Boy Meets World 's William Daniels Reveals What Made Him Pause Before He Signed on to Play Mr. Feeny

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WILLIAM DANIELS, BEN SAVAGE
WILLIAM DANIELS, BEN SAVAGE

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

William Daniels wasn't always so keen on Boy Meets World's Mr. Feeny.

The Emmy award-winning actor, 95, recently reunited with his former costars Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle and Rider Strong on Pod Meets World to share some behind-the-scenes stories from the '90s sitcom.

"I asked for a meeting [with creator Michael Jacobs] because I turned it down and he wanted to know why," Daniels recalled. "I said 'well, that's a funny name and I don't wanna make fun of teachers. I respect them and they're unpaid and all that."

Daniels continued, "Then he told me what my role was based on, which was a mentor of his when he was in high school."

At that point, said Daniels, "I realized the plot would be written with respect."

RELATED: Boy Meets World Cast Says William Daniels Is 'Still Giving' Them 'Pearls of Wisdom' Today

The hiccups continued as Daniels nearly abandoned the show before its first day of filming, according to Strong, 42.

The actor, who played Shawn Hunter from 1993–2000, revealed the show had a disastrous first table read for the pilot episode that prompted Daniels to threaten to quit. That night, Jacobs rewrote the script until the actor was pleased with how his character was being portrayed.

Seven seasons and 158 episodes later, Daniels found one of his signature characters in Mr. Feeny — in fact, he even revisited the character in five episodes of Disney's Girl Meets World reboot from 2014–2017.

And in Boy Meets World's final season, Daniels' wife Bonnie Bartlett appeared as a school dean who ended up falling in love with Mr. Feeny.

RELATED: Boy Meets World Star William Daniels 'Very Content' at 95, Shares Secret to 70 Years of Marriage

BOY MEETS WORLD - "A Brave New World" (Series Finale) - Airdate: May 5, 2000.
BOY MEETS WORLD - "A Brave New World" (Series Finale) - Airdate: May 5, 2000.

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Fishel, 41, grew emotional as she discussed filming the last scene of the series with her cast mates.

"I can very easily cry thinking about that last scene that we did with you at the end of our show," shared the actress, who played Topanga Lawrence. "For all the years that we worked together, gosh, seeing you, and being with you in that last scene in the classroom, really nailed home for me that this was the end of an era. It was also very much the end of my childhood."

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Friedle, 45, previously told told PEOPLE that Daniels has continued to serve as a friend and mentor to his costars over the last two decades.

"He's still giving [advice]," said the actor, who played Eric Matthews. "Ninety-five years old and he still shoots out the pearls of wisdom. His wife, Bonnie, as well. Talking to them is still magical."