Ben Stiller and Paul Reubens

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Ben Stiller and Paul Reubens

The quiet Men

Since starring in There's Something About Mary, Ben Stiller has gone from a marginally famous actor, writer, comedian, and director appreciated by a loyal group of fans to an almost universally recognized celebrity. For reasons widely reported elsewhere, the multi-talented Paul Reubens, best known as the creator of Pee-Wee Herman, has no reason to look forward to talking to the media. Paired together, the two recently spoke to The Onion at a press junket promoting their new film Mystery Men, in which they play misfit superheroes along with William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, and others.

Other Reporter: What's a superpower that you'd really like to have?

Ben Stiller: The power not to do press junkets.

The Onion: What's the worst part of the press-junket process?

BS: I don't know. Everybody's very nice, but there's something very strange, and I think it's hard for everybody. You guys have to do the same thing every weekend. We have to do the same thing every time a movie comes out. I know what you're going to ask [and] what we're going to say. If I'm saying something that you don't think I'm going to say, usually it's something I shouldn't be saying.

Paul Reubens: I don't do that many press junkets.

BS: You're smart.

PR: This is the first one I've done in a long time, and the first one I've done as myself.

O: Are you still working on a television series?

PR: No. That television series is going to become a feature film. It's called Meet The Muckles. It's kind of inspired by You Can't Take It With You. I don't have a deal with a producer yet.

O: Were you [Reubens, who plays a character with the power to produce superhuman farts] afraid that you wouldn't be able to bring anything new to the fart joke, that perhaps it had been exhausted over the years?

PR: No. I did spend a day farting in Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush's face. People would say, "What did you do today?" And...

BS: The costume designer was really brilliant with the way she designed his outfit with tassels on the back. You could actually see the release of air.