When I think of weird I think of two things, plungers and the television show Pete & Pete. Plungers are weird because a lot of science had to go into making them. It must mean there was a good few years when toilets existed and plungers didn’t. You don’t just clog a toilet then know how to unclog it. I’m not even sure how long toilets have been around. Weren’t they invented in the 1950s? For argument’s sake, Teddy Roosevelt never used a proper toilet, he used a bush and he wiped with teddy bears. Plungers aside for the moment, I would like to focus my attention on something more topical to this blog, The Adventures of Pete & Pete.
(ALL 8 episodes? How did they manage to fit so many into one season? Kids are so dumb they never notice reruns)
This show aired on Nickelodeon around the mid-90s. It starred two redheaded brothers, Pete Wrigley and Pete Wrigley. I don’t think they ever gave an explanation as to why they had the same name but calling the show Pete & Frank doesn’t have the same pitch to it.
Big Pete and Little Pete lived in a world similar to mine. Everyone around them is incredibly whacky and they were always getting into adventures. Their mom had a metal plate in her head, their dad liked lawnmowers, and Little Pete’s best friend was a super hero known as Artie: The Strongest Man in the World. Artie was played by Toby Huss who admittedly is in my top 3 actors of all-time. I’m even Facebook friends with the real guy because he has incredible taste when it comes to whom to accept friend requests from.
(Proof I’m friends with a celebrity, at least on Facebook)
The Petes also had many friends. Their friends were a black kid who appeared in one episode sliding down a hill on a giant ice cube, the fat kid from Heavyweights, Michelle Trachtenberg who later went on to become Harriet the Spy who was mothered by Rosie O’Donnell (I don’t mean to scare you), and Big Pete’s crush named Ellen. I used to always be grossed out by Ellen. Watching the show again like I did a year or two ago I see what Big Pete liked. She’s friendly, cute in a nerdy way, and she puts up with all the wackiness in his life. I can’t even find a girl to ignore my bedwetting. Somehow Ellen put-up with all the nonsense in Big Pete’s life.
As with any show, the villains make things better. In the originally aired pilot which I believe premiered during the Super Bowl half-time show on Nickelodeon (I am such a nerd for knowing that) the main bad guy is a kid named Open Face. He is a messy-dressed ginger who eats open-faced sandwiches. He has a crew of other booger-pickers and smelly children who all never appear again. Little Pete’s biggest rivals usually were authority figures such as his parents are musician Iggy Pop who I guess realized kids these days wouldn’t take a starving old man serious as a musician.
(Dude, lust for a sandwich)
The best bad guy and most consistent was Endless Mike Hellstrom. Played by Rick Gomez, the main antagonist of the series was Endless Mike. You may also remember Rick Gomez as the best character after Malarky on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He was the real wise ass with the mole on his face, a mole he had while on Pete & Pete so we know it’s probably not cancerous. Endless Mike did a lot of horrible things such as trying to get Big Pete to break a pumpkin on Halloween and rudely calling Big Pete “Wrigley” in an antagonizing voice. I don’t know about you but the bullies in my school were much meaner. I saw one eat a kid.
Unfortunately, or fortunately if you are a Communist who hates everyone, only the first two seasons ever made it to DVD. Anything that happened in Season 3 is completely lost to me and I have to wonder, what happened to those brothers? In real life the actor who played Big Pete failed his senior year of high school because he was too busy filming. Little Pete got really fat. Superhero Artie went on to make appearances in the most underrated TV show ever Carnivale among others. The saddest episode was the one where Artie left. Seeing as Toby Huss had one of the better careers from the cast on the show, he probably didn’t cry as much about the decision as I did.