From 1989 to 1993 children and teens all over the United States woke up in the morning, turned on their TV sets and watched the hilarious antics of Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, Screech Powers, and the rest of the Saved By The Bell gang. Nearly a quarter of a century after the incredibly popular TV show first aired, it remains in syndication, capturing the minds of a new generation who can’t believe Zach carried around a cell phone the size of a small apartment.
The cultural phenomenon was an unlikely hit and many of the actors who took part in the show are still leading successful careers to this very day.
Here are some amazing facts about Saved By The Bell that will completely reshape your childhood memories.
The TV Series Started As Something Completely Different
Disney picked up the rights to the series and it originally starred Hayley Mills as sixth-grade teacher Miss Bliss. The students starring in the show included actors Brian Austin Green and Jaleel White (Urkel of Family Matters), and “seaQuest DSV’s” Jonathan Brandis. The show was called “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” but it wasn’t picked up by NBC after running for 13 episodes.
Only 3 Actors Appeared In All 86 Episodes
Saved by the Bell featured a rather large cast so it only makes sense that just a few people would appear in every episode of the show. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, and Dustin Diamond hold that distinction. If you throw in all of the “Miss Bliss” episodes, only Gosselaar and Diamond appeared throughout the entire run of the series. Take it one step further and only Diamond has appeared in every TV episode and spinoff series and made-for-TV movie for the TV show.
Elizabeth Berkley Auditioned To Play Kelly Kapowski
Berkley portrayed Jessie Spano on Saved By The Bell, a role that was created specifically for the young actress. However, she originally auditioned for the role of Kelly Kapowski. While Thiessen would eventually win the part, Berkley had the distinction of having a role created specifically for her. Without Jessie Spano, we may never have witnessed the now infamous “caffeine pill addiction” episode.
Berkley Felt That Producers Got Her Character Wrong
Jessie Spano was the brainy feminist of the group but Berkley felt that the show’s writers and producers went too far in how they portrayed her persona. During a 2013 interview on Bethenny, Berkley has this to say of her character’s wardrobe, “I didn’t like it because I felt like as a young woman, just because you are a feminist, why can’t you also dress in things that make you feel girly and empowered?”
Lark Voorhies And Mark-Paul Gosselaar Were Dating For Most Of The Series
Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris might have made sparks fly on-screen but off-screen it was actually Gosselaar and Voorhies who were dating. The former couple spent three years together in a relationship. While their relationship was the longest lasting on the show, Gosselaar told People, “All of us dated at one point or another—it was incestuous!”
Gosselaar Is A Natural Brunette
Zach Morris is known for his bleach blonde California hair. In reality, Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a natural brunette. During the filming of the TV show, Mark was forced to dye his hair every two weeks! Years after the show ended, he admitted to avoiding hair dye since 1997. There was one exception, shown above. The cast reunited in 2015 for a special Saved By The Bell reunion on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
No Swearing Was Allowed On The Set
Let’s face it — teenagers swear. However, the show’s producers wanted to maintain the “wholesome feel” of Saved By The Bell so executive producer Peter Engle made a no swearing rule on the set of the TV show. When he was filming the 1998 movie Dead Man On Campus, Gosselaar said, “it was nice to actually swear on the set.”
Here’s Why Kelly And Jessie Disappeared During The Final Season
NBC decided to double the number of episodes they wanted for the final season, a move that required actors on the TV series to sign new contracts. Thiessen and Berkley refused to sign the new contract, which is why they appeared only at the start of the season and during the series finale. Tori Scott (Leanna Creel) was brought in as the new girl in school. Thiessen and Berkley only appeared in the final episode because it was filmed before they left. Tori was left out of graduation — maybe she was held back.
Disney Still Uses The Saved By The Bell Set
Watch reruns of That’s So Raven (Raven’s school was also named Bayside High) and episodes of Nickelodeon’s iCarly (Ridgeway Middle School) and you’ll notice that Disney reuses the Saved By The Bell set for current shows.
Have You Seen The Saved By The Bell Musical?
You might not realize there is a musical version of the TV series called Bayside! The Musical! It’s a totally unauthorized take on the popular TV series. The show bills itself as “the unauthorized, hilarious, and raunchy musical parody of TV’s Saved By The Bell.” When the musical first appeared in New York City’s Theater80 it garnered a bunch of positive reviews.
There Was Even A Comic Book Released In 2014
In 2014, Roar Comics announced a comic book prequel that sent Zack, Kelly, Jessie, Slater, Lisa, and Screech “back to freshman year in all-new comic book adventures at good ol’ Bayside High!” The characters were familiar but they were placed in a 2014 setting.
Dustin Diamond Published A Scathing Memoir That Attacks His Co-Stars
Behind the Bell was avoided by major publishers but eventually picked up by the smaller Montreal-based Transit Publishing. Diamond spent a lot of time attempting to trash his former co-stars and the book received a big yawn from critics. Gosselaar eventually responded to the book, saying he didn’t read it but heard it was mostly negative. “My experience on the show was very positive,” Mark added. In 2013, Diamond said he never approved the final version of the book, calling it, “another disappointment of mine.” Diamond claimed that many of the details were based on throwaway comments he made to his ghostwriter, “I have nothing but good thoughts and memories towards everybody,” he later claimed.
The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story Was A Massive Flop
Dustin Diamond produced the Lifetime movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story and it was a massive critical and viewer failure. Only 1.6 million people tuned into Lifetime to watch the made-for-TV movie. Lifetime and Diamond have continued to deny that the TV series was based on Behind the Bell.
There Was An Insane A.C. Slater Web Series
In 2006, Mary Lopez starred in a surreal web series about A.C. Slater. The premise started with a five-episode Web series called 28 Day Slater. The idea was that an implant in Lopez’s brain would trigger every February, causing him to believe that he actually was A.C. Slater for a full 28 days.