“I’m here to encourage you to show some appreciation for the unsung heroes that help shape the future generations,” Daniels, 93, said in an E! News video on Tuesday, May 5. “Our teachers provide us with so much. They’re there for you in your formative years, supply the knowledge you need to take on the world and even give you unsolicited advice from behind the fence in their backyard. I’m talking to you, Mr. Matthews (played by Ben Savage).”
The St. Elsewhere actor added, “So, thank your teachers today and every day and remember, as much as you learn from them, they learn from you. As my final piece of teacherly advice, believe in yourselves, dream, try, do good. I love you all. Class dismissed.”
From 1993 to 2000, Daniels played the world’s most insightful teacher — and neighbor — Mr. George Feeny on Boy Meets World for seven seasons. Years later, he reprised the role on a recurring basis on Girl Meets World — a spinoff to the mid-90s show.
Playing George Feeny has become one of Daniels’ biggest roles to date, but taking on the part was less than ideal to him at first. In 2017, he opened up to Fox News about how he attempted to get out of the role.
“I went to the first rehearsal and it was for a teacher, and I didn’t want to play a dumb or humorous, gaggy kind of thing,” he admitted. “I always respected teachers.”
The There I Go Again author continued, “I went to Michael Jacobs, the producer, and I said ‘I quit,’ and he said ‘Bill, give me until tomorrow, and I’m going to rewrite the part.’ He rewrote the whole part in a very acceptable way for me.”
Daniels, meanwhile, has joined many stars who have acknowledged the importance of teachers amid the coronavirus pandemic, especially celebrities who have had to homeschool their children during this time. Shonda Rhimes, for one, tweeted about how educators deserve much more praise for their efforts.
“Been homeschooling a 6-year old and 8-year old for one hour and 11 minutes,” the Grey’s Anatomy creator, 50, tweeted on March 16. “Teachers deserve to make a billion dollars a year. Or a week.”
During a virtual appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last month, Adam Sandler joked about his teaching abilities amid quarantine while performing a silly song. “I’m teaching math to my kids and that can’t be good for America,” the 53-year-old sang at the time.
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