'Boy Meets World' Cast Reflects on the Show's Biggest Moments Including Shawn's Interracial Relationship

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The cast of Boy Meets World is looking back at their time on the iconic series. ET's Will Marfuggi spoke to Danielle Fishel, Rider Strong, and Will Friedle, the co-hosts of Pod Meets World, about some of their favorite memories of starring in the '90s sitcom.

Friedle, Boy Meets World's Eric Matthews, fondly recalled trying to make William Daniels break his character of Mr. Feeny while on set. 

"I would try and try and try, and I never once in seven years made the man break character. That's how professional [he was]... He was always in character," Friedle said. "When the lights turned on, William Daniels became Mr. Feeny, so you weren't going to break Mr. Feeny. I would try and try and try... and I think towards the end he respected that I kept trying. But it was just never going to happen."

"There was that episode where we all jump on top of Bill on the desk and the desk broke from underneath us. And I think Bill stayed in character. I don't think there was any break from him," Fishel added, before noting that the man behind everyone's favorite teacher will be a guest on an upcoming podcast episode.

Meanwhile, Strong recalled his character, Shawn Hunter's, interracial relationship in the series, and reflected on how the show addressed it at the time.

"The big question that was hovered over the whole show at that point was, 'Do we address it on the show?' We used to debate it. We used to outwardly talk about it; me, [actress] Trina [McGee], the writers of the show," Strong said. "Ultimately, we ended up not addressing it. We sort of went with an optimistic '90s, colorblind optimism."

"It'd be great to have Trina on our podcast and we should probably talk about this explicitly because I wonder how she feels about it now," he added. "At the time, I think she was really proud of it. She ended up writing an op-ed in the LA Times at one point being very proud of the fact that we had an interracial relationship on the show and that she was a part of that. I think, if I remember correctly, she was supportive of the idea of not talking about it."

Strong does believe that, if Boy Meets World was being made today, the storyline would've been handled differently.

"We had very many issue episodes, but we never made an issue episode out of race... with Trina. If we were making the show now, let's address it head-on," he said. "Let's talk about it, let's have it be an issue. I think it probably would've been an issue for somebody in the circle or somebody in their life. I think at the time it felt very optimistic, [but] now I would say [it was] maybe a little naive."

Rider Strong and Trina McGee Boy Meets World
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Throughout the show's run, it played host to a large number of future A-listers, including Jennifer Love Hewitt and Brittany Murphy, both of whom guest-starred.

"I was dating Love at the time. She was my girlfriend, so she came on as like, 'Yeah, I want to come play on the show one day.' We were together for years," Friedle said of Hewitt, before adding of Murphy, "She was wonderful."

"She was amazing," Strong agreed of the late actress. "She did two or three episodes, and I just remember us all being like, 'She is an incredible actor.' Such a sweetheart. So nice to have on the set. I remember her and her mom. It was such a great vibe."

Fishel, who played Topanga Lawrence, promised to share photos with Murphy on set with podcast listeners when the rewatch reaches those episodes. Recalling good times such as those, and sharing memories from the time on set with family, friends, and fans, has the trio excited for their rewatch endeavor.

"I'm watching it with my 7-year-old son, and he's loving it. It's right in his wheelhouse," Strong said, before describing his son, Indigo's, thoughts on Mr. Feeny and Topanga.

"The pilot episode, his first impression of Feeny was like, 'Feeny's mean.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, but he's not a bad teacher,'" Strong recalled. "... With Topanga, my son was like, 'She's weird.' And I'm like, 'Yeah, but guess what?' And he's like, 'Do they get married?' I'm like, 'They do. That's the crazy thing.' He's like, 'That is so weird.' He just can't wrap his head [around it]."

Friedle is tuning into the series with his wife, Susan Martens, who was well aware of the show before getting together with the actor.

"My stepdaughter was a big Boy Meets World fan. My wife, Sue, has actually seen them before, but not since. So watching them together and it's like, 'You ended up marrying that guy,' which is creepy, because I'm 16 as I'm saying it," he joked. "It's fun. It's interesting just to get all the different eyes on it at the same time. And then we get to sit down around a table and actually discuss what we're watching, which is certainly interesting."

Unlike Martens, Fishel's husband, Jensen Karp, has never watched the sitcom.

"I'm watching with my husband who's never seen the show," she shared. "He's seen two episodes once and it was both because I played them for him. So this is literally the first time he's ever seen them."

While it's a joy to share the series with their loved ones, the idea for the podcast was sparked because of fans' continuing love for the sitcom.

"We started doing conventions several years ago and connecting with fans. Suddenly we would have fans coming up to us and being very emotional a lot of times, or introducing us to their kids who they were introducing the show to, and we just realized Boy Meets World really has this incredible afterlife that we've just taken for granted, because we don't connect with fans on that level often," Strong said. "It was after one of these conventions that I just said, 'We could easily do a podcast where we just watch every episode, because I've never seen any of the episodes and I think that would be interesting.' This was in 2019, so this was before all the re-watch podcasts that have come since."

While Boy Meets World's star, Ben Savage, isn't taking part in the podcast, the co-hosts assured ET that the actor behind Cory Matthews has an open invitation to appear.

"If Ben wants to come on, we have an open-door policy. We've been talking about this, since 2019 and we had long discussions with Ben. We have email chains back and forth. After a long talks about it, Ben said, 'Listen, I just don't think it's my thing. I think I want to focus on other aspects of my career,'" Fishel said. "And we said, 'Totally understand. If you ever change your mind, let us know and come on.' That's where we are."

New episodes of Pod Meets World are released on Mondays. You can follow the podcast on Instagram, and email feedback to podmeetsworldshow@gmail

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