Paul Reubens is suing a man who he claims stole a collection of props from "Pee-wee's Playhouse."
The man, however, claims Paul doesn't own the items, which include, among other things, the Dog Chair, the Floory puppets, Mr. Window and several cue cards — all items that fans of the show would easily recognize.
The actor, who famously played Pee-wee Herman in movies and on TV for decades, claims he loaned items from "Pee-wee's Playhouse" to James Comisar and his memorabilia company, The Comisar Collection. The idea, Paul says in the lawsuit, was to display the items at the "Museum of Television." In addition, Paul alleged that he and James agreed the "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" star would get the items back upon request.
Paul soon discovered there was no museum and alleged that James has been keeping the items for his private collection, TMZ reported. Then, after Paul demanded the items be returned, he maintains that James gave him the cold shoulder and said the iconic props were "gifted" to him. James even sold some items at auction and kept the money, Paul alleged in the lawsuit.
The actor is asking the court to force a return of the Pee-wee property. If the already-purchased items cannot be retrieved, he's willing to take $1 million, he says.
Following the lawsuit, James issued a statement and countered Paul's allegations.
"I am sad to learn that Mr. Reubens has resorted to the threat of a lawsuit to improperly seek the return of items that he simply does not own. In addition to those items personally given to me by Mr. Reubens in lieu of sending them to the landfill, without conditions or promises, Mr. Reubens seeks the return of material that was the property of film studios, production companies, and individual creators — none of which he is entitled to."
He continued, "Over the ensuing three decades, I have cared for, conserved, and preserved these items at my considerable expense — and with Mr. Reubens' complete and continual knowledge of their whereabouts. Beyond his baseless accusations, Mr. Reubens has simply not shown that any of these items are his property."
Paul is asking for an injunction to stop the sale of whatever props from the show are left.