Fans of the old PBS series Degrassi Junior High
and Degrassi High
? and we know you're out there ? will soon get the chance to bid on some memorabilia from the cult coming-of-age drama.
Pat Mastroianni, who played Joey Jeremiah on the long-running shows, is planning to auction off several mementos on eBay next month (April 10 to 15) to help raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society (http://www.geocities.com/patmeup/). Among the rare items will be one of his trademark hats from the series, which originated in Canada and still airs in reruns four times a day in the Great White North.
Degrassi ceased original production about 10 years ago but the show's cult following just won't die. Gen-X movie director Kevin Smith often cites the show as a major inspiration. And the entire Degrassi library will be released on home video next month by Boston public TV station WGBH.
"We weren't trying to be slick," says Mastroianni, 28, in describing the show's ongoing appeal. "The writing was so natural and the issues were dealt with honestly. Here I was, an actor with zits on-camera. I can't think of any show that does that."
Mastroianni just moved back to Canada after a four-year stay in Los Angeles and recently became engaged to his high school sweetheart. He's currently shopping around a new series, Maximum Speed, aimed at motorsports fans ages 9 to 19. And he remains hopeful that there will someday be a Degrassi reunion.
"I haven't seen a lot of the Degrassi people in over 10 years," he says. "Just like when you graduate from high school, you say you'll keep in touch but you just don't."