This week, comedy classic Pee Wee’s Big Adventure turns 30 years old. I know! It’s hard to believe because the movie—the epic story of a man and his bicycle—much like star Pee-Wee Herman himself, hasn’t aged at all, and is as funny and endlessly quotable today as on the day it came out.
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was a huge deal for multiple reasons; obviously, it took Pee-Wee Herman from being that kooky guy who shows up on late night talks shows on occasion and turned him into a household name. Also, it took first time feature film director Tim Burton (and his composer, Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman) and made them both major players in Hollywood, something both of them still are, decades later.
Now Paul Reubens (that’s Pee-Wee’s real name, don’t ya know) has released several black and white photos he took on the set of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure that were included as part of a yearbook wrap party gift that he gave after filming ended. Up until now, they had only been seen by the people who received the yearbook way back in the day. In the pics you can see a very young Tim Burton without his trademark “I stuck my finger in a lightsocket” hair, the late, great Phil Hartman (who co-wrote the movie), and actress E.G. Daily who played Dottie, and who many know as the voice of Buttercup on The Powerpuff Girls.
Pee- Wee himself just finished up his long awaited follow up movie to Big Adventure, which is called Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday and which stars himself (DUH!) and Magic Mike and True Blood star Joe Manganiello, which he says is very much informed by the beloved first movie. The movie premieres on Netflix in 2016, but in the meantime, you should totally revisit the classic first film as soon as humanly possible, and be sure to check out the rest of Pee-Wee’s behind-the-scenes photos in the gallery below.