This is me when I was 12. I was happy, but things, including the mustard/purple tortoiseshell combination on my gigantic glasses, were complicated.
Thankfully, a couple of young writers wanted to make a kids' tv show that spoke to sensitive, precocious nerdlets like me, and against all odds, Nickelodeon let them put it on the air. If you're not between the ages of 27-35, let me school you. The Adventures of Pete & Pete was a show about two red-headed brothers, both named Pete, and their lives in the fictional suburb of Wellsville. It had the most ridiculously perfect indie rock soundtrack and score, thanks to musician Mark Mulcahy, and featured guest stars like Michael Stipe, Steve Buscemi, Adam West, and Debbie Harry. Like a less maudlin Wonder Years and a way goofier Freaks and Geeks, Pete & Pete was hands down the best thing that came out of the 90's, and I'm including Hypercolor in that proclamation.
I think sincerity was the key to the show's popularity with my demographic; while quirk for quirk's sake was a huge part of the show (a squid as school mascot, an existential bus driver, the intoxicating sports beverage Orange Lazarus, and of course, Artie, The Strongest Man in the World), the ever-present undercurrents of deep sadness that children often feel gave Pete & Pete a depth that I understood even then.
Then, of course, there was big Pete.
TV crushes are serious business when you've only been exposed to the same fifteen boys since preschool (thanks, Catholic school!), and I spent a good deal of time fantasizing about the grand times I could have with Big Pete if only we could somehow meet. It was awesome, and way more satisfying than my earlier crush on Dr. Doogie Howser. I would also like to plac blame on Big Pete 99% for the three dates I had with a sociopathic goober, initially drawn in by his Pete-esque auburn mop.
Anyway, what I'm saying is that I never stopped loving the hell out of Pete & Pete, especially now that I'm a grown-up writer who can appreciate the detail and skill that went into its creation even more. So I was super stoked to get my own red-headed little brother and I tickets to see the Pete & Pete 20th Anniversary Reunion Show, which happened last night thanks to the always awesome SF Sketchfest.
|showing choice scenes before the show began|
It was a packed house, and while I was a little nervous about how they were going to fill two hours, it just couldn't have been more perfect. Everyone was so gracious, funny, and seemed just as nostalgic as the audience. Mark Mulcahy, who I now adore even more, sang a bunch of songs from the show, and he and Toby Huss (Artie AND the voice of Kahn Supanousinphone on my other favorite show, King of the Hill!) just shredded my soul with a duet. Mixing a kids' show with the saddest, most heartbreakingly hopeful music was the best idea anyone ever had.
|pic snaked from Toby Huss' Twitter|
The Petes were lovely, Endless Mike was there, and the special guest players were some of my favorites from the Sketchfest pool of usual suspects, James Urbaniak, Paget Brewster, Doug Benson, and Colin Hanks. Paget Brewster did the most spot-on Miss Fingerwood impression and now I want her to be my best friend.
Oh, and I meant to have this little number completed by the night of the show so I could give it to someone or something, but now it's done and will have to live here at my house.
It was the best show ever, and the best night ever. Thanks for the memories!