The Alamo’s Hilarious Salute to Pee-wee Herman

It’s a pretty big deal when the Alamo remembers you
The Alamo’s Hilarious Salute to Pee-wee Herman

Wherever Pee-wee Herman went, hijinks were sure to follow, and his first cinematic effort, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985, was no different. The beloved cult classic, which is a farcical reimagining of the 1948 film Bicycle Thieves, follows our eternally youthful and wildly exuberant protagonist on a whirlwind search for his stolen bicycle. Part of that nationwide hunt provides what is arguably the most iconic Pee-wee moment ever. 

Desperate for any and all help, Pee-wee seeks out the services of a psychic, who informs him that his bike is in the basement of the Alamo Mission. Following this lead, Pee-wee hitchhikes to San Antonio. After meeting many new faces, losing his wallet and even fleeing a precarious situation by hopping on a moving train, he finally reaches the Alamo. 

When he gets there, though, he makes the disappointing discovery that the Alamo does not, in fact, have a basement, which means that his tricked-out Schwinn Cruiser is still out in the wild. Despite being a devastating revelation for our poor Pee-wee, the scene — and line itself: “Where’s the basement?” — created a time-honored tradition that would go on to live well beyond the film.

“Since 1985, not a day has passed without visitors consistently inquiring about the location of the basement at the Alamo,” the social media team behind the Alamo Mission wrote on Instagram in a touching tribute to the late Paul Reubens earlier this week, going on to share their gratitude for Reubens’ “unforgettable contribution to Alamo pop culture.” 

By now we all know that there is no basement in the Alamo, but the Alamo’s social media team very cheekily shared that there is one under the gift shop, something that Pee-wee would definitely have gotten a kick out of. 

We’re taught to “Remember the Alamo,” but it’s a pretty big deal that the Alamo will always remember Paul Reubens.

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