The Adventures of Pete & Pete ran for three seasons in the mid-’90’s, but its reach extends far beyond that. The show still has its devoted fans to this day, and not just because we’re suffering from empty nostalgia. Pete & Pete is one of those shows for kids that actually holds up to adult eyes, due to the eclectic world the show created, the sharp, original comedy, and the excellent music. Additionally, as an adult, you gain a greater appreciation for the fantastic—and sometimes strange—selection of guest actors on the show. Here are the top 10 guest stars from Pete & Pete (which doesn’t even include Iggy Pop, who had a recurring role as the father of one of Little Pete’s friends, Nona F. Mecklenberg).
10. Kate Pierson
You probably know Pierson as the red-headed woman from The B-52’s. In the world of Pete & Pete, she’s Mrs. Vanderveer, a mysterious millionaire who also happens to be blind. She appears in “What We Did on Our Summer Vacation,” the episode about the disappearance of Mr. Tastee, an ice cream man who never removes his plastic ice cream head. Mrs. Vanderveer seems to have a past with Mr. Tastee (at the very least, she calls him Leonard, which is suspicious). And if you aren’t familiar with the world of Pete & Pete, no, it isn’t weird at all that the town has a mysterious blind millionaire, played by a B-52.
9. Art Donovan
Art Donovan is a Hall of Fame football player, but, admittedly, not much of an actor—just ask anybody who remembers his appearance on the WWF about his level of coherence and articulation. At least Pete & Pete only required him to play himself, as Big Pete asked him about Johnny Unitas, and his metaphysical connection to the universe at large. Donovan’s wasn’t having it. Granted, children watching didn’t hav any idea who he was, but that didn’t stop the show from trotting him about.
8. John McLaughlin
McLaughlin has been hosting the aptly named McLaughlin Group for many, many years, and he has a very distinct way of carrying himself, which you may recall from Dana Carvey’s impression of him on Saturday Night Live. Although he had a serious political show, he was willing to cameo as himself in the episode “When Petes Collide,” wherein the two brothers Pete vie for a magical bowling ball. Big Pete manages to finagle McLaughlin to throw his support behind him on his show. In the end, the brothers realize their friendship is more important than the bowling ball, because, you know, it is a kid’s show.
7. Patty Hearst
Patty Hearst is on this list because this is Patty Hearst acting. Granted, this is not her only role, and she’s been in quite a few John Waters films (because, of course she has). However, nobody recognizes Hearst first and foremost as an actress. She’s known, quite unfortunately, for being kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and taking part in a bank robbery (and also for being the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst). On Pete & Pete she played Mrs. Kretchmar, a very friendly housewife.
6. LL Cool J
LL Cool J is more of an actor than a musician at this point, but at the time of his appearance on Pete & Pete he was still primarily a rapper. For such a small role, it was a pretty cool part! He got to play Mr. Throneberry, a teacher who spoke in code, and thre a luau one day because Little Pete called in sick. NCIS:LA was clearly right around the corner.