Captain Kangaroo, Shari Lewis, and Andy's Gang, were dedicated to socializing kids into the norms of adult society. The rules may seem odd, the hosts seemed to say, but they were established by wise, sensible adults, and if you conform, this will be the best of all possible worlds.
Then came the 1980s and 1990s, and tv juvenile tv programs like You Can't Do That on Television, Animaniacs, and Eerie Indiana, said something quite different. Adults are crazy. Their rules make no sense. Don't even try to conform society: rebel, resist, be yourself.
If the two brothers with the same name don't clue in that something is askew in Wellsville, what about the opening song:
Hey, Smilin' Strange, you're looking happily deranged
I could've settled if you shoot me, or have you picked your target yet?
Mom, who has a steel plate in her head that can pick up radio.
Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, who can move a house a whole inch!
Mr. Slurm, the high school shop teacher with a claw for a hand.
Pit Stain Jones, a super-villain whose powers are obvious
Big Pete is drawing close to adulthood, so he is the most conformist, with part-time jobs and career plans and crushes on girls.
Heterosexual romance is a constant among the adult and teen characters, but Little Pete resists the International Adult Conspiracy on hetero-romance, too. He is mostly successful, reserving his affection for Big Pete and for his "hero," Artie the Strongest Man in the World.
After Pete and Pete, Michael C. Maronna starred in some young-adult-slacker comedies before moving behind the scenes as a studio electrician. Danny Tamberelli starred in Igby Goes Down (2002), with Kieran Culkin.