Before height of Pee-wee fame, Paul Reubens was in ‘Meatballs Part II’

Before he became a household name with his Pee-wee Herman character, Paul Reubens played a summer camp bus driver in Meatballs Part II.

The 1984 movie, a sequel to the 1979 summer camp classic in name only, features Reubens wearing an aviator hat in the opening scene driving a bus full of rowdy kids to Camp Sasquatch. After endangering the campers by leaving the wheel to try and settle the campers down, he races a kid in a motorized wheelchair but somehow manages to get the campers to camp in one piece.

“Albert, when you were born were your parents expecting children?” a counselor named Jamie (Archie Hahn) asks him during their harrowing bus ride.

Albert shows up again as part of a bizarre (so much about this movie is) plot to save the camp that involves him dressing up like a Hara Krishna to trick the folks from the military camp, Camp Patton, across the lake.


He shows up again with the aviator hat on again, as the DJ at the camp dance, spinning records the kids can “boogie” to and then makes a final appearance as a referee in the winner-take-all boxing match Camp Sasquatch has against Camp Patton.



While Reubens had already created his Pee-Wee Herman character – inspired by someone he met at summer campMeatballs Part II came out a year before Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and two years before the Pee-wee’s Playhouse television series.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at and I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

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