It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
Pee-wee is possibly the 80s’ most beloved manchild, making both kids and adults giddy with joy on the big screen and TV. Why else would so many be excited to see Paul Reubens’ character back in action with a new movie Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (now streaming on Netflix)? However, it was Pee-wee’s first foray into film, 1985’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure that produced an unlikely cameo from 80’s hair metal legends Twisted Sister.
In Tim Burton’s full-length directorial debut, Twisted Sister are in the middle of filming a music video on a Hollywood studio lot when Pee-wee comes riding through (finally reunited with his bicycle!) while being chased by security. Granted, Twisted Sister’s cartoonish appearance would make them feel right at home with the likes of Pee-wee, and they were receiving massive commercial success with hits like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock” at the time. However, the fact that Twisted Sister’s cinematic debut included them playing “Burn In Hell,” arguably one of the heaviest tracks off of Stay Hungry, is straight up awesome.
As it turns out, Reubens first met Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider backstage at MTV New Year’s party back in 1984. “I was a fan of his because Pee-Wee was not a children’s performer initially. He was playing the college circuit like most comedians,” Snider recalled in a past interview. “So when Twisted wound up in March in L.A., he was filming Pee-wee’s Big Adventure… So he asked me if we would be interested in doing a cameo. We were doing six nights at the Long Beach Arena with Iron Maiden and so we were like, ‘hell yeah, it’d be fun, man.’ It was an incredible experience to see film making at that level, and it gave me the bug to start writing screenplays and things like that and, I guess, led to the point where I wrote a musical.”
Twisted Sister recently became the subject of their own documentary, We Are Twisted F—ing Sister (out now on DVD/Blu Ray), while also preparing to embark on one last tour. For now, relive the moment that Pee-wee Herman interrupted a Twisted Sister video shoot in the clip below.