“Teen-agers, bohos, camp culturati, photographers – they have won by default, because, after all, they do create styles.” — Tom Wolfe
One of the blazing revelations I’ve had over the last few whirligig weeks of reading about, seeking out and conversing with the progenitors of our favorite old Nickelodeon shows is that, for the most part, this was a bunch of ragtag art kids in their twenties and thirties who — in lieu of heading to the West Coast to fuse a punk-rock ethos to mainstream accessibility in music — brought the “alternative” sensibility to an even more unlikely place than the radio: shows for kids (and, when they really nailed it, shows for each other).
They worked together, played together, traveled similar circles and many of them have maintained their friendships twenty years later.
The Adventures of Pete & Pete remains a gleaming paragon of this DIY/indie/punk-integrated-into-children’s-programming mentality.
Quote: "We really believed in Nickelodeon, and at the time it was designed to be the ‘anti-Disney,’” McRobb said. “Disney was about a certain way of looking at childhood and Nickelodeon was about trying to capture what was a little more real about being a kid. And so we felt fiercely proud of that identity, especially in the promo department. That analogy of a ‘collective,’ of independently-minded creative people banding together to do something that was subversive — that’s where, for me, it was the most powerful."