One of the most memorable Nickelodeon shows from the ’90s was The Adventures of Pete & Pete, about two redheaded brothers with the same name, their mom with a plate in their head, and the world’s strongest man, Artie. Pete & Pete made it into Nick’s The ’90s Are All That resurrection on TeenNick, but here’s another treat: The cast and crew of the show had a mini reunion at LA’s Cinefamily last weekend!
Co-creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi discussed how the show — which ran for three seasons — started out as a bevy of sixty-second short films. They were irreverent from the start, yet at the time they had the freedom to make the show for themselves with no expectation of, and no way of checking if, people were actually watching. Also in attendance were stars Mike Maronna and Danny Tamberelli, who shared on-set stories. We’ve included the two videos below, but here are our favorite quotes from the reunion.
1. McRobb on giving Nickelodeon’s viewers the kinds of stories they would tell their friends:
“I think originally the show began as sixty-second commercials for Nickelodeon, and the idea at the time was just to capture what it was to be a kid from a certain perspective. If you’ve seen the sixty, you know this is storytelling, the way kids tell stories, just completely stream of consciousness, works within its own logic and it goes by really fast and you don’t even remember half of it because there are just so many details.”
2. Considering that the show aired in the mid-90s, we get why the creators were so excited when they discovered they had an Internet presence.McRobb says,
“I remember we found a website for the show and were all, ‘Really? That’s fantastic!’ [Then they said,] ‘Yeah, there’s also a website for Big Gulp.’ I guess that puts it in perspective for you.”
3. Viscardi reflected on their first time shooting with Danny Tamberelli, where the last shot of one of the films required him to be buried up to his neck in the backyard and bark out, “Where’s my money?” As he explains,
“The time comes… He’s not saying anything. When you shoot on-location, you have to deal with a plane flying overhead [while] the kid’s in the hole, his parents are waiting, the kid’s in the hole, clouds come over, we’re pacing, the kid’s in the hole. We start shooting, and Danny says his line, ‘Where’s my money?’ She says, ‘Say it again.’ ‘Where‘s my money?’ Then she says, ‘Faster!’ ‘Where’smymoney?’ ‘Angrier!’ ‘Where‘s my money!‘ ’Slower!’ ‘Where’s… my… money?’ ‘Sadder!’ ‘Where’s my money?’ On and on and on, for like two minutes, and I’m thinking, ‘Get that goddamn kid out of the hole!’ She yells ‘Cut’ and we pull Danny out of the hole, and he says, ‘That was awesome.’ I remember saying to Will, ‘We can do anything we want with that kid.’”
4. When asked how he and Danny related to the two Petes, Mike Maronna revealed a new theory he’d developed:
“I figured out that I was Will’s avatar, and Danny was Chris’ avatar, and that Allison was Catherine’s avatar.”
However, Chris argued that Will actually relates more to little Pete; both agreed that big Pete is the source of the show’s nostalgia.
5. And a final line from McRobb to make you all tear up:
“We were writing for a certain kind of kid, and I guess it was all you folks here today. We were writing for a certain kid that was maybe, um, felt like he was a little weird himself and wasn’t really sure how to express that or if it was okay to express that. And we wanted to find that kid and show him our show and say, ‘It’s okay.’”
Can these guys go on tour and take their reunion around the country? Their loyal fans are flung all over and would love the opportunity to re-meet the kids they grew up with, and the adults who defined their childhoods.