Variety recently announced that Judd Apatow will develop the next Pee-Wee Herman film, which officially cements his status as king-god of the child-man film genre. Is there a more iconic example of a child-man than Pee-Wee Herman? He doesn’t have a job, his relationship with his girlfriend Dottie is practically platonic, and the only thing he loves more than pranking his neighbor Francis Buxton is his souped-up bicycle. Alas, these are the characteristics that make Pee-Wee great, but I can’t help but wonder if Apatovian genre principles will be applied to this new pic. Will poor Pee-Wee be forced to sell all of his toys in order to show Dottie he’s ready for commitment, like Steve Carell's character did in The 40-Year-Old Virgin ? Will he go on one final road trip with trucker-ghost Large Marge before he settles down to raise kids? I can imagine a huge biker-bar blowout before Pee-Wee realizes he’s gonna ditch boring Dottie for Simone, the cultured waitress with a heart of gold. All of it will be thrilling and breathless but ultimately reinforce the safe, nuclear bosom of family and responsibility. How will Pee-Wee find what he’s looking for? I’ve been told you can find it in the basement of the Alamo. (A favorite Pee-Wee clip is embedded below).
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.