Pee-wee Herman Is Off to the Races in TV on the Radio's 'Happy Idiot' Video


TV on the Radio are known for taking themselves pretty seriously, but highbrow as they are, they want you to know they’ve got a sense of humor, too. Debuting your new music video with Funny Or Die and enlisting Pee-wee Herman will help with that.

The Speed Racer-referencing video for “Happy Idiot” stars Paul Reubens (of Pee-wee Herman fame) as a delusional racecar driver who just “wants them to know me as the man who went fast enough.” The Danny Jelinek-directed video also stars Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy) as the object of many of his desert speedway hallucinations.

TVOTR’s Tunde Adebimpe came up with the idea and says he was “blindingly nervous” to pitch it to Reubens (he says the actor has shaped “a lot” of his worldview).

But in the end, the actor and Funny Or Die were down to make it happen. In a statement, he calls Gillan “sci-fi royalty” and calls the shoot a “full-on geek fest in the desert.”

TV on the Radio Drops New Song, Shares Tour Dates & 'Seeds' Release Date

The entrancing rocker “Happy Idiot” comes from TV on the Radio’s new studio set Seeds, their first since 2011’s Nine Types of Light. It drops Nov. 18 via Harvest.

Let’s hope Morrissey hasn’t noticed that the label that supposedly wouldn’t grant him a video is going all out for another artist.