15 Behind-the-Scenes Facts About “Saved by the Bell”

Saved by the Bell, which ran on NBC from 1989 to 1993, chronicled the lives of six students at Bayside High School. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, and Dustin Diamond were the three male stars of the show, and Lark Voorhies, Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen were the female stars. As fascinating as the show was on screen to its teenage audience, the behind-the-scenes activities of cast members were equally intriguing. There are so many facts about Saved by the Bell that most people do not know about!

Here are behind-the-scenes facts about Saved by the Bell:

15.) The Series Began As A Different Show

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EVERETT COLLECTION

Before Saved by the Bell was a thing, there was a show called Good Morning, Miss Bliss. The series had many of the same stars but the show focuses on the middle school teacher, Miss Bliss.

They frame it that she is the main character. This set up only lasted one season before it was rebranded as Saved by the Bell shifting the focus on the students.

14.) Dustin Diamond Was Younger Than His Co-Stars

screech saved by the bell

NBC

Even if you are a casual Saved by the Bell fan, you know that Dustin Diamond (aka Screech) is a little crazy. The division between him and the rest of the cast members began when the show first began. Diamond is three years younger than everyone else! He tried out as Screech when he read with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who had already been cast as Zack Morris. Gosselaar insisted on them casting Diamond since he was basically Screech in real life.

Producer Peter Engel decided to hire him but said later that he misread his headshot and didn’t realize that Diamond was younger than the other members of the cast. If he had seen it earlier, Diamond never would have been cast.

13.) Mario Lopez Didn’t Want To be A.C. Slater

ac slater

Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Many fans know Mario Lopez for his role as A.C. Slater. When he first auditioned for the role, the actor didn’t want to land the part.

In his memoir, he remembers being a teenager wanting to chase girls, not chase a role.

12.) Lark Voorhies Made A Lot Of Sacrifices For The Show

lisa turtle

NBC

Lark Voorhies made a ton of sacrifices so she can be on the show. The young actress was a teenager on the show and in real life. Outside of work, she couldn’t go to her high school prom or graduation because she was too busy.

Voorhies was able to recreate these moments on the series, but it’s still not the same.

11.) Zack Morris Was Inspired By Ferris Bueller

zack morris

NBC

It turns out Gosselaar’s Zack Morris was inspired by Matthew Broderick, who played Ferris Bueller.

Gosselaar admitted in interviews that he would rip off his Ferris Bueller constantly and would model his character throughout the show like him.

10.) Gosselaar’s Hair Was Fake

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Getty Images

Zack Morris’s signature blonde hair was not natural for Gosselaar. He had to dye his hair almost every episode!

He claims that fans are surprised he isn’t blonde, but he tells them he never was.

9.) Swearing Was Banned

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NBC/Getty Images

In order to maintain a wholesome image, producer Peter Engel reportedly banned any kind of swearing on set. He wanted to keep the idea of kids playing kids as consistent as possible.

This was a squeaky-clean show on and off-screen

8.) Dustin Diamond Lied In His Memoir

dustin diamond interview

ABC

Here is a weird fact about Saved by the Bell: in 2009, Dustin Diamond tried to make money off of his days on Saved by the Bell and released a memoir titled Behind the Bell. The book relived big and juicy secrets about the cast and the show. This made his former co-stars distance themselves from him.

In 2016, Mario Lopez tried to bridge the gap and he invited him for an interview to discuss the book. Diamond revealed that he barely wrote the book and his ghostwriter made everything up!

7.) The Cast Didn’t Make Any Money

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NBC/Getty Images

Saved by the Bell was the most popular teen shows in the 1990s, but the cast did not make that much money!

Gosselaar stated in an interview that it was a small Saturday morning show and there was no room in the budget to pay them well!

6.) Jessie Wasn’t Supposed To Be Addicted to Caffeine Pills

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NBC

Jessie’s Song is a memorable episode where Jessie gets addicted to caffeine pills. It’s a fan favorite! Originally, she was supposed to get addicted to speed!

In his book, Engel stated that it was originally speed, but NBC deemed it too serious for a Saturday morning show.

5.) Lopez Scandals

mario lopez

Krista Kennell / Shutterstock

Mario Lopez generally comes across as a squeaky clean jock. His participation in the 2006 season of the popular ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars introduced him to a broader audience. He is also somewhat of an avid triathlete. However, Lopez was involved in a significant off-screen scandal during his time on Saved by the Bell.

The actor was accused of date rape while a star of the show, as noted in a May 1993 Variety magazine article, though the case never went to court. Lopez also had his 2004 marriage to Ali Landry annulled after he was caught cheating on her.

4.) Dustin Diamond Tidbits

screech the college years

NBC

Saved by the Bell was so popular that it inspired a variety of spinoff shows and films, including a brief college version starring Lopez, Diamond, and Gosselaar.

However, Diamond was the only cast member who appeared in every episode of the original show and every spinoff film and show, according to IMDb.

3.) Relationship Irony

Saved by the Bell

NBCU Photo Bank

On-screen, Zack Morris had relationships ranging from brief flirtations to ongoing involvement with every major female character during the show’s run. Off-screen, Gosselaar stayed true to his role and was romantically linked to all three of the show’s featured actresses at one point or another.

While Kelly was the main target of Zack’s romantic pursuits on the show, Gosselaar’s most significant off-screen relationship was with Voorhies, whom he dated for three years of the show’s run. Gosselaar mentioned this fact in multiple interviews after the show, according to IMDb.

2.) Who is This Tori Scott Character?

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Getty Images

During the final season of the show in 1993, actress Leanna Creel entered the scene as Bayside student Tori Scott. Scott’s aggressive personality and flirtations with “preppy” Zack Morris, played by Gosselaar, added something different to the show.

What fans may not know is that Creel served as a replacement for Thiessen and Berkley, who bowed out for other projects after NBC ordered twice as many episodes for the final season. The pair did appear, although Creel didn’t, in the final graduation episode, which was filmed when they were still around.

1.) Elizabeth Berkley as Kelly Kapowski

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NBC/Getty Images

To fans of the show, the character names and personas were an extension of the actors who played them. Imagine if Berkley had gotten her original wish to play Kelly Kapowski.

Fortunately, Berkley was rightfully cast as Jessie Spano, the semi-rebellious member of the SBTB gang. Interestingly, Berkley impressed show producers so much in her audition that the Jessie character was added to the show just for her.

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