Most of you have probably heard that Pee Wee Herman will be making a comeback on the big screen soon in a Judd Apatow-produced film. Here’s something fascinating you may not know, however: Back in the 1970s, when Paul Reubens was part of The Groundlings, he developed his Pee Wee Herman character with the help of his friend and collaborator on The Groundlings, Phil Hartman, who would later appear as an actor on Pee Wee’s Playhouse (which Hartman also acted as writer on).
But before Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and even before Reubens popularized the character on stage in 1981, he appeared on a 1979 episode of The Dating Show completely in character, as a “comedian who loves listening to the radio, watching TV, and watching birds. He’s known for his ability to walk on a tightrope and do trapeze work.”
The character wasn’t completely formed yet (his voice wasn’t as, uh, boisterous, as it would later become), but he still had one helluva pick-up line for the contestant: “Hey baby, you know I might not be old enough to drink, but you look like you’re old enough to drink.”
Sadly, he was not chosen.