Saved by the Bell: A Future History

It's alright, 'cause I'm saved by the bell!


If you hate waking up before the alarm goes off, you are in good company. Many people will do anything other than climb out of bed before the alarm sounds. Some might resort to turning on the television for relief. If you wind up turning to TV Land, you will find two hour blocks of “Saved by the Bell,” tucked in nicely between “Married with Children” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” From 1989 to 1993, teens tuned in on Saturday mornings to catch this show and watch the zany antics of Zack, Screech and the rest on the hit television series.

This show starred Mark-Paul Gosselarr as Zachary “Zack” Morris; Mario Lopez as Albert Clifford “A.C.” Slater; Tiffani Amber-Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski; Lark Voorhies as Lisa Marie Turtle; Dustin Diamond as Samuel “Screech” Powers; Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica Myrtle Spano; and, Dennis Haskins as Bayside High School’s principal, Mr. Belding. Leanna Creel played Tori Scott for one season, and Tori Spelling was Violet Anne Bickerstaff in three episodes.

A schemer, a jock, a geek, a cheerleader, a gossip queen and a neurotic activist comprised this unlikely team, and it is odd to see them reliving their adventures at Bayside High into perpetuity. Cell phones the size of hand guns, big hair styles cemented into place with an endless supply of hair spray, and expensive if garish clothing permanently identifies the group as a product of their “90210” era. The show was unquestionably for teens with tales of unrequited love mixed with finding dates for the prom and anxiety about tests, but their escapades were not always lightweight. In one particularly poignant episode, Bayside High sold out to big business and allowed oil drilling on their campus. An oil spill killed the wildlife in their pond, prompting the gang’s impassioned protest of big business. The show also dealt with topics ranging from alcohol and drug abuse to homelessness and illiteracy. As this group of California rich kids grew, they learned about the world. One wonders what might have happened if we had been allowed to watch these young men and women continue to mature. What would they be like if they were not stuck in the 90’s? Some of the cast’s post-SBTB career choices in real life have been interesting, and their activities allow for speculation as to what might have become of Bayside High School’s Class of ’93.


More from the cast of Saved by the Bell: available from Amazon.com

Saved by the Bell: Then and Now

Bayside High, Class of '93
Bayside High, Class of '93
Zach Morris and the "lawyer" he would one day become
Zach Morris and the "lawyer" he would one day become
Kelly Kapowski looked a lot like someone from Beverly Hills 90210
Kelly Kapowski looked a lot like someone from Beverly Hills 90210
A.C. Slater is still showing off his muscles
A.C. Slater is still showing off his muscles
Jessie found a new career as a Showgirl
Jessie found a new career as a Showgirl
Screech led a hard life in Hollywood
Screech led a hard life in Hollywood
Gossip and inane fashion were Lisa's keys to success
Gossip and inane fashion were Lisa's keys to success
Tori was the tough girl--wouldn't she make a great bodyguard?
Tori was the tough girl--wouldn't she make a great bodyguard?
Violet also looks a lot like someone from Beverly Hills 90210
Violet also looks a lot like someone from Beverly Hills 90210
Mr. Belding was a DJ at heart
Mr. Belding was a DJ at heart

Standing at the edge of tomorrow


Let’s take an imaginary and whimsical look at what their lives might be like as they ready themselves for their 20th high school reunion. When practical, subsequent television roles or real-life activities will serve as a blueprint for imagining what might have happened to the Class of’93.

Zachary “Zack” Morris married Kelly Kapowski in Las Vegas after their freshman year in college. Divorced five years and three kids later, Morris returned to college, earned his law degree and eventually found work as a defense attorney. When asked to explain his appearance in court with long hair, he confided it was necessary for his Jim Morrison impersonations at a local karaoke club on weekends.

Kelly Kapowski moved to Beverly Hills after divorcing Morris to study nursing. Still bitter from her failed marriage, she gained a bad-girl image and often fought with the other residents of her community. She soon married a doctor who insisted she get breast enhancements to boost his—career. Kelly was last seen in the company of Woody Allen—known for his penchant for young ladies.

Jessica Spano dropped out of Stanford University to pursue a career as a Las Vegas showgirl. Well-known for both her ambition and her ability to dance, she appeared at the Stardust in “Girls on Fire,” “Girls on Ice,” and “Icy Hot.” After more than 300 consecutive appearances onstage, she abandoned the Las Vegas lifestyle and hooked up with a football coach thirty years her senior who looked disturbingly similar to Al Pacino.

A. C. Slater cut his mullet and became a fitness celebrity, appearing on shows such as “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “Rachael Ray” with diet and exercise advice. With his newfound fame as a health guru, Slater made the jump to reality show host, where he introduced washed-up celebrities to a healthier lifestyle. He lost the arm-wrestling championship of 2012 to Jillian Michaels.

Lisa Turtle became famous for her loud, tasteless fashion designs that catered to a wealthy clientele lacking in any sense of style. With her outrageous tastes in clothing and her gift for gossip, she soon became hailed as a 21st century combination of Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller. Botched cosmetic surgery ruined her aspirations as a red carpet host, and she was last seen wandering the Nevada desert with a metal detector.

Samuel “Screech” Powers abandoned a promising career in robotics for the glamour of Hollywood. Powers became one of the most successful film stars in the history of Hollywood. He was well-known for his loud, piercing “screech” which served as a call to action, whether in life-threatening situations or the bedroom.

Tori Scott dropped out of high school during her senior year and began training in preparation for her debut as a female wrestler. Tori’s strength and athleticism made her feared on the pro wrestling circuit, but she suddenly disappeared and her whereabouts remained unknown. An unverified rumor linked her to the Republican party, where she was believed to be working as Sarah Palin’s bodyguard.

Violet Bickerstaff blossomed in college and became something of a sex symbol on campus. She found a rich boyfriend and moved to Beverly Hills, where she fashioned an uneasy friendship with Kelly. She became famous for appearances on reality television, bouncing between singing and dancing onstage and offering an overly-revealing look at her home life that made viewers wince.

Mr. Belding retired from Bayside High after the untimely death of his wife to pursue a career as a drive-time disc jockey. His ability to relate to younger audiences served him well as he was eventually tapped to replace Howard Stern on his syndicated talk show.


Eight kids with big hair, big phones and big plans. Could they make it on their own? Would the schemes they concocted in the high school halls serve them in real life, or was their Bayside High education insufficient in preparing them for the uncertain future they would soon face? And what about Mr. Belding? Could he continue as a high school principal after these unusual kids graduated, or would the halls of Bayside seem empty without his beloved students?


Let's look a little further into the future--the answers may surprise you....



Do not ask for whom the (school) bell tolls


Disillusioned by the lack of purpose in their adult lives, they reunited as 40-somethings to return to their musical roots. They reformed their pop band “Zack Attack,” and toured the country with the Brady kids as their opening act. They rekindled their romances, as well; Lisa realized Screech shared her fashion sense and agreed to marry him after a 35-year romance. Jessie and Slater also finally tied the knot and created a workout DVD they sold while on tour with the band. Zack and Kelly became famous for their on-again, off-again relationship--they remarried, divorced again and remarried yet again, each time having two more children. Belding plugged their music on his radio show, and garnered them yet another generation of fans. Their classic hit, “Friends Forever” became Sarah Palin’s 2012, 2016 and 2020 campaign theme song at the recommendation of her bodyguard, Tori Scott.

And that’s how the future could look for our friends Zack, Kelly and the rest. Is there a message to this imaginary story about imaginary teens? Not particularly, unless it is that sometimes we get things right to start with, and we have to go down another path to realize it. As kids we ally ourselves with friends and regard them as the foundation of our entire lives. As we mature, we sometimes forget the value of friendship, losing ourselves in pursuit of material possessions. Perhaps there was something to their sappy pop anthem, after all…

Here's to the Class of '93; may you always walk those hallowed halls in reruns.


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Comments 26 comments

schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

Wow! I'm the very first one! :)

This was a cool, and fun hub! I recall these characters and the Amazon pics were I must say interesting ;) lol

so, all in all, a refreshing read for me as I am in the Class of '93!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Schoolgirl, thanks for stopping by. I discovered SBTB in reruns in 1996 when I was recovering from an illness, and I have to admit I was hooked. If I wake up early I still will watch it on TBS in the early mornings. The characters had a weird kind of charm to them.

Congratulations on being a member of the class of '93. Do you ever go to high school reunions? Thanks again for stopping by.

Mike


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Very funny hub Mike. I was also in the class of 93' and I will now admit for the first time in public that I sometimes watched this show. It was with younger cousins though so I do not feel to bad about it.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

John, thanks for stopping by. This article is a declaration that Saved by the Bell no longer need be a guilty pleasure! It has endured on television for over 20 years now--long enough that it can no longer be discounted as mere teen "fluff." Here's to Zack, Kelly and the rest.

PS: Now, I would consider it a guilty pleasure to have enjoyed "Saved by the Bell: The College Years." That was pretty rough stuff (although even it has a good moment or two.)

Thanks again, John.

Mike


irenemaria profile image

irenemaria 6 years ago from Sweden

I never ever heard about the show. But if it comes to Sweden I will be pre-informed thanks to you =)=)


poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

I found this to be so funny. I really love how you envision them turning out. As a teacher who has had many a student come back years later, I can only say, you most likely hit the nail right on the head.

Thanks for reminding me of a show that I used to love, though of course, at the time, I would never admit it.


sjk6101983 profile image

sjk6101983 6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

Wow! I feel like I'm reliving my grade school years reading this! I still love this show and will fully admit that I still have a crush on Zack! I find it embarrassing though that Screech lives in my homestate of Wisconsin. Most people who have met him said that he's the biggest jerk on the planet, sadly. I wish they would do a reunion show! One of the guys I graduated high school with is so obsessed with the show that on his facebook page, he has nothing but Saved by the Bell quotes. lol!

Sarah


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Irenemaria, thanks for stopping by. I hope you get a chance to see the show someday. It was pretty funny. Thanks again for reading.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Poetvix, thanks so much for your comments. I think SBTB was a "guilty pleasure" program for lots of folks, but it really had some good moments. It was well-liked for a reason. When I wrote, this, I thought a lot about how the main character (Zack) was both a schemer and an underachiever. As a role model for a show targeting a teen audience those were odd choices, but Zack (almost) always maintained his integrity, so the show still held up. Where do scheming underachievers go when they grow up? It is an interesting question.....

At any rate, I appreciate your comments. I'm glad you liked both the show and my article. Take care.

Mike


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Sjk6101983, thanks for reading. Those show was definitely a product of its era, but that's why a reunion show would be great. I also would like to see them do a reunion. I think it would get a lot of viewers, and it would be fun to watch. I think the cast has aged incredibly well also, so they wouldn't have to worry about looking old, overweight, etc.

It is a shame that most people seem to say what you have indicated about Dustin Diamond (Screech). It is a shame that he turned out as he did. I guess if you get a big enough group of people together, the law of averages says one or two won't turn out well. It's still too bad. BTW, the high school friend obsessed with SBTB is a funny story, especially considering the show (with these characters) ended in 1993.

Thanks again for stopping by, I appreciate it a great deal.

Mike


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Never watched this show although obviously I had heard of it. You make it sound interesting as do the people who have already commented. Re-runs are forever...so perhaps in the future I will check this out. Thanks!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Hi, Peggy! Thanks for reading. Re-runs are indeed forever, and if the mood strikes you, you should sit down and watch an episode or two. You might just get hooked (which may or may not be a good thing). It was a fun show. Whether you catch an episode someday or not, I appreciate your stopping by. Take care.

Mike


Megavitamin profile image

Megavitamin 6 years ago

I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so....scared!

Still love Save by the Bell! Great hub :0)


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Megavitamin, you just quoted one of the great moments in television history! That was actually one of my favorite episodes, however overacted it might have been. They were starting to try and deal with issues that were important for teens to consider, whether it was the use of drugs, alcohol, homelessness, or whatever. It might seem preachy by today's standards, but it was pretty good Saturday morning fare.

Thanks for the quote--that was a great memory.

Mike


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

A very interesting read Mike. It is a popular series. Probably ranks next to "Friends". I wouldn't mind watching a few episodes.

Best Wishes.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Elena, thanks for stopping by. I always enjoyed this show, and I think most people who watched it a little would like it--even if they were reluctant to admit it. Thanks again for reading, and I hope you get a chance to see a few episodes someday. Take care.

Mike


Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

Mike- while you did it my friend, gave me a great smile on my face, and a good chuckle, bravo and bravo and thanks!


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Rebecca, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you found my look into the future of the Saved by the Bell cast amusing. Thanks again!

Mike


Faeriephenomenon profile image

Faeriephenomenon 6 years ago from USA

This was very creative and fun to read. Awesome hub. Way to go! =]


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Faeriephenomenon, thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed my SBTB hub. Come back any time.

Mike


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I recall hearing about this program, saved by the bell rings a bell... but I don't recall watching it. I never watched tv much as a youth. I enjoyed the cool that was them then and look at them now, I remember most all of the characters from saved by the bell.

Thank you for an interesting look into tvs past. Its amazing how grown up they all are now.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

katie, thanks for stopping by. I didn't watch this show until I saw it in syndication (when I was far too old to be enjoying a show like this), but there was something about it that hooked me and I enjoyed it. That happens to me with a lot of shows, however. The have changed a lot over the years, although in some ways Tiffani Thiessen looks very much the same. Anyway, I appreciate your stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed my tribute to Zack, Kelly and the rest. Thanks again.

Mike


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

To me, it is one of those "bad" shows that you watch on TV when nothing else is on...much like Three's Company in my opinion.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Uninvited Writer, thanks for stopping by. 'Saved by the Bell' certainly can't be viewed as great television, but there was something about these kids (when they were kids) that drew you in. They had a kind of charm that served them well, even if it didn't translate well for them as adults. In the 6:00 AM time slot it now occupies in my area, there isn't much to compete with it and if I wake up earlier than I wanted to, I might still tune in.

Thanks for stopping by, I'm always appreciative of your comments.

Mike


sjk6101983 profile image

sjk6101983 6 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

I know Jimmy Fallon even wants a reunion and has had a lot of the former castmembers on his talk show, begging them to do a reunion. Dustin Diamond is the only one who won't do it because he says, "I have other commitments." What commitments? No one will hire you, jerk!

He lives in my home state of Wisconsin in a town called Port Washington, is broke with his girlfriend, and will be losing his house any day now. He also owes people money and makes promises and never keeps them. Basically, he should run for public office here, except no one in their insane head would vote for him but himself and his girlfriend.


Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA Author

Sjk6101983, thanks for your comments. Dustin Diamond probably burned too many bridges to be welcomed back to any SBTB project, but I supposed he doesn't have to be liked to participate. It sounds as if he has become the stereotypical child actor grown up, with more problems than successes. If he has too many "commitments" to participate, they should do a reunion without him. Not everyone comes back for reunions....

Thanks again for your comments, I appreciate your stopping by. I hope a SBTB reunion happens someday.

Mike

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