Things You Might Not Know About Saved By The BellPublished on May 28, 2016. Updated February 2, 2021
Saved by the Bell was America’s favorite Saturday morning show from 1989-1993 and spawned the careers of Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Amber Thiessen. Since it’s now been 25 years since the original show went off the air and we have encountered spin-offs and TV movies we have come to know a lot about our favorite gang of Bayside High Schoolers, but there are still a lot of facts that remain relatively unknown. Forget anything you learned from Lifetime’s “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story,” because as we all know, it is an anger fueled production from a very bitter Dustin Diamond (Screech) and find out some things that that are true that you maybe didn’t know about the popular show.
10. Unlike a lot (most) teen based TV shows today, the cast actually were all teens when they began filming the show in 1989. Gosselaar, Thiessen and Voorhies were all 15 when the show began, Lopez was 16 and Diamond was only 12! In fact the show’s creator, Peter Engel stated afterwards that he had no idea Diamond was so young and that he wouldn’t have cast him had he known! Can you imagine anyone else as Screech?
9. If you look back on the show and reminisce about how innocent it was, it all started off-set where Engel banned swearing from the set.
8. Elizabeth Berkley was the perfect actor to portray Jessie Spano, but she originally auditioned for the role of Kelly. Luckily the producers liked her so much they then created the entire role of Jessie just for her.
7. If things started looking really familiar at Bayside High it’s because there was only one classroom which was constantly rearranged for different classes and scenes. The set was never torn down after filming finished for the show, so if it still looks familiar that is because it is used in shows like That’s So Raven and iCarly.
6. Some other famous faces also auditioned for roles on the show including Jennie Garth, Brian Austin Green and Jaleel White. In fact Green and White both appear in the scrapped pilot of the original show under the title “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.”
5. Dustin Diamond’s Screech is the only character to not only appear in every single original Saved by the Bell episode including Good Morning, Miss Bliss, but also in every TV movie and spin-off series including The New Class in which he became Mr. Belding’s assistant. This is surprising considering how much Diamond seems to have hated the show. Since the show ended, he has created the most problems with Engel, yet he was the member who stuck around the longest.
4. Ed Alonzo, otherwise known as the awesome magician owner of The Max is really a magician. He has even worked with pop princess Britney Spears, doing tricks and illusions for her ‘Circus’ tour in 2009.
3. There’s a theory that kind-hearted and funny Mr. Belding is actually a Vietnam War veteran. In several episodes Belding references “the war” and it actually makes sense as the flashback episode “Save the Max” has Belding in high school in 1968 and the draft for the war began in 1969. Maybe he was so good at dealing with Zack’s continuous mischief because he’s been through a lot worse.
2. Saved by the Bell was actually nominated for an Emmy in 1992! While we all think it’s fantastic, it may not be Emmy worthy so it isn’t surprising that the nomination was for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction.
1. Although Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s character Zack Morris was absolutely obsessed with Tiffani Amber Thiessen’s character Kelly Kapowski for the whole series, there was a totally different love story going on off-screen. While many of the actors dated each other over the time period, Gosselaar and Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle) were actually quite serious, dating for three years.