Paul Reubens (born Paul Rubenfeld; August 27, 1952) is an American actor, writer, film producer and comedian, best-known for his character Pee-wee Herman. Reubens joined the Los Angeles troupe The Groundlings in the 1970s and started his career as an improvisational comedian and stage actor. In 1982 Reubens put up a show about a character he had been developing during the last few years. The show was called The Pee-wee Herman Show
and it ran for five sellout months with HBO producing a successful special with it. Pee-wee became an instant cult figure and for the next decade Reubens would be completely committed to his character, doing all of his public appearances and interviews as Pee-wee. In 1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure
, directed by the then-unknown Tim Burton, was a financial success and, despite receiving mixed reviews, it developed into a cult film. Big Top Pee-wee
, 1988's sequel, was not as successful as its predecessor. Between 1986 and 1990, Reubens starred as Pee-wee in the CBS Saturday morning children's program Pee-wee's Playhouse.