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upworthy
Pop Culture

Paul 'Pee-Wee Herman' Reubens went above and beyond to help a fan going through divorce

"Shockingly, he responded with an inspirational message and asked me for my phone number."

paul reubens, pee-wee herman, mario alejandro

Paul Reubens at the premiere of "Pee-Wee's Big Holiday" and "Pee-Wee Herman" at the 60th Academy Awards.

One of the interesting things that has happened in the social media era is that after someone notable dies, some people come forward with stories about their generosity that no one has heard before. It’s especially common for those who used their fame to spread love and kindness.

One person who did that was Paul Reubens, the beloved comedian and actor best known for creating the Pee-Wee Herman character. Reubens died on July 30 after a six-year secret battle with cancer.

In the wake of his death, Mario Alejandro shared how Reubens reached out to him during a difficult time for himself and his daughter. Alejandro’s story has been seen over 5.4 million times on X (formerly known as Twitter).


Alejandro is a baseball card historian and writer for Wax Haven and Junk Wax Treasure Hunter.

“In 2013, I was going through a nasty divorce and bitter custody battle,” he wrote on Twitter. "My ex-wife took our home, and I had to move into a motel temporarily. To make matters worse, she wouldn’t let me see our daughter except once a weekend in exchange for ‘child support,’”

“During those weekends, I spent every waking minute taking my daughter all over Sarasota, never knowing when I’d be able to see her again,” he continued. “At nights, we’d binge on #PeeWeeHerman for months until she became the world’s youngest Pee-Wee fan.”

After his divorce was finalized, Alejandro gained full custody of his daughter, and he reached out to Reubens to thank him for helping them through such a tough time. Alejandro was shocked when Reubens responded by asking him for his phone number.

“The next day, Paul called, and we talked for 10 minutes about the divorce, my job, my daughter, and of course, his amazing work. He asked me to save his number and to call him next month as he was going out of town for a few weeks,” his story continued.

A month later, Reubens invited Alejandro and his daughter to his home in Sarasota, Florida. Reubens showed them props from his TV shows and movies and fed them juice and snacks by his private lake. Reubens told them that he built his home for his mother, who was at the house at the time, and he loved showing off all the ducks and birds on the property.

“The entire visit was extremely wholesome,” Alejandro said.

“We didn't want to overstay our welcome so we left within the hour, but I will never forget the day my daughter and I got to hang out with the person who showed us just how fun even the most mundane activities could be with a little imagination,” Alejandro said.

Alejandro wishes he had a photo of the day he and his daughter hung out with Reubens, but he didn’t ask for a picture during their time together because he didn’t want to be rude.

This wasn’t the only story to come out about Reubens's genuine kindness after his death. Writer Todd Spence shared how Reubens was incredibly kind to a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” employee and invited him over to his home.

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Christie Werts and her son, Levi


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"I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters."

A photo of Jordan Anderson.

In 1825, at the approximate age of 8, Jordan Anderson (sometimes spelled "Jordon") was sold into slavery and would live as a servant of the Anderson family for 39 years. In 1864, the Union Army camped out on the Anderson plantation and he and his wife, Amanda, were liberated. The couple eventually made it safely to Dayton, Ohio, where, in July 1865, Jordan received a letter from his former owner, Colonel P.H. Anderson. The letter kindly asked Jordan to return to work on the plantation because it had fallen into disarray during the war.

On Aug. 7, 1865, Jordan dictated his response through his new boss, Valentine Winters, and it was published in the Cincinnati Commercial. The letter, entitled "Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master," was not only hilarious, but it showed compassion, defiance, and dignity. That year, the letter would be republished in theNew York Daily Tribune and Lydia Marie Child's "The Freedman's Book."

The letter mentions a "Miss Mary" (Col. Anderson's Wife), "Martha" (Col. Anderson's daughter), Henry (most likely Col. Anderson's son), and George Carter (a local carpenter).

Dayton, Ohio,
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

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