Whatever happened to those goofy Degrassi kids? That question is answered today and tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. in a two-part Degrassi reunion show on Jonovision, CBC's wacky teen talk show.
More than a dozen members of the original cast, including Snake (Stefan Brogan), Joey (Pat Mastroianni) and Spike (Amanda Stepto) were brought together earlier this month for the first time since graduating from the long-running school series in 1991.
"The studio audience went bananas," says host Jonathan Torrens. "Some came from as far away as San Francisco after news of the reunion was posted on our Web site."
Torrens says he even got an e-mail from Kevin Smith, the director of Clerks and Dogma who apparently is such a fan he has every Degrassi episode on tape.
Why the sudden interest in the low-budget, 10-year-old series? For one thing, CBC repeats it every day at 4:30 p.m. "People in their mid-twenties are really nostalgic for it right now," he says.
"What surprised me was the number of people 15 and under who are into it. I'm not sure how they're nostalgic unless they saw it in the womb."
Torrens says he liked the show because it was distinctly Canadian in flavour and content. "This was never Beverly Hills, 90210," he says. "These kids didn't take limos or luxury cars to school, they took public transit."
Torrens says several Degrassi grads have remained in the business, including Mastroianni and Brogan, who played greasers in a few Jonovision sketches earlier this season.
However, his favourite Degrassi character has to be Spike, even though he hardly recognized her at the taping. "She's just three apples tall without the hair," he says.