Rider on “Girl Meets World”

  • 29.11.2012
  • Posted by Rider Strong

Years ago, I was on a train in Spain. It was four in the morning, and I was traveling by myself from Salamanca to Madrid.

A young man approached me and began talking rapidly. I don’t speak Spanish. He didn’t speak English.

I couldn’t figure out what he wanted. We went back and forth for awhile in a stumbling, half-sign-language conversation. Finally, right when he was about to give up, he got an idea. He pointed at me and said one word.


Call it the universal language of Boy Meets World.

For more than two-thirds of my life, I’ve had the good fortune to experience the incredible support of Boy Meets World fans. Complete strangers hug me on the street. I’ve been mobbed by school children on the subway. I’ve had tow-truck drivers recognize me and refuse to let me pay. I’ve had people buy me drinks in Louisville, in Hyderabad, in Accra…

And that’s just the people I’ve met in person. I can’t express enough gratitude to the BMW fans, who not only watched our show when it first aired, but who continue to watch it, spread the word, and even introduce it to their children. It’s an overwhelming feeling to have that kind of support for something we did over a decade ago. When I opened a Twitter account, I thought maybe I’d get a few hundred followers. It wasn’t long before thousands of people were checking in and sending me messages.

Boy Meets World was a defining aspect of my life, and I cherish those seven years. It was never just a job — on a personal level, many of my best memories and friendships were formed because of it.

So I am extremely happy for Ben and Danielle to be able to continue the story. At this point, I have no official involvement in Girl Meets World. There might be a chance to see some of the BMW cast in a guest spot, and I think it would be nice to find out where our characters have been all these years. But Girl Meets World will be, and I think it should be, it’s own show. It will be about Cory and Topanga, their daughter, and a new set of characters.

It’s the next generation.

And I, for one, can’t wait to see it evolve.

60 Comments to Rider on “Girl Meets World”

  1. Tia Williams 12:31 am

    Every time one of the BMW cast writes about their experience on the show it brings me to tears. I am so lucky to have grown up watching this show. I have spent countless hours in J&R buying every season and pray for the future success of GMW.

  2. Kenny 12:53 am

    I really hope they approach you with a spot on this show it would be awesome to see how Shawn has evolved over the years you should be on this show I hope you push for a spot on it

  3. Marina 1:15 am

    I think it would be great, for you to be in the show. Don’t forget Fenny had money for your college (yep I remember). For kids of this generation to see that you don’t have to be rich to have a good education. A lot of kids now in days just do high school and give up due to funds. Plus, we all want Shawn back he was a main role.

  4. Jonathan 1:23 am

    Rider – I know you got your own thing going now as a writer and director. I think that’s great. But Cory and Topanga’s daughter needs Uncle Shawn to teach her how to blow up mailboxes. Her world wouldn’t be met without you in it.
    I mean, “I’m no rocket scientologist”… but if you’re offered a reoccuring, you should take it.

  5. Nicole 1:37 am

    I really hope they offer you a spot!! We all miss seeing Shawn Hunter. We all miss seeing Rider Strong!!

    Thanks for being part of my favourite childhood show, well actually, my favourite adulthood show too :)

  6. J.C 1:58 am

    You need to be on the show.. you’re Cory’s best friend… you have to be! I’ve always grown up looking up to you/shawn, and now at 19, I’d like to know where you’ve been. There can’t be a Cory without Shawn. I really hope if the offer is extended to you.. you take it. You deserve to be apart of the legacy.

  7. Katie 2:52 am

    I would really like to see you on the new show, your the best friend, it would not be the same without you. Im 23 years old and i still watch the reruns on tv.

  8. Jenny 3:06 am

    I grew up with this show and have watched every episode as many times as possible. This show was a part of my childhood and I still watch it today. I was so sad when I heard Shawn might not be returning because that was what BMW was about – Cory and Shawn. But honestly, Rider Strong goes about this issue with grace and he did a good job. I will continue to support both him and the future show, although I truly do miss the past of BMW. I hope they do approach this as a totally new venture, not an extension of a show that was truly beautiful. I think it is truly wonderful to see a child actor grow up to be a good person who approaches these things with integrity, grace, and humour. Great show it was and always will be.

  9. quina 3:17 am

    I really hope they get you on the show bc cory & shawn bromance is why I used to watch

  10. Jessica 3:20 am

    Not only was I lucky enough to grow up with BMW, but I still watch it today. They need to give Shawn a guest spot because there was no BMW w/o him!! My friends and I are going to watch GMW regardless.

  11. Connor 3:37 am

    I was born in 93, but grew up on BMW since my older brothers were always watching it. I’m not just saying this because I’m commenting on your post but it is seriously my favorite show from the 90s and i’ve seen probably every episode more than once. I’m always watching the reruns on mtv. It really brings me back to the good old days when I was little and I’m pumped to see this “Girl Meets World” and cory and topanga coming back. I was wondering just the other day if shawn will be back, and i really hope he does because to me he was such an important character. Hopefully you can get involved in the new show I’d love to see ya! And I’m definitely not the only one. Best of luck to you Rider and thanks for all the laughs and good times over the years.

  12. becca 3:52 am

    I am so excites for gmw and I also hope that you make an apperance or two. Although it is a whole different show from bmw it wouldn’t be a sequel with out shawn hunter.

  13. Marissa 4:03 am

    I grew up watching BMW and when I look at all of the shows I ever watched, it was probably in my top 3. And Shawn was one of my favorite characters so I really hope they bring him back for more than just a guest spot.

  14. Jillian 4:12 am

    Boy Meets World has been with me for most of my life. I was young when it aired and I felt as if I grew up with Cory, Topanga and Shaun. I laughed, cried and learned valuable lessons along with them through the years. I hope GMW will have just as much success and be able to touch a whole new generation!

  15. Alexander 4:38 am

    We laughed with you. We cried with you. This was one of the best memories of my childhood. My parents and even my annoying little brother would all sit around the television for every episode. It brought us closer as a family and gave us something we all enjoyed doing. Thank you for what you all have created and I can’t wait to see what is next.

  16. BMW FAN 4:40 am

    I love the fact that Boy Meets World was such a huge part of all of your lives just as much as it was many of ours. I also love the fact that it was more than just a job to you guys as well, I honestly think that translated through into the show that you all were/are truly friends and got along excellently.
    With that being said, I definitely think that they should bring back Shawn as a re-occurring character. As much as I agree that this new show needs to be centered around Corey, Topanga, Riley & new characters… Shawn was such a huge part of both Corey & Topanga’s lives, and it would be awesome to carry that through to the new show & show that they’re still friends after all these years. They could even translate it into Shawn with a child that is Riley’s friend. So many possibilities and directions that Girl Meets World can take, I’m excited to see what they do with it!

  17. Dakota Redwine 5:09 am

    There is no way that Michael Jacobs and the rest of the cast don’t understand how much people want to see these familiar characters back. I would be very hard pressed to believe that we won’t see recurring spots by the stars that made BMW so special. Strong, Friedle, even William Russ and Betsy Randle are essential to bringing this universe back to life. I don’t want to see Cory and Topanga dropped into a new universe. We want to see their daughter dropped into the BMW universe. Morgan, Joshua… Everybody needs to be seen, referenced, or heard from at least once. It wouldn’t be right any other way.

    Honestly Mr. Strong, please pull the proverbial strings and do what’s necessary to maintain the character of Shawn Hunter in GMW. Who else would Cory hang out with on the weekends when Topanga takes their daughter shopping? If Cory suddenly has a new “best friend”, we riot.

  18. Shane 5:13 am

    Reading this made me feel like I was watching an episode of BMW haha. I hope the new show is able to capture the feelings the old show gave it’s viewers. So excited.

  19. SFC 5:17 am

    Great post and a great photo. I totally agree that GMW will and should have all new characters and stories–and if the new cast has 1/10th the magic of the original, the show will do wonderfully.

    Still, there’s an entire generation that misses Shawn, Eric, Mr. Feeny and the gang, and is desperate to know what they’ve been up to and that all is well for them. Hopefully, in addition to all the new characters and storylines, there are some updates about the old crew worked in there too. Plus, we’d love to see you back in front of the camera!

  20. Crystal Marie 5:23 am

    I grew up with this show, and to know that you took the time to address your loyal fans in regards to all of our questions about your involvement. I would just like to know that in Girl Meets World, they will use the amazing friendship of Cory and Shawn to help with friendship issues for Riley and her best friend. Thank you for this though. It means a lot to us.

  21. Gabriel Conley 5:23 am

    I don’t know how the producers wouldn’t beg for you be a part of this show… The relationship that Cory and Shawn had was almost more charming/entertaining/downright fun to watch than the relationship that Cory and Topanga had!

  22. Drew 5:43 am

    I’d also love to see you get a spot on the show, Shawn and Cory were the two characters I thought developed the most throughout every season of BMW, one of those rare shows where you could actually see the cast grow up and change for the better.

  23. Rocio 6:48 am

    i think it’s incredible how you feel about your experience in BMW, i grew up watching your adventures with Cory, for me it isn’t BMW without you, Shawn is a fundamental part of it and for that i hope he is still around in the life of Cory, like my best friend is still around me :)
    your fan from México.

  24. Rixon 7:57 am

    Boy Meets World was so special to me….i lived such a violent struggling adolescence fraught with abuse and turmoil and things like tv were my only escape…Boy Meets World was one of the biggest and most important routes of escape for me

    i learned from Boy Meets World, was comforted by it, thrilled by it and felt loved by it.
    even the mere sound of your voice was a placating blessing for me; it cradled my soul; it was a beautiful dream that needed no sleep.

    when it ended; it felt like a page turned that i didnt want to turn…it felt like the end of a lovely relationship…as though it was the true end of my adolescence.

    and that stung me worse than a thousand needles….it was like daggers implanted in my heart.

    Girl Meets World, i just know, will touch my heart the same way as did its predecessor.
    I hope to see you, Rider, as well as many other members of the BMW cast come back for guest spots; something like that would mean so much to me.

    no words can truly, accurately express what BMW has done for me; and the place it has it in my heart…

    Rider; i feel like ive grown up with you….as silly as it may sound
    and i THANK YOU and all the cast members for your years of work on BMW

    i am forever a fan

  25. Jessica 8:27 am

    BMW helped me overcome a very trying time in my life. It was the one show that I could depend on to make me smile. I think the show was about Topanga, Cory, and Shawn. I think their stories resonated with viewers because of the character’s chemistry with each other and their unique issues that brought them together. It would leave a huge void if Shawn was omitted from that. I really hope they don’t kill Shawn off. It would be a shame if they didn’t include the character in this new show. I respect that it’s its own show but still find it hard to believe that there isn’t at least some room to allow Shawn to be at least a wise uncle. After all, there wouldn’t be a GMW without BMW, right?

  26. Eva 8:39 am

    well i hope you’ll be a part of it! i remember watching Boy meets World when i was 10
    yrs old! now i’m 28, married and have a 3 month old daughter. We need to bring back positive shows on tv!

  27. John Hamilton 12:58 pm

    Man Shawn needs to be apart of girl meets world.
    Who else is going to tell Riley the stuff that her dad couldn’t and can relate to her BF

  28. Dawn 3:01 pm

    I am so happy to see the sequel coming. And to hear Rider talk so sweetly, I love hearing how cast members become a family and have these long life lasting friendships.

  29. Danny 3:08 pm

    I grew up watching Boy Meets World. And now I have a little girl who will most likely grow up watching Girl Meets World. I just hope that GMW will become the same influential childhood show to her that BMW was for me. And I really do hope that we see what happened to Shawn and Eric and the rest of the gang. I understand its meant to be a new show with new characters who are meant to be the main focus but I hope the producers and writers keep in mind that a lot of the people tuning in will be BMW fans.

  30. Megan 3:11 pm

    I can’t wait to watch “Girl Meets World” and maybe if I’m lucky reruns for Boy Meets World will no longer be playing at 4am maybe during day light hours. But Uncle Shawn and Uncle Plays with Squirrels needs to come in sooner or later.

  31. Christina Rogers 5:09 pm

    Please be on this show. I can not watch the show if I know Shawn and Cory are not still Best Friends!

  32. Jennifer 5:24 pm

    Beautifully written, Rider. I would absolutely love for you to appear on the show as a regular, but I understand when you say that it should be focused on the new Matthews family. Still, I have to say that it was such a joy to watch you on BMW. Shawn had some of the best and most compelling story lines, and you always brought such depth and warmth and complexity to the character. I really hope you will be able to guest star, as Cory and Shawn’s relationship was also one of my favorite aspects of BMW. Wish you the best!

  33. Kacey 5:25 pm

    Oh, Rider, say it isn’t so! My husband and I both have been so excited for months at the possibility of development for a new show and neither of us could imagine you not coming back to reprise Shawn Hunter! Thirty year olds everywhere will be waiting with bated breath that you/they reconsider this decision! Much respect and love from Texas!

  34. Pei-Pei 6:30 pm

    Boy Meet’s World was like the older brother or sister I never had. Life lessons, laughter and pain was shared while learning from and watching the show. I remember watching you all grow up on television, and I was just a few years behind. It was like watching the potential future. Seeing that love could happen, and even with struggle we can find happiness. Shawn Hunter as a character was someone who taught me to be more compassionate and caring towards others, as you never know their full story or background. I can’t wait to see Girl Meet’s World and I hope that it too can bring the lessons and connections we all seek. Thanks again.


  35. Joe 9:05 pm

    I wanna thank you for the most amazing show i’ve ever seen..i still watch the show 2 this day..i’ve got all the episodes. I always cry at the final episode..hope you get more involved in the Girl Meets World. It wouldn’t be the same without you.
    Thank you Rider Strong and gd luck in everything you do in your life. :)

  36. Alexis 9:43 pm

    How can you not be on the show?! You’re Cory’s best friend!

  37. Susan 11:24 pm

    Well written. You are a class act.

  38. Puja 1:56 am

    You need to be in a recurring role!! How do we see Cory and Topanga and not you?!

  39. Sofía 2:11 am

    Here´s the thing… you would be her uncle… you are a part of the show… i think it can be a new show with you guys in it… because most kids these days may not have the luck us 90´ kids have of loving the characters of BMW because they are to little or they haven´t discoverd the show yet… so it can be a fun thing for parents and kids to watch together because you guys are the bond for us and the new people are what will bring new viewers… anyways..

  40. Denys 3:21 am

    I was upset upon hearing that you weren’t goiwto be in it…I still watch Boy Meets World & I love it…its behind the fresh prince of Bel air on my favorite TV show list…so its #2…hehe. Can u at least make an appearance? & they have to have Mr.Feeny back.

  41. Adriana 3:47 am

    You need to be on the show. Not as a guest because you Cory and Topanga ARE the show! It’s not just them. it involves you! You’re an awesome actor and it wouldn’t be the same with out you! UNCLE SHAWN!

  42. Adriana 3:48 am


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  46. Lila marie 2:55 pm

    The only thing i want to say is
    THANK YOU! for giving us and amazing childhood. If it wasn’t for you & you’r character many of us would have not learn about life & life’s choices. God bless you a lot & keep doing what you are good at doing, being ALIVE! :)

  47. Yair Gómez 2:57 pm

    I´m from Mexico and i´m a big fan of BMW i really really identified with Shawn i´m so excited to watch GMW

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  51. Korey 6:27 pm

    There can be no Cory without Shawn. It’s just not possible. Shawn was in EVERY episode of BMW. Every. One. He’s Cory’s soulmate (in a non homoerotic way) and failing his death, i just do not see Cory existing without him. C’mon Disney. It cannot work without Cory and Shawn together.

  52. Fan 8:53 pm

    The whole family would sit in front of the TV every Friday evening to watch every episode of Boy Meets World.

    It was a tradition.

    My favorite characters were Shawn, Cory, Topanga and Mister Feeny.

  53. Christ Gomez 9:02 pm

    I for one am one of your biggest fans (Like you haven’t heard that one before lol) & support you and you’re decisions, but could you PLEASE try to make a couple of appearance as ‘Uncle Shawn’?? That’s all I’m asking for, for this Christmas

  54. mike c 5:28 am

    I bet he’s sick of everyone calling him “shawn”. this guy is trying to make his living now directing. He’s moved on. I would love to see him in the spinoff. I think we all would. But i dont expect him to bow to the wims of the masses. If it happens, it happens.

  55. Ark 5:54 am

    I’m a huge fan of Boy Meets World. I loved it growing up and I love it now. I would love to see Shawn appear in Girl Meets World. Not only because Shawn was my favorite character but because he was, in a sense, part of the family. Not having Shawn there to pass on life lessons or to provide support to Cory, Topanga and the rest would make me sad, but I will understand. If you are offered a spot and choose not to play the part could you at least tell your fans why?

  56. Santania 1:27 pm

    But Uncle Shawn has to be a regular on the show.

  57. Aaron Noel Pieraldi 2:13 pm

    Hi Rider, I have got to say, I envy you so much. I remember growing up with you watching the show and when I found out you liked to write as much as i do, I remeber writing a hand written letter wishing you could read one of my stories. And as time went on, and Facebook came along I don’t even know if it was your “real” page but I wrote the same thing. It would have been an honor. I liked reading the poems on the FB page. {so maybe it was you} As for the GMW topic…. A guest appearance would be great just to see how “Shawny” is doing now. :} I think Shawn’s character might be a good model for Ben and Danielle’s daughter. I’m sure she will be the strict over achiever child and with so many rules, Shawn’s character might help her see there is more out there to experience if she just let go a little. With that, love you Rider and I’ve looked up to you for so long.

  58. Olivia 1:39 am

    Unfortunately I wasn’t born yet when Boy Meets World came out. I was born in 97. 4 years into the show. I was too young to be interested. But I did remember all the reruns that came on Disney. And a while ago I decided to watch every episode beginning to end. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. BMW wasn’t exactly part of my childhood but I’m super excited for the sequel to be apart of my teenage years. I just love the show to death and hope Disney doesn’t screw it up cuz honestly they have a lot of stupid shows on right now. I hope Rider can be a series regular though

  59. Jordan 2:19 am


    You’re such a talented/intelligent person- not to mention Shawn Hunter was my very first crush. :)

    I can’t explain how excited I am for GMW and the possibility that you may be on it! It just wouldn’t be the same without ya.

  60. Sophia Lenore 3:58 pm

    Hi Rider,

    I hope that you are doing very well these days.

    It is interesting to hear that a remake of BMW is in the works. I loved the show, and I was a loyal viewer from episode one. However, I must say I watch the show for Shawn & Angela!! I hated the way Shawn & Angela’s relationship ended. I hated even more that Angela was not featured or acknowledged in the last episode, not even in flashbacks! She is not even featured in the photo you have displayed above. I realize that the picture is a cast photo from the last episode, but she should have been in the last episode, and in finale photos. The character Angela was a very important character (she remained featured in the show’s intro). The introduction of Angela as Shawn’s girlfriend gave Shawn depth & genuine heart; it made Shawn so identifiable and took him out of Cory’s shadow as a sidekick!

    I have my assumptions on why Trina and her character Angela was dismissed and purposely forgotten back then. However, I am not even going to address that! I just hope that the producers of the remake can redeem the original BMW and give Shawn & Angela the ending that loyal viewers like myself wanted. Again, I did not watch the show for Corey & Topanga, I watched for Rider & Trina aka Shawn & Angela!