For three season in the early 1990s on Nickelodeon, kids and young hipsters followed the misadventures of redheaded brothers Big Pete and Little Pete on the brilliant and subversive comedy “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” Years later the show remains a classic due to clever writing and a slew of supercool musical co-stars including Iggy Pop, Luscious Jackson and Marshall Crenshaw.
Michael C. Marrona (Big Pete) and Danny Tamberelli (Little Pete) have often appeared at reunion conventions, to the delight of their legions of thrilled, now-grown-up, fans. At Stan Lee’s Comikaze Convention Mr. Marrona and Mr. Tamberelli discussed what they are up to now, including their podcast, “The Adventures of Danny & Mike.”
Question: How old were you guys when you started work on “The Adventure of Pete & Pete”?
Danny Tamberelli: I was 7.
Michael C. Marrona: I had just turned 12.
Q: Is it amazing to you that so many years later, people still love the show?
DT: I think it’s pretty awesome. It’s a testament to the kind of show it was and how it affected people. It affected me in a way that I’m forever grateful for. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone. [laughs]
MCM: He used the word “testament,” so I have nothing to add. [laughs]
Q: Whenever Danny says “testament” the sentence ends?
MCM: He has mined all the material.
Q: It’s like a 1950s game show. That’s the buzz word?
DT: Is Groucho Marx gonna come out?
Q: The ghost of Groucho may appear. When you meet fans what is the most common things they say to you guys?
MCM: Who are you?
DT: I don’t know If I know who you are. [laughs]
MCM: Oh, you’re those guys.
DT: I get “where’s your tattoo?” Well, I was a 7-year-old child.
Q: The show had so many cool musical guests. Who were your favorites?
MCM: You wanna go real deep and say Marshall Crenshaw?
DT: Marshall Crenshaw was a great guest. He was in my band! Iggy Pop was great.
MCM: Juliana Hatfield. Luscious Jackson. It’s hard to pick. They were all really cool.
DT: Ann Magnuson. Debbie Harry.
Q: Danny, did being around those musicians inspire you to make music?
DT: Sure, 100 percent. I started playing bass on the show. I haven’t stopped.
MCM: And you haven’t paid back the prop guy for that bass. Or the electrician for that amplifier.
DT: He gave me the bass.
MCM: But Tom still wants money for the amplifier.
DT: Honestly, I don’t remember that. And if he made a deal with a 12-year-old child, that is his own damn fault.
Q: How did your podcast come about?
MCM: The podcast got started at the end of one month when Danny couldn’t make rent. On the 31st he said, “We should do this podcast.” Five days later we got Danny some rent money.
Q: The podcast is just about keeping Danny off the street?
MCM: And in a good couch — a fine, comfortable couch that he can clean every so often. It’s a pullout. So Danny could get lucky every once in a while.
Q: How often do you do the podcast?
MCM: We would like to do the podcast regularly, on a monthly basis. But we’re so damn busy. I have a full-time job and Dan is busy trying to get that couch together.
Q: What is your full time-job?
MCM: I’m a best boy electrician on an NBC show called “Shades of Blue.” I do lighting. The show stars Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liota. It’s coming out in early 2016.
Q: Before the podcast, were you guys getting together a lot?
MCM: Dan has a band [Jounce] that rocks out around New York City, so I had seen his band a few times. Or if he comes out to see other bands near Williamsburg, we meet up.
DT: I think we started the podcast because we were doing these reunion shows and they were a lot of fun. We thought, “Why not keep the band together?”
MCM: The band being he and I. The title characters of the iconic show … which is a testament to …. [laughs]
DT: I have nothing more to say. He said “testament.” [laughs]
Q: Danny, you have the band and you also have a comedy troupe, yes?
DT: Man Boobs Comedy. We do sketch comedy. We all have man boobs. And we’re also idiots. So it’s a double entendre.
MCM: I don’t get it.
DT: We’re boobs because we’re idiots. Boob is a synonym for idiot.
MCM: Now I get it.
Q: What is someone wanted to join the troupe and they were hilarious but didn’t have man boobs?
DT: We would say, “Fine, come over for the next month and have diner with us. We would then lace everything with Crisco. We’ll get them there real quick. We’d say, “Oh, your shirt is still a flowing little bit. It needs to be tighter.”