The Adventures of Pete and Pete was an unusually inventive television program produced by the children's cable network Nickelodeon and Wellsville Productions. Critically acclaimed, it was created by Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi and focused upon the often-surreal lives of two brothers with the same first name, gutsy cap-wearing Young Pete and more nervous, adolescent Older Pete, who also narrated most of the episodes. Other characters included Mom and Dad, Older Pete's best friend and occasional love interest Ellen, Young Pete's best friend Nona, villains Pitstain and "Endless" Mike Helstrom, and one of the most bizarre characters ever depicted on mainstream television, Artie, the Strongest Man in the World. (One glimpse of Artie introducing himself, flexing his muscles in his striped long underwear, is enough to cause me to collapse in laughter.) The show was also known to boast impressive cameos, by everyone from John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group to Iggy Pop in a recurring role.

Pete & Pete had very strong writing and often focused on themes much greater than you would expect to be covered in a kids' TV show. Often incredibly zany, the goofier Young Pete episodes were well balanced with the more contemplative coming-of-age stories that focused on Older Pete.

The Adventures of Pete and Pete began as a series of promo spots for Nick, and the first episode, "What We Did On Our Summer Vacation," was originally a half-hour special created on the strength of the commercials.

Nick cancelled The Adventures of Pete & Pete in 1996. I believe, but am not certain, that it may still be in reruns on that channel. It is certainly a high water-mark in the annals of American television. New episodes may no longer be in production, but in many ways the series can be seen as the spiritual forefather of the recent Fox hit Malcom in the Middle, right down to having extremely cool theme and incidental music (by Polaris in P&P). In addition, elements of the Petes may be seen in the 1999 movie Snow Day, written by McRobb and Viscardi and starring Chevy Chase and Chris Elliot.

Farewell, and may the Pete be with you.

The main characters of Pete and Pete, and their descriptions:
  • Older Pete: Older Pete is the narrator of the show. He seems to be the most normal person in the show, but is by no means the main characer.
  • Younger Pete: Younger Pete has a tatto of a mermaid on his arm, lovingly named Petunia. His best friend and personal superhero is Artie, the Strongest Man in the World. Pete's hobbies include making Petunia dance, shooting marshmallow presidents out of his nose, and collecting burps in a paper bag.
  • Ellen: Ellen is a kind of girl-next-door character: She is Pete's best friend, lives only a few blocks away, and plays the french horn in the high school band.
  • Mom: Mom, whose name is Joyce, is your average, everyday, caring, loving, run-of-the-mill mom (although with a few quirks). Generally, she keeps the house and her family in order. One interesting thing to note, however, is that she has had a metal plate in her head since childhood.
  • Dad: Dad, otherwise known as Don Wrigley. He is very competitive, and covets his King of the Road title. He met Mom when he was using ametal detector on the beach and he detected mom's metal plate. Dad also owns and runs a driving range.
  • Artie: Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, is very mysterious and somewhat strange. He lives in (and hosts parties in) a port-a-potty and wears a 40/60 blend of titanium and cotton underwear, with blue and red stripes, of course. Whammy bars affect Artie in the same way kryptonite does Superman, but he is strangely attracted to the song Love Rollercoaster like a "giant funk magnet".

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