Film

Return of the Petes

PetesFest: A Celebration of All Things Pete and Pete

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THE ADVENTURES OF PETE AND PETE is one of the best television shows ever made. This is not up for discussion.

The show focuses on two brothers—both named Pete—and the oddball cast of characters who populate the small town they live in. It ran on Nickelodeon in the '90s, and it's one of those rare childhood classics that still holds up—its quirky, low-fi aesthetic, hilarious characters, and oversized heart haven't aged a bit.

Last year, the cast and writers reunited for sold-out 20th anniversary shows in Los Angeles and New York. Around the same time, Portlanders Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes put together a Pete and Pete fanzine called Waiting for October. Waiting for October caught the attention of one of the show's writers, Chris Viscardi, who approached Edidin and Stokes about organizing a show in Portland. And so PetesFest was born.

"The current plan is for a mix of episode clips, staged readings, live music, roundtable discussion, Q&A, and possibly a few other elements if they fall into place in time," says Edidin of the Portland show. Big Pete and Little Pete (Michael C. Maronna and Danny Tamberelli, respectively) will be on hand, as well as Mom (Judy Grafe), Artie (Toby Huss), and show creators Viscardi and Will McRobb. Local musicians and actors from Banana Stand Media and Atomic Arts will round out the evening.

Edidin attributes the recent uptick of interest in the show in part to a series of retrospectives by former AV Club writer Marah Eakin—but no one would care if the show itself weren't so damn good. "I think [Pete and Pete] captures the weird magical realism of childhood incredibly well," explains Edidin. "Not just what it looks like from the outside, like most kids' shows, but the actual experience of being a kid, when the world is so big and so strange and so ripe for discovery, but also a little bizarre and dangerous and not quite ever under your control.

"It's one of those rare, rare pieces of kids' media that really stands up to adult viewing," Edidin adds, "so once that spark was struck, it took off pretty quickly."

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