When son Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) asks Hal to teach him to skate, Hal is only too happy to help Malcolm join “the brotherhood of the wheel.” Hal, we soon learn, is a roller disco champion, having once performed a routine that “won me a gold medal, a macrame plant hanger, and your mother’s heart all in the same afternoon,” he tells his son. And while an experienced stunt double performed the complicated jumps in Hal’s routine, Boomer says the actor learned a new skill to pull off a large chunk of Hal’s routine.
“We said, ‘Listen, we’re going to do this thing where you do roller disco,’ and Bryan said, ‘How much time do I have?’ I said, ‘A couple weeks.’ He said, ‘OK,’ and he just basically practiced roller skating every free second that he had off the show and became an incredibly proficient roller skater very quickly and in time for the shoot,” says Boomer, who won an Emmy for the Malcolm pilot. “I asked him, ‘How many hours did you spend?’ and he said, ‘Hundreds.'”