It was only last May that the final episode of Saved by the Bell had its 20th anniversary, but to me, it feels like it was just yesterday. Okay, okay, so I wasn’t even alive when the last episode aired. However, I grew up watching this early ‘90s show, swooning over Zack Morris and daydreaming of the day I’d be able to attend Bayside High School. I’m honestly surprised that I didn’t show up on my first day of freshman year in a full-on-Lisa-Turtle-approved ensemble; that’s how much I was convinced Bayside was the standard for what high school would be like. Now, I’ve moved on to using Saved by the Bell: The College Years as a guideline to tackling university, but what am I going to do once I graduate? It’s a moment like this that I have to know: just what happened to my beloved Bayside Class of 1993? Though I’ll never get an answer, I DO know what happened to the cast that brought them to life.
Zack Morris a.k.a. Mark‑Paul Gosselaar
After leaving behind his iconic role as Zack Morris, Mark-Paul Gosselaar snagged lead roles in multiple (sadly, unsuccessful) TV shows. He appeared as Dennis Sweeny in the WB drama series Hyperion Bay and Pete Komisky in another WB television series, D.C. He snagged more successful lead roles in NYPD Blue, in which he played Detective John Clark, and in Raising the Bar as Jerry Kellerman. He now plays Peter Bash in the hit comedy-drama series Franklin & Bash. I’m happy to see him in another role that makes me laugh. Ain’t nothin’ better than Goesselaar’s face and a clever joke.
Screech Powers a.k.a. Dustin Diamond
Dustin Diamond sort of became the ghost of Saved by the Bell after the show’s end. Making random appearances in television shows and movies mostly as himself, he never really returned to any reoccurring acting roles. Instead, he began doing standup comedy and performs on and off. He made an appearance in 2013 on the 12th season of Celebrity Big Brother, but was evicted on Day 16.
Kelly Kapowski a.k.a. Tiffani Thiessen
Tiffani Thiessen’s reign as Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell almost immediately turned into her reign on another ‘90s classic, Beverly Hills, 90210 as Valerie Malone. However, post-‘90s television, we didn’t see much of Thiessen until recently. After a handful of films and a reoccurring role as Ann Tanner on the television show Chosen in 2000, Tiffani Thiessen is now portraying the smart and beautiful Elizabeth Burke on USA’s hit show White Collar. She’s the wife of FBI Special Agent Peter Burke and adds a touch of typical Tiffani class to the ensemble.
Jessie Spano a.k.a. Elizabeth Berkley
Since the end of her days as Jessie Spano, Elizabeth Berkley has spent most of her time acting in various TV movies, such as Control Factor, Student Seduction, Black Widow and, the most recent, Lucky Christmas. After a few reoccurring roles on shows like CSI: Miami and The L Word, she accepted a spot on Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars and ended up getting sixth place. Most recently, Elizabeth was spotted on an episode of ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey.
A.C. Slater a.k.a. Mario Lopez
What has Mario Lopez been doing since leaving behind the role of Slater? A better question would be, what HASN’T he been doing? Lopez seems to be the face of almost everything; he’s hosted Extra, America’s Best Dance Crew, The X Factor and more. In addition, he performed on Dancing with the Stars, had his own reality show, Mario Lopez: Saved by the Baby, published three non-fiction books about fitness and has his own line of men’s underwear. I have no doubt this man will keep charming the world with that perfect Slater smile.
There you have it, folks! Our favorite Saved by the Bell characters have gone on to do some expected and some unexpected things. Though they’ve moved forward, I’ll always be holding on to them in Bayside High School character form. Long live Zack, Kelly, Screech, Slater and Jessie!