When I was little one of my main staple watching channels was Nickelodeon. My daily digest of TV shows ( just to name a few!!) on that channel was Clarissa Explains it all, All that, Hey Dude, Double Dare, Are you Afraid of the Dark? and of course:
Out of many of the stand out amazing characters on that series. One of my favorites was Mr. Tastee:
Mr Tastee was a homage to Mister Softee. An ice cream branded founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1956 by two brothers: William Aloysuis Conway and James Francis Conway. The brand is known by their trucks and their mascot:
In season one, episode ten of the show titled: What we did on Our Summer Vacation (Premiered on September 8, 1991). Older Pete has a deep one on one discussion with the tv audience about his definition of what starts summer. Then he starts talking about how he, the younger Pete and their friend Ellen try to find out who is the person behind the Mr. Tastee mask is. Since he is the embodiment of their definition of summer, they want to know who that person is since he only comes during that season.
However they realized that when they try to become his friend and start an intense questioning session with him(they even extend an invitation to go fishing with him.) He ends up leaving town. They desperately try to find out why he ran off in such a critical ice cream season and also figuring out the mysterious life of this solitary ice cream man.
They spend their whole summer trying to track down “the loneliest ice cream man” (Older Pete quote). It wasn’t until the end of summer that Mr. Tastee finally returned to town.
Not because he missed his customers but because he need to pick up his vacation photos. He told the kids that his primary duties as the ice cream man is just being an ice cream man. He is just here every summer to give out ice cream and that’s it. It is the ice cream man code and he must follow it.
It also made me think that in a lot of ways certain friendships and relationships are the same way. They will always hold a endearing memory but sometimes it is just that. I always feel like we had a Mr. Tastee figure in our lives at one point or another. I feel like even though The Adventures of Pete and Pete was a kid show it cover a lot of adult themes disguised in the show. It made feel like a lot of certain events that I have gone through in my adult life made me better prepared by watching and remembering certain themes and episodes from the show.
Fun facts about this episode: Michael Stipe of R.E.M played a cameo roles in this episode as another ice cream person: Captain Scrummy.
Kate Pierson from the B-52’s also had a cameo as the blind heiress Mrs. Van Devere.
Source: Wikipedia and IMDB.com