ABC's TGIF lineup was the classic block of shows throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The sitcoms centered around family-oriented comedy and included classics like Family Matters, Step by Step, Boy Meets World, and many more.
While viewers enjoyed watching the shows every Friday, the actors themselves have differing opinions. These quotes from TGIF stars take a deep dive into what it was really like behind the scenes of some of the country's most-beloved shows.
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For seven seasons, Beth Broderick played sexy scientist Zelda Spellman on ABC's Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Years after the show ended, Broderick discussed how she was able to embrace her alluring side, while also playing a scientist.
In a 2014 Austin Monthly interview, she said that she did this to empower other females:
For Sabrina, they put in the contract that I was going to be the sexy one, but I went to the producers and said that was fine, but I wanted to be a scientist, too. We constantly tell girls that you’re either sexy or smart, that you have to make a choice in life. I got so many letters from moms thanking me for that.
Jaleel White, infamously known for playing Steve Urkel on Family Matters, opened up in a 2021 interview with Entertainment Weekly.
He admitted he doesn't have fond memories of working on the show, and didn't feel he was welcome there. White stated:
I didn't see how I was stepping on anybody's toes [or] taking anybody's shine. It's very important that I say this: I was not very well welcomed to the cast at all, okay? And I don't need to rehash that with the adults over and over again. They know what it is.
On-screen, Bronson Pinchot seemed like a happy guy. Playing Balki Bartokomous, a young international making his way in the US on the sitcom Perfect Strangers, Pinchot was known for his wacky comedic ways.
However, off-screen, he was struggling with depression. In an interview with Page Six, he talked about his struggles:
I clearly needed a therapist and I didn’t have one because I didn’t want to stir the pot. So when I was all done, I went to a psychotherapist and the guy said, "I cannot believe you even lasted this long. I’m shocked that you actually survived this long." By that time I was in my mid-30s.
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Tracey Gold Faced Body Issues On The Set Of 'Growing Pains'
After landing the part of Carol Seaver on the hit sitcom Growing Pains, it wasn't long before Tracey Gold began to face body image issues on set.
She discussed the struggles she faced in a 2016 interview with Studio 10:
I gained a little bit of weight and I had never had a weight problem before, so you know all of a sudden... I gained a little bit of weight. It wasn't even that big of a deal, but the producers wrote in jokes and would say, "Well, it's brother-sister banter, you don't have any brothers, you don't know what it's like." It really hurt my feelings. When you make fun of Carol Seaver you make fun of Tracey Gold... it's my body.
Years after playing Alicia "Al" Lambert on Step by Step, Christine Lakin has nothing but good things to say about her fellow castmates and the show's crew.
Upon revisiting her time on the show during a 2011 interview with Sitcoms Online, Lakin said:
We had the most wonderful crew - lovely and amazing men and women who literally watched us grow up. The cameramen would let us sit on the cameras and taught us how they worked; our craft service gal Ingrid was like a mom to everyone, making favorite foods, hugging us whenever we passed by; our directors were always playing, having inside jokes and making up handshakes with us... I really had a pretty special experience I think, and one that's rare now for many reasons.
She also reflected on her love for on-screen parents Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers:
They were an incredible part of my childhood. They were, honestly, two of the most genuine, very generous and incredible people. And I think it's why I am so well-adjusted as a former child actor now.
After the show aired its last episode in 1995, Full House star Candace Cameron Bure reflected on her time on the family sitcom. In a 2012 interview with Your Teen magazine, she discussed how much fun she had:
It was a blast! It was eight wonderful years of my life and I think the same is true for everyone who worked on the show. In fact, this month marks the 25th anniversary of the pilot episode and the whole crew is getting together for a barbecue to celebrate.
Bob Saget, who played Danny Tanner, claims the reason the cast was and still is so close is because they treated the younger actors as their equals, not as kids. As he told Entertainment Weekly:
We all treated the kids like people. Nobody talked to them like they were little puppets. That's why I'm friends with all of them, and it's real, and I value it. That's the best part of the whole damn thing.