Pee-wee's Big Adventure recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. The movie, which helped turn Paul Reubens' comedic character into a household name, was a big hit in its day and paved the way for Pee-wee to become an enduring pop culture icon. In honor of the movie's anniversary, Apollonia Kotero recently shared a story about the time she attended the Purple Rain premiere with Reubens in character.
The story was revealed via the official Pee-wee Herman Twitter account. A photo featuring Apollonia Kotero, who starred alongside Prince in Purple Rain, with Paul Reubens accompanied the post. Kotero sent her congratulations on the anniversary of Pee-wee's Big Adventure with the following story, which was shared along with the photo.
"This photo of Pee-wee and I embracing is right when I found out what my very 'special surprise' was that Prince had planned just for me. I knew Prince was up to something when he had me chauffeured to our premiere in a classic antique White Wedding Rolls Royce!...I was crazy over Pee-wee, but so was Prince. Prince did the greatest imitation of Pee-wee for me. We watched both Pee-wee Herman Show and Playhouse together and laughed so hard. Simple times , simple daze...Prince arranged for Pee-wee Herman to be my date to our Purple Rain premiere. My date!! How cool was that? How cool is Prince? Happy Anniversary to Pee-wee Herman !!! Love you Paul. Look at us!"
Paul Reubens shared the sentiment by saying, "Right back atcha, Appolonia!" This is a fascinating bit of insight. Not only seeing these two together for the premiere of Purple Rain in 1984, a year before Pee-wee's Big Adventure was released, but because Prince was apparently a big fan. Prince passed away in 2016 but is heralded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation.
Purple Rain was released in July 1984 by Warner Bros. and proved to be a massive success becoming a huge hit at the box office. Perhaps more importantly, the movie's accompanying soundtrack has sold more than 25 million copies. That makes it one of the best-selling albums in rock history. As part of Apollonia 6, Apollonia Kotero scored a hit performing Take Me With U for the soundtrack.
Meanwhile, a year later, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, directed by Tim Burton, was a big hit as well, capitalizing on the success of The Pee-wee Herman show. In addition to financial success, it was met with widespread acclaim. After the movie's release, Paul Reubens started a run on the very successful Pee-wee's Playhouse, which ran for five seasons and 45 episodes. Another movie, Big Top Pee-wee, arrived in 1988. It was not as successful financially or critically as its predecessor. Netflix produced another movie more recently, Pee-wee's Big Holiday, which was released in 2016. You can check out the full post from the Pee-wee Herman Twitter account.