'Boy Meets World's William Daniels First Turned Down Mr. Feeny Role

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
Mr. Feeny standing at the front of the class, speaking.

Boy Meets World was one of the most iconic sitcoms to come out of the '90s, with many people having fond memories of the show. However, did you know that one of the show's most iconic characters almost didn't happen?

Actor William Daniels explained how he nearly skipped out on the role of Mr. Feeny, but the show's creator was desperate to keep him on.

The man behind Mr. Feeny in Boy Meets World almost never took on the role.

Actor William Daniels recently opened up about the origins of the character on Pod Meets World, a Boy Meets World rewatch podcast hosted by Rider Strong, Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle, who played Shawn, Topanga, and Eric respectively.

The show's creator. Michael Jacobs, first offered Daniels the role.

Mr. Feeny standing at the front of the class, speaking.

"I asked for a meeting because I turned it down, and they wanted to know why," Daniels shared with his former costars, "I said, 'Well, that's a funny name and I don't want to make fun of teachers. I respect them and they’re underpaid."

Jacobs then explained that the role wasn't meant to be a caricature.

Apparently, Mr. Feeny was based on a real-life mentor Jacobs had while in high school.

"I realized the part would be treated with respect," Daniels said, though he still wasn't entirely convinced.

Apparently, the show's first table read didn't go very well.

Mr. Feeny standing at the front of the class, speaking.

Daniels still wasn't pleased with the portrayal of Mr. Feeny and threatened to leave the show over it, so Jacobs rewrote the pilot to keep him happy and on board.

And the rest is history!

Daniels went on to play the iconic role and one of the most famous television teachers.

On the podcast, he told a story of him being recognized while in New York City. "A bunch of kids got off the bus and they said, 'Mr. Feeny!' And they came running, and I ran around the block," he said while laughing, clearly fond of the memory.

h/t: ET