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TV on the Radio share “Happy Idiot” video starring “Pee-wee Herman” — watch

on September 30, 2014, 9:19am

If you’ve found yourself wondering whatever happened to Paul Reubens since 1999’s seriously underrated Mystery Men, you’ll be happy to know he’s alive and working. Specifically, he’s snagged the staring role in TV on the Radio’s new video for “Happy Idiot”, the lead single to their upcoming fifth studio album, Seeds.

Directed by Danny Jilenek, with a treatment penned by comedian Jake Fogelnest, the clip casts the man otherwise known as “Pee-wee Herman” as a race car driver that’s gone off his axel totally wacko. And who better to appear as a manifestation of his growing psychosis than Doctor Who‘s own super companion, Karen Gillan.

The whole thing is a lot like Speed Racer, only if he were, say, 50 and suddenly found himself washed up and without his monkey pal. Watch it below (via Funny Or Die).

In a statement, TVOTR frontman Tunde Adebimpe explained the video’s inspiration:

I had this idea for the video that I thought would never happen, of Paul Reubens as a race car driver who slowly loses his mind. I took it to Funny or Die and they said, ‘That’s great, let’s go for that.'”

I got to speak with him over the phone about doing it and, in between being blindingly nervous that I was actually talking to an actor who had shaped a LOT of my world view and trying not to freak him out by saying so, he mentioned that he’s been a fan of the band for awhile. He liked the idea, and, somehow, here we are with Paul as a race car driver losing his mind.
Karen Gillan was absolutely great. We were really psyched to work with her, because she’s basically sci-fi royalty, and a great person. Full on geek fest in the desert.

It was really fun to do, love how it came out. I think our fans will like it. I hope so. The cool ones will anyway. The rest can suck it. I don’t exactly know what ‘it’ is. But they can find it. And they can suck it.

Seeds is due out November 18th via Harvest Records. In support, TVOTR will be on tour starting in mid-October. Consult their full schedule here.

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