One of the strangest television shows for kids or otherwise was ‘The Adventures of Pete and Pete.’ The show aired on Nickelodeon during 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 has far less charm.
Big Pete and Little Pete lived in a world similar to mine and other younger kids. Everyone around them is incredibly whacky and they were always getting into strange daily adventures. Their mom had a metal plate in her head, their dad liked lawnmowers, and Little Pete’s best friend was a superhero known as Artie, The Strongest Man in the World. Artie was played by Toby Huss who admittedly is in my top three actors of all-time.
The Petes also had many friends their own age. Their friends were the fat kid from ‘Heavyweights,’ Michelle Trachtenberg who later went on to become Harriet the Spy, 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 instability in Pete’s life. I have enough trouble finding girls to put up with my bedwetting.
As with any show, the villains make things better. In the originally aired pilot, the main bad guy is a bully named Open Face. He is a messy-dressed redhead 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 and musician Iggy Pop, who I guess realized kids these days wouldn’t take a starving old man serious as a musician.
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 on the HBO miniseries ‘Band of Brothers’. 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 overweight. Superhero Artie went on to make appearances in lots of movies and television shows.
Of all the episodes of ‘Pete & Pete’ the saddest was the one where Artie left. Seeing as Toby Huss had one of the better careers from the cast on the show post-Pete & Pete, he probably didn’t cry as much about the decision as I did.