Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Little Bit Stranger and a Little Bit Better

What is it that makes a superhero? Is it muscles of steel? The ability to see through brick walls? To turn yourself into a human butane torch? Or is it small, like with Artie—a way of looking at the world and making everything a little bit stranger and a little bit better. -Big Pete (Farewell, My Little Viking: Part 2)

If you asked me to pick my absolute favorite show of all time, The Adventures of Pete and Pete would be a top contender.  The series aired from 1993-1996, when I was in 5th - 7th grade.  It was right around that time that my peers started to become more concerned about being "popular," when I had to make a decision: Try to suppress the weirdness and fit in, or embrace my eccentricities in the hopes that I'd one day find a group of wonderfully bizarre friends, just like Little Pete had. 

Oddly enough, not too long after the show ended its run was when I started to hang out with the people who would become some of my best friends in high school, and many of those friendships endured to this day (heck, I even wound up marrying one of them!).  Amazingly enough, I found an equally weird and wonderful group of people in college as well.  I didn't realize it until fairly recently, but that show was instrumental in reminding me that it was ok to be a little bit odd, and without it I may not have formed such amazing friendships. 

Now on to the REALLY cool part of this post:  About a month ago I wrote about how excited I was to find video of the Pete & Pete reunion that happened in LA back in November.  Well, within days of writing that post, I found out that a second reunion was planned in NYC on February 24!  By the time I found out about it, the show was already sold out, but I was one of the suckers who decided it was worth it to spend triple the face value of the (originally pretty cheap, thank goodness!) tickets on StubHub. 

Totally worth it.  Glen and I got there really early and were right at the beginning of the line.  That meant we were right up front for the panel, which began with a performance by none other than The Blowholes!

Marshall Crenshaw (the meterman) and Syd Straw (Miss Fingerwood) joined Little Pete (Danny Tamberelli) in playing the show's theme song, "Hey Sandy," as well as "Waiting for October."  So amazing! (Click the links on the song titles to see the actual performances - some folks uploaded video from the reunion to YouTube!)

I tried to get a shot of the whole cast and crew, but we were so close that I couldn't fit everyone in:

Hardy Rawls, Chris Viscardi, Danny Tamberelli, Michael Maronna, Will McRobb, Toby Huss (Artie!!!) and Katherine Dieckmann
Hands down, one of my favorite moments of the night was when Hardy Rawls unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a t-shirt he wore in "Farewell, My Little Viking":

Judy Grafe, Hardy Rawls, Chris Viscardi, Danny Tamberelli

And here's Toby Huss, presumably discussing some aspect of the character of Artie that would have scarred me for life if I'd heard it when I was a kid:

Michael Maronna, Will McRobb, Toby Huss, Katherine Dieckmann, Alison Fanelli
I managed to get a video of one of my other favorite moments of the night.  After the panel was over, The Blowholes came out to play a couple more songs, and they ended the night with "Summerbaby," the song from Hard Day's Pete:

I also got a few autographs.  Sadly, neither of the Petes signed my DVD, but I got their "parents" to sign it!

I also got autographs from Alison Fanelli, Will McRobb and Syd Straw:

The only thing that could have possibly made the evening better is if they'd served Orange Lazarus to the crowd. ;-)

Any other Pete and Pete fans out there?  What were your favorite episodes?  I don't think I could pick a current favorite, every time I try to decide I think of another amazing episode.  But during the show's original run I think I would have gone with "Sick Day," for no better reason than my amusement at Little Pete spending an entire episode with a marshmallow shaped like President Eisenhower up his nose. ;-)


  1. Wow. I mean I knew you liked this show but wow :)

  2. That must have been a very exciting night. :) I watched Pete and Pete occasionally, but I think it was slightly before my prime-tv-watching-era as a kid. I remember Danny Tamborelli from some other Nickelodeon shows, though! I was just wondering what happened to him a few days ago. Crazy!!

  3. I am so jealous right now!!

    I watched that reunion video you posted before, this looks so much more spectacular. Glad you had wonderful night. I actually just got the second season DVD in the mail. My kids absolutely love this show, I am so proud.

  4. wow I'm from Mexico and my favorite show of all time it's the adventures of Pete and Pete I love it! that show was my childhood, here the show was transmited on Nickelodeon from 95 to 99 at 1pm,I still remember the schedule, and later in the early 00's in an university channel, be a weirdo was right!, when I was a kid I played with my friends to say names of the characters faster and say lines from the episodes, of course in Spanish, but I think the translation was good, they said words that you don't expect hear in a children's show,
    now I'm studying English and I helped me watching the episodes of Pete and Pete, am I doing right? well it's good to know that there much people that the show has touched their lives and specially their childhood.
    I'd like assist one day to one of that reunions, pure nostalgia really, I think I will cry to see my heroes of my childhood, well thats all regards from Mexico.

  5. Magnificent. Color me five shades of jealous you got to see Ellen after all these years. She disappeared, always wondered what happened to her.


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