Adventures of Pete and Pete Cast Reunites Again (With the Band Polaris!)
Paul T. Bradley
There are all too few synonyms for "awesome" to describe the radical redux of The Adventures of Pete and Pete reunion that went down last night at the Orpheum.
Capping off the past eleven days of their annual Everything Is Festival, Cinefamily pulled together another Krebscouts Reunion with a little help from Fuck Yeah Fest productions. There were Oranage Lazaruses, Mr. Tastee ice cream treats and everyone and everything from Pete and Pete, ever. Oh, and the show's band, Polaris, played their first full set for the first time in existence. No big deal.
The difficulty in describing how it all played out comes in condensing what was essentially a TV panel, nostalgia party, a concert, a meet and greet and then a farewell, of sorts.
Paul T. Bradley Polaris!
It all started with Cinefamily's Hadrian Belove, and a message from Krebstar's CEO (played by Toby Huss, the actor behind Artie -- the strongest man...in the world).
Just shy of one year ago, Generations X through Z's most wonderful weirdos' heads assploded at the previous Cinefamily reunion of their love-note-slash-love-child of a TV show. They all got to see that the Petes have aged as gracefully (or not) as they had themselves (physically, at least) and the adults, er, continue to be adults.
"Yeah, yeah, my voice got deeper and I got fatter," admitted Little Pete Danny Tamberelli this time around. In last night's redux reunion, everything got bigger, funner and more spectacular.
The same anecdotes got more interesting -- like, we learned a little bit more about Artie and his signature phrase "pipe", which, yeah, has everything to do with weed, as you expected. We heard a little bit more about Tamberelli's alone time with guest star Iggy Pop. "I was twelve and nothing happened!" he quipped.
This time around, the women of the show got more overdue attention. Alison Fanelli showed up, looking exactly like the sexynerd version of her character you'd expect. Fanelli shared the fact that her husband didn't know she was in the show until after they got engaged. Mom, played by Judy Grafe, joined too. She said some nice things and stuck a metal spatula to her head in an homage to her character's nearly personified metal plate.
Paul T. Bradley Petes' Mom (Judy Grafe) sticks a spatula to her head, while Bus Driver Stu (Damian Young) looks on
Rick Gomez, one of the show's principle bully protagonists, "Endless Mike," showed up too. "Yeah, I was blessed with redheaded children," he says. In real life. In the show he mercilessly taunted the Petes' gingerness. He added, of his kids, "They watch it now and say, 'You know bullying is bad, right dad?''' Oops.
But the real star was the first (and hopefully not the last) live performance of Pete and Pete's house band Polaris. The Mark Mulcahy-fronted act jangled their way through the show's theme song "Hey Sandy" to open the panel and then played a number of other tunes from the show -- as well as Mulcahy's own songs in a full concert afterward.
Pete and Pete creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi had been fans of Mulcahy's four-piece band Miracle Legion, and invited them to play on the show. Long story short, only three of them could make it, so they called themselves Polaris, and the band's only gig was playing for the series, including a bunch of the incidental music.
"Yeah, it's totally amazing," said Mulchay after the mini concert. "I had no idea that this many people knew all of the riffs...like all of the little interludes from the show. I'm amazed." Mulchay and his cohorts are hoping to play more shows and festivals (y'hear that Mr. / Ms. Concert Promoter?).
Syd Straw, who played Miss Fingerwood, joined Polaris onstage and then Danny Tamberelli, a musician in his own right, helped them all close out the night with, of course, "Summerbaby."
Paul T Bradley Little Pete and Polaris
True to their generation's occasional bouts of childish narcissism, enough audience members yelled out nonsense throughout the program that Belove had to calm them with: "We've got enough people on the panel up here, thanks." One bucket-hatted jerk had to interrupt THE ONLY POLARIS SHOW EVER to make himself heard. He later continued his verbal diarrhea, saying, "I was only yelling because these douchebags weren't dancing properly!" (At a seated event.) Uh. Sure. Whatever that means. How about another Orange Lazarus, dude?
Diehard fans with poor gluteal fortitude snuck out for a cigarette as the panel entered its second hour -- and we stalked them. "That show...it's like the genesis of everything I am today," said Cassandra Hamilton, 25. Like a gateway drug to weirdness? "Yes! It established a new civilization of people that believe in something different." "I saw it at my young aunt's house -- and she used it to showed me what subculture was," added Beth B., 28. Both women credited the show for their maturation into "renaissance people." And no, not the puffy-shirted types -- they're artists and writers of some kind.
Paul T. Bradley Ellen (Alison Fanelli) jokes with Katherine Dieckmann (r) and Syd Straw (l)
As a reminder that some people live in real reality, we followed up with Fanelli, who played Pete's ladybro / love interest Ellen. Fanelli told us, "It really was like being a kid again up there. I'm a pediatric surgeon now, so I'm not even remotely part of this whole world anymore." When asked if she'll turn her patients on to the show, she replied, "Uh, that's kind of...we're trying to keep that world separate." She clearly lives very far east of Hollywood. And good for her.
Seriously, we have no idea exactly what made the show so fun and incredible -- that would take an episode by episode breakdown or something. Honestly, though, it's going to be a few years before we need another reunion. Maybe when we're all in Depends with walkers and they're all in Depends with walkers...we can drink Orange Lazarii with Krebamucil and toast the good old days yet again?