TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Paul Reubens

This week, we’re replaying our 2014 conversation with Paul Reubens, the man behind Pee-wee Herman. Pee-wee is, of course, a beloved character among kids who grew up in the 1980s and 90s. He’s the star of Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and so many others. Pee-wee’s Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid’s TV. It’s a kitschy pastiche of a thousand TV shows that went before it, but it’s also much more than that: it’s a kaleidoscope of difference, a tribute to the big dreams and big feelings of being a kid. And it’s so, so funny. In this interview, Paul tells us about growing up in a circus town, working hard to make Pee-wee Herman seem real, and why Pee-wee is a little bit of a jerk — and why that makes him work as a character.

Guests: Paul Reubens

Transcript

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

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“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

jesse thorn

It’s Bullseye, I’m Jesse Thorn. My parents were divorced when I was a kid. When I was in elementary school, they shared custody 50/50 with one exception: every Friday night and every Saturday morning, I was at my mom’s house. And every Saturday morning, my mom and I shared one special ritual. We sat down together to watch Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse remains a singular achievement in kid’s TV—a kitschy pastiche of 1000 TV shows that went before it, but also more than that: a kaleidoscope of difference, a tribute to the big dreams and big feelings that go with being a kid. And also, so funny. Seven years ago, I got the chance to talk with Paul Reubens, the creator and actor behind Pee-Wee. It was a great conversation. You’ll hear that in just a minute. More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Paul. He’s reviving Pee-Wee Herman one more time, now on radio. The Pee-Wee Herman Radio Hour is a collaboration between Paul, my company Maximum Fun, and KCRW—a public radio station, here in LA. It’s Pee-Wee Herman’s chance to play DJ on of the world’s most famous music stations. We’ve got the Playhouse gang there. It is so much fun. You can listen to it live on the radio Friday, November 26th at 6PM, Pacific. 89.9 on your FM dial in southern California. It’ll also be streaming at KCRW.com for a week after that. Get pumped. It rules. A highlight of my career. A highlight of my life. [Music fades in.] In the meantime, let’s meet the man behind the bow tie: my interview with Paul Reubens.

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jesse

Paul, welcome to Bullseye. It’s so great to have you on the show.

paul reubens

Oh, thank you so much.

jesse

You spent your teenage years in Sarasota, Florida. Which—besides behind like a, you know, a nice… you know, retirement community type place, is also the off-season home of Ringling Brothers.

paul

It was at the time I lived there. Yes.

jesse

So, was that like part of your life as a kid and as a teenager? That there was just circus stuff around?

paul

Yeah! There was—there was circus stuff everywhere. There was circus stuff. My high school had a circus. I think it’s the only high school in the world with a full circus program. [Jesse chuckles.] And kids that you would have classes with—you know, for all year long that you wouldn’t have any idea that they would be these circus stars and then you’d go to the Sailor Circus—that’s the name of the Sarasota High School circus, the Sailor Circus. And you’d go to the circus and see like a girl that sat in front of you or a guy who sat off to the side and they’d be wearing tights and they’d climb a web and do a full-on flying act or walk a tightrope. It was absolutely incredible. And when we first moved to Florida, there were circus people everywhere. We’d be walking around our—the block in the house we rented when we first moved there. And we, for weeks, had been hearing these explosions all day long. And never knew what they were. And we walked by—my whole family was walking around the block one day and we heard the explosion and we saw a man shooting through the sky in between two houses. [Jesse laughs.] And we—we were later to find out it was the Zacchini family! And they were shooting each other out of canons in the backyard. [Chuckles.] And we had heard that for a couple of months and didn’t know what it was. My sister and I, our first Halloween, rang a doorbell and it was the Doll family from the circus, a whole family of little people. And they said, “Come in! Come in!” And we went in their house and everything in their house was miniature and tiny, and it was a—it was a weird thing to see as a kid. I’d never seen a little person before. I didn’t even know—I mean, I knew it was—I knew it was somebody who was the same size as me, but they were old. That was—it was a—you could walk down the street or go into a market in Sarasota and go, “Regular person, regular person, circus, regular person, circus.” You could just tell. You know? And so, it was a—it was an incredibly exciting place at the time and a cool place to grow up.

jesse

You trained in the Groundlings in the ‘70s. And while you were training, one of the first big things that you did in showbusiness was go on The Gong Show. And not just go on The Gong Show once but go on The Gong Show a whole bunch of times. What was the first act that you brought to The Gong Show? Do you remember?

paul

Oh, absolutely. I was on The Gong Show I think 15 times. And you could go on The Gong Show more than once if you were in a disguise. Like, they—you know. [Jesse chuckles.] It was a gameshow, and it wasn’t rigged or anything, but they did allow some people—like there was sort of a small stable of comedian people who—I mean, I partially was supported by Chuck Barris and The Gong Show for a couple of years. And the first—I’d gone to Boston University for a year before I went to California Institute of the Arts. A few of the people from Boston University I kept in touch with when I moved to California. And then there was kind of a trickle of those people that—they all moved to California. Most of them—a lot of them—you know, if you’re an actor and you get out of college, out of acting school, you’re pretty much moving to New York or Los Angeles. So, half the people move to Los Angeles and the other half stayed—went to New York. And I got a call from a girl that I knew very well, one of my friends in Boston. And she said, “One of my best friends who came in the year after you just moved to California, and she wanted to get your number.” So, I gave her my number and this girl called me and she said, “I just was on The Gong Show, and I joined the union and I almost won and if I’d won, I would’ve made $500.” And it was I think $238 to appear on the show, union scale wage. And she said, “I wanna do another act and I was thinking maybe we could do some kind of a duo act.” So, her name was Charlotte McGinnis and she and I became a duo act called Betty and Eddie. And we wrote an act specifically for The Gong Show and we went on and we did it. And we won. And I joined AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. And that allowed me, a year later, to join the Screen Actors Guild. It was a way in on something that was very difficult to do. A lot of people didn’t have those opportunities. And I made money. We won money. And then I got all kinds of boobie prizes. There were all kinds of things that they would send you. And when the shows would rerun, they would send you a residual check and another prize! So, I would—once in a while, I’d get like a—one time I got a shrimp. I got a—what was it? It was some kind of cooker that came with a certificate for shrimp burgers. [Jesse laughs.]

paul

And I got a bowling ball. The Groundlings—the Groundlings green room, which didn’t exist at a certain point, but one day we decided we were gonna have a green room and we cleared a bunch of space backstage to make it. And then I had two giant containers of green textured paint that I won on The Gong Show. [Jesse giggles.] And for many years, the green room in the Groundlings was courtesy of The Gong Show.

jesse

I wanna play a clip of you on The Gong Show. And this is you in a doubles act with John Paragon, who ended up becoming one of your collaborators on The Pee-Wee Herman Show and on Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. He played Jambi and also Pterri and I think co-wrote The Pee-Wee Herman Show with you, if I’m remembering correctly. And this doubles—this doubles act is called “Suave and Debonair”. Let’s take a listen.

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[Thunderous applause.] Chuck Barris: Alright, okay. Ladies and gentlemen, here we go. Let us welcome please, Suave and Debonair! Do it! [The audience cheers.] Music: Upbeat, slightly chaotic piano. Paul Reubens and John Paragon sing along.] John & Paul: When we go out, people stop and stare Because we’re such a groovy pair We’re really suave and debonair John: We’ll put our coats across a puddle so you can cross it Paul: We’ll cut our hair for you to look like Farrah Fawcett John: We can make you laugh just like a hyena Paul: We hook our own caviar down at the marina John & Paul: We’re the kind of guys you’d like to take home to your mother When you try one of us, you’ll have to try the other Watch the toes! John: We’ll give you the top billing Paul: Our baked Alaska’s chilling John: We’ll take you if you’re willing Paul: Oh, just the thought is thrilling! John & Paul: We’re really, we’re really We’re really suave and debonair! [The audience cheers]

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jesse

I’ll tell you what’s really interesting to me about the relationship between Pee-Wee Herman and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and The Gong Show and some of the stuff that you did on The Gong Show—it’s that it’s this kind of ‘50s and ‘60s culture that—you know, in the ‘70s and ‘80s was often being sent up. And what you’re doing there and what you did with Pee-Wee’s Playhouse isn’t really a sendup. It’s more like a, “What if we did that thing that was so, so straight in its time and just bent it around the corner a little bit.” Like, made it a tribute, but a really weird tribute. [Chuckles.] I mean, I wonder if that was your intent or something that you were aware of.

paul

Nooo. You know what? I was with you right up until the very, very last thing you said. Like, I never like—I mean, I wouldn’t—I wouldn’t try to like get into a debate with you about whether it’s weird or not. Like, I’ve certainly heard the word “weird” applied to both the show and me and [chuckles] lots of other uses of that. But I never look at it like that. I never—we never tried to be, you know, a kid’s show but weird. You know? It just, uh… it—it’s funny. I was just talking to some people who have a lounge—a fake lounge act. And they were saying, you know, “We’re starting to become what we parodied.” And I had just seen their act and I didn’t feel like that at all! I feel like it's really about the commitment. You know? Like, I always feel like my commitment to Pee-Wee Herman—I don’t mean that the way it came out. I mean, the way that—the concentration and the commitment required to be that character and to sort of stay in that character just makes it real to me. I guess I do agree it was an homage in many ways. I mean, I loved all these—all these kid’s shows that influenced me and I tried to sort of mix ingredients from all of them into what I wound up doing. So, it’s kind of a throwback and it has lots of homage sort of elements to it, but I always considered it a full-on, real kid’s show even though it had all this innuendo and adult humor in it. We did the same show in matinees for kids. So, I always felt like I took a lot of pride in being able to kind of figure out ways to do stuff that could be seen by kids and grown ups and two different audiences might pull two different things out of it. But it could be seen by the same group.

jesse

I think it makes perfect sense! I mean, it seems like in order to be arch or to parody, you have to have a certain amount of remove from what you’re doing. And it sounds like you wanted Pee-Wee to be something that you could invest your whole—you know, your whole heart into.

paul

Yeah! It’s interesting to hear you say that ‘cause I was—the hair on the back of my neck just stood up when you said that, a little bit. Although it’s very short. Was just because I don’t—yeah, I never viewed it like that. I always viewed it as I—you know, I’m just in it, in the moment. And I love what I’m doing so, I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s hard to describe it, I’m realizing.

jesse

More with Paul Reubens after the break. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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Bright, chiming synth.

jesse

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jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. If you’re just joining us, we are replaying my 2014 conversation with Paul Reubens. He’s the man behind Pee-Wee Herman. Pee-Wee is, of course, the star of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and the hearts of children across this great nation and the world. Later this month, Pee-Wee makes his radio debut on KCRW, 89.9 here in Los Angeles. He’s playing DJ. It’s called The Pee-Wee Herman Radio Hour. I’m helping to produce it for KCRW. You can hear it Friday, November 26th at 6PM, Pacific, and on KCRW’s website for a week afterwards at KCRW.com. Let’s get back into our conversation. I wanna play a clip from The Pee-Wee Herman Show. This was from the filmed version that ended up on home box office. Yeah. It was a filmed version of the show that you had done in various theaters in LA. In this scene, a character named Mail Man Mike has given you, as Pee-Wee, a package to bring to Jambi. And Jambi—for those folks who don’t remember, by way of explanation—is a floating head inside of a box. Which is important to the scene. [Chuckles.]

paul

And also, to know he’s a genie. [Jesse affirms.]

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[The audience laughs with scattered applause.] Mail Man Mike (The Pee-Wee Herman Show): Oh! What do you know! Jambi’s hands finally got here. [Two thumps.] Jambi: Hands!? Did somebody say haaands? Mike: Sure did, Jambi. Jambi: Well, hand ‘em over! [The audience and Mike laugh.] Mike: Oh, gee, Pee-Wee, I’m a little late for my break. Would you mind delivering these for me. Pee-Wee: [Excited.] Would I?! WOULD I?! Pee-Wee & Mike: [Singing in unison.] [Inaudible.] Mike: Hey, Jambi, enjoy those hands, buddy. Jambi: Hey, thanks, blondie! Pee-Wee: Bye, Mail Man Mike! Mike: Bye-bye! Pee-Wee: Hey, look, Jambi! Here’s your hands! [Playfully.] I better open them for you ‘cause you don’t have them yet. [Giggles.] Jambi: Right. Heeey, cooool! Caucasian. I sure hope they work, dude. The picture in the catalogue was so small. Pee-Wee: Well, check ‘em out, Jambi! Jambi: Yeah, I will. I’ve had something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. [The audience titters.]

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jesse

[Laughs.] When did you—when did you decide that Pee-Wee the character would live outside of the world of the performances and that Paul Reubens, the actor, would become—you know—pretty much invisible?

paul

[Sighs thoughtfully.] Kind of right around the time I really started to focus on Pee-Wee I think was when that happened. I don’t have a really strong recollection to the answer, but I’m gonna guess that the—that that happened around the time I did not get on Saturday Night Live. And I panicked ‘cause I, at that point, was sort of getting written about and treated as an up-and-comer. You know? I was in like little blurbs of—you know, a little box in the lower right-hand corner of a magazine page or something. You know, and up-and-comer person or a spotlight on or somebody to keep your eye on. And then I was kind of a shoo-in, according to some people, to be on the first season of SNL that was an all-new cast. And the only season Lauren Michaels was not involved in. It was the season of Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy. And I was flown to New York. There were 22 finalists and I walked into the room—prior to walking in the room, people were pulling me aside and saying, “You should get an apartment. They never tell you ‘til the last minute.” And I walked in the room, and someone pulled me aside in the room and said, “That guy over there is the producer’s best friend.” And I looked at the guy and it was Gilbert Gottfried and I thought, “There’s no way it’s gonna be me and Gilbert Gottfried. We’re the two like nerd guys in this room. It’s me or him.” And I just—I just had this strong feeling I wasn’t gonna get it. I got on a plane and flew back to Los Angeles and on the way to Los Angeles, I had kind of an epiphany and I just thought I better make something happen for myself or I’m gonna go directly from this up-and-comer category to—you know, “Hey, remember me? The up-and-comer guy that never happened?” So, I felt like I needed to take some kind of control and I decided I was gonna produce a stage show and what I called at the time a live pilot. ‘Cause I didn’t have any way at all in the universe to get a pilot deal to make a television pilot, but I had—you know, a desire to work on television. So, I landed in LAX and got on a payphone at the curb and called my parents and borrowed $5,000 and probably six or eight days later, I had 15 or 20 people working on the beginning of The Pee-Wee Herman Show. Phil Hartman and I—Phil was one of my closest friends in the Groundlings and Phil and I met and talked about a kid’s show format and him coming up with a salty sea captain character. I had had a salty sea captain local show in Florida, growing up. And I think that may have been the beginning of where that character came from—Captain Carl. And we—probably the second night of meeting, wrote a complete—wrote the scene between Pee-Wee and Captain Carl that remained in—through the development of The Pee-Wee Herman Show. And the new wrote the show.

jesse

I imagine that part of appearing in public and doing interviews and stuff as Pee-Wee was because it made Pee-Wee—you know, real and gave a kind of [inaudible] to Pee-Wee, as a character. Um.

paul

Oh, you know—you asked me that a minute ago and I didn’t really answer that. You’re asking me the same thing in a different way, I think. Which is I was very influenced by conceptual and performance art, and I always felt like Pee-Wee Herman had some strong elements of that. And what made it even more interesting to me is that no one knew that except me. I always felt like it was conceptual art, but no one knew it. Because I went out of my way to make people feel like Pee-Wee was a real person. So, when you—when you’re talking about doing interviews, it was—I don’t know where I came up with this or why I did it. It was just something that just was a gut feeling, I think—that Pee-Wee Herman just worked way better as a real person, that if you were going, “Oh, that’s an actor,” it was very different than going, “Wow, that—you know—who in the heck is that?” I—one of my earliest things I did with Pee-Wee Herman is I went on a cattle call audition for The Dating Game.

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Speaker (The Dating Game): Bachelor number two, I can’t stand it when a guy’s too easy. How are you gonna make things tough for me? Pee-Wee: Well, for one thing, I’m gonna wear a bodysuit underneath my clothes. [The audience roars with laughter.]

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paul

I think that’s probably had something to do with the idea of staying in character all the time. Because to go out and go to an audition and walk in with that suit and bowtie and my hair slicked back and white shoes and talk in that voice. And, you know, they said, “Sit down over here and please fill out this form.” And the form was a—you know, “What are your hobbies?” That kind of thing. And I would write down, “I enjoy cleaning my room and going to the library.” And all this—you know—nerdy, dorky stuff. And I could just tell that the people thought I was real and were—you know, acting one way to be but thinking something else inside. And I knew I was gonna get on the show before I got home.

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[Applause.] Speaker: Bachelor number two, what’s your best-used line for your come-on to any girl in a bar? [The audience giggles.] Pee-Wee: Hi, baby, you know I—I might not be old enough to drink, but you look like you’re old enough to drink— Speaker: [Interrupting.] Boy, I’m running away right now!

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paul

That was a very powerful day on a lot of levels, because I realized—I realized kind of how powerful Pee-Wee Herman could be and, conceptually, I just felt like that sort of cinched me staying in character, I think. Because I spent a whole day doing it. Many, many years ago, I got the dreaded phone call that actors—most actors would not wanna get, which is, “Would you like to be on The Surreal Life?” And I got—I’m gonna, in full disclosure, tell you I got that phone call three years in a row. [They chuckle.] And I always said no, immediately. Because to me, it was always kind of an acknowledgement of somewhere you were in your career that I didn’t wanna acknowledge. But the third year that I got that call, I knew somehow part of the cast had already been announced. And I actually said to the producers of the show, “If you guys would let me do it as Pee-Wee Herman and stay in character the entire time and guarantee that my roommate would be Jose Canseco.” Who was— [Jesse barks with laughter.] Who was already announced on the show. “I’ll do it.” Because I felt like I knew I could really score big like that. I knew I could be really funny. I knew I could stay in character for six or eight weeks. You know, while the cameras were rolling. And I knew if I was rooming with Jose Canseco, there’d be some comedy. And that was actually—they said no. And so, I never did it. But that was the very beginning of me thinking about a reality show with Pee-Wee Herman, which I almost did a couple years ago.

jesse

We’ll wrap up with Paul Reubens after a short break. When we return, we’ll get into why Pee-Wee Herman is kind of a jerk and why that makes the character work. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

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jesse

Support for this podcast and the following message come from Airbnb. If you’ve ever thought about hosting, you might have a few questions. What’s it like? Where do I store my stuff? Is hosting worth it? Now, with Ask a Super Host, you can get free one-on-one help from Airbnb’s most experienced hosts. Whether you’re curious how to get started or just wondering if it’s right for you, you can now ask someone who’s already hosting. Learn more at Airbnb.com/askasuperhost. [Music fades out.]

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[Sci-fi beeping.] Ben Harrison: Do you sometimes wonder whatever happened to the kids at your school who really loved Star Trek? Music: Futuristic synth. Adam Pranica: You might remember a kid like me! The one who read the Star Trek novels and built starship models. I also took music classes to avoid taking gym classes that required sharing after, but I don’t see what that really has to do with— Ben: [Enthusiastically interrupting.] Or a kid like me! I introduced myself to kids at my summer camp one year as Wesley! But when the school year started and some of those kids were in my new class, I actually had to explain to my friends that I had tried to take on the identity of my favorite Star Trek character. The shame haunts me to this day! Adam: I’m sure some of those Star Trek fans from your childhood grew up to have interesting and productive lives, but we ended up being podcasters. Ben: On The Greatest Discovery, you’ll hear what happens to two lifelong Star Trek fans who didn’t grow up to be great people, but just grew up to be people who love jokes as much as they love Trek. Adam: Season four of Star Trek: Discovery is here, so listen to our new episodes every week on MaximumFun.org or wherever you get your podcasts. [A beep.]

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jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest is Paul Reubens. He’s the creator of Pee-Wee Herman. I think one of the special things about Pee-Wee as a character—especially for kids, or for people who feel connected to their childhoods—is that Pee-Wee [chuckles]—you know, Pee-Wee is kind of a self-interested jerk a lot of the times.

paul

Click.

jesse

And he’s also sort of a—you know, an open-hearted, wonder-eyed dreamer of the absolute best kind. And that is kind of an essential quality of childhood that rarely gets recognized in children’s entertainment. You know, if you’re lucky you might get the wonder—

paul

You know, I—I’m sorry to—I have to interrupt you and just say one thing, ‘cause I think you just—you just clarified something for me that’s never been really clear before. Which is people always go, “What do you think is the attraction to Pee-Wee Herman? Why do people like Pee-Wee Herman?” And I always say I have no idea, which is true. And I always go, “I don’t wanna think about that.” ‘Cause it’s not fun for me. That takes all the fun out of what I do if I gotta sort of dissect it very much. And in a kind way, I usually try to say to a journalist like, “That’s your job. Like, not my job.” If that becomes my job, then I don’t wanna do it anymore. I don’t like picking it apart or trying to figure it out. But I think you just came up with something very interesting I’ve never really thought about. It’s that I think most people have the same qualities you just discussed. Most people are dichotomies. Most people are like really nice, goodhearted, and snarky at the same time, I think. I think if we’re really honest with ourselves that we all have those capacities. And I—you’re absolutely right. I can’t argue at all that Pee-Wee Herman has like this—you know, wonderful heart and is also like totally snarky and selfish. And I wouldn’t—I wouldn’t disagree with you that those are—that those are kid things that we can attribute to kids. But I would also certainly argue—and I don’t think you’d argue or anyone listening would. Everyone listening would probably real—agree that, you know. We don’t really grow out of that when we get older. When we become adults and even older adults. We still have all that. I mean, maybe I’m not a good example ‘cause I’m Pee-Wee Herman also, but I find myself all the time as my self, as my adult, older self, feeling really righteous and great and sweet and then—you know, on a dime I’m a nightmare and feel snarky and angry and fed up with stuff. So, I think that that’s—that may be what people like about Pee-Wee Herman is that that’s sort of, you know, worn on the sleeve.

jesse

Well, Paul, I don’t wanna take up any more of your time, but I’m so grateful that you took the time to come on Bullseye. It was really great to get to talk to you.

paul

Oh, thank you so much! I really, really appreciate it and I appreciate everybody listening to me drone on about myself all this time.

jesse

Well, I appreciate the work that you’ve done. [Music fades in.] I certainly wouldn’t be the—I certainly wouldn’t be the person that I am today if it—if it weren’t for your work. So, I thank you for that.

paul

Well, I don’t know you well enough to know if that’s a compliment or not, but, um. [Jesse cackles.] But I’m gonna take it that way. [Chuckles.]

jesse

Yeah, I mean, like a mixed bag at best. Let’s be honest. [They laugh.]

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jesse

Paul Reubens. The Pee-Wee Herman Radio Hour will air on KCRW in Los Angeles Friday, November 26th, at 6PM, Pacific. You can stream it for a week after at KCRW.com. It is going to be a hoot and a half, so please do not miss it. We have worked so hard to make it an amazing hour of radio and I think you’re really gonna get a kick out of it. [Music fades out.]

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Thumpy, dreamy synth.

jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California—where, this week as I am recording this, my children are maybe 100 feet away screaming pretty loud, so sorry if they’re [chuckles] occasionally interrupting this narration. Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer, Kevin Ferguson. Our producer, Jesus Ambrosio. Production fellows at Maximum Fun are Richard Robey and Valerie Moffat. We get help from Casey O’Brien. Our interstitial music is by Dan Wally, also known as DJW. Our theme song is by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and to their label, Memphis Industries, for sharing it. You can keep up with our show on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. We post all of our interviews there. And I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

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Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

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Maximum Fun Production Fellow

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