Monday, October 02, 2006

Where Are They Now: Saved By The Bell

Here's a little quiz for you. Which name doesn't belong in the following series?
Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Dustin Diamond, Tommy Lee.

If you answered Dustin Diamond, unfortunately, you would be wrong. The correct answer would have been none of the above.

With the revelation of the Dustin Diamond/Screech Powers sex tape (Really, did you ever think you'd see those four words put together in the same sentence? Download it now for $4.99!), we are reminded yet again of the career struggles of the cast of Saved By The Bell.

Most of the cast have had issues shedding their SBTB images and being typecast. Diamond, who played the dorky Screeh Powers, and Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Richard Belding, didn't help their cases by carrying on their roles for another seven years on Saved By The Bell: The New Class.

Elizabeth Berkley, who played the super studious, sometimes pill-popping Jessie Spano on Saved By The Bell, had perhaps the most infamous role of any of the cast members. Two years after Saved went off the air, perhaps trying to shed her Saturday morning teen show image, she flashed her headlights in the movie Showgirls. Which I always get confused with Striptease. Which is quite odd considering I've never seen either movie. Hmm, suddenly I got a hankerin' for some fried eggs.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played the popular, scheming Zack Morris, has had arguably the most successful career post-SBTB. He continued his role as Zack Morris on Saved By The Bell:The College Years, which aired in prime time, but lasted only eighteen episodes.

Gosselaar's most famous role after Saved was on NYPD Blue, which he was on from 2001 until the series ended in 2005. Although it's never been confirmed, rumor has it that NYPD Blue ended because Gosselaar called time-out during one episode, as he was known to do on Saved By The Bell, freezing the entire cast, but forgot to call time-in. Which would mean that somewhere Dennis Franz may be frozen in some sort of oddly contorted mannequin-type pose. Which wouldn't be an entirely bad thing.

The career of Mario Lopez, who played A.C. Slater on SBTB, could perhaps be best described by the phrase quantity does not equal quality. Lopez' roles include a guest role on the daytime soap Bold And The Beautiful, as well as hosting duties for Will You Marry Me, America's Most Talented Kid, and ESPN Hollywood. Yeah, I've scarcely heard of them myself. Although he has been the most visible of the Saved cast, one would never mistake him for an award-winning actor.

Many thought Lopez' big break had come when he played the title role in the 1997 made for TV movie Breaking The Surface: The Greg Louganis Story. But it was not to be. Thus, he is currently competing on Dancing With The Stars. He also recently bared his buttocks on an episode of Nip/Tuck. (How is it I have only ever seen one episode of Nip/Tuck, EVER, and this is the episode I see. My only thought was "Eww, that's Slater's @$$!! Make it stop!!")

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, who played innocent cheerleader Kelly Kapowski on SBTB, was the first of the cast to land a major role post-SBTB. And probably did the best job of shedding her Saved By The Bell stereotype. She played duplicitous vixen Valerie Malone on my other favorite show, Fox's Beverly Hills 90210, from 1994-1998. However, since she has been relegated to such box office smashes as Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth. Uh, yeah.

Lark Voorhies, who played fashion-obsessed Lisa Turtle on SBTB, has had guest roles on Deep Space Nine, as well as daytime soaps Days Of Our Lives and Bold And The Beautiful. (Evidently, there is some weird SBTB/Bold And The Beautiful pipeline.) LVoor (her hip-hop name) reportedly quit the soaps because she refused to do sex scenes. Dustin Diamond, on the other hand, obviously has no problem with those.

So we are left with nothing but memories of Bayside. Good memories, like Kelly getting a humongous zit on her nose right before Homecoming, Jessie nearly OD'ing on caffeine pills, Zack telling everyone Slater is dying and needs to move to Hawaii, the Bayside radio station and Save the Maxx telethon, and of course, Zack's ginormous cell phone. But memories, nonetheless.

And I'm left trying to get the image of Slater's smooth, well-rounded buttocks out of my mind.

In the immortal words of Jessie Spano, after Zack caught her taking pills, "I'm so... scared!"

"Riding low in my chair, she won't know that I'm there. If I can hand it in tomorrow it'll be alright..."


  1. $10 says that the tape will be on by the end of the day.

  2. I heard about this and it made me laugh. Gross!
    Good post, I feel so up-to-date with my SBTB friends!

  3. Mario also hosted a "Planet's Most Amazing Pets" show. My kids watched it regularly on Animal Planet.

    Say it ain't so Screech. I thought he was preaching somewhere out west.

  4. The only thing worse than Slater ass would be Screech ass.


  5. I rather enjoyed seeing Slater's ass :-)

    Tiff is a very good friend of mine. She is actually doing a lot of directing right now...


  6. I wonder how much work time you spent researching all of this important information.


    Thank you for keeping us all up to date...

    I also heard that Screech sold "Save Screech" T-shirts for a house that was being foreclosed. He Complained that he couldn't pay his bills due to lack of work because of the type-casting problem. Maybe he should have gotten a "real" job... not too much type casting found at McDonalds.

    But instead he made some ridiculous amount in T-shirt sales.

    This guy is weird.

  7. Hotpink: It's probably on there already. But I, for one, have no desire to see.

    Lindsy: Thanks. I was thinking of you as I was writing this.

    Dorothy: I hadn't heard he was preaching. I'll have to Wikipedia him.

    Heather: Or Screech's... well, nevermind.

    Bob: That's cool. I always wonder what happens to people like that.

    OCG: I worked all weekend on it. And you might be interested in the Fund Bone's Writing Class t-shirts. Look for them soon on

  8. I think the only reason Elizabeth Berkely got the part of Nomi in Showgirls was because she was f**king the guy who made it (Joe Ezterhaus?). At least Striptease (the one with Demi Moore) had (intentionally) funny parts in it.

    And a little piece of SBTB:TCY trivia for you. It was filmed on campus at USC over one of the summers I was there. That still wasn't enough to make me want to watch it though.

  9. Do I want to understand the connection between Striptease and eggs?

    OCgirl, I have a feeling Bone didn't have to research most of this.
    I fear that he carries a lot of this info in his brain :-)

    Just think what he could accomplish if he thought about the really important issues of the day like Nick's divorce settlement from Jessica, and understanding anything at all about Tom Cruise.

  10. should really be a host on one of those entertainment reporting shows. I love SBTB and watched it faithfully. Like you, another favorite of mine was 90210. Whatever happened to some of those people. Maybe that can be your next where are they now post?

  11. That's scary stuff...and I got the Showgirls/fried eggs comment. Kinda sad. I think to be a real showgirl in Vegas they require at least lemon sized...grapefruit would be better.

    I came over to let you know that I got my vacation pictures posted.

  12. I heard about the Nip/Tuck episode. I can't watch because of all that cutting of people. So I was spared the ass shot. They ought to warn viewers about this stuff in advance. (so if it's someone GOOD, we can tune in) :)

  13. Xinh: That's cool! I would have had to drop by and see if I could bump into Zack or Kelly. Or what was that hot blonde who played on The College Years? Leslie?

    Pia: That was pretty intuitive. I wrote most of this post in my head over the weekend.

    And I almost blogged a couple of weeks ago about Bobby and Whitney. But it was just too painful.

    Krista: I'll see what I can do. I think I saw Jennie Garth on another show. Shannon Doherty hosts that break up show. And Ian Ziering is like 45 years old now.

    Renee: I'm glad someone got it. Maybe that's just a southern phrase?

    Carmen: So Mario isn't someone GOOD? :)

  14. Mario Lopez also co-hosted that man-talk show with Danny Bonaduce. I hear he's a real sleaze bag. And I would never want a guy that chisled. Nothing to hold on to!

    I think DD's scandal is a stunt to save his butt. I'm sure he released the tape himself. I remember hearing a while back that he was in some tax trouble with the IRS. He was looking for a way to pay it off. This sounds like it might work. Except I won't pay for it!

  15. I about laughed myself to death when I heard about screech....and then I was like....eeeeew....YUCK!

    btw - LMAO on the fried egg comment.

  16. I think Mario Lopez is also doing "Dancing with the Stars" or one of those ridiculous reality dance shows right about now. 8-)

    Honestly, I used to be able to sing that entire song...

  17. On my favorite morning show this morning they talked about actors who could not shed their old character the guy who played Radar O'Reilly on Mash just couldn't play other types of characters once Mash ended. Macaulay Culkin, the guy from Blues Clues, Ricky Shroeder, the Olson twins in addition to the Saved by the Bell cast were mentioned as people who couldn't get a break and play different types of characters in TV or movies. Michael Richards and Jason Alexander from Seinfeld were also mentioned.

  18. re: tanning hide comment. Your mom said she would tan Your hide and we were tanning a animal hide.

    But I don't think that she was really going to take the hair & membranes off your hide. That might have been more painful.

    BTW: my parents used to tan my hide too...and my mother had lousy aim...she claims it was because I was wiggling, but I wasn't because I didn't want it in my back.

  19. Lass: Yes, someone mentioned that to me in an email or something. Like the male version of The View.

    RedNeckGirl: OK, so at least two people got the egg comment :)

    TravelingChica: Yes, he is. I mentioned that :)

    Chickadee: Once you're in a role for so many years, it has to be nearly impossible. It's like have you seen George's new show, or Kramer's new show? May as well just go with it, and try for a spin-off, like Kelsey Grammer.

    Renee: LOL Either way, I don't have fond memories of hide tanning.

  20. Ahhh good ole Bayside! I used to watch this show every morning before school :)

  21. Jen: I miss it. Maybe they'll bring it back soon.