The hit sitcom “The Wonder Years” loved to look back -- and for the first time in 16 years, the cast reunited to reminisce about the iconic show.
“We were so little and so young and it was such a big part of our life. It was half our life at that time, you know?” Fred Savage, who starred as Kevin Arnold, said.
The show was set in the tumult of the 1960s and featured nostalgic narration by Daniel Stern as the voice of a grown-up Kevin.
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In addition to Savage, also gathered for an interview with ABC News’ Chris Connelly were Danica McKellar (who played Winnie Cooper); Jason Hervey (who played Wayne Arnold, Kevin’s older brother); Olivia d’Abo (Karen Arnold, the boys’ sister); Alley Mills (the Arnold siblings’ mother), Dan Lauria (Jack Arnold, the siblings’ father) and Josh Saviano, who played Kevin’s best friend, Paul Joshua Pfeiffer.
The show premiered on ABC in 1988 and, for six seasons, its coming-of-age insights elicited tears as well as laughter.
Standout moments include Kevin seeing his father being chewed out at work, or the boy’s yearning for his boyhood crush Winnie. Their characters’ kiss on the show represented the first ever kiss for both stars.
“The one good thing about getting your first kiss on camera is that you know for sure it's going to happen,” McKellar, 39 said, laughing.
Savage, now 38, acknowledged the moment was “terrifying.”
“We were both really scared and nervous and – and -- didn't know what was going to happen or -- if we were going to do it right …,” he said.
“I think that all of those things that were kind of happening on the show … all grew out of something very real that was going on between us or in our lives,” Savage added.
The cast members credit their parents with keeping them focused on set and setting the stage for later lives of exceptional career achievement.
Hervey is a producer and Saviano, an entertainment lawyer. Savage graduated from Stanford University and is now a TV director. McKellar studied math at UCLA, co-authored a groundbreaking research paper and became a best-selling author of math books.
“You know, all this crap about kids from TV shows having terrible lives? Look at 'The Wonder Years.' They all did great," Lauria said.
The hits just keep coming for McKellar, who appeared on the most recent season of “Dancing With the Stars.” She also appeared on “The West Wing” and is an education advocate.
“I've been so blessed,” McKellar, who has a son, said. “I have the best life ever. I'm so happy and excited about every day. Every month brings a new adventure. I never know what it's going to be.”
Some fans still think Kevin’s buddy, Paul, was played by infamous shock rocker Marilyn Manson. When Connelly asked Saviano how many times a week he’s asked whether he is Manson, Saviano replied: “Many.”
Added Savage: “I think it really was the very first Internet rumor. And because of that, it doesn't die.” His quip drew laughter from the rest of the group, as they related their own experiences.
“I get asked if he's Marilyn Manson like every week,” McKellar said.
“I met (Manson) once,” Savage added. “He came up to me, and he goes, ‘You know, we worked together.’ I was like, ‘I do. I do know that.’”
A DVD collection of all 115 episodes of “The Wonder Years," with the period music intact, plus featurettes and rare outtakes, is available for pre-order now and will be widely available this fall. For fans, it’s a long-awaited bonanza. For cast members, it’s a chance to savor sweet memories.
“I see these episodes, and I remember shooting,” Savage said. “It’s an incredible kind of time capsule for us. I mean, this was our childhood.”time capsule for us. I mean, this was our -- this was our childhood.”
- Arts & Entertainment
- Fred Savage
- Kevin Arnold
- Danica McKellar
- Josh Saviano