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15 People Who Guest Starred on Pete & Pete

If Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a way station for future stars on the road to fame, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, which ran from 1993 to 1996, was more of a fun side gig for those who had already made it. Below are 15 famous folks that you probably forgot guest starred on the Nickelodeon series. (Or had no idea guest starred, because you were in elementary school when the show premiered.)

1. Steve Buscemi

The future Boardwalk Empire star had a recurring role as Mr. Hickle, dad of Big Pete’s best friend Ellen, and appeared in three episodes: 1993's "Apocalypse Pete," 1994's "X=Why?" and 1996's "Space, Geeks, and Johnny Unitas." At the time, Buscemi was already an established indie movie star, who had risen to fame playing Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs.

2. LL Cool J

In Season Two, Episode 10, Little Pete decides to fake a case of food poisoning, and the grownups at his school—including his homeroom teacher, played by LL Cool J—act like they won the lottery. By the time he appeared on the show in 1994, the rapper (real name: James Todd Smith) was a multi-platinum selling artist, widely considered to be one of hip-hop's first acts to cross into the mainstream.

3. Richard Edson 

Character actor Edson, who has more than 100 credits to his name, was also Sonic Youth’s first drummer. To young audiences watching 1993's "Valentine's Day Massacre," in which older Pete develops a crush on his math teacher, he was just a wacky janitor, but at the time, grownups watching probably recognized him as Vito from 1989's Do the Right Thing and the parking garage attendant from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

4. Chris Elliott 

The Saturday Night Live and Groundhog Day star played a meter man who can see the future. In 1994's "Sick Day," he swings by the Wrigleys' house to get a reading and comments on the Eisenhower marshmallow stuck up younger Pete’s nose.

5. Gordon Gano

A singer and guitarist for the Violent Femmes, Gano guested as a teacher at Ellen and Big Pete’s high school in 1994's "X=Why?" Gano's big break had happened more than a decade earlier with the release of the Violent Femmes' self-titled album. That record included a little tune called "Blister in the Sun."

6. Janeane Garofalo

Garofalo also appeared in "X=Why?," as an English teacher who calls Steve Buscemi—er, Mr. Hickle—in a rage after Ellen asks her why they they have to learn "any of this stuff." Like Elliott, Garofalo was already a pretty well-respected comedian. She had starred on The Ben Stiller Show, and would join Saturday Night Live and appear in Reality Bites the same year her Pete & Pete episode aired.

7. Debbie Harry

The '70s rock legend and Blondie frontwoman pops up as one of the Wrigley family’s neighbors in 1993's "New Year's Pete." Big and Little Pete try to convince her to let them sweep her yard for land mines.

8. Patty Hearst

While their parents are out of town in 1996's "35 Hours," Pete and Pete accidentally sell their house to John Waters pal, Cry-Baby star, and kidnapping victim Patty Hearst. Oops.

9. Luscious Jackson

If the band on stage at younger Pete’s middle school dance looked familiar, that’s because they were ‘90s alt-rockers Luscious Jackson. Although their biggest hit, "Naked Eye," was still a year away at the time of their 1996 "Dance Fever" cameo, the group had already appeared at Lollapalooza, been featured on the Clueless soundtrack, and were musical guests on Saturday Night Live and House of Style. (Fun fact: Member Kate Schellenbach was the original drummer for the Beastie Boys.)

10. John McLaughlin

When Dad's bowling ball is up for grabs, the uncompromising political commentator, playing himself, shows up to voice his support for Big Pete’s bid in 1994's "When Petes Collide." It makes sense, given that McLaughlin had been tackling the important issues of the day on his show, The McLaughlin Group, since 1982.

11. Bebe Neuwirth

The Broadway star and Cheers alumna—she played Frasier's wife, Dr. Lilith Sternin—was featured in two episodes, 1994's "The Call" and "Sick Day," as an observant Wellsville mail carrier, who keeps a recorder with her at all times in order to take note of the things she sees on her route. 

12. Kate Pierson

Pierson, singer for the B-52s, has a cameo as an eccentric millionaire who helps the boys figure out what happened to Mr. Tastee in 1993's "What We Did On Our Summer Vacation." Offscreen, Pierson and her band were credited with helping start rock's new wave movement. In fact, in a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon says the group's hit "Rock Lobster" inspired him to get back in the studio.

13. Iggy Pop 

The legendary punk rocker appears in several episodes as James “Pop” Mecklenburg—dad to the cast-wearing Nona, who is Little Pete’s best friend. The Stooges frontman (and pal of David Bowie) was featured in 1994's "Halloweenie" and "Farewell, My Little Viking," 1995's "Road Warrior," and 1996's "Dance Fever."

14. Michael Stipe

After Mr. Tastee disappears, R.E.M.’s Stipe plays a cranky old fisherman peddling sludgesicles to the children of Wellsville in 1993's "What We Did On Our Summer Vacation." At the time, his band was enjoying massive critical and commercial success, thanks to 1991's Out of Time and 1992's Automatic for the People.

15. Adam West

Exhibit 489809 that Pete & Pete was the coolest show ever: Batman played Little Pete’s killjoy principal in 1995's "Last Laugh" and "Allnighter." 

All images courtesy of Nickelodeon. 

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The Princess Ride: Here's What a Princess Bride Theme Park Attraction Might Look Like
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Do you fight the urge to say “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya” when introducing yourself? Have you spent the past 30 years mispronouncing the word “marriage”? If so, you may be a diehard fan of The Princess Bride. The cult film (and the book on which it’s based) has inspired board games, merchandise, and countless pop culture references. Now, two theme park designers from Universal have conceived the inconceivable. As Nerdist reports, Jon Plsek and Olivia West have designed the plans for a hypothetical attraction called “The Princess Ride.

Their idea follows the classic river boat ride structure and adds highlights from the movie around each corner. After watching Buttercup and Wesley’s love story unfold, riders are taken past the Cliffs of Insanity, through the Fire Swamp, and into the Pit of Despair. The climax unfolds at Prince Humperdinck’s castle and leads up to the two protagonists riding off into the sunset. The last thing the passengers see is Miracle Max and Valerie waving goodbye saying, “Hope ya had fun stormin’ the castle!”

The ride’s designers make a living turning stories into thrilling attractions. Plsek works as a concept artist for Universal Creative, the group behind Universal’s theme parks, and West works there as a concept writer. While The Princess Ride was just a fun side project for the pair, it isn’t hard to imagine their ride bringing Princess Bride fans to the parks in real life.

For more of Jon Plesk’s concept rides inspired by classics like Dr. Strangelove (1964) and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), check out his website.

[h/t Nerdist]

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10 Filling Facts About A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
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Though it may not be as widely known as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown or A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has been a beloved holiday tradition for many families for more than 40 years now. Even if you've seen it 100 times, there’s still probably a lot you don’t know about this Turkey Day special.

1. IT’S THE FIRST PEANUTS SPECIAL TO FEATURE AN ADULT VOICE.

We all know the trombone “wah wah wah” sound that Charlie Brown’s teacher makes when speaking in a Peanuts special. But A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which was released in 1973, made history as the first Peanuts special to feature a real, live, human adult voice. But it’s not a speaking voice—it’s heard in the song “Little Birdie.”

2. IT WASN’T JUST ANY ADULT WHO LENT HIS VOICE TO THE SPECIAL.

Being the first adult to lend his or her voice to a Peanuts special was kind of a big deal, so it makes sense that the honor wasn’t bestowed on just any old singer or voice actor. The song was performed by composer Vince Guardaldi, whose memorable compositions have become synonymous with Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang.

“Guaraldi was one of the main reasons our shows got off to such a great start,” Lee Mendelson, the Emmy-winning producer who worked on many of the Peanuts specials—including A Charlie Brown Thanksgivingwrote for The Huffington Post in 2013. “His ‘Linus and Lucy,’ introduced in A Charlie Brown Christmas, set the bar for the first 16 shows for which he created all the music. For our Thanksgiving show, he told me he wanted to sing a new song he had written for Woodstock. I agreed with much trepidation as I had never heard him sing a note. His singing of ‘Little Birdie’ became a hit."

3. DESPITE THE VOICE, THERE ARE NO ADULTS FEATURED IN THE SPECIAL.

While Peanuts specials are largely populated by children, there’s usually at least an adult or two seen or heard somewhere. That’s not the case with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving may be the only Thanksgiving special (live or animated) that does not include adults,” Mendelson wrote for HuffPo. “Our first 25 specials honored the convention of the comic strip where no adults ever appeared. (Ironically, our Mayflower special does include adults for the first time.)”

4. LUCY IS MOSTLY M.I.A., TOO.

Though early on in the special, viewers get that staple scene of Lucy pulling a football away from Charlie Brown at the last minute, that’s all we see of Chuck’s nemesis in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. (Lucy's brother, Linus, however, is still a main character.)

5. CHARLIE BROWN AND LUCY STILL KEEP IN TOUCH.

Though they only had a single scene together, Todd Barbee, who voiced Charlie Brown, told Noblemania that he and Robin Kohn, who voiced Lucy in the Thanksgiving special, still keep in touch. “We actually went to high school together,” Barbee said. “We still live in Marin County, are Facebook friends, and occasionally see each other.”

6. CHARLIE BROWN HAD SOME TROUBLE WITH HIS SIGNATURE “AAARRRGG.”

One unique aspect of the Peanuts specials is that the bulk of the characters are voiced by real kids. In the case of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, 10-year-old newcomer Todd Barbee was tasked with giving a voice to Charlie Brown—and it wasn’t always easy.

“One time they wanted me to voice that ‘AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGG’ when Charlie Brown goes to kick the football and Lucy yanks it away,” Barbee recalled to Noblemania in 2014. “Try as I might, I just couldn’t generate [it as] long [as] they were looking for … so after something like 25 takes, we moved on. I was sweating the whole time. I think they eventually got an adult or a kid with an older voice to do that one take."

7. LINUS STILL GETS AN ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE.

While Barbee got a crash course in the downside of celebrity at a very early age—“seeing my name printed in TV Guide made everyone around me go bananas … everybody … just thought I was some big movie star or something,” he told Noblemania—Stephen Shea, who voiced Linus, still gets a pretty big reaction.

"I don't walk around saying 'I'm the voice of Linus,'" Shea told the Los Angeles Times in 2013. "But when people find out one way or another, they scream 'I love Linus. That is my favorite character!'"

8. THANKS TO LINUS, THE THANKSGIVING SPECIAL GOT A SPINOFF.

As is often the case in a Peanuts special, Linus gets to play the role of philosopher in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and remind his friends (and the viewers) about the history and true meaning of whatever holiday they’re celebrating. His speech about the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving eventually led to This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, a kind of spinoff adapted from that Thanksgiving Day prayer, which sees the Peanuts gang becoming a part of history.

9. LEE MENDELSON HAD AN ISSUE WITH BIRD CANNIBALISM.

In writing for HuffPo for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’s 40th anniversary, Mendelson admitted that one particular scene in the special led to “a rare, minor dispute during the creation of the show. Mr. Schulz insisted that Woodstock join Snoopy in carving and eating a turkey. For some reason I was bothered that Woodstock would eat a turkey. I voiced my concern, which was immediately overruled.”

10. MENDELSON EVENTUALLY GOT HIS WAY ... THOUGH NOT FOR LONG.

Though Mendelson lost his original argument against seeing Woodstock eating another bird, he was eventually able to right that wrong. “Years later, when CBS cut the show from its original 25 minutes to 22 minutes, I sneakily edited out the scene of Woodstock eating,” he wrote. “But when we moved to ABC in 2001, the network (happily) elected to restore all the holiday shows to the original 25 minutes, so I finally have given up.”

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