I say "childlikeness" because I can't quite find a better word.
Back in the day of Pee Wee's Big Adventure and maybe even some of his work on television in the 1980's, fans and friends would've called him "childish," but I always pushed back against that. Some of his behaviors definitely harkened back to how the youngest among us act, although I don't think he ever overtly pushed that edge too far for those of us watching him closely. He was an adult child -- with a wide-eyed sense of imagination -- who embraced the magical and mystical and the mysterious in ways that propelled him onto a career path that delighted and inspired so many. That is no small thing, folks: the older I get, the more I come to grips with just how exceedingly rare authentic talent of his type is, and I'll forever miss that spark of joy he brought to probably every project he completed.
Because I do make it a habit of trying to celebrate some of the diversions every smiler featured In Memoriam has contributed to pop culture entertainment, I did want to give a rundown to some of his more prominent forays in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Clearly, this guy was well known beyond such pursuits; but that's what I do 'round here, folks, and I suspect Mr. Reubens would even appreciate my sticking to those facts.
In 1981, he enjoyed a guest visit to the world of TV's SciFi/Sitcom Mork & Mindy with Robin Williams.
In 1984, he had a bit of screen time aboard one of that year's less inspired sequels: Meatballs II tried to introduce a bit of SciFi/Comedy to the summer camp scene, and it was -- ahem -- just an awful, awful experience.
In 1986, Reubens truly cemented himself into our realm when he provided the voice to Max, the talking spaceship computer at the heart of Walt Disney's popular Flight Of The Navigator.
In 1987, the Walt Disney parks got into the Star Wars business with the introduction of Star Tours. In that production, Reubens provided the voice to the droid RX-24 ... a character that returned to the wide, wide world of that galaxy far, far away in a 2014 episode of Star Wars: Rebels ... which Reubens also voiced.
In 1992, the actor appeared aboard Tim Burton's Batman Returns, playing the father (in flashbacks) to the character of the Penguin.
Also that year, he bared his fangs at no less than Buffy The Vampire Slayer in the silver screen incarnation of the hot, young vampire hunter.
In 1999, he broke wind -- all in pursuit of justice -- in the role of Spleen aboard the Superhero/Comedy Mystery Men.
In 2005, Reubens provided the voice to a guest character aboard Tripping The Rift, an animated SciFi/Comedy.
In 2007, the actor made an appearance aboard two episodes of the popular Fantasy serial Pushing Daisies.
During the 2012-2013 TV season, he built an incredible voice performance as the character of Pavel aboard the somewhat cult(ish animated TRON spin-off, TRON: Uprising.
In the 2016-2017 TV season, Reubens appeared as Elijah van Dahl aboard the Fox television Superhero/Drama Gotham.
It would seem that the superhero realm wasn't quite done with the man yet: he enjoyed a five-episode run aboard The CW's DC's Legends Of Tomorrow for good measure.
Rounding out the actor's commitment to Horror/Comedy, he also paid a visit to FX's What We Do In The Shadows.
While there are a few more (voice acting, largely, in animated productions and/or video games), I'll leave it as these remain the big ticket items that I think demonstrate that his was a gift that definitely made an impact on screens big and small; and it'll always be great to look back and remember him with such work in the years ahead.
Our deepest thoughts, prayers, and sympathies are extended to the family, friends, and fans of Paul Reubens. May he forever rest in peace.