For up-and-coming actors in the ’90s, snagging a guest role on Boy Meets World was like portraying a deranged murderer on Law & Order. The series was a staple on ABC’s TGIF lineup, geared towards adolescent and teenage fans who loyally followed the show’s characters from junior high to college over the course of seven seasons.
From 1993-2000 notable actors, musicians and sports heroes made guest spots on the popular series, while supporting characters were largely portrayed by then-unknowns who are now likely considered some of your favorites; recognizing their early cameos can give you extra bragging rights around your friends. Yes, you love Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation, but did you know he was also John Adams High bully No. 2? Adam Scott played Griff, whose charm and wit enabled him to lead and intimidate other with far less physical force than his predecessor Harley Keiner. Late ’90s icon Jennifer Love Hewitt joined then-boyfriend Will Friedle (Cory’s older brother Eric) during the show’s horror movie spoof as Jennifer Love Fefferman — a parody of herself and her I Know What You Did Last Summer roots. A bevy of actors played Topanga‘s parents throughout the show’s run, including Monkees bassist Peter Tork, which helped convince the rest of the band to drop by an episode and perform. If you’re like me you can’t help but through some side-eye at Linda Cardellini, whose BMW character Lauren threatened to destroy the greatest love of the late ’90s.
With the long-awaited Girl Meets World debuting on the Disney Channel tonight, it’s important to remember how much of a cultural touchstone its predecessor truly was. For working actors, a gig on a steady and long-running series was just as good as an Applebee’s commercial. So what future stars might we meet tonight? Will Cory and Topanga’s daughter captivate audiences as much as the youngest Matthews child did in the mid-’90s? Is Mr. Feeny still alive?
[Photo Credit: Buena Vista Television/Everett Collection, ABC]