Are We Actually Okay with Pete & Pete’s Return?

News first, nostalgia second: Pete & Pete are back in the form of a podcast.

Obviously the instant I learned about this I went to YouTube and searched for “Hey Sandy” by Polaris — the theme song from The Adventures of Pete & Pete. “My youth started and finished with this song,” wrote one commenter. So did mine, I realized. Was I ready for it to be sling-shotted back in the form of a Pete & Pete reprise, updated for the 21st century by way of podcast?

Telling their stories through radio show is actually something the two of them would have probably done back in the original version. I imagine Little Pete (played by Danny Tamberelli) convincing Big Pete (Michael Maronna) to find a way to tap into the local radio station’s airwaves via their mom’s metal brain plate.

Since I grew up, it’s only natural that the actors did too. But childhood memories usually stay firmly in place should one ever need to revisit them —  Goodnight Moon is always Goodnight Moon. The same bed, the same rabbit, the same striped bed sheets. Those don’t change.

But Pete & Pete have changed. No one forced me to listen to their podcast but for nostalgia’s sake, I had to, and there was something unsettling about hearing Little Pete call himself Danny (oh right, his real name) while he talked about the thrill of drinking at an airport Irish pub pre-adventure. “But he can’t possibly be old enough to drink,” I thought to myself. “Wasn’t he five on that show?” I feel like the owner of a golden retriever puppy who wants it to stay tiny and fluffy forever.

Little Pete, why can’t you stay a puppy?

Though I prefer to keep my childhood memories exactly as I left them, it is kind of hard not to wonder about the actors who played them. Where is Ferguson from Clarissa Explains it All? Alex Mack? ANYONE from Salute Your Shorts? (Actually fun fact: one of the actors from Shorts was my 9th grade French tutor, so that’s something).

Sometimes the truth is soothing, like when Alex Mack’s Laris Oleynik appeared in a few episodes of Pretty Little Liars, or just knowing that the actor who played Ferguson hasn’t yet appeared on a Buzzfeed mugshot roundup. But this Pete & Pete-as-Danny & Michael reunion might be overstepping its bounds for me. It’s too soon!

Or maybe I’ve spoken too soon and it will be the best thing to happen to the realm of podcasts. You’ll have to tell us. I am clearly a stage five clinger.

How do you feel about Pete & Pete? Which child stars do you wonder about? Brandon Walsh and Dylan Mckay, anyone? It’s Wednesday, let’s get our brain juice flowing like we’ve transported back to the time of Slime.

For old time’s sake:

  • Vallen

    Alex Mack is on Mad Men!!!

  • Stephanie Green

    The theme song video is making me mist up over here. And no, I’m not emotionally ready for a Pete & Pete podcast. Pete & Pete can’t be adult men with facial hair who are not actually related. Where’s the magic in that?
    KingOFrod 4eva!

    • Charlotte

      Great point– the fact that they aren’t related in real life kind of shatters my world.

  • lulueight

    fun fact: i was friends in college with ellen, pete’s best friend, and she is awesome. nobody even knew about the show. the best was that ali/ellen would do this dance routine w glowsticks on string (this was ’98 ok) and it would blow our stoned little sophomore minds.

    • Amelia Diamond

      when I re-watched the intro I was like OMG I FORGOT ABOUT ELLEN and here you are, telling me she’s still perfect. thanks @lulueight:disqus !

  • Natty

    I am SO okay with this. Being that so many of the kid stars of my kid-hood turned out to be total weirdos or burnouts, it’s pretty neat to see Pete & Pete turned out relatively normal.

    Also, remember how their mom had a metal plate in her head?


  • Marc

    They’ve been doing reunions for a couple of years now, usually including other members of the cast. They’re worth checking out.

    Also, Polaris’ album is great, with or without nostalgia. As is anything Mark Mulcahy/Miracle Legion put out.

  • Rachel

    The sister from Alex Mack is on like every commercial ever.

    • Charlotte

      And the mean girl from Alex Mack is Jessica Alba

  • I loved The Adventures of Pete and Pete growing up.

    I think I’ll remember them as they were and not listen to the Podcast!


  • leandra! this is my dad’s show!!

  • Chanda

    …but you’re younger than little Pete! & Little Pete hosted a pirate radio show called “Scab Talk”, which is pretty much the same damn thing as a podcast.

    • Amelia Diamond

      SCAB TALK omg YES!!!

  • Umm, 90s flashbacks!! I definitely watched Pete & Pete (and just about every show on Nickelodeon) when I was a kid. I don’t know if I would listen to this podcast, but it is a funny idea!

    And that’s totally random about your 9th grade French tutor.