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‘Boy Meets World’ star Rider Strong reveals why he and Ben Savage ‘didn’t get along that well’ when the show started

  • Rider Strong said he and “Boy Meets World” costar Ben Savage initially “didn’t get along that well.”
  • While doing school work at Savage’s house, they bonded and created a handshake later used on the show.
  • In 2013, Strong said his bond with Savage was “one of the greatest working relationships of my life.”

“Boy Meets World” star Rider Strong revealed on Monday’s episode of the rewatch podcast “Pod Meets World” that he and costar Ben Savage initially “didn’t get along that well” on set of the hit TGIF sitcom, although they played best friends Shawn Hunter and Cory Matthews, respectively. 

“I’ve talked about how Ben and I didn’t connect the first week of the show or the pilot of the show,” Strong said at about the 51:40 mark of the episode while explaining the origin of Cory and Shawn’s handshake. “We just didn’t get along that well. We didn’t connect even though we were working together.” 

Strong called himself a “northern California snob” at that point in his life and said he thought “everything about LA was awful.” Since Savage (who is a Chicago native) had been living in LA for a few years at that point and “was into sports,” Strong said he found it hard to bond with his costar when cameras stopped rolling.

Ben Savage and Rider Strong on "Boy Meets World."

Ben Savage and Rider Strong on”Boy Meets World.”

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

But after several months of filming season one, Strong said his relationship with Savage changed during a “just school day” they had together at Savage’s house with their tutor during a filming break.

Strong said the pair had “the greatest day ever” that day in the early ’90s, when the two would’ve been around 13 years old. “We just connected and we had so much fun and I remember laughing and telling stories,” he said. 

They created the handshake on that day. “And we decided it was our handshake. It was Rider and Ben’s handshake first,” Strong said. “It was not Cory and Shawn. We did not have any intention for it to be in the show.”

Strong said they changed their minds while rehearsing for an unnamed season one episode where a blender explodes. They showed the handshake to season one director David Trainer who encouraged them to do it during a run-through of the episode, and the rest is history. 

Cohost Danielle Fishel said on the first episode of the trio’s podcast that Savage had said participating in a rewatch podcast was not his “thing,” but his friendship with everyone, including Strong, appears to be intact. 

"Boy Meets World."

“Boy Meets World.”

Scott Humbert/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Savage has appeared at “Boy Meets World” conventions in the past, and in 2019, he posted a picture with Strong, Fishel, and fellow “Pod Meets World” host Will Friedle on Instagram when they reunited in Boston

“I moved to New York when the show ended to go to school, but we all stayed in touch,” Strong told Cosmopolitan in 2013.

That same year, Strong also told CNN that his acting partnership with Savage was “one of the greatest working relationships of my life.”

He said they both knew that “we would never let each other down as actors.”

New episodes of “Pod Meets World” air weekly.



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