The Adventures Of Pete And Pete started as a promotional short in the early ’90s on Nickelodeon. After establishing favorable buzz, the show evolved into two, one-hour specials, and eventually bumped it up to series status. It was hip when “hipster” wasn’t even a thing. Penetrating the cynical mindset that permeated Generation X and happily rearing the more malleable minds of the Y Generation was no problem for this truly unique project. Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi, the show’s creators, understood there was an audience for “weird,” even in youth culture at the time.
Pete and Pete was canceled in 1996, but — thanks to the internet — those of us endeared to the eccentric show were able to connect with a group of fans who shared our taste. I could get into the surreal subject matter, and what drew me in as a viewer, but I think the show’s guest actor list does a lot better job at explaining that:
- Steve Buscemi – This legend plays Ellen’s father in a two-episode arc.
- Chris Elliott – Chris Elliott is a psychic meterman in “Sickday”.
- Gordon Gano – Violent Femme frontman and songwriter, Gordon Gano plays a teacher of all things.
- Janeane Garofalo – Janeane Garofalo is an English teacher at older Pete’s high school.
- Patty Hearst – That’s right: the newspaper heiress, socialite, convicted bank robber Patty Hearst plays a mom in one episode.
- Ann Magnuson – She was in Bongwater, man! In Pete, she plays a postal carrier who accidentally seduced the younger Pete.
- Iggy Pop – In a couple of episodes, Iggy played Nona’s father, James Mecklenberg.
- Adam West – The original Batman plays the principal at Pete’s junior high school in another two-episode stint.
- And of course, Michael Stipe played a Gortons-style fisherman in one episode
Over the years, after fan sites started popping up and DVD sales took off, it became obvious there was still an audience for Pete and Pete, so the cast reunited for an SF Sketchfest, and that sort of brings us to today:
Danny Tamberelli (Little Pete) and Michael Maronna (Big Pete) — via Feral Audio — bring us The Adventures of Danny and Mike. It’s kind of a reality podcast – or maybe destination podcasting is a better way to put it. They guest bartend; they manage ice cream trucks. It’s like Celebrity Apprentice with more cache, and fewer hair systems. You get the idea.
Comedian Kurt Braunohler, of Bunk fame was on the first episode.
In episode two, Mike and Danny go on a ghost-hunting expedition. They bring on guests, and talk Grand Theft Auto. It’s a little all over the place, and less of a tribute to the show’s namesake than the title would lead you to believe. But I would hope fans understand the divergence.
It’s certainly worth a listen. If only to hear these two old friends pick up the dialogue that ended for most of us almost twenty years ago.