Boy Meets World (1993-2000) / Girl Meets World (2014 & 2015)—“George Feeny”
AVC: How did you find your way into Boy Meets World?
WD: They came looking for me. I read the first script and I said, “I don’t want to do this.” So the producer said, “Would you come and have a meeting with me, please?” So I went and had a meeting, and I said, “You know, before you say anything, I don’t want to play Mr. Belvedere or make fun of teachers, because I think they’re underpaid, need more respect, and…”
And he said, “Wait, wait, wait a minute! This character is based on a teacher I had in high school who became a mentor of mine! We’re not making fun with this part!” I said, “But this first script…” He said, “Don’t worry about that. Just give me 24 hours. This is gonna be rewritten, and then tell me whether you’ll gonna do it or not.” And overnight he sent another script, and it’s totally different, totally believable, and totally doable. And so I said, “Okay.” And that was the beginning of a long run! You know, I ass-backwards into a lot of these things. [Laughs.]
AVC: Bonnie mentioned earlier that you get letters from history professors who were influenced by 1776. I can only imagine how many you get from teachers who were influenced by Mr. Feeny.
WD: That’s true. To this day, I get mail, and it’ll either be about Boy Meets World or 1776.
BB: Or KITT.
WD: Or KITT, yes. But as a matter of fact, Disney wanted Michael Jacobs to produce another series, a sequel of some sort. He said, “Well, I can’t do Boy Meets World again. This is 20 years later!” So he comes up with Girl Meets World. [Laughs.] And he asked me to come on and do a couple of scenes for the opening show, just to get me into it, because evidently Mr. Feeny had become something of an iconic figure involved with this thing. So I did two scenes for two different shows. We did it in one day, because the money is not any good anymore, so he could pay me a double salary. And I think he’s going to want me to do something else, too. Isn’t that what he said, Bonnie?
BB: He said that it would be a tradition that, for as long as the show goes on, you’d be on the first episode of each season. So, yeah, you’ve done a couple, and he wants you there when you can. And when you will.
WD: Yes, and I feel beholden to him for making me comfortable from Boy Meets World, so the money doesn’t really matter to me. Whatever he wants me to do, I’ll do.