‘The Wonder Years’ actor Dulé Hill talks about musical episode

NEW YORK — “The Wonder Years” ran for half a dozen seasons on ABC, when it captured the imagination of baby boomers three decades ago. This season the network revived the show with a black cast. Don Cheadle narrates the show as we watch his 12-year-old self navigate life in the 1960’s-guided by his father “Bill” played by Dulé Hill.

A special musical episode airing tonight features Hill’s real spouse. “My real life wife Jazmyn Simon comes on the show to be able to play around for us and create some havoc in my on-screen wife Saycon Sengbloh,” explained the actor via zoom. “Bill is stuck somewhere right in the middle.” He calls his wife, “A phenomenal actress and she always brings interesting energy to the roles she plays so hopefully this is just another story along the journey.” Saycon, who was also on the Zoom call observed that, “The family that gets money together, stays together!”

On this set, a true milestone occurred in the young life of Dulé and Jazmyn’s 2-year-old son, who got to see his parents working together for the first time! “He had his little Mickey Mouse headphones on,” Dulé told me, “and he was watching, as soon as you know he was quiet during the take. As soon as they said ‘cut’ he’d be like, ‘Mama.’ Saycon and I both went – “Awww!”

Dulé, who is originally from New Jersey and Saycon, from Georgia, both have spent years in NYC working on and off Broadway. They got to out those talents to good use for this episode. Dulé was clearly delighted as he said, “We get to use all of those skills that we honed on the New York stage, and being able to show the on the airwaves is truly a wonderful thing.”

As always the trick is making it look easy…when it isn’t! Notes Saycon, “We’re playing the piano. We’re singing. We have choreography. We’re on stage. There’s a lot of things, a lot of moving parts so I was just happy that I survived that week of filming,” and she adds with a laugh: “It was a lot.”

Both stars told me how grateful they had been to be working on a TV show at a time when Broadway was still shut down. Saycon told me that now she’s back to cheering on her friends in different shows because she firmly believes, “Broadway is back!”

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