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Paul Reubens Plays an Insane Race Car Driver in TV On The Radio’s ‘Happy Idiot’ Video

A ghostly Karen Gillan haunts Pee Wee Herman too

Brooklyn quartet TV On The Radio just released the video for their new song “Happy Idiot,” and it’s a doozy. Paul Reubens, best known for his work as Pee Wee Herman, plays “Racer Steven,” a washed-up race car driver who might just be losing it. As he drives through the desert with his car called “Sky Blue,” Reubens is haunted by visions of Guardians of The Galaxy star Karen Gillan and the members of TV On The Radio. He’s trying to drive away his troubles, but he can’t escape this dancing, redheaded specter. Still, if you have to go insane behind the wheel, seeing Karen Gillan everywhere probably isn’t the worst way to go.

The band’s frontman Tunde Adebimpe released a statement about snagging Reubens for the video, which was released by Funny or Die.

I had this idea for the video that I thought would never happen, of Paul Reubens as a race car driver who slowly loses his mind. I took it to Funny or Die and they said, ‘That’s great, let’s go for that.'”

I got to speak with him over the phone about doing it and, in between being blindingly nervous that I was actually talking to an actor who had shaped a LOT of my world view and trying not to freak him out by saying so, he mentioned that he’s been a fan of the band for awhile. He liked the idea, and, somehow, here we are with Paul as a race car driver losing his mind.

Karen Gillan was absolutely great. We were really psyched to work with her, because she’s basically sci-fi royalty, and a great person. Full on geek fest in the desert.

It was really fun to do, love how it came out. I think our fans will like it. I hope so. The cool ones will anyway. The rest can suck it. I don’t exactly know what ‘it’ is. But they can find it. And they can suck it.

TV On The Radio’s fifth studio album, Seeds, comes out November 18. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of Racer Steven’s adventures soon.