Joe Manganiello Rides Into 'Pee-wee's Big Holiday'

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Gwynne Watkins
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Joe Manganiello and Paul Reubens on the set of ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’ (PacificCoastNews.com)

Pee-wee Herman has found himself a new travel buddy. Joe Manganiello, who stars in this summer’s Magic Mike XXL, is bringing his chiseled physique to the upcoming Netflix movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. In photos from the set, Paul Reubens’s ageless children’s TV character hitches a ride on a motorcycle driven by Manganiello (who, unlike the nattily dressed Pee-wee, wears a casual T-shirt and jeans). On the official Pee-wee blog, Reubens confirmed Manganiello’s participation in the film, though he declined to give any details about his character.

“Joe’s already my friend in real life— and he’s tremendously talented and a terrific person!” Reubens writes on his website. “I am so glad we are FINALLY going to get to work together! This totally makes up for being cut out of Magic Mike and Magic Mike 2!”

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Paul Reubens, in character as Pee-wee Herman, hitches a ride with Joe Manganiello (Twitter)

In an accompanying statement, Manganiello called Reubens “one of the great comic geniuses of our time,” adding, “I can’t believe that I’m going to get to share scenes with one of the iconic figures of my childhood.”

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Joe Manganiello and Paul Reubens on set (Twitter)

Produced by Judd Apatow, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday is a follow-up to the 1985 cult-classic comedy Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and its 1988 sequel Big Top Pee-wee. The new feature is described by Netflix as an “epic story of friendship and destiny,” in which “a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday.” If previous Pee-wee ventures are any indication, Manganiello won’t be the only star to drop by. Milton Berle, James Brolin, Morgan Fairchild, and Dee Snider all made cameos in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and the Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas special (a prime-time spin-off of Reubens’s beloved Saturday-morning television series) boasted appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Grace Jones, Cher, and Oprah Winfrey.