‘Saved by the Bell’ Cast Revealed They Were Saved by the ’90s at ’90s Con
Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano) reunited to discuss their days at Bayside High at the recent ’90s Con. The Saved by the Bell stars first appeared in the iconic show in the early ’90s and later reunited for the reboot in 2020. The trio joked about how they were saved by not having social media as teens and revealed who they think played their character the best in the original series. These days, they still talk from time to time as Berkley called the cast “friends forever.”
Berkley shared about texting with the cast, minus Dustin Diamond who passed away in 2021, “It depends on what’s going on. Like when we started, like when we were in the middle of filming, and then COVID hit, we had a group text talking about how we were going to return to work.” She shared that they were “saved by the ’90s” because they didn’t have social media or texting when they filmed the original series or they could have been in trouble!
‘Saved by the Bell’ stars reminisce at ’90s Con
Lopez responded, “Thank God it wasn’t around because it is so much easier to get in trouble!” He added, “I feel like we were blessed to grow up in the era that we did because it was one of the last ages of innocence,” which fans seemed to agree with. He joked that when you couldn’t hide behind a screen you knew how to talk to a girl and now he prays for his kids, which garnered a chuckle from the audience. Berkley also facilitates a self-esteem program for teen girls in schools to help reduce the negative effects of social media and our current culture.
Speaking of being saved from social media, Lopez and Gosselaar made fun of their crazy hair back in the day. While Lopez quipped that “they should’ve canceled my hair back in the day,” Gosselaar added, “I always find it fascinating that people ask me like, ‘That wasn’t your real hair?’ From season to season it changed,” adding that it was “not a color you can put on a driver’s license.”
They also took the time to reminisce about meeting each other for the first time. Gosselaar said that he met the late Dustin Diamond first and realized how much he was like his character, Screech. They all agreed that Diamond played Screech the best. Gosselaar added that during auditions, they knew he would get the role because he was just perfect for it. Mario said that they all got along right off the bat and never really had issues with each other. Berkley joined in that they “all became close so fast” and felt like they were each other’s classmates for real. They went through things that their characters were going through and looked after each other. When asked about on-screen first kisses, Lopez revealed that he had his first kiss when he was 10 with none other than Fergie! They worked together on the show Kids Incorporated prior to Saved by the Bell.
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The trio shared that they didn’t realize how famous they were or how big the show was at the time because there were breaks and they were able to be normal teens. Gosselarr explained, “We thought we were getting canceled after every season. Because it was a Saturday morning show, we didn’t have a normal run. A normal run would be … 22 [episodes]. So that’s a full season. We would go back to our lives and then you go to seven, then you’re like ‘Are we doing more now?’ We go back to school, and it will be called back.”
“I think we had probably five or six wrap parties where we were like ‘This is it. We’ll never see each other again. Bye.’ We just never thought the show was being watched by anybody until it went into syndication.” All three actors unanimously agreed that their favorite episodes to film and look back on were the traveling ones. Berkley said, “We had a lot of adventures. We went to Hawaii and all of those were really fun.”
When talking about their time on the show, they all agreed that it was somewhat of a blur and they wish they had slowed down to enjoy it more. Lopez clarified, “When you’re young, you don’t really have time to process things and you take a lot of things for granted. It goes by really quick. So I think as you get older, you realize, wow, you know, time is fleeting. That was such a special part of our lives that you wish you wish you could just kind of bottle up and sort of take it with you wherever you go.”
When talking about their latest projects, one of the most exciting announcements was made by Lopez. He is helping to find a new generation of talent and bringing back the boy band Menudo. He said they looked all over the world for boys aged 10-14 years old to join the boy band which just made its first public appearance on Good Morning America (watch the clip here!).
Who is your favorite Saved by the Bell character? You can still watch old episodes of the 1990s series on Hulu, Peacock TV, Apple TV, or Prime Video.