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Pee-Wee Herman comes to HBO

December 21, 2010 |  9:02 am

As Chairy might say, today's secret word is HBO. On Tuesday,the network announced that early next year it will broadcast "The Pee-Wee Herman Show," a Broadway production based on Paul Reubens’ original stage production, “The Pee-wee Herman Show,” and his Emmy-winning Saturday morning TV series, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” Airing three decades after Reubens made his debut on the channel with “The Pee-wee Herman Show," the special will reunite Mailman Mike, Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne and other Playhouse characters loved by kids and child-like adults.

“Before his hit series and movies, HBO introduced Paul Reubens’ Pee-wee Herman to a national audience in the ‘Young Comedians’ series, followed by the groundbreaking 1981 special,” noted Nancy Geller, HBO's senior vice president of original programming, in a statement.  “It’s thrilling to have Paul back on the network, and it will be a blast to return to Pee-wee’s Playhouse.”

Lately, Reubens has experienced a comeback of sorts, appearing on “30 Rock,” “Family Guy” and the Todd Solondz movie “Life During Wartime.” Writer-director Judd Apatow recently announced that he and Reubens are developing a new movie based on Pee Wee. And now HBO? Wait, we just said the secret word. Everybody, scream!

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Paul Reubens as Pee-Wee Herman. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press