For kids with cable television in the mid-1990s, the gateway drug to hipsterdom came in the form of a surreal Nickelodeon show called The Adventures of Pete and Pete. The comedy, which began in 1989 as one-minute interstitial spots before being developed into a half-hour series in 1993, focused on the quirky antics of two redheaded brothers, both inexplicably named Pete Wrigley, alongside a cast of eccentric neighbors. Kids loved it, but it also had street cred to spare via cameos from the likes of LL Cool J and Iggy Pop.
While the show lasted just three years, it would make a mark on both pop culture and the lives of actors Michael C. Maronna ("Big" Pete) and Danny Tamberelli ( "Little" Pete) forever. Read on to find out what the TV brothers are up to these days and how they're continuing to work together.
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Tamberelli is a musician, sketch comedian, and author.
Danny Tamberelli followed up his time as Little Pete with a stint on another Nickelodeon show, the sketch comedy series All That, before getting a bachelor's degree at Hampshire College in Massachusetts. According to his website, the former kid star is still active in sketch as a founding member of the troupe ManBoobs Comedy. He also plays in two bands: Jounce, a "punk infused anthemic rock group" that has supported Polaris (of Pete&Pete theme song fame), and the Undone Sweaters, a Weezer cover band and sketch group. Also an author, Tamberelli and his wife co-wrote The First Date Prophecy, a forthcoming novel loosely based on their courtship.
Maronna now works behind the scenes.
After playing Big Pete, Michael C. Maronna continued acting into the early 2000s, most notably alongside Jason Segel, Devon Sawa, and Jason Schwartzman in the 2002 film Slackers. He also studied documentary/nonfiction filmmaking at SUNY Purchase before finding a different calling in the industry. Since the mid-2000s, Maronna has worked as best boy or electrician on films including Be Kind Rewind and Men in Black 3, as well as on numerous TV shows including Sex and the City, Ugly Betty, and the Toby Huss (Artie the Strongman on Pete&Pete) series Dickinson. In an interview with Rewind It Magazine, Maronna explained how an early interest in the technical aspects of production (and some encouragement from the Pete&Pete crew) led to his current work.
"After the first season of half-hour episodes, the grips gave me a tool belt with some tools as a wrap gift. It was very sweet," he said. "A couple of seasons later, I just kept asking questions of the gaffer and eventually he offered me a job after the show ended. My first proper electric job was on a film called Six Ways to Sunday. I auditioned for the lead role and ended up driving the electric truck for it."
The former child stars are now fathers.
Both Petes are now dads of young children and live, perhaps unsurprisingly, in Brooklyn. Maronna became a father to son Gerard in 2016, while Tamberelli and wife Katelyn Detweiler, a YA author and literary agent, welcomed son Alfie in 2019 (pictured above) and are expecting a daughter this July, according to Tamberelli's Instagram.
When asked if he would one day share The Adventures of Pete&Pete with Alfie, Tamberelli told The Ringer, "I wouldn't be opposed to showing it to him when I feel like it's appropriate…Yeah, maybe I'd hold off the 'Field of Pete' episode [which includes a drug metaphor] until he could fully understand."
The Petes still hang out—and co-host a podcast together.
The two Petes fell largely out of touch after the series ended when each went to college but coincidentally reconnected later, in Brooklyn. In February 2013, the two actors reunited for a Pete&Pete 20th anniversary reunion for Funny or Die. That September they began collaborating on their long-running podcast, The Adventures of Danny and Mike, where they walk down memory lane, read old issues of Nickelodeon Magazine, and host guests, often from vintage Nickelodeon shows. The two have also done live recordings of episodes for audiences and toured in Nostalgia Personified, a hour-long live show tackling their past as child stars.
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They're open to a Pete&Pete reboot, in theory.
With all that time spent together reminiscing, an Adventures of Pete&Pete reboot doesn't seem far off. When asked if they were game, the two were pragmatic in a 2021 interview with The Ringer—while Tamberelli felt the show "was a time and a place and a perfect moment, and it's hard to kind of revamp something like that," Maronna interjected that they'd still do it "if the money's right."
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