In both Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Pee-wee's Playhouse, the character surrounds himself with strange inventions and decorations and has no visible means of support, whereas Big Top Pee-wee depicts him as a farmer/inventor.
Reubens decided to play a guy that everyone immediately knew would never make it as a comic, partly because Reubens couldn't remember jokes in real life – he had trouble remembering punch lines and couldn't properly piece information in sequential order.
Hartman and Reubens became close friends, often writing and working on material together.
Reubens wrote sketches, developed his improvisational skills and, with Hartman, he developed the Pee-wee Herman character.
Pee-wee Herman was born that night, his distinctive guttural, "Ha Ha," followed by a low, "Heh Heh Heh," laugh became the character's catch phrase, as did his insult comeback, "I know you are, but what am I?
" Pee-wee Herman's signature gray glen plaid suit was originally a custom-made suit that Reubens had borrowed from the Groundlings director, Gary Austin; the small red bow tie was given to him by an acquaintance.