William Daniels discusses how he nearly decided against playing Cory’s teacher in “Boy Meets World.”
With his wife Bonnie Bartlett, the Emmy-winning actor stopped by the “Pod Meets World” podcast to catch up with Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle, and Rider Strong. The performers discussed Daniels’ stint as Mr Feeny and some of the legendary ’90s show’s behind-the-scenes rumours.
He revealed that Daniels almost wasn’t cast for the programme, which had “Eleven” and “The Untitled Ben Savage Project” as working titles.
He wanted to know why I declined, so I requested a meeting with Michael Jacobs, he remembered. Well, that’s a hilarious name, but I don’t want to make fun of teachers, I responded. They are unpaid, and I appreciate them for that. Then he said that the model for my role as a mentor from when he was in high school.
William Daniels‘ perspective was altered when he discovered that the part was in fact honouring a person who had influenced Jacobs.
The actor said, “I realised the plot would be written with respect. His wife also stated that Jacobs actually revised some passages in light of this. She explained, “He changed things and the powers that be didn’t want to, but he made them and that’s what sold you.
Strong, who played Shawn on the show, remembered the horrific first-episode table read that nearly caused Daniels to quit. That evening, Jacobs revised the script several times until the performer was happy.
Bartlett ended up remaining with the programme for seven years, and he even made an appearance in the finale. She portrayed the school’s dean who fell in love with Mr Feeny. She described a time when a young girl approached her as she was signing autographs at a “Golden Girls” event.
“She blinked again and said, “You’re Mrs Feeny!” Bartlett remarked while grinning. She became quite excited. I had never heard the name, Mrs Feeny. I found it incredibly nice that she connected it.
Fishel, who portrayed Topanga on the sitcom, shed a tear as she remembered the final scene she and Daniels filmed for “Boy Meets World.”
The actress admitted, “I can very easily cry thinking about the last moment we did with you at the end of our show. “Gosh, after all the years that we worked together, it really hit home for me when I saw you and was with you in that final scene in the classroom that this was the end of an era. In many ways, it marked the end of my childhood.