My kids were just the right age for Girl Meets World, the spin-off of the longer running and more popular Boy Meets World. But 1993-2000 I was already out of college and not really the audience anymore. I was going to say Saved By The Bell was more my thing but that was 1989-1993 and I would have been in college for that too!
Anyway, I didn’t have to follow the show religiously to know the Mr. Feeny character, played by William Daniels (who I knew from St. Elsewhere). Maybe it’s precisely because I was older that I could appreciate the importance of school teachers. When I did watch I would be thinking, “You stupid children, listen to the man. He knows what he’s talking about. He cares about you and wants you to succeed in life. That’s his job.”
Well today I learned that the actually wooed Daniels to the role with Shakespeare:
I live on the other side of the fence from you, Cory. It’s impossible not to face in your direction every once in a while and notice the people in the next yard. And through the years as I’ve gotten to know them, it is apparent they are fine individuals. But, their real strength comes from being a family. And do you know why they are a family, Cory? Because at one time a man and a woman realized that they loved each other and pursued the unlimited potential of what may come from that love, and here you are. There is no greater aspiration than to have love in our lives, Mr. Matthews. Romeo knew it and died for it.
In case you’ve never heard of the show and are now thinking about binge-watching it on Netflix, beware:
There were more Shakespeare references tied to Mr. Feeny’s character, but most of them landed on the cutting room floor, including the Romeo and Juliet speech.
Oh, well. It had potential!
If you loved Mr. Feeny too, apparently this and other stories come from Daniels’ new book There I Go Again: How I Came to Be Mr. Feeny, John Adams, Dr. Craig, KITT, and Many Others.
For those that know the show and the character and know where I’m coming from, enjoy one of the great television finale moments. Total spoilers but come on it aired almost 20 years ago if you wanted to see it and never did you might as well: