Gary Panter interviewed by John Kelly, excerpted from The Comics Journal #250
KELLY: Can you walk through the progression of getting involved with the Raw crowd?
PANTER: My memory is faulty on this. I started appearing in Slash magazine in '77, I guess, the end of '77, and if I'm not mistaken, Art and Françoise saw Jimbo, or someone showed it to them, and they approached me and asked me to contribute to Raw, but there may be another true story, but that's the one I remember. And I think I was in by issue two or three, I'm not really sure. That's basically how it went. I'm not sure if I'd come in contact with Charles Burns at that point. I had seen his work through Matt Groening, and Lynda Barry in the free papers, and in self-published minicomics and stuff like that. I was really excited because I'd been doing this kind of work since the early '70s. I went to college in about '69 and started doing cartoons in '71 and '72. Jimbo actually dated from about '74, I think. And so it was really ideal, and Art and Françoise were great and they were very dedicated editors and very involved in putting out a good, high-quality magazine, not just putting anything in it.
KELLY: How much did they push you to stretch yourself?
PANTER: They praised and encouraged me to be myself. I was just ready to go. It was more they have a real... Art wants things to cohere, so sometimes he would help me make it make more sense. Like when we did the Pantheon book, he came up with a scheme to sequence all the strips I had done. In my mind it was just one big continuity, and all part of the same thing, and I wasn't really thinking about the reader as much as what I was trying to do in a scene. I always appreciated that criticism. I don't really like doing things over, but they never really asked me to do things over. There was just a lot more discussion and brain power applied to the whole enterprise.
KELLY: Those are the strips that were included in the reprint book that came out later?
PANTER: The Raw one-shot at first and then the Pantheon book, and there was also a collection of Jimbo right before the Pantheon book. I was already interested in doing ambitiously weird, experimental comics, and even moreso after I was contacted by Bruno Richard, and Bruno played some role. Art may have shown my work to Bruno, or Bruno became aware of it. Bruno took this world tour, in I'm not sure what year, '78 or '79, just visiting all the weird artists and underground cartoonists that he could find and really put a lot of people together. And his work with Pascal Doury and [Marc] Caro, in the publication Elles Sont de Sortie, "The Girls Have Gone" -- it was really inspiring because it was two or three guys working on one piece of art, so they would make it really dense, where I was dense to a certain level, they were really going far beyond that, in terms of density. It challenged me to make my stuff denser, and I did, visually.
KELLY: Were those pieces that appeared in Raw your first extended narrative? The longer pieces that you did?
PANTER: Well, I was working on an extended narrative in Slash, but it was just one page a month. And in college I had done a still unpublished, and not really looking to have it published, comic called "Bow Tie Madness," about a transsexual with a kids' show. It was the first Jimbo story, and Jimbo and his wife, Nancy, send their kids to the kids' show so they can have some time together...
KELLY: And that's a longer piece?
PANTER: Yeah, that was a long one. It's around here somewhere. I did some prototype page strips right when I got to Los Angeles that Glenn Bray has now, and I had started trying to do a version of Dal Tokyo probably called something else at that point, that I had just done in newspaper format; I didn't really think I was going to try to submit it to a newspaper, but maybe I was, and that was all about this other story that's never really come out, that feeds into all these other stories. One called "Jelly," which is about the same transsexual-transvestite kids' show host, who is killed in the "Bow Tie Madness" story, and he shows up again in "Jelly," having been resurrected by a bunch of technological archaeologists working for wrestling franchises. They're trying to find people in the past that they can spiritually invest into these big fighting androids. So Jelly becomes the soul of this big android, but really just wants to be a weather woman, and ends up totally screwing up the weather in this giant city. That story never came out. But they were prototype strips of that one too.
KELLY: Now with Cola Madnes and Bow Tie Madness, is that like Reefer Madness?
PANTER: I hadn't thought about that. Maybe it was. I never thought of it. It was just I was really drinking a lot of cola.
KELLY: Were you wearing a lot of bow ties during the --
PANTER: Not really. I don't know what that was about. It was some weird...
KELLY: Kiddie hosts wear bow ties often.
PANTER: Maybe that was it. And later, I was to meet Pee-wee, a kids' show host with a bow tie. Maybe it was just some kind of psychic thing.
PANTER: Maybe. The character was kind of based on my friend Thomas Lambert, who was a friend of mine in college who collected my work. He died a couple of years ago of AIDS. He was a really flamboyant character, a wonderful guy. So, his personality informed that character, Jelly. This all muddies the water, doesn't it?
KELLY: Those Raw strips were more harrowing than the earlier stuff that I'd seen of yours.
PANTER: You mean the terrorist bomb stuff?
KELLY: Just the apocalyptic...
PANTER: They were always like that. That was just this theme that ran, probably from many sources, probably having to do with this fundamentalist religion, where they just talk about how everyone you know is going to burn in Hell except us. And you are too, if you sin. That's a pretty apocalyptic stage, right there, and otherwise, just... Even cars. Just thinking about them. We get around in cars, and all these people die every year in cars. There's just so many ... It's so easy to die; our lives are so short. We like them and want them to go on. It's a weird situation. So, I already had all those fears.
The apocalyptic stuff, and I guess it comes from a lot of things, but the annihilation of the Native Americans, that's something that's always with us, and I'm part Indian, so it's something...
KELLY: You're particularly conscious of?
PANTER: Yeah, because I was around Indians, hearing them speak their language, when I was a kid. And then also, we dropped nuclear weapons on Japan, and it's just something that was very abstract to us until September 11th; our mortality became more of an immediate possibility, but death, we try to immediately sweep it back under the carpet. And, so that's all. It was a mediation on Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and I felt very... I think I did some pretty drawings, but I have real mixed feelings about the overwroughtness in that type of stuff. It was a real silly thing to do, but it was something I had to do.
KELLY: You feel silly about the stuff from Raw that...
PANTER: Well, the bomb stuff. Because I could meditate on that, I could grieve, I could somehow try to apologize to Japan and try to have some understanding, but I wasn't really up to the task. It's still a comic book, and so it just comes off as some kind of hysteria. And I tried to explain that within it, like the cheap little spook-house effect, but I couldn't really escape it. So, I did my piece. I did a real bummer comic and I went on from there. But Jimbo lived.
KELLY: Do you feel like you worked it out? You certainly come back to those same themes... there's both the Native American stuff and there's Asian stuff in Cola Madnes...
PANTER: Trying to understand what it is to be a human, a finite blip in a long-lived universe and the possibility of the spirit -- those are all things that are tied together. I was really so far into Christianity and into a world where nothing else is spoken of or thought of. It was a cult, that way, to my thinking. But it took just tremendous brain power or courage or stupidity to get out of it, so a lot of those things are about disappointment or catastrophe, and they're also about interior things as well as social and historical things. Because we're just really primitive. This is still medieval times, still... The aliens aren't landing because we still eat animals and kill each other. If there's any aliens out there -- I wouldn't land here.
KELLY: Do you think there are any?
PANTER: I don't know. I think it's an extremely weird universe. I think it's a lot... It's so weird that it's really important for us to just pretend everything's normal and to just watch TV, and to hope the TV's going to come on again tomorrow. At some point, it's important to contemplate the heavy stuff. And these writers, poets, shamen are part of that... the risk-takers, in some way: OK. I'll risk going totally broke because I want to do this crazy comic, or recite this incantation, or eat this plant, or whatever, to try to have this vision. It's all part of a similar activity.
KELLY: I hadn't thought about this before, and I wanted to talk to you a little bit more about the... I saw some of the sketches you did for September 11th, when you mentioned Oklahoma a minute ago, how much did that resonate when the building was bombed there in Oklahoma?
PANTER: Oh, God, well, it's just horrible. It's at a distance, and your response is different depending on your physical or psychic distance to the catastrophe. If you have someone who works in the building then it's a lot more real to you than if you have relatives who live in the town, or if you have no one who lives in the town. I guess I think about that kind of stuff a lot, so when it happens, it's not a relief, but at least it's like, "OK. I wasn't totally paranoid. There are people out there trying to screw things up." And those are just like, to me, they're the same guys written large. When I lived in Brownsville, Texas, when I was like 5 to 8, and the little groups of kids would come by, and there'd be the smart, pachuco dudes, and then they'd let the stupid ones stir up trouble for them, and then they'd back them up to just fuck everything up. So it's always been the stupid people vs. the smart, empathetic people, and I don't ... If it's smart, empathetic people blowing up anything for a political cause, then they're not really smart. Their cause might be, perhaps in some ways, but you don't go killing civilians to achieve those ends.
KELLY: But those are two sides of two extremes and everything else... Where does the sort of masses, just the people who aren't coming from either political --
PANTER: Our fate's all in the hands of... It's great when the masses have power and a voice, but if they're just stupid, then we're doomed. So, they get the vote in Pakistan. Great. Power to the people! But if the people vote in hateful, idiotic maniacs, then what's democracy done for them? People still have to be smart and empathetic to make things work, not mixed-up zombies. That's maybe why my work's a conundrum: It's all a conundrum.
KELLY: What did you think of your co-contributors to the magazine?
PANTER: In Raw? I used to stand on the playground when I was a kid, and I had friends and everything, but I would just wonder where my peers were. I actually found a whole lot of them in Raw, so that was wonderful. It was fabulous, and it continues being really great. I'm not in touch with all those people -- I wonder where Mark Beyer is -- but I am with Charles Burns and Kaz and everybody else. I'm really lucky to have all these great friends who are interested in similar things, and we have a lot of fun.
KELLY: Well, a number of those guys, the SVA-based [School of Visual Art] guys were all here in New York at the time, and you were out in Los Angeles. I'm always interested in the formation of that whole nexus of people. Well, obviously the European people weren't over here, but, did you feel disconnected at all, or...
PANTER: No. At first, when I really liked Punk magazine and the New York stuff that I first saw [John] Holstrom and everybody in, it seemed to be more about beer, in a way, and I was more about cola. So that was the only distance I really felt from those guys. And that SVA group was a little younger, and Charles is younger. The first person I practically noticed was Savage Pencil, Edwin Pouncey, in England, and we are the same age, and on the same beam, so he was the first person, and Sue Coe. And I could see people's work popping up in illustration before I saw it in cartoons, that I felt were peers in a way. No, I was just happy to meet all those people and try to learn how to live in New York.
KELLY: You met them later on, you mean?
PANTER: Yeah, I didn't move to New York till '86, so I didn't really see those people so much. I'd come to town once a year for Raw parties and met people, communicate with people. But, I just felt excited about all the interesting cartooning being done.
KELLY: How do you look back at the legacy of that magazine and how it's affected where comics are now?
PANTER: I always felt and wished that there'd been like 20 Raw magazines. In Spain, right after Tito died, suddenly there were massive amounts of cartoon energy. And the U.S., for being such a giant country, it is kind of astounding how kind of slow and spread out everything is. The Internet puts people together sooner, now. So, that was a fantasy wish I had, but as far as Raw itself goes, I thought it was really great. Art and Françoise did this really, extremely hard and thankless job, in that, by trying to be tough editors or good editors, people got their feelings hurt -- including me, occasionally. Basically, it was great having really smart mentors, and someone who cared out there. I still really appreciate Art's point of view, and call him up and ask him for it very often.
KELLY: So, how do you think this stuff holds up now, 20 plus years later?
PANTER: I think it holds up pretty good. I think it... It's just such a conservative world. I really like the experimentation and ambition and willingness to try things that are beyond. It's kind of embodied now in Chris Ware's work. He's kind of become a one man Raw, in a way. I think it holds up pretty good.
And the French guys are still doing tons of interesting stuff. They're not doing narrative so much, just in terms of insane drawing and book making and silk screening. They're very ambitious and energetic.
KELLY: You mentioned Mark Beyer a few moments ago. I always find it kind of disappointing that you stop seeing his stuff after a while.
PANTER: The weird thing about cartooning is -- and I compare it to poetry and short-story writing -- is that the rewards are similar. There's just not many rewards for doing it. There's the personal satisfaction and the meeting people, and that's cool. But financially, it's extremely hard to do comics and justify it in any way. Anything I do in comics just totally puts me at risk of going under financially. It takes hundreds of hours to do. It's hard and takes a lot of time, and I'm sure that's what happened with Mark. I imagine he's out there drawing cartoons somewhere or painting paintings, but no one's beating his door down lauding him as the great artist that he is. And there's a lot of great artists like that. One needs to be a kind of salesman as well as a business man, and very few sensitive artists are.
The Pee-wee Years
KELLY: How did you meet Paul Reubens?
PANTER: I met him because I had some notoriety in Los Angeles, from Slash and Wet. He was a fan of my comics. I did this poster for his show and found his vision was really similar to the stuff I'd been doing with Jay Cotton and Ric Heitzman in Dallas, in our performance group Apeweek. I designed the Pee-wee stage production that became the Roxy show and that ran for maybe a year, and that was filmed for the HBO, and wrote a script for Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which didn't get made and then the TV show did. I got to design the TV show partly by accident.
KELLY: What kind of accident?
PANTER: Just that the show got sold to Broadcast Arts, a production company in New York. It was accidental that I had just moved to New York, that I was here helped.
KELLY: So you designed pretty much all the elements of the show that people are familiar with.
PANTER: I designed with a lot of people, but mainly it was Ric Heitzman and Wayne White. A lot of what you see is done by one of the three of us, most of it. And then there were people from Broadcast Arts who designed a lot of other parts of the show.
KELLY: Just a quick aside: How come Wayne White just never did more comics?
PANTER: Well, Wayne did a lot more TV shows actually, and he's really interested in puppets, so he does kind of puppet things, and he has a painting career. He did a lot of self-published comics for a while, those Geedar comics.
KELLY: I just think that one comic, the first issue of Bad News -- The Civil War Kid.
PANTER: He's like a gunslinger of drawers. Incredibly fast and has a lot of ideas. He grew up in kind of like a... I think his mother had an antique shop, so he has this incredible mental catalog of antiques and ornaments.
KELLY: So it was the three of you guys who designed the Pee-wee show.
PANTER: And people from Broadcast Arts. I put many things in place. Everything on the show came from the scripts, so the designers didn't make up characters as a rule. Clocky, that weird clock was something I made up. It wasn't in the script. That was from the stage show. And the one that was on the Saturday morning show was the one I built out of papier mâché for the stage show. The dog chair wasn't in any script. It was something I made up. And the exterior Playhouse, I drew pretty much like just in one moment; just threw the whole thing out. I had in mind, in that moment, stuff that Ric had done in college. He had done these really elaborate paper models. So when I was designing the outside of the playhouse, I knew that I was going to politic for Ric to oversee the construction of that model and it would be in that sensibility. But, say, like the big rug on the floor: Wayne did that. Tons of stuff. The murals, the cowboy and Indian murals, the wallpaper over by where Countess is. It was usually like 20-hours-a-day type stuff. So at the end of the day you just can't even talk.
KELLY: For how long a period of time, though?
PANTER: I would only work on it for about three months every year, and I would work on specials, and the rest of the time I would work with 40 toy companies that were making all kinds of products. I was like an art director or consultant for that stuff. Really, I tried to get Mark Newgarden, Kaz, J.D. King and people like that to do products. Many Underground cartoonists did Pee-wee products.
KELLY: The show earned you a bunch of Emmy nominations --
PANTER: Five nominations and three Emmy Awards. Whatever that is, it's neat. I don't think I got any work from it, or anything, but I got this self-esteem, or whatever false hope.
KELLY: But when you say you didn't get any work, do you mean illustration work, or...
PANTER: I mean TV shows. Ever since I did Pee-wee, a few times a year, I get calls from people who want me to design these gigantic things.
KELLY: I was wondering about that.
PANTER: And the projects always take millions of dollars to raise and they usually don't raise the money or they decide they don't need a designer after all. So, it's a lot of hot air, most of it. I did a playroom for the Paramount Hotel. That was fun.
KELLY: Could you just describe that a little bit?
PANTER: Well, it's kind of like Pee-wee's Playhouse, but it doesn't really have anything in it that Pee-wee's Playhouse had in it, in particular.
KELLY: It has that feeling to it, though?
PANTER: Yeah. It was this crazy, kind of acid drenched environment for the kitchen help to go smoke pot in at night. It was a tiny little bedroom. I was talking to Ian Schraeger, the owner of the hotel, and it sounded like it was going to be this giant place. But you walk in and it was this tiny bedroom. And so I had to make it look big, using mirrors and decorative painting and stuff to make it look really pretty big. I had some sculptural forms made, furniture shapes and had them covered them with stuffed animals. Like take 16 giant Sylvester dolls and eviscerate them and then apply their skins to these forms. Sylvester and Pink Panther and Tweety Bird chairs. TV sets with toys glued all over them and aquariums with toys in them. Bright color schemes. It's a project you could easily do in your house. It would take some money for the decorative paintings, unless you did it yourself, and the sculptures, but that was kind of the idea.
KELLY: Has anyone ever approached you to do their house?
PANTER: No. I would love to come and paint someone's bedroom. But they'd have to pay me a lot of money. It takes a lot of time and energy to design these things and execute them. So, call me up, but give me a lot of money.
KELLY: None of the TV pitches or pilots or whatever you call them ever got beyond the point of just the idea stage.
PANTER: Not really. Wayne and Ric stayed in Hollywood and did more TV shows. Wayne did a lot of shows.
KELLY: Which shows did he work on?
PANTER: He designed Shining Time Station and that cowboy show, Sons of the Pioneers or whatever. I can't remember.
KELLY: When you get an Emmy, are you in a ballroom wearing a tux and your name is called out...
PANTER: Well, a suit, and you go up and make a speech and they give you the thing, and you're sitting at a table with Florence Henderson and stuff. It was really neat. But it's not the same as the nighttime Emmys. It's the daytime Emmys. There's a whole lot more technical people and producers and categories...
KELLY: But the element of suspense is still there?
PANTER: Yeah. It's all still really grand and exotic. Eating breakfast at these giant tables with soap-opera stars.
KELLY: And you're hoping you're going to win...
PANTER: I wanted to win. I worked hard. I thought we did a show that was really different from anything else. Maybe there could have been better shows on that would have given us some competition, but this was kind of an idea that had been wanting to be done for a long time. Still needs to be done a lot more. There's been a lot of bad versions of it, mostly in like kids cereal commercials.
KELLY: On one level, given the sort of tastes and nature of television, are you surprised it ever even got on the air in the first place?
PANTER: Not really, because, like I felt about Matt Groening, I really felt Paul was destined to do this. He was really driven; he was really talented, much more than talented. He was really a genius with Pee-wee. He can do a lot of other kinds of things too. So he had the drive; and he also had the willingness to pay for it when other people wouldn't. I'm sure that Broadcast Arts and the other companies paid massive amounts of money to do those shows, but Paul paid for the cost overruns and for me to be a designer. It could have just been an art director with a prop shop. But there were a lot of sculptures that he got people to build.
KELLY: Are you still in contact with him?
PANTER: I talked to him a couple of days ago.
KELLY: How's he doing?
PANTER: He's doing good. He had this thing happen to him. I don't think it's over with. I think it could have turned out a lot worse. I personally advised him to just really, I don't know... I think he should come out and go on every show. I don't know what Paul's going to do, and what he really should do, but my opinion, just as someone who really likes him a lot, is that he should just come out on TV and just go, "Look. It's none of your guys' business at all, like, who I am and what my sexuality is. But since everyone seems to think it's their business, let's clear up a few things here. Paul Reubens is separate from Pee-wee." I also have a feeling this news thing that's happening, which involves Paul's art collection and his collection of magazines and erotica and stuff, is probably not any different from someone that just buys Re/Search volumes. I would hate for someone to look through my stuff and find all the wonderful letters I've gotten from Bruno Richard, of him holding a gun to his head or up his butt or something. So I'm not going to throw the letters away because I highly value them, but I don't want Ken Starr to have a look. I have a feeling that's kind of what's happened to Paul.
We wrote this movie together and it would be fun to make.
KELLY: The original Pee-wee, is that what you're talking about?
PANTER: Yeah. The one we wrote years ago, he's re-written with John Paragon, who played Jambi on the show. Their re-write of it is really funny. I always thought it was a really good movie. The ideas were appropriate for Paul.
KELLY: How different was the actual TV show from the stage show?
PANTER: It was incredibly different. The stage show didn't have an elaborate set. The set I designed for the stage show was just emblems of walls, just funny shapes painted pastelly colors. And somehow I got away with that. People thought it was really neat. When we did the TV show, we could actually texture it and dress it.
KELLY: How many years did the show run?
PANTER: I'm not even sure when it was on anymore. Late '80s, early '90s?
KELLY: Did it end before the first incident?
PANTER: It was around the same time of the first scandal. Paul had been doing Pee-wee for ten years, and he was real tired of doing it. And CBS asked him to do more shows and he said no, and then his scandal happened and then CBS said they dropped him. It coincided with him being tired of doing the character and too tired to come out and defend himself. Just wanted to take a break. It was an incredible treadmill.
Pink Donkey and Funny Garbage
KELLY: How was your experience in animation with your Pink Donkey cartoon for Cartoon Network?
PANTER: Great. My friends John Carlin, Peter Ginardi and Chris Capuozzo started a company called Funny Garbage. They signed a deal to do cartoons for the Cartoon Network Web site. They hired me and Mark Newgarden to do original programming for Cartoon Network. So, that's what I did for a couple of years. I worked at my studio, drawing and faxing them stuff. They'd say, "We need this script, or this re-write, or these characters designed or these colors designed or... " And I also got them to use my friend Jay Cotton. He was in our puppet band back in Texas. Also they hired Ric Heitzman, who was in that same puppet band, Apeweek. It was a great chance to work with Ric and get the Apeweekers back together on Pink Donkey. Ric directed the cartoons and ran the animation department. Jay did the music -- almost all of it. And it was just great. It was really, really fun. I had lots of support from people who really liked me and believed in me. And I could do it: "OK, here's the next batch." It was really fun.
KELLY: How much satisfaction did you get out of doing Pink Donkey?
PANTER: I loved doing it, because they pretty much let me run with it, and the characters really lived to me. I had just read all this Ben Jonson stuff and had the point made to me, really clearly and simply, that you can just develop the personalities and the humor of your character very strongly and then see what happens. So, with those characters, I made a great attempt to know who they were and then I could just watch them interact with each other. If someone said, "Take them to space," then the story would just kind of write itself.
Unfortunately, we didn't get to finish everything we started. Things had changed where they would say, "Write 36 episodes." I wish that we had finished the last six episodes of Pink Donkey so the viewers could have seen what happened to the Flitter Mouse and the Robot and everything.
KELLY: So, how many episodes were actually done?
PANTER: I don't know. Maybe something like 12.
KELLY: And it existed solely on CartoonNetwork.com?
PANTER: It's on the Cartoon Network Web site and FunnyGarbage.com.
KELLY: It was interesting stuff; it's cool to see the scraggly line come alive.
PANTER: I didn't really draw any of it. I just faxed them many, many, pencil drawings and then people they had there did all the [Flash] animation. They were actually tracing my drawings, but totally, the line work changed. But I think I had a lot of sympathetic cohorts there. It couldn't be a scratchy as we wanted, it because it uses up more memory to make rough lines. So it got simpler and cleaner because of that.
KELLY: But you were happy with the way it looked?
PANTER: Oh, yeah. If I'm doing my own personal thing, then I can be really testy and weird about it, but if I'm setting out to collaborate with someone, or do a commercial job for someone, I'm really just trying to move forward. If I were to start having tantrums and stuff, that just slows everything up. And my job, really, like designing a set for a TV show, is to get it going forward. I loved it. They'll sell a movie of it one day, and then I can send Pink Donkey to Mars.
KELLY: Can you see yourself ever doing another -- or would you want to -- working on another TV show?
PANTER: I would like to do that, with the right people, sure. Ideally with Paul Reubens again. I'm approached every year to do some TV show. Someone comes along; they're developing something and it just never hatches -- very seldom hatches. And that's just the way show biz is. It's a lot of nervous people trying to raise a lot of money, trying to get a lot of someone else's attention at the right time and place, and usually they don't happen. So, I've designed many, many things that haven't come about, including one really cool show. One of the closest things we nearly got to make was a Pee-wee puppet show, like Pee-wee in Space with puppets. I really wanted to do that show. Kind of a Thunderbirds-type of show. We had a development deal with Imagine Pictures but nothing came of it. That's show biz!
KELLY: Is this a case where you get paid to get it to that point? Or is it all based on a possible sale sometime down the road?
PANTER: In that case, I did, and it was because Paul insisted on it because we had gone through so many development deals where people just want to talk to you and have meetings and just nothing comes of it. I was pretty sick of it at the time, so I think he pushed for them to actually make an arrangement with me where I was getting paid to go forward with it. So, I went forward with it, but then no one ever came around and said, "OK, let's start making the puppets." Paul and I have a script that we wrote years ago that has still been in development. It would be really cool to make another Pee-wee movie. It's a good script. His re-write of it made me laugh out loud.
KELLY: Well, it'll depend on his legal problems.
PANTER: Yep. Nervous presidents of movie companies.