Pee-wee Herman from the Playhouse, meet Mike LaFontaine from A Mighty Wind.
Fred Willard was arrested for lewd conduct last night at the Tiki Theater in Hollywood. Police allegedly caught the 78-year-old actor with his pants down– literally– in an adult movie theater, junk in hand.
And now, let us commence with the fun reporting…
It was a quick release. TMZ reports that he got full release from police custody shortly after his arrest.
On Twitter, Betty F*ckin’ White said the following:
Fred Willard was arrested for masturbating in a movie theater. That is the best review of "The Dark Knight Rises" so far.
— Betty F*ckin' White (@BettyFckinWhite) July 19, 2012
Great line, sadly untrue. Nor was this a revival house showing Free Willy. The movies in rotation at the Tiki Theater were Follow Me 2 and Step Dad No. 2.
What’s Willard working on right now? According to IMDB, he is “rumored” to be in pre-production for a movie entitled The Yank.
No, we don’t make this stuff up. And no, the Pee-wee reference isn’t simply because Paul Rubens– the actor who created Pee-wee Herman, the character’s many movies, and the Saturday Morning Show Pee-wee’s Playhouse– who was arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater back in 1991. Following his arrest, Rubens and Pee-wee basically vanished from the public eye, ending a very successful career that only recently saw a resurrection.
Willard has a very vast acting career that includes numerous family films and TV shows, but he also thrives in more adult comedy roles so there’s no telling how this incident will impact his work. It is interesting to note, however, that in the social media world there isn’t such shock and horror as there was in Pee-wee / Ruben’s time. Indeed, there seems to be more amusement about Willard’s incident. It’s almost as if no one cares because it happened within an adult theater and society is less surprised than before.
Was this illegal? By local laws, sure. But will this be the end of Willard’s career? Only time will tell. But in case you’re curious, here are a bunch of our favorite tweets about the event.
i'm just proud fred willard can still commit a lewd act at his age respect bro
— lauren ashley bishop (@sbellelauren) July 19, 2012
Am I the only one who likes Fred Willard more because of this?
— grahamclark (@grahamclark) July 19, 2012
I love Fred Willard. He's a great guy. For his birthday I'm getting him a den and a computer.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) July 19, 2012
I like any day when Mayim Bialik is nominated for an Emmy and Fred Willard is arrested for masturbating. Congrats to you both.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) July 19, 2012
Fred Willard has given the rest of us so much pleasure, why shouldn't he give himself some?
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) July 19, 2012
Fred Willard has become the most extreme example of those old people not knowing how computers work 🙁
— Sarah Thyre (@SarahThyre) July 19, 2012
"American Wedding" is still the worst thing Fred Willard's done in a theater.
— Chase Mitchell (@ChaseMit) July 19, 2012
What were you thinking?
PeeWee Herman#Fred Willard
— Ian Auzenne (@iauzenne) July 19, 2012
Photo: Getty Images