is what it is.

  • January 19, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    Pee-Wee Herman is alive and kicking. this information is false.

  • February 2, 2021 at 1:18 am

    I loved PWP. Quite funny for kids and adults alike. I’d watch it again if I could. Reruns included. My two older kids still tease their 30 year old baby sister, Margaret, by calling her “Large Marge”.

    • December 29, 2020 at 11:25 am

      Listings such as this are more referring to the person’s career being dead. Take a look at the George Michael listing. It’s not been updated since he actually died, but it’s moreso the Will Rogers Weenie Wank death of his career.

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