Bigger Than Pee-wee

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If it were up to him, though, Reubens says, he would rather hide behind that character. "The thing that's always said about me is that I'm really low-key and soft-spoken, so I'm always wondering if I'm talking too loud. It's weirder being myself," he says. So Reubens is still very veiled, nervously cutting himself off every time he is about to reveal something, like saying he has evidence that he wasn't as excited by Nurse Nancy as the Florida police accused him of being. "You're going to make me come off like an idiot," he frets several times. And there is no way he is showing off his house.

Reubens is said to have a house in the Hollywood Hills that makes the cartoony Gary Panter set from Pee-wee's Playhouse look like Martha Stewart's place. It's supposed to be jammed with toys and kitschy knickknacks and surrounded by a cactus garden he planted himself. "It's sad-scary. Even telling you this, you're thinking, 'Funny and colorful.' No. It's scary," he says. He's going to take it apart, get rid of all the junk, de-Pee-wee it, maybe make it a place for an adult. Then again, with all his other projects, he might not get around to it.

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