'Drake Was High For His Audition' And Other Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Degrassi.

Canadians hold Degrassi near and dear to our hearts. It's one of the first (and only!) TV shows that depicts a real, unfiltered version of teenage-hood. Running for 14 years and counting (recently launched on Netflix), this show has had some wild times.

1. The Degrassi franchise first began in 1979 with The Kids of Degrassi Street. Many of the young actors from this program went on to appear on Degrassi Junior High, but as different characters.

2. Casting for Degrassi Junior High, which aired in 1987, was partially done through flyers and notices in Toronto papers.

3. Most of the Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High cast wore their own clothes and make-up on set.

4. Stefan Brogren, aka Archie Snake Simpson, became the first person to say the f-word on Canadian television after he used it during Degrassi: Schools Out in 1992. The specific line was: Joey Jeremiah spends his summer dating Caitlin and f-ing Tessa.

5. Nicole Stoffman, who played Stephanie Kaye, said she left the show because she (Continued)


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5. Nicole Stoffman said she left the show because she was bored and had to move on.

6. Amanda Stepto, the woman behind teen mother Christine Spike Nelson, was adopted.

7. Amandas signature spiked hair was her own hairstyle and she hated when people would touch it. She also said she was often harassed because of her hairdo, but kept it anyway.

8. All three members from the classic Degrassi band The Zit Remedy could actually play their one song, Everybody Wants Something. The short song, which was written by a 13-year-old boy, only used three chords, C, G and D.

9. Neil Hope, who played Derek Wheels Wheeler, passed away in 2007 at the age of 35. His last appearance on the show was in 2003.

10. Spikes baby Emma Nelson was actually named after something that happened on the show. Can you guess what it is? (Answer on the next page!)


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Spikes baby Emma Nelson was actually named after the Emmy Award that Degrassi Junior High won in 1987.

11. Degrassi: The Next Generation came about after a small televised reunion occurred in 1999 with the original cast. It was so popular that the shows creators realized Spikes baby, Emma would be entering high school, therefore giving the franchise a reason to return. Hooray!

12. The famous building in Degrassi: The Next Generation is actually

a set rather than a real school. Tourists often come to Canada and ask to see the whole school, although it does not exist.

13. However, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High were both shot at real schools.

14. Before co-creating De Grassi, Linda Schuyler worked in a job that allowed her to understand the ins and outs of high school life very well. She worked as a (continued)


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Linda, the series co-creater, worked as a school teacher before co-creating Degrassi. No wonder she knew so much about that world!

15. There is a real street called De Grassi Street and series co-creator Linda Schuyler once lived there.

16. De Grassi airs all over the world, and sometimes they change the storyline to fit with that country's regulations for censorship. For example, in many countries, Erica Farrells and Manuella Manny Santos abortion story lines were either edited or went un-aired.

17. Stefan Brogren has been part of the Degrassi franchise longer than any other actor. He made his first appearance in 1987 and is still on the program. Talk about dedication!

18. In real life, Stefan Brogren attended Earl Haig Secondary School in Toronto. You know who else went to that high school? Jake Epstein (Craig Manning), Ephraim Ellis (Rick Murray) and Justin Kelly (Jake Martin). They all attended years later.

19. Hollywood director Kevin Smith grew up watching Degrassi and was a huge fan. He even had a crush on the character of Caitlin Ryan. So, he was delighted when the producers of Degrassi told him he could (continued)


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So, Kevin Smith was delighted when the producers of Degrassi told him he could make multiple cameo appearances on the show, and even kiss the character of Caitlin in one episode. Childhood dream come true!

20. Cassie Steele, who played Manny Santos, is the actual older sister of Alex Steele, the actress who played Craig Mannings little sister, Angela Jeremiah.

21. During season two, Terri MacGregor becomes a successful plus size model. In real life, the actress who plays Terri, Christina Schmidt, left the show to become a real life plus size model. She is represented by B&M Models in Toronto and has been featured in Italian Vogue, as well as ads for Torrid, MXM, and Nygard.

22. Excluding season one, all of the episodes from Degrassi: The Next Generation are named after songs.

23. Adamo Ruggiero originally auditioned for the role of Craig Manning before he was cast as Marco Del Rossi.

24. Adam Torres was the first transgender teen character to appear as a series regular on a scripted television show.

25. Peter Stone was originally meant to be bisexual and pursue a relationship with Riley Stavros but all that changed when (continued)


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But all of that changed when the writers decided against it. No reason was given for the shift.

26. Adam was originally meant to be an androgynous lesbian character named Zoe.

27. Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake (or Jimmy Brooks to Degrassi fans), admitted to smoking weed before his Degrassi audition as a teenager. Looks like it worked out!

28. Kevin Smith wrote his own dialogue for his three episode guest appearance as himself.

29. During the scene where Spinner gets a boner during improv class, Shane Kippel actually used a salami in his track pants.

30. All of Shanes piercings on the show were real. All of Stacey Farbers, aka Ellie Nash, were fake.

31. Netflix is now streaming Degrassi: Next Class!

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