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The Wonder Years
posted on April 14th, 2011

I get asked the same questions about The Wonder Years so often that I decided to include a "Wonder Years FAQ" section to my blog!

To kick it off, I'll answer two commonly asked questions:

1. "How did all the Wonder Years kids end up so normal and well-adjusted? Was it something in the water?"

2. "Do you ever get tired of being remembered for your role of "Winnie Cooper" on The Wonder Years?

Its true we all turned out okay! Fred Savage attended Stanford and is now a successful television director/producer, Jason Hervey is also a successful producer, and Josh Saviano and my sister Crystal (who played Becky Slater) both went to Yale and are now thriving lawyers in New York and San Diego!

Was it something in the water? Hardly. Comparing my experience to what I've heard from other lifelong actors, we kids on The Wonder Years lucked out. First of all, we had producers who cared about us having some semblance of a normal childhood, so they did what they could - I was in a singing group at my school, and I'll never forget when Ken Topolsky, one of our producers, rearranged the shooting schedule so that I wouldn't have to miss the big performance night. Skip Cook, the head electrician and unofficial head of the entire crew (no-one messed with the towering salt-of-the-earth Skip) kept the entire crew in check, making sure we had a set free from foul language. Dan Lauria, the dad on the show, was equally protective, and remains a great friend today. (Everybody go see him playing the title role in Broadway's Lombardi. I saw it in November; he's fantastic!)

All of us "wonder" kids turned out pretty well, and there's no denying the group most responsible for that: the moms. Led by Joanne Savage, the moms joined forces and kept a close eye on us, making sure the producers hired the best on-set tutors, that we didn't work a minute past what child labor laws mandated, and in general, made sure we weren't ever put in harm's way. Joanne Savage, Mahaila McKellar, Jane Saviano, and Marsha Hervey were the mother lions, watching out for each other's cubs as much as their own. Unlike many "stage moms", none of them was trying to live vicariously through her kid. None of them particularly cared about the fame or attention that comes from being affiliated with a hit show, so none of them had any problem standing up to the producers to ensure our safety or health. They weren't there to kiss up to the executives to make sure their kid stayed famous. Our moms were there, first and foremost, to support and protect us. Simple as that. They are all remarkable women, and to this day they get together for dinners!  

For question #2:

Since the show debuted after the Superbowl in 1988, nearly every day I get recognized for playing Winnie Cooper. You'd think it would get old, (and as a teenager I went through a period when I was soooo over it), but the truth is, I'm grateful to have been a part of such a beloved show, and it's helped me spread my message of empowerment through math to countless girls across this country (and now the UK and Austraila!), because not only do parents of these girls remember the show, but journalists do, too! It's been such an incredible springboard for me, and I'm forever grateful. And of course every time someone tells me they have watched The Wonder Years as a family and that it has brought them closer, inspiring family discussions, my heart just fills with warmth and I know it's my duty and privilege to give back in any ways I can.

So...no, I don't get tired of it. :)

 

Comments

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posted by dimplemonkey on April 14th, 2011

Congrats on the site and I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I really loved the final episode of TWY and wondered a couple of things. When you finally got to read about Kevin and Winnie's future, how did you feel about it? Secondly, did it ever make you or Fred want to collaborate and write an epilogue? (In literary format not made-for-TV or movie format)


posted by maeby on April 14th, 2011

Best show of ALL-TIME. period.


posted by Mr. Smirk on April 14th, 2011

It is so great that you and the others have prospered after all these years. I have question. Looking back on how the show ended how did you feel about Kevin and Winnie not ending up together?


posted by andy mccartney ortiz on April 14th, 2011

The best thing about The wonder years was that Innocence was the topic, Kevin was the typical teenager in love of his neighbour and Winnie that beautiful neighbour! I was in Jr. high when the show began and in my last year of high school when the show ends so it is a beautiful memory to have and to tell our kids about.


posted by corduroypants on April 14th, 2011

What about the pineapple?


posted by Max on April 14th, 2011

Loved the show. I watched it when i was in my teens. I hope one day they'll release it on DVD...it's really a crime that it hasn't been yet. Nice site.. You Rock Danica!!


posted by ione on April 15th, 2011

hi danica! congrats on your new site. i'm not from the u.s. but faithfully watched and recorded the wonder years show in betamax format.haha!! you are all reel / real superstars!! good luck on your next endeavors.


posted by Sherman2219 on April 15th, 2011

We all wanted to look like Winnie Cooper. Cute and adorable!


posted by KSanders on May 4th, 2011

Even though some of us were disappointed at how the story of the Wonder Years ended in that last episode, we can all be happy about the way the lives of the actors playing those characters have developed so nicely.


posted by nathanielb3721 on July 1st, 2011

Hey everyone, I too am a huge fan of the show. I first watched it on the Nick at Night marathon back in the day on Nick. At the time I was only around 10 years old and I too thought that you Danica were exceptionally beautiful. Time after time after watching episodes I realized i too was going through those exact same things. I just completed watching the series again last night. I especially liked the episode where his math teacher passes, and the episode where Kevins English teacher got fired. The last episodes were great too. I say this all because in the last year I have lost both my mom and dad to sickness. I am about to finish my BA now in history and continue on with my MA and PHD's in history. At this point in my life I too wonder as the characters in the last episode wondered where they were going in life. I guess I like many people in their late teens or 20s wonder where they are going in life. I only hope that I can find myself in the next few years. I hope to join the peace corps, or do some volunteer work in the next couple of years. Anyways, thanks for the great show, its helped me with my parents loss, my older brothers problems, and my own problems Nate


posted by djgill on July 26th, 2011

Hi! i've already posted this comment on another segment, but now i found this one related to Wonder years show,so it's better to leave my comment in here. i found ur artist page on facebook,then through searches i found ur own website here which is great, where u can interact with people from around the world.. well, i’m sure ur already sick of people who talk and ask about ‘wonder years’ series, but right now, right here, i’m gonna say, i’ve just finished watching the whole 115 episodes, again!! (used to watch them back in the early 90?s) and the last one have left a big hole in my heart, can’t really explain, maybe it’s normal since i’m really attached to the show, maybe i went deep and felt every little scene and emotion and totally lived it myself while watching, but today i tell u, the events in the last episode did leave a mark, i might’ve been expecting some ‘deja vu’ ending or Happy ending i should say, instead, it was so real and could happen to any of us! i don’t know what ur opinion is, i know it’s been years! i’ve watched it every night with my wife here, and everytime we wondered: why is it that we’ve never seen more episodes in which all of u guys could appear again and show us events that followed the old times?! For me, it is and will be the best and the most touching series ever, i grew up watching it and here i am today, 32 yrs old, watching it again! Thank u, all of u, i wish i could say it to every single one of the cast.. and i wish we’d be always in touch. Gill


posted by vikram on August 5th, 2011

It was wonderful watching Wonder Years but a sad full ending i wanted Kevin and Winnie should be together.


posted by serko027 on February 9th, 2012

Hello, my name is Sergio, I write from chile. by chance I found a site where he could see the end of the series, was very pleasant and I liked it even though Kevin's father died soon after. Good thing the actors of the series have happy lives and communicate with each other, like the characters they were doing on TV Danica Thanks for telling us how they managed to bring in harmony with the fame he acquired, how good their parents have led that way. It was gratifying to see the end of the series and units, players lead a happy life ... Thanks for that series so inspiring that I understood but now I'm grown when I was young ..... Sergio


posted by thenostalgia on May 9th, 2012

I remember being very young, possibly 7 or 8? I'm not precisely sure. I do remember though, during my childhood i managed to catch a glimpse of \The Wonder Years\" when they were going through syndication on Nick-At-Night. I'm not exactly sure how many episodes I managed to catch

 

 

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