CHICAGO — This week, many are sharing their favorite on-screen memories of the actor known best for his role as Pee-wee Herman.
Those reflecting on the career of Paul Reubens, who died of cancer at the age of 70 on Monday, might also recall his brief moment in an iconic Chicago movie.
If you weren’t looking, you might have missed him during the two-hour, 13-minute film.
Reubens had a very small part in “The Blues Brothers,” the memorable musical comedy from Universal Pictures in 1980 that starred Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi.
The film featured a host of iconic spots in Chicago while featuring a host of legendary rhythm and blues artists.
During his one scene in the film, Reubens was a waiter at the Chez Paul, a famous French restaurant in Chicago that was located at 660 North Rush Street. In an effort to recruit restaurant maitre d’ “Mr. Fabulous” (Alan Rubin) back to their R&B band to raise money for their former orphanage, Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd) dined at the fancy establishment.
The first waiter to take their order, Reubens had just one line after Jake gave his order, which included the “finest champagne” the restaurant had to offer.
“We have a Dom Perignon, ’71, at $120,” said the actor in his only line in the film.
“That will be fine, pal,” said Jake.
Reubens would be seen setting up the standing ice bucket for the champagne before going offscreen and not being seen again.
This was one of a few small roles that he would play in film before finding success with his “Pee-wee Herman” character in the 1980s. That character would bring Reubens worldwide fame and would periodically play the character through the years.