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In the 1986 film Flight of the Navigator, the ship's computer, Max, is voiced by Paul Reubens. Reubens was not credited by name, but rather under the pseudonym "Paul Mall".

Why is Reubens credited as "Paul Mall" in this film, but not in any of his other roles? It couldn't have been a result of his well-publicized arrest for public indecency, as that didn't occur until 1991. I also doubt that he was trying to maintain separate identities for his live-action and voice acting careers, since all his other voice work is done under his usual name. Reubens was already a moderate star by 1986, so wouldn't it have been to the filmmakers' benefit to openly promote, or at least credit, his involvement in the film?

Have Reubens or the filmmakers given any explanation for the use of the pseudonym?

  • Reubens was also the voice of Rex, the pilot droid in the original Star Tours ride. Perhaps he didn't want to be typecast. – John Sensebe May 5 '16 at 17:09
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    The man had been playing Pee Wee Herman since 1977, which by 1986 was his only notable role. A prominent credit for a non-Pee Wee role could only have helped him avoid typecasting. – Psychonaut May 6 '16 at 9:01
  • NOT! (Sorry. Couldn't resist.) His voices in both those productions (especially Navigator) were very Pee-Wee-like. Maybe that had something to do with it. If REX's voice were less like Pee Wee's, maybe he would have used his real name. Personally, I think the public indecency incident (three time fast!) was somewhat staged to break him out of the Pee Wee role. – John Sensebe May 6 '16 at 13:57
  • @Psychonaut - it only helps him to break typecasting if people are able to listen to it without first forming assumptions. So, he hides his name, people hear it without thinking "Pee-Wee," hopefully feel he did a decent job. Especially for casting, studios are horrible for any non-standard, non-formula thinking. If people find out much later, then the typecasting is broken. If they know going in, then assumptions could ruin the opportunity to break out of that. – PoloHoleSet Sep 19 '16 at 20:43
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    @rtaft, that's the Pee Wee Herman Twitter account. Even if Reubens himself is the one operating it, I doubt he is going to break character to answer a question about his career. – Psychonaut Sep 29 '16 at 15:29
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According to the film's director Randal Kleiser, Paul Reubens wanted to remain "low key" and have his appearance in the film be a surprise to fans. Note that at this point in his career, Reubens was exclusively acting as Herman and even giving interviews in character so appearing in a film as Reubens was a pretty big deal for him.

One big surprise for 1986 audiences was the voice of MAX, the ship’s computer: Paul Reubens, who had already become a movie star in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. In Flight, he used the pseudonym “Paul Mall” in the credits. Kleiser explains: “Paul did not want to have his name used in this project because he wanted to stay low key and have it be a surprise. Kind of like Matt Damon in Interstellar.”

DID YOU KNOW? SURPRISING FACTS FROM THE CULT FAVORITE ... FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR

As you can see from this Australian DVD, Disney seem more than happy to confirm his appearance in the film now that Reubens has rehabilitated his career.

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