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Catch ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’ in Red Hook next week

for The Brooklyn Paper

And you thought he was only good as the punchline to a masturbation joke.

But before he was arrested in a Florida adult moviehouse in 1991, Pee Wee Herman — aka Paul Reubens — was the biggest name in comedy. Find out why as his seminal 1985 classic, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure,” screens on Sept. 13 at Valentino Pier in Red Hook.

And this is not just some kids movie. “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” taps into the ultimate urban fear — bike theft. After his shiny red Schwinn DX is swiped, Pee Wee sets off in a madcap journey across the United States to reunite with his beloved. On his way, he meets the usual characters (hey, it’s a road movie, after all): a France-obsessed waitress, a truck driver with some freaky faces and violent bikers who have a soft spot for The Champs song, “Tequila.”

Believe it or not, the movie was Tim Burton’s directorial debut — and Burton’s quirky imagination works perfectly with Pee Wee’s, how you say, eccentricities.

Picnickers are welcome (though no alcohol!). Home/Made will be selling popcorn for a buck.

“Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” at Valentino Pier (Ferris Street between Coffey and Van Dyke streets in Red Hook), Sept. 13, 8 pm. Free. For info, visit

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