Pop Rocks: One Of Our Boners Is Missing

Andrew Koenig, who played Mike Seaver's best friend "Boner" on Growing Pains, went missing last week in Vancouver.

His sister, Danielle Koenig, said he was last seen Feb. 14 in Vancouver, where he was visiting friends, Zap2It reports. He was to have flown out Feb. 16 but didn't make the flight.

He'd been staying with Jenny Magenta, a burlesque dancer, since Feb. 10. She's been posting on her personal Facebook page since Friday about his disappearance, and has commented on Twitter as well.

Celebrities, according to an earlier Zap2It article, including Alyssa Milano and Sara Silverman, have been on Twitter and on blogs, spreading the word.

There's a "missing career" joke somewhere in all of this, even without the Alyssa Milano assist, but I'm not quite a big enough asshole to make it. Especially since Koenig appears to be the only teen actor on GP who didn't either turn into a child-star cliche or a full-bore wackaloon.

Koenig, as has been reported ad nauseum, is the son of Walter Koenig, who played Chekov on Star Trek. He's appeared in a handful of movies since Growing Pains ended in 1989, worked on the "Never Not Funny" podcast, and has -- according to his parents -- been suffering from depression recently. Friends and family are obviously very concerned for his well-being, and are spreading the word via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to assist Vancouver PD with the search.

I guess it's the level of celebrity involvement that explains why this is anything more than a minor blip on the evening news (Hal Sparks and Alyson Hannigan are among the famous talking about Koenig's disappearance), or why anyone who doesn't know the guy personally really cares. I keep seeing updates from people who, and I'm going way out on a limb here, probably had no previous idea if the guy was alive or dead. Now, folks are passing along some Vancouver detective's phone number in status updates as if their Aunt Hilda, who only follows them on Facebook to get baby-picture updates, is going to spot Koening out her back window in Levelland.

Sure, the theory is sound: the more people flooding the internet with requests for assistance, the greater the likelihood someone not previously aware of Koenig's disappearance will be on the lookout. The guy's lucky to have that many people out there who care about his well-being. Shit, if I went missing my own family would barely pause to breathe a collective sigh of relief before scrambling to auction off my Spider-Man comics.

But in case anyone had forgotten, there are hundreds of people missing in this state alone. Unfortunately for their families, they lack the celebrity connections to get their child's disapperance on Huffington Post or MTV. It takes slightly more effort than typing "RT @Alyssa_Milano", but you can always download the Amber Alert app for your iPhone, or -- if you live in the Houston area -- go to the Texas Center for the Missing web site and learn how to volunteer when there's a local disappearance.

It isn't Koenig's fault that his Hollywood connections have elevated his case any more than it was Natalee Holloway's fault that the media love pretty blonde girls. And I do hope he turns up all right, because it would be a shame for anyone's most enduring legacy to be playing Kirk Cameron's sidekick.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar