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25 Facts You Didn't Know About 'Saved by the Bell' and Its Cast On the Show's 25th Anniversary

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | August 20, 2014 | Comments ()


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Today marks the 25th Anniversary since Saved by the Bell aired its first episode, and accoridngly, we thought it fitting to republish these 25 Facts you didn’t know about the cast of Saved by the Bell.


  • “Saved by the Bell” is actually a spin-off of another show, “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” which followed Zach, Lisa, and Screech while they were in junior high. That show was set in Indiana, but when they moved to high school along with Mr. Belding, the setting inexplicably shifted to California. The continuity is completely screwed. In syndication, “Miss Bliss” was called “Saved by the Bell: The Junior Years” and each episode was introduced by one of Zack’s dream sequences. Miss Bliss, by the by, was played by Hayley Mills, who played the twins in the original 1961 Parent Trap.

  • “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” aired on the Disney Channel. After it was cancelled, NBC picked up the rights to “Saved by the Bell,” although its original working title was “When the Bell Rings.”

  • Jennie Garth, Jaleel White, Jonathan Brandis, and Brian Austin Green all auditioned for the show. In fact, the latter three had roles in the pilot episode of “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.” Zack, Lisa, and Screech, however, were not in the pilot, but they would star in the show and subsequently “Saved by the Bell.”

  • During the last year of the series, NBC doubled the order of episodes, but Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley did not sign on. Instead, a character — Tori Scott (Leanna Creel) — was added to replace them. However, the graduation episode was filmed before Thiessen and Berkley left the show. When the graduation finale aired, suddenly Thiessen and Berkley were back and no explanation was provided for the absence of Scott.

  • Tori Scott was named after Tori Spelling, who would make three appearances on the show. Leanna Creel, who played Tori Scott, looked like this on the show:

    tori8.jpg

    Now she looks like this:

    Leanna Creel.jpg

    Creel, a lesbian, married her partner in a legalized same-sex ceremony in California in 2008.

  • “Saved by the Bell” has aired on TBS nonstop since 1992.

  • John Moschitta taught a history class in one episode, and gave lessons in speed talking. John Moschitta is best known from the Micro Machine commercials.

  • Notable actresses who appeared in the series included: Tori Spelling; Soleil Moon Frye, also known as TV’s Punky Brewster; Denise Richards, and Leah Remini, who appeared in six episodes known as the Malibu Sands Era. Scott Wolf also appeared in an episode.

  • The school that “Saved by the Bell” took place in has since been used in the Disney series, “That’s So Raven” and Nickelodeon’s “iCarly.”

  • Lisa Turtle, the character played by Lark Voorhies, was originally written as a white, Jewish princess from Long Island.

  • During three years of the show’s run, Lark Voorhies (Lisa) was Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s (Zack) real-life girlfriend. Gosselaar also dated Berkley and Thiessen.

  • Dustin Diamond (Screech) is the only actor to appear as a regular in all “Saved by the Bell” episodes, spin-offs and movies.

  • Elizabeth Berkley’s real name is Nehama Pnina. She has a literature degree from UCLA. Her best friend is Jennifer Beals. In 2000, Berkley was involved in a $45 million lawsuit in which a screenwriter, Roger Wilson, sued Leonardo DiCaprio and his friends for allegedly assaulting him when Wilson attempted to defend Berkley from DiCaprio and his friends’ advances. Berkley — winner of two Razzie awards for “Showgirls” — now writes a popular girl’s column, Ask Elizabeth, which is being developed for an MTV series.

  • Tiffani Thiessen was involved with Brian Austin Green during the 90s during her stint on “Beverly Hills 90210”. She was also once engaged to actor Richard Ruccolo, that guy from “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place” that no one cared about (Thiessen also had a recurring character on that show). More recently, Thiessen was maid of honor for her best friend Jennie Garth’s marriage to Peter Facinelli. Facinelli met Garth through Thiessen while he and Thiessen were on the show, “Fastlane.”

  • When the characters graduated from high school, their real life counterparts were: Mark Paul Gosselaar (19); Mario Lopez (20); Elizabeth Berkley (21); Tiffani Thiessen (19); Lark Voorhies (19); and Dustin Diamond (16).

  • Lark Voorhies, who apparently has never had a drug problem (despite rumors), was a Jehovah’s Witness. She was also at one time engaged to Martin Lawrence. Her first television role was on “Small Wonder.”

  • Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a natural brunette. He had to dye his hair every two weeks during filming of the show. However, he had dirty blonde hair in his first TV appearance, on ‘The Wonder Years.’

    bscap0544.jpg


  • Mario Lopez is apparently something of a douche. During the show’s run, he was once accused of date rape. The case eventually went away, although Dustin Diamond claims that NBC paid the alleged victim $50,000 to keep quiet. Then, in 2004, Lopez married Ali Landry, but that marriage was annulled after he was caught cheating on her.

  • It’s hard to say the exact amount of royalties that the cast of “Saved by the Bell” receives, but bankruptcy papers from 2001 suggested that Dustin Diamond received a little more than $63,000 a year. In Diamond’s autobiography, by the by, he claims that he has a large penis and has used it to have sex with more than 2,000 women, most of whom he picked up at Disneyland.

  • In a 2009 interview with Newsweek, asked what the greatest thing about his “Saved by the Bell” experience was, Gosselaar said, “I met my wife on Saved by the Bell: The College Years. She literally walked by in the hallway and said one word to Zack. Zack looks at her, and gives a look at the camera and winks. It was 16 years ago. We’ve been together ever since.”

    They divorced soon after that interview.

    Mark-Paul Gosselaar is now married to advertising executive Catriona McGinn, and they have one son, Dekker Edward. McGinn looks like this:

    Is-Mark-Paul-Gosselaar-engaged-to-Catriona-McGinn-300x215.jpg

  • The “Saved by the Bell” spin-off, “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” lasted 18 episodes, ranked 88th overall in the ratings, and was cancelled after one season. It’s 7.2 million viewers, however, is 3 million more viewers than NBC’s “Community” averages.

  • Patrick Fabian was a cast member and played a professor in “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.” You may recognize him as the skeevy professor in “Veronica Mars” or as one of the leads in last year’s The Last Exorcism.

  • Dustin Diamond was host of the 12th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos.

  • Interestingly, Entertainment Weekly gave “Saved by the Bell” a D in its review of the show, and “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” an F. Ken Tucker noted, of the original series, “Kids’ TV should provide intelligent escapism, not dumb sanctimony.” Ken Fox, who now writes for TV Guide, was likely abused as a child.

  • Many have referred to “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” as a failure. In fact, that show — which had frequent cast changes, with Dennis Haskins’ Mr. Belding the one constant — ran three years longer than the original “Saved by the Bell” and produced some 60 more episodes.



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  • Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


    • Terri Hemker

      Tiffany plays the beautiful Elizabeth Burke on the show White Collar!

    • Suke Mahpeen

      That show sucked, never funny, why was it popular?

    • Guest

      I wonder when the photo at the top of the article was taken?

    • Matthew Jansick
    • Jake Langkowski

      "Ken Tucker noted, of the original series, “Kids’ TV should provide intelligent escapism, not dumb sanctimony.” Ken Fox, who now writes for TV Guide, was likely abused as a child."

      Ken who? Fox or Tucker?

    • TrekBeatTK

      The New Class only picked up speed after being significantly retooled (and the addition of Screech helped). The first season was just characters who were cardboard cutouts of the originals. Once they got rid of those, it picked up.

      You forgot one other weird fact: Leanna Creel is one of a set of identical triplets who appeared in the TV movie Parent Trap III with none other than Haley Mills.

    • Kate

      Two of them were also on 90210. I think it was before Thiessen was on the show, though.

    • George Tarleton

      "Mario Lopez is apparently something of a douche."

      The hell you say.

    • BlackRabbit

      If nothing else, Ms. Creel owns a spiffy jacket.

    • Adía

      Whoa, did that Community comment come out of no where

    • Jake Langkowski

      Yeah, but how many other sitcoms are set in colleges that you could compare to The College Years?

    • jhernandez1981

      undeclared? no one watched that either

    • JayWantsACat

      I went to high school (and I believe junior high, but not certain) with Mario Lopez. He was a bit of a douche, which I'm sure only became more pronounced the more 'famous' he became. He and Thiessen visited the school after their first season, if I recall, and did an small Q&A with the drama kids and assorted music majors, like me. I remember her being very pretty (obviously) and nice. He spent time in the bathroom looking in the mirror. His sister was sweet, though.

    • Jebus

      Did you find a roach in the bathroom after he left?

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