Few people know that “The Wonder Years” was inspired by the classic holiday film, “A Christmas Story”. The show’s creators were inspired by the movie’s coming of age story and chose to create one of their own.
In addition to some other similarities, the series also uses a similar narration style that helped it become a cultural phenomenon. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in “A Christmas Story”, even makes an appearance in the last two episodes as Kevin’s roommate!
Throughout the years it aired, many celebrities made appearances on "The Wonder Years". They were unknown at the time, but it helped boost their careers.
Some of the bigger names who’ve appeared in the series include Juliette Lewis, Jim Caviezel, David Schwimmer, Alicia Silverstone, Giovanni Ribisi, Robin Thicke, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and John Corbett. Even Savage’s younger brother, Ben Savage, made an appearance long before his days on "Boy Meets World".
Friendships On Set
While the cast of "The Wonder Years" has certainly kept in touch, it’s the mothers of the kids starring in the show who created a life-long friendship.
After spending all of that time on set together, Joanne Savage, Mahalia McKellar, Marsha Hervey, and Jane Saviano created a bond that has surpassed the length of the show. They still get together to this day!
The Series Was Revolutionary
Not only is "The Wonder Years" a cult classic, but it was also a revolutionary addition to the television industry. Using a narrator rather than a laughing track was practically unheard of at the time.
Additionally, it was the first sitcom to film using a single-camera setup. Prior to the show, a three-camera setup was the standard.
Casting the lead role of Kevin proved to be easier than expected. While casting a child is never easy, producers Carol Black and Neal Marlens sought the assistance of several casting directors.
Of the five directors consulted, all recommended Savage for the part. At the time he was best known for his role in "The Princess Bride".