Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Saved By The Bell: The Reunion

Apparently, I watch more late night TV than I think. While flipping channels last night, I stopped on Jimmy Fallon as he was just about to bring out a guest. Then I sat there in near disbelief when who should appear from behind the curtain but none other than one, Zack Morris! Well, the actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, yes. But he was decked out in full Zack Morris regalia!

I sat there with my eyes glued to the television, no doubt grinning like that guy in the Viagra commercial, as Fallon and Zack reminisced about Saved By The Bell. They referenced everything from The Maxx to the Zack Attack to Stansbury, the Harvard of the West. At one point, Fallon even referred to Morris as "Preppy."

Well, here, just watch. If you're a Saved By The Bell fan, you'll think you've died and gone to Bayside.

That may be in the running for the best nine minutes of my life. No, really. I'm trying to think of what else it would be and nothing is coming to mind. And here's the best news of all (in case you didn't watch the video): Fallon is trying to get a Saved By The Bell reunion together!

With all this SBTB talk, I decided to dig up my Where Are They Now: Saved By The Bell post. At that time, I had been inspired by the Dustin Diamond sex tape. Hmm, that doesn't sound right. Anyway, here it is, originally posted in 2006 and only slightly edited. (We should be able to tell a lot about Bone's maturity level now versus then.)

Where Are They Now: Saved By The Bell

With the revelation of the Dustin Diamond/Screech Powers sex tape (Really, did you ever think you'd see those in the same sentence? Download it now for $4.99!), I decided it was time to catch up with the cast of Saved By The Bell. Think of this as sort of like VH1's Behind The Music, but with less crying. Some crying. Just less.

As with any popular television show, no doubt some of the cast have had issues with shedding their SBTB images and being typecast. Diamond, who played the dorky Screech 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, despite the fact that I watched every single week.

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. That would mean that somewhere Dennis Franz may still 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' credits 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.

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. He also bared his buttocks on an episode of Nip/Tuck a few years ago. (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 she probably did the best job of shedding her Saved By The Bell stereotype. Thiessen played duplicitous vixen Valerie Malone on my other favorite show, Fox's Beverly Hills 90210, from 1994-1998. However, she has since 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 Livesand 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!"

"By the time I grab my books and I give myself a look, I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by..."


  1. What a trip down memory lane. That video was way cool. I watched SBTB many times and I've also seen them grow into newer/ fresher roles. Great post, thanks for sharing this. Have a great day.

  2. I would laugh my ass off if Fallon succeeds in getting all of them back together on his show. Between Mario Lopez's apparent ego on Dancing With the Stars and Dustin Diamond's attempt at losing weight on the TVchannel was enough to make me roll my eyes in disgust at my former Saturday afternoon buddies. Honestly, the only one who ever made a step in the right direction was Mark-Paul, though Elizabeth Berkley did manage to have a somewhat good run on the Bravo network's dance competition show last summer. (I can't seem to remember the name of it for some reason...telling, I think...)

  3. My wife raves about this show and can't believe I never watched it. I think I may have watched a couple of episodes, but it's not particularly memorable. More so was "Head of the Class", but it can't hold a candle against the classic "Welcome back, Kotter."

  4. I caught the Fallon clip yesterday, that was a hoot! But I think I might have seen one or two SBTB shows so I was at a loss for what all the buzz was.

    So cool that you were moved to post and to reuse some of your old material. :D

  5. Oh man, I LOVE that he called him "Preppy!!!!" That's classic :)

    A couple of years ago, I used to get up every morning and work out to SBTB reruns every morning. I would send a friend of mine daily SBTB episode recaps. I really loved that show... even though watching it as an adult made me admit it was kinda cheesy. Who cares though, right? It's a guilty pleasure I'm not afraid to admit to.

  6. Ok--I think I might have seen SBTB... You make me feel old!

  7. I am laughing so hard, *tears*
    High tops and the Phone!
    I didn't watch SBTB that much,but I do remember the cast.
    Love Jimmy Fallon!

  8. Michelle Johnson - Thanks! I thought so, too. And just had to share it. I knew any SBTB fan would absolutely love it.

    Marina - Haha. Yes, I think that's very telling. I forgot Screech was on Celebrity Fit Club! I guess I need to update my post to include the past three years.

    And according to the video, Dustin and Tiffani are the only two who haven't yet agreed to the reunion.

    Cap'n John - It was a good show. A little cheesy, yes. But they kinda played off that and never tried to hide it.

    And I know you won't believe this. But I just watched an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter Monday afternoon. I have a DVD with six episodes I found at Cracker Barrel a couple of years ago.

    Renee - Well, like I said, that might have been the best nine minutes of my life, so I had to post about it :)

    TC - Yeah, that cracked me up. Along with Fallon saying, "I never thought we'd be able to book you guys" when referring to the Zack Attack.

    I'd love to catch some SBTB reruns. Guess I'm not up early enough. Or don't think to turn on my TV in the mornings. I do have one season on DVD, though.

    Sage - OK, I'll try not to do any more SBTB posts for awhile. At least not until the reunion is confirmed.

    Daily Panic - Yes, I loved the phone! I mean, as soon as it rang I knew it was coming. Loved the time-out, too. Fallon: "Did you just time me out?" LOL

  9. Do they still make NoDose? That was dangerous stuff. And I've missed lots of TV.

  10. Ah, Saved By The Bell! I really wanted to be Kelly. And I think I may have had a secret thing for Screech.

    That must have been a fun interview! Also, how does Zack not look any older?

  11. You'll have to excuse my ignorance on Saved by the Bell.
    Like the other commenter said though that guy looks pretty young still.

  12. YOU SUCK! I was totally going to do this on my blog. After I got your email I started doing research on the cast. AAHHH!

  13. Also, when I was in NYC I went to The NBC store. They have a SBTB section. Oh yea, I got a Zack Attack shirt. Don't be jealous.

  14. Actonbell - I would imagine so. I remember a friend of mine taking those a few times and one night he was hallucinating pretty bad. Ah, the good ol' days.

    J Adamthwaite - I really wanted to be Zack. Also, Brandon Walsh on 90210.

    I know. At first I thought it was like a Zack Morris impersonator. Then I thought, who would ever do something like that, besides me.

    Cooper - Hey now, it's not like this was some show from the black and white era of television :) I think we all still look pretty young. We meaning Zack, Jimmy Fallon, and me.

    OKChick - Eh, you can still do it. I don't mind. And I don't think we have many cross-readers.

    Did you really get a Zack Attack shirt!?!? I demand a picture.

  15. The best nine minutes of your life. I know you live a more exciting life. There's always the Darryl's. OK so it was the best nine minutes of your RECENT life

  16. Cross my heart and hope to die. I wore the shirt last night. It's totally awesome!

  17. A reunion would be great! That video was awesome! Loved the brick phone...lol. Check out my SBTB tribute rap video "I Love Bayside" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8mvxPIV6U4

  18. Oh, Bone. I was not a huge fan of SBTB, but I wasn't NOT a fan. I watched it. Heck, I was around that age (sans a few years). I did watch that Jimmy Fallon video and WTF? Does Mark-Paul age??? He looked exactly the same. Prick. As for a reunion, would this include whathername from the first season, who played the teacher (can't remember her name)?

  19. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE that he keeps a straight face the whole time!

    I loved Zack Morris. YUM YUM!!

  20. Would you believe that I never watched an episode of Saved by the Bell? Seriously. Never.

  21. Pia - Well it was the best nine minutes I could remember. Most of my Darryl stories are unpublishable for various and sundry reasons :)

    OK Chick - I believe you. I may have to scour the Internet and find myself one.

    Seanie Mic - The brick phone and the timeout were the best. Enjoyed your SBTB rap tribute.

    Sean P. Farley - Miss Bliss!!! I was thinking of her, too. They should definitely include her, in my opinion.

    Blondie - Yeah. He was spot on. Stayed in character the whole time.

    Mama Zen - Nope. Prove it :)

  22. So I did see that video (despite not watching late night TV) and absolutely loved it. I think I died and went to SBTB heaven when he called a Time Out and Fallon froze. Ahahaha...

    We had rules about TV time when I was young. We had to read 30 minutes for every 30 minutes of TV we watched. You better believe I read my 30 minutes every afternoon so I could catch Zack and the crew. Man, what an awesome show.