AUSTIN, Texas -- The 2013 ATX Television Festival made a lot of 1990s kids happy on Friday when it reunited the cast of “Boy Meets World” for a special screening of the series finale followed by a Q-and-A session. What could you possibly learn, you may ask? A whole darn lot!
Believe it or not, Rider Strong had only two lines in the original script for the “Boy Meets World” pilot. Doesn’t make any sense, right? Fortunately, everyone came to his or her senses since the concept of the show was about the importance of friendship.
The ‘Death Chair’
“Boy Meets World” was like “The Hunger Games” before there even was a “Hunger Games.” Strong told the audience at ATX that in the beginning of the series Cory and Shawn always had one other person sitting with them at lunch in the cafeteria -- but that kid “wouldn’t be back next week.” The cast ended up nicknaming it “the death chair” since no one ever made it past one lunch with Cory and Shawn.
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Who? Stacy was Shawn’s sister who was mentioned once but never referred to again. Creator Michael Jacobs joked that it was similar to the “death chair” in that it was another best friend they couldn’t find.
Rider Strong Was Shawn
Despite having hundreds of kids sign up to audition for the part of Shawn, Strong was the first actor that Jacobs saw -- and the last. “I said, ‘OK, that’s fine,’” Jacobs explained, laughing. “No, that’s fine, that’s my guy.”
Maitland Ward Never Even Auditioned
Maitland Ward may have landed the role of Rachel, but she told the fans that she never even auditioned for “Boy Meets World.” Instead, Ward explained that she was trying to get on a series called “Zoe, Duncan, Jack and Jane.” With Jacobs as the executive producer behind the WB teen sitcom, it went on to star Selma Blair, David Moscow, Michael Rosenbaum and Azura Skye. Jacobs decided he wanted Ward on “Boy Meets World,” and it worked out great because “Zoe” was canceled after two seasons.
Trina McGee Auditioned Five Times
While Angela’s other half, Shawn, may have won the part on the first try, Trina McGee had to audition five times before they said yes.
Rider Strong Laughs At Himself Crying
During the screening of the series finale of “Boy Meets World,” the audience was tearing up while watching Cory, Shawn, Topanga and Eric say goodbye to Mr. Feeny. The only thing that disrupted the tears was some heckling in the back of the room. Turns out it wasn’t a rude fan, it was just Strong, who hadn’t watched that scene since it was filmed and was laughing at the way he was crying.
Rider Strong Is A Thief
He stole my heart -- just kidding. Strong dished that he loved the leather jacket he wore on the show so much that he didn’t want to return it to Disney when the series was over. Instead of giving it back, he switched it out with another jacket and Disney had no idea. Until now. Unfortunately, the joke was on Strong because the jacket was stolen (by some “hipsters) shortly after he moved to Brooklyn, N.Y.
Series Finale Mix-Up
The series-finale scene in Mr. Feeny’s classroom was filmed once, which was great until they noticed one thing -- Topanga had a tattoo of some Chinese letters on her neck. Jacobs explained that “hair had never given her pigtails before” and joked that at the time he said, “I can’t fire them now.”
Rider Strong Almost Quit
Imagine a show without Shawn? That was almost the case. “Rider came to me and said ‘I have to quit,”’ Jacobs told reporters at a press conference. Occurring around the fifth season of the show, Strong wanted out simply because he wanted to go to college. Jacobs told him that they could work out a schedule so that he can go to college, and he did!
Eric Really Liked To Kiss
Betsy Randle joked that Will Friedle took advantage of situations that required him to kiss on camera. His conquests on camera included “Terminator 3” star Kristanna Loken and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
The Original Morgan
Before Lindsay Ridgeway took over, Lily Nicksay played the original Morgan, the little sister of Cory and Eric. Lasting 35 episodes of the series, Nicksay went on to do some crazy things after “Boy Meets World.” Her resume now includes living in Scotland for eight years, sailing around Europe, living with the Karen tribe in Thailand for a month and studying Greek and Latin at St. Andrews. Impressive, right?