Pee-wee’s Big Adventure: How It Was Made


We explore some of the most iconic shooting locations in Tim Burton’s Tim Burton classic, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

“I know you are, but what am I?” With those words, Paul Reubens’ Pee-wee Herman became one of the biggest pop culture sensations of the 1980s, spawning several TV series, toys, movies, and so much more before controversy spelled the temporary end of the character. Pee-wee Herman made his debut in the mainstream with Peewee’s Big Adventure. The feature directorial debut of Tim Burton, the film put the young director on the map, allowing him to go on to make Beetlejuice and 1989’s Batman, plus it also established Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman as one of the most talented young composers in Hollywood.

In this episode of Where it Was Made, host Ryan Cultrera takes us behind the scenes of the classic film as he revisits some of the iconic places it was shot at in and around California. We also take a look at how the movie made Paul Reubens an unlikely star and how Pee-wee became a generational cult icon who’s still remembered fondly to this day.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure co-stars E.G. Daily is Tommy’s voice, Mark Holton (“hello FRANCIS”) and the movie is filled with cameos, including Phil Hartman (who few people know co-created Pee-wee), Morgan Fairchild, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira!). In one memorable scene, Twisted Sister, a glam rock band, appears. Despite seeming like a risky bet for Warner Bros, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was a huge hit, grossing over $40 million domestically (on a $7 million budget) and being an even bigger hit on video and cable.

Where It Was Made is hosted/written/edited, and directed by Ryan Cultrera. If you have fond memories of Mr. Peewee Herman, please let us know in the comment section.

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