Yesterday brought the tragic news that character actor Lou Cutell had passed away at the age of 91. With over five decades of credits to his name, Cutell was best known to many for his appearances on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld (where he played the proctologist with the "ASSMAN" license plate), and Grey's Anatomy. To a certain generation of film fan however, Cutell was instantly recognizable for his brief appearance in the 1985 hit comedy, Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Though Cutell has no lines, his presence alone sparks laughter from fans after his appearance and his name, The Amazing Larry, are called out by Pee-wee.
To pay tribute to the late actor, Paul Reubens' used the official Pee-wee Herman Twitter account to honor Cutell and his part in the film, writing in a series of tweets about his admiration for Cutell as well as his place in the Pee-wee family. "Lou Cutell, the actor who played The Amazing Larry in "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," passed away on Sunday. During a career that spanned well over fifty years, he acted in an extraordinary number of diverse movies and television shows...Besides my own film, my favorite thing Lou acted in was when he played an alien doctor in 1965's 'Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster.' In real life, he was wonderful-sweet, caring and unassuming. He was also slyly and wickedly funny.
Lou Cutell, the actor who played The Amazing Larry in "Pee-wee’s Big Adventure," passed away on Sunday. During a career that spanned well over fifty years, he acted in an extraordinary number of diverse movies and television shows. (thread) pic.twitter.com/kDvGJmdMu6— Pee-wee Herman (@peeweeherman) November 24, 2021
He continues, "Toward the beginning of 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure,' there was a scene in Mario's Magic Shop that was cut from the finished movie where Lou, as The Amazing Larry, is working on a levitating toupee trick. A little later, when I'm unraveling in my basement and yell at Lou 'Is this something you can share with the rest of us, Amazing Larry?!' the movie studio told Tim Burton and I that it would have to also be cut because no one knew who Amazing Larry was. I assured them that it would stand alone as a joke-that between him being busted for whispering during a very tense scene, a middle-aged man with a rainbow mohawk, and being named Amazing Larry, the audience would laugh."
Reubens' added that: "Lou was surrounded by family who loved him when he passed. A couple of days before, I was lucky enough to be able to tell him how much he meant to me and that I'd never forget him. It's obvious and corny to say, but nevertheless true: he was amazing."
Many fans of Reubens' and the Pee-wee movies replied to his revelation about the backstory of "Amazing Larry" that Cutell's part is among their favorite in the movie, one wrote: "I did not know the backstory about Amazing Larry, I assumed it was just master world building that there would be someone named Amazing Larry in Pee Wee's circle of friends. I have said this line thousands of times. Now I will think of him the next 1000 times I say it."
You can watch Cutell's brief scene as Amazing Larry in the player above.