Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Remembering Paul Reubens (Pee-wee Herman); Celebs for Fox's Season 2 of Special Forces: World's Toughest Test

Paul Reubens

Actor and comedian Paul Reubens, who was best known for creating and portraying the character Pee-wee Herman, has died. He died on July 30 from acute hypoxic respiratory failure, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. At the time of his death he was diagnosed with both myelogenous leukemia and metastatic lung cancer. He had been diagnosed six years earlier, but had not revealed his diagnosis to the public. Mr. Reubens was 70.

Robin Williams and Paul Reubens in Mork & Mindy

Reubens made his sitcom debut in 1979 with two guest appearances as Heimlich, a delivery boy, in Working Stiffs, which starred James Belushi and Michael Keaton. He played Dickie Nimitz in the 1981 Mork & Mindy episode "Long Before We Met." He wears a blue bowtie and suit similar to what his Pee-wee Herman costume would become.

Pee-wee Herman in 227

His first appearance as Pee-wee Herman in a sitcom was in Madame's Place in 1982. He appeared as Pee-wee Herman in the 1987 227 episode "Toyland." While visiting a toy shop, Mary and Lester (Marla Gibbs and Hal Williams), run into Pee-wee Herman...and end up in the middle of a robbery.

Paul Reubens and Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown

Reubens had a recurring role as Andrew J. Lansing III in six episodes of the CBS sitcom Murphy Brown between 1995 and 1997. Andrew J. Lansing III is Stan Lansing's (Garry Marshall) sociopathic nephew. He is introduced as one of Murphy's (Candice Bergen) 93 secretaries du jour and was one of only three who measure up to Murphy's standards. The role earned him positive reviews and his first and only non-Pee-wee Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1995.

Ray Romano and Paul Reubens in Everybody Loves Raymond

He appeared as Russell, Amy's (Monica Horan) eccentric brother, in the 2000 Everybody Loves Raymond episode "Hackidu." Some of his other sitcom guest appearances as other characters included Campus Ladies in 2006, Reno 911! in 2006, and 30 Rock in 2007. He played an inbred Austrian prince named Gerhardt Hapsburg in the 30 Rock episode "Black Tie." In 2019, he appeared in episodes of What We Do in the Shadows and The Conners.

Some of his other television credits in various roles included Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ally McBeal, Dirt (3 episodes), Pushing Daisies (2 episodes), Portlandia, The Blacklist (5 episodes as Mr. Vargas), and Gotham (3 episodes).

Pee-wee's Playhouse

Reubens starred as Pee-wee Herman on the CBS Saturday morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse. It ran for five seasons from 1986 to 1990. The series garnered 15 Emmy Awards during its initial run, and was aired again on late-night television in the 2000s, during which TV Guide dubbed it among the top ten cult classic television programs. Reubens was also a writer, director, executive producer and set decorator. The cast included Laurence Fishburne, Lynne Marie Stewart, Phil Hartman, S. Epatha Merkerson and John Paragon.

He was also known for his voice work. Some of his credits included The Flintstone Comedy Show, Chowder, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Tron: Uprising, American Dad!, and Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Reubens produced, wrote and starred in the feature film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), directed by Tim Burton, which was a financial and critical success. He produced, wrote and starred in the sequel Big Top Pee-wee (1988). He co-wrote and starred in the Netflix original film Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016).

Some of his other film credits included Midnight Madness (1980), The Blues Brothers (1980), Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980) (as Pee-wee Herman/Desk Clerk), Back to the Beach (1987) (as Pee-wee Herman), Batman Returns (1992), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) (voice), Dunston Checks In (1996), Matilda (1996), Buddy (1997), Mystery Men (1999), and Blow (2001).

Mr. Reubens was wonderful as Pee-wee Herman. He created an iconic character who remains very popular to this day. He was part of many childhoods with his films and television series. It was good to see him in his other roles as various characters on sitcoms and other series. We thank him for the many laughs and entertainment that he brought us during his career. He will be sorely missed.

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Special Forces: World's Toughest Test

Fox's ultimate celebrity social experiment, Special Forces: World's Toughest Test, returns for a second season on September 25, enlisting a troop of household names to endure some of the harshest, most grueling challenges from the playbook of the actual Special Forces selection process.

Meet the 14 celebrity recruits joining the Special Forces:
Former All-American and NFL Star Dez Bryant
Television Personality and Contractor Tyler Cameron
Reality TV Star and Entrepreneur Savannah Chrisley
Actress, Model, Influencer and Entrepreneur Blac Chyna
Actor and 90's Icon Brian Austin Green
Seven Time NBA Champion Robert Horry
Olympic Gold Medalist Speed Skater Erin Jackson
Olympic and World Championship Gold Medalist Alpine Skier Bode Miller
Television Personality and Host Jack Osbourne
Actress and Pop Culture Phenomenon Tara Reid
Lifestyle Television Host, Influencer and Producer Kelly Rizzo
Reality TV Star, Restaurateur and Musician Tom Sandoval
Recording Artist and Global Superstar JoJo Siwa
Award-Winning Podcast Host, Author and Television Personality Nick Viall


Sitcoms Airing Tonight / Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows

Monday, June 17

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Baby Shower" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Courtney and Marty deal with some baby shower drama with Tina, while Lamar adjusts to a new job at the Fuse Box.

The Neighborhood - "Welcome to the Name Drop" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Marty and Courtney’s baby name gets spread around because nobody can keep a secret. Meanwhile, Dave is assigned the ever-complicated task of assembling the diaper changing table.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 17)

Monday, June 17

  • Austin Butler (Ruby & the Rockits/Zoey 101/Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) - Watch Austin on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Eddie Murphy (The PJs) - Eddie appears on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Matty Matheson (The Bear) - Matty is a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:35pm on NBC.
  • Ayo Edebiri (Big Mouth/The Bear) - Ayo appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Nick Jonas (Jonas) - Nick and Adrienne Warren discuss their return to Broadway on ABC's Good Morning America some time between 7-9am.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/The Ellen Show/Welcome to New York) - Jim talks about Netflix's Unfrosted on a repeat of Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.
  • Retta (Parks and Recreation) - Retta talks about HGTV's Ugliest House in America on a repeat of Access Daily with Mario & Kit, so check your local listings.


New on DVD/Blu-ray

Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray) Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series Check It Out! - The Complete Series The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release) Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

01/09 - South Park - Seasons 11-15 (Blu-ray)
01/16 - Ghosts (UK) - Season Five
02/13 - Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
02/27 - The Really Loud House - Season One
03/12 - Ghosts (UK) - The Complete Series
03/12 - Looney Tunes Collector's Choice - Volume 3 (Blu-ray)
03/12 - Rick and Morty - Season 7 (Blu-ray Steelbook) (Blu-ray) (DVD)
04/03 - Too Close for Comfort - The Complete Series (VEI)
04/08 - Check It Out! - The Complete Series (VEI)
05/21 - Frasier (2023) - Season One
06/11 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series (2024 Release)
06/11 - Welcome Back, Kotter - The Complete Series (2024 Release)

More Recent and Upcoming TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Recent SitcomsOnline.com News Blog Posts

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06/16 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 17, 2024)
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06/14 - Paramount+ School Spirits Season 2 Underway; Prime Video Gets Betty la Fea Continuation
06/13 - Prime Video Has a Sausage Party; UnPrisoned Trailer for Season 2
06/12 - CBS Announces Hollywood Squares Host; After Midnight Renewed for 2024-25
06/11 - 40th Annual TCA Awards Nominees; E! Gets Comedic Denise Richards Docuseries
06/10 - Rachael Leigh Cook to Star in Feature-Length Romantic Comedy for Fox; Psi Cops Premieres July 7 on Adult Swim
06/09 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 10, 2024)
06/08 - SitcomsOnline Digest: The Upshaws Renewed for 12 Final Episodes; Beavis and Butt-Head Moving to Comedy Central
06/07 - Apple TV+ Renews Palm Royale for Season 2; Peacock Orders Season 4 for Kevin Hart Talker
06/06 - Emily in Paris Season 4 Drops August 15; Criminal Minds: Evolution Renewed
06/05 - Bounce TV Comedy Mind Your Business Airing Now; Onyx Collective's Queenie Debuts Friday
06/04 - Netflix Adds to The Four Seasons Cast; The CW Renews All American and Penn & Teller: Fool Us
06/03 - Max Renews Hacks for Season 4; Prime Video Orders Kevin from Aubrey Plaza
06/02 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of June 3, 2024)
06/01 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Prime Video and Netflix Order New Animated Series; MeTV Toons Lineup Released
05/31 - Friends: The Complete Series Comes to 4K Ultra HD on September 24; The Bear Sets Season One Marathon on the FX Linear Channel
05/30 - Camp Snoopy Premieres June 14 on Apple TV+; Remembering Elizabeth MacRae of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
05/29 - Fremantle Celebrates the Second Annual National Game Show Day on June 1; Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade Makes Streaming Debut
05/28 - Hulu Celebrates Grown-ish Finale with Collections; My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman Returns June 12
05/27 - Memorial Day 2024 TV Sitcom Marathons
05/26 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 27, 2024)
05/25 - SitcomsOnline Digest: A Look at Season 3 of The Bear; The Munsters Headed Toward a Reboot, Again
05/24 - HBO Premieres New Comedy Series on June 7; The CW Renews Wild Cards
05/23 - Amazon Orders Nick Cannon Talk Show; Red Nose Day 10 Year Special Airs Tonight
05/22 - Netflix Comedy Tires Gets Season 2 Ahead of Season 1 Launch; HBO's Industry Returning in August
05/21 - HBO Orders Steve Carell Comedy Series; Bad Monkey Gets Premiere Date
05/20 - The Thundermans Gets Spinoff Series; Remembering Dabney Coleman
05/19 - Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows; This Week in Sitcoms (Week of May 20, 2024)
05/18 - SitcomsOnline Digest: Another South Park "Event" Coming Next Week; Latest Development in Paramount Sale Could Split Up Company
05/17 - The CW 2024-25 Schedule; South Park: The End of Obesity Coming to Paramount+