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Surprising Things Saved By The Bell Producers Hid From Fans

If you were a “Saved By The Bell” fan, then you know about the love affair between Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris, and the famous fight between A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano. As it turns out, all of them had secrets to hide while working on the set of Saved By The Bell, but now they have all been revealed! 

Years and a lot of water under the bridge make it so the castmates are happy to reveal things that we as viewers never knew about the show and what went on behind the scenes. We always thought it was wholesome and sweet, when it was far from it in most cases. A lot happens on the set where teens are in charge of the show, and we are not finally getting the details! Check out these amazing “Saved by the Bell” secrets.

Tiffani Amber Thiessen started when she was only 14! She also moved out of her parent’s house when she was just 17!  It made total sense that she made a quick jump into modeling gigs right around the time she was working on the set of Saved By The Bell. It is easy to grow up fast in Hollywood and that is exactly what Tiffani did. 

It was never really mentioned but Slater’s first name, A.C., stands for Albert Clifford. With a name like that it makes senes that he would want a shortcut that would make him sound as cool as he looked. 

Tiffani Thiessen’s first time drinking alcohol was with Mark-Paul Gosselaar when they were in Paris for a press tour.  They grow up very fast when they are child stars in Hollywood. 

Lark Voorhies & Mark-Paul Gosselaar dated in real life! During filming Zack and Lisa were just friends, but off-screen the two were lovebirds and even had a 3-year relationship!  No one initially suspected this romance as everyone thought that he would be with who his love interest is on the show.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar was accused of taking steroids in-between “Saved By The Bell” and “Saved By The Bell: The College Years”. Although there’s no way to prove this is true, there was a big change in Zack’s physique, which speaks for itself. As you can see here in this College Years cast-photo, Zach Morris even more buff than Slater.

The school set used to shoot “Saved by the Bell” has also been used in the famous Disney series “That’s So Raven” and Nickelodeon’s “iCarly.” Same sets are common to use as long as they are not used, there is a reason it all looks so familiar. 

Lisa Turtle was originally meant to be a character who played a spoiled, Jewish girl from Long Island. However, producers loved Lark Voorhies so much that they changed the part so she could play it.

The cast reunited recently along with Jimmy Fallon for a sketch.  Everyone was present except for two cast members of the Saved By The Bell group were noticeably absent – Screech and Lisa.

In December 2014, Diamond (Screech) was arrested and charged with “second-degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.” Legal ramifications took their toll on his schedule and prevented him from agreeing to appear in any Saved By The Bell reunions — at least until the case is resolved. Lisa, on the other hand, made headlines in 2012 when it was announced that she was battling bipolar disorder. Since then, she has largely stayed out of the public eye altogether.

Lark Voorhies sacrificed going to her prom and graduation because she was busy filming the show. This was an easy sacrifice for her as she wanted to make it big for herself and preferred her life on set to that of real high school. 

In the last year of the series, NBC doubled the order of episodes of SBTB, but Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley didn’t extend their contracts.  The network decided to add a new character Tori Scott to take their place, played by Leanna Creel.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar met his first wife on set! She was an extra. He remarried Catriona McGinn, and now they have a son together, Dekker Edward. Finding love in Hollywood is easy, staying in love in Hollywood is the hard part. There is a lot of temptation out there. 

The original series “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” on The Disney Channel was set in Indianapolis. It showed Zack, Screech, Lisa and the other characters in middle school. 

But when Zack and the gang moved to NBC and on to high school in “Saved by the Bell,” they relocated to sunny Pacific Palisades, California without any explanation.

One of Mr. Belding’s degrees hanging on the wall of his office is a degree in Kung Fu!

Who would have thought that Mr. Belding even knew how to perform any form of martial arts?

You probably never noticed it but, Slater’s bedroom was the only bedroom we never saw. We saw everyone else’s at one point or another, but producers never seemed to want us to see Slater’s room for whatever reason. 

The SBTB spin-off, “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” only lasted a mere 18 episodes.  However, the series raked in an average of 7.2 million viewers a week making it the 2nd highest rated comedy on NBC.

Peter Engel wrote a musical in hopes of bringing “Saved By The Bell” to Broadway, but this never worked out. The cast did test their musical abilities in the rockumentary fantasy episode where they formed a band called Zack Attack!

Surprisingly, Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa have all worked as waitresses at The Max at one point in their lives and were all cheerleaders at Bayside High School. They were all very different girls, but their interests converged when it came to their high school job and extra curricular activities. 

Scott Wolf and Denise Richards made cameo appearances on the show before making it to stardom.  Tori Spelling (Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990), who is also the producer’s daughter, made an appearance as a recurring character named Violet Bickerstaff – who was Screech’s love interest.

Gary Beach, a Broadway legend had a role in the one episode as “Gem Diamond.” 

Gem Diamond was a huckster who tries to rip-off the gang with fake class rings. This was a lesson type of episode. 

You may or may not have noticed, but the nerd characters usually had a last name that contained the word “nerd” or some synonym of it.  Examples included Nerdstrom, Poindexter, Geekman, etc. There was a reason for everything that was written on the show. 

No one in the cast liked Dustin Diamond, and they still don’t until this day. 

Many say that the tell-all book he wrote in 2010 was filled with exaggerated and false stories.

Malibu Sands is the beach club where the gang worked for the summer in Santa Monica, and it was the same beach club used in “Beverly Hills 90210.”

There were only so many spots to film around there and this was just one of the many locations where there was an overlap. 

Both Dustin Diamond (Screech Powers) and Tori Spelling (Violet Bickerstaff) shared their first on-screen kiss while on the show.

They did not speak of it publicly afterwards and Tori surely does not speak of it now considering what Dustin did later on…

Mark-Paul Gosselaar aka Zach, is a natural brunette! He had to dye his hair blonde every two weeks during filming of “Saved By The Bell!” 

It really goes to show here just how much detail is put into these characters to make the audience believe that Zach Morris really is an outgoing chatter-box that’s always concerned with how to have the most fun.

Swearing was banned on the set of “Saved By The Bell.” This was a wholesome show after all!  

Producer Peter Engel wanted to keep the vibes innocent so he forbid all cast members to swear while they were on the set of the teen series!

Zack and Slater were intended to fight for Kelly’s love on the show, but Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez had such a Bromance off screen that the SBTB writers decided to keep them as BFFs!

They are still friends today and remained in one another lives throughout the years. 

Three actors who appeared in this show continued on to star in films directed by Paul Verhoeven.

Main cast member, Elizabeth Berkley, starred in Verhoeven’s Showgirls (1995), while other guest stars like Denise Richards, Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon all appeared in Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers (1997).

Lisa’s last name is Turtle, Jessie’s middle name is Myrtle, and Zack’s pet turtle’s name is Myrtle.

Talk about a confusing name game. It did not stop them from liking each other, though. 

After Saved by the Bell (1989) had already been on television for around four weeks, the network did its homework.  

NBC conducted research which showed that fifty percent of teenage girls in the United States were watching the show regularly.

In Bayside High School there was only one classroom, and it was rearranged for different scenes and class subjects.

If you take a close look throughout the episodes, you may notice that some projects on the wall have remained even though the kids are supposed to be in a completely different classroom…

When Engel hired Dustin Diamond, he didn’t realize he was so much younger than the rest of the actors. 

He was only 11, three years younger than everybody else! This may explain his behavior during and after the show… 

Elizabeth Berkley wanted the role of Kelly Kapowski, but the producers preferred Tiffani Amber Thiessen. 

After the producers decided that they still really liked Elizabeth, they wrote the part of Jessie Spano specifically for her.

The character Tori was in fact named after producer Aaron Spelling’s daughter, Tori Spelling.

It is lucky for Tori that her dad was one of the biggest names in television when he was alive, and even posthumously. She got a good deal. 

Jaleel White, Jennie Garth, Jonathan Brandis, and Brian Austin Green all auditioned for the show in hopes of scoring a spot!

The show could have looked totally different if someone else landed the role of one of our favorite characters. 

Zack and Screech are the only two of the entire cast to appear in every episode. 

Starting with “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” up until the finale of “The College Years.”

Casper Van Dien had made multiple uncredited appearances throughout the show’s final year. 

He has just one line in one episode and is often seen just as a simple background extra, mostly in hallway scenes by the lockers.

Almost all of the cast dated off-screen and Peter Engel said that it was terrible because when they broke up, they still had to act in love on-screen.

This was lucky for producers who would otherwise have to deal with teen love drama, which as we all know, can be terribly difficult to handle. 

Many have referred to “Saved by the Bell: The New Class” as a failure.

However, it actually ran three years longer than the original “Saved by the Bell!”

At its height, Saved by the Bell (1989) managed to attract more teenage viewers on Saturday mornings than the #1 show on television at the time, which was The Cosby Show (1984), did at primetime.

This explains why the show is a cult classic to this day and a new generation of kids everywhere will be introduced to it thanks to syndication. 

In 2014, Dustin Diamond pulled a knife on a man in a bar along with his fiance and got himself arrested. 

He was charged and spent four months in jail, after which he was let go but was found in violation of his probation and sent back to jail. 

During the show, Mario Lopez was accused of sexual assault. The case was eventually dropped and settled out of court. Dustin Diamond claims in his tell-all book that NBC paid the victim $50,000 not to talk.

Kelly and Zack have been the main storyline ‘ship, but behind the scenes, things were definitely more complicated. Zach admitted that “all of us dated at one point or another.” He first dated Lisa for about 3 years, even though in the show, he was dating Kelly.

According to Screech’s book, both Zach and Slater had flings with all of their female counterparts. “If Kelly was interested in Slater one week, then backstage there was a lot going between them in Mario’s room,” he wrote. “Then, if Jessie kisses Zack, then you know Elizabeth Berkley is going in Mark-Paul’s room.” He even said a producer of the show got in on the action.  Wow, we had no clue.


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