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Pee-wee Herman is a comic fictional character created and portrayed by American comedian Paul Reubens. He is best known for his two television series and film series during the 1980s. The childlike Pee-wee Herman character developed as a stage act that quickly led to an HBO special in 1981. As the stage performance gained further popularity, Reubens took the character to motion picture with Pee-wee's Big Adventure in 1985, toning down the adult innuendo for the appeal of children. This paved the way for Pee-wee's Playhouse, an Emmy Award-winning children's series that ran on CBS from 1986 to 1991. Another film, Big Top Pee-wee, was released in 1988.
Due to negative media attention following a scandal in 1991, Reubens decided to shelve his alter ego during the 1990s, then gradually resurrected it during the following decade. It was at that time that Reubens addressed plans to write a new Pee-wee film, Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie. In June 2007, Reubens appeared as Pee-wee Herman for the first time since 1992 at Spike TV's Guys' Choice Awards.