Pee-Wee Herman Actor Returns To Television As Crime Underworld Enforcer

Pee-Wee Herman is about to get a whole lot darker.

Paul Reubens, the actor famous for his role as the goofy Pee-Wee Herman, is set to join the cast of the NBC drama The Blacklist in a very different kind of role.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Reubens will join the show in a multi-episode arc playing a character who is anything but children-friendly. The character, named Mr. Vargas, will reportedly be “a dapper, finicky ‘muscle’ who handles delicate situations in the criminal underworld.”

The character will first appear in the second episode.

“It’s going to be something totally different, and it’s going to be awesome,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp told Entertainment Weekly. “It can’t get strange enough for me. One of the most fun things is being able to write for actors who I’ve admired and think are interesting and try to play against expectations. I’d say he’s gonna shake things up a bit when he enters Red’s orbit.”

Fans of Pee-Wee Herman himself are also in luck. The wheels are in motion for another Pee-Wee movie, with Reubens announcing last year that there was a director is now in place for the feature film. However, at the time Reubens revealed little about the movie or the director.

“Short of something unforeseen like the studio going out of business, I think it’s very likely both these projects will happen next year,” the actor said at the time.


The script for the movie was written by Reubens and I Love You Beth Cooper star Paul Rust.

Pee-Wee already had a revival of sorts with a character in The Smurfs 2, albeit a small one.

“My theory is that it’s because of the times. Jokey Smurf in the cartoon would carry around a package that was a bomb. He’d give it other Smurfs as a present and then it would blow up. He’s a victim of the times,” Paul Ruebens explained.

But those who want to see the Pee-Wee Herman actor in a darker role can tune in to The Blacklist, which premieres September 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.