This past Friday, the creators and cast (sans Michelle Trachtenberg, alas) of “The Adventures of Pete and Pete,” the beloved Nickelodeon show that ran from 1993-1996, reunited at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom. We usually don’t cover Nick shows here at Warming Glow, with good reason: they’re for children, they’re loud and mindless, and they treat viewers like idiots. But “Pete and Pete” did none of that, and that’s why it’s a rare piece of non-ironic nostalgia that actually gets better the older you are. It was a kids’ show for adults.
One of the creators of “Pete and Pete,” Will McRobb, said at the A.V. Club-sponsored event that his goal was to make a kids' show that was “funny, sad, weird, and beautiful,” not exactly the ambitions of a “Hannah Montana” or “High School Musical,” which exist solely to sell merchandise. That probably explains why the little-watched, oddball series was able to get so many amazing guest stars, like Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, LL Cool J (when he was still relevant), J.K. Simmons, and Michael Stipe, among many others.
(Also, after the show, I saw Mark Boone Junior, aka Bobby Munson from “Sons of Anarchy,” wandering around, looking more than a little lost. Turns out, he appeared in one episode of “Pete and Pete” back in 1996, and I guess he was trying to head backstage. I wanted to touch his bushy beard, but somehow restrained myself.)
I was at the event, with photographer Nadia Chaudhury, who took a bunch of perty pictures, and here are some of the highlights.
I bet Big Pete (Mike Maronna) got SO much tail that night.
/refuses to make another “BIG Pete” joke
In arguably the show’s best episode, “Hard Day’s Pete,” Little Pete (Danny Tamberelli) forms a garage (literally) band called the Blowholes, whose other members include guitarist Marshall Crenshaw (he penned the title track to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) and singer Syd Straw. The band “reunited” at the reunion, and played “Hey Sandy,” originally performed by the much-beloved Polaris as the show’s theme, among other songs.
Creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi. Their other writing credits…not nearly as good as “Pete and Pete,” unless you think Snow Day or Alvin and the Chipmunks movie were underappreciated masterpieces.
(They are not.)
Toby Huss, who played Artie, the Strongest Man…in the World. He’s insane, in the best way possible. Imagine a person fueled by tobacco, Red Bulls, cocaine, and poop jokes, and you’ve got a representation of what Toby’s like in person. (He’s also the voice of Kahn and Cotton on “King of the Hill” and played Big Mike on “Reno 911!”) One of the highlights of the night was when Viscardi told the crowd about the time a shirtless Toby put on the Mr. Tastee head and mimed getting his di*k stuck in a gas tank. I want to be his friend.
Alison Fanelli, who played Ellen Hickle. Unsurprisingly, the reunion show crowd was packed with white males in their 20s (like me…don’t worry, I hate myself more than you ever could), and I think I speak for all of us when I say: I’m glad she’s still girl-next-door pretty. There’s nothing – NOTHING – worse than a childhood crush who grows up to be unattractive. I’m (not) looking at you, Danny Bonaduce.
Here is a picture of Daddy Pete, played by the wonderfully-named Hardy Rawls, wearing a shirt with Artie on it. That is all.
Big Pete eyesexin' my fiancée. Turns out she has a very-unique fetish for the cast of Slackers, so this worked out well in her favor. You’re next, Devon Sawa.
The Wrigleys +1. No, Little Pete does not still have the Petunia tattoo, and yes, he’s tired of drunk idiots demanding he show it to them.
Little Pete plays bass professionally now, for the band Jounce. If you look at the bottom of his instrument, you can see a signature…from Iggy Pop. Turns out the Stooges’ frontman taught Little Pete how to play the bass while he was filming his cameo. That might have been my favorite story of the night.
(Our hopeful next event, BTW: a live script reading of “Bob’s Burgers” with the entire cast, including Mr. Archer himself, H. Jon Benjamin.)