25 Things You Never Knew About 'Saved by the Bell'

Stories about the cast, secrets from the show and more!

ByMichael Rothman and Lesley Messer
August 20, 2014, 4:10 AM

— -- It's hard to believe but "Saved by the Bell" first aired 25 years ago today on Aug. 20, 1989. If you were a "Bell" fan, you obviously knew about the love affair between Kelly Kapowski and Zack Morris. You were also well aware of the famous bickering between A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano. Then there were Screech's constant antics that had you laughing out loud every episode. And finally, Mr. Belding was always there for the gang to lend a comforting ear or helping hand.

But, there are tons of thing you never knew about the cast and the show that happened behind the scenes.

In honor of the show hitting this quarter century milestone, here are 25 amazing little tidbits you never knew but want to know about "Saved by the Bell."

1 - "Good Morning Miss Bliss"?

"Saved by the Bell" was originally planned as a spin-off of a show that ran from 1987-1989 called "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." According to IMDB, the title "When the Bell Rings" was also suggested, but showrunners eventually went with the title you know and love today.

2 - Blondes Have More Fun

Mark-Paul died his hair blonde for every episode. Yep, every single episode.

3 - Lisa Turtle Was Supposed to be Jewish

Turtle was supposed to be a Jewish girl from Long Island, but the producers liked Lark Voorhies so much, they changed the character.

4 - Famous Theme Song

Scott Gale, who wrote the theme song for "Saved," also wrote the theme song for "Golden Girls" and "Herman's Head."

5 - A.C. Slater Was Supposed to be Italian?

Slater was originally supposed to be Italian, "who was a street kid, who was an Army brat," executive producer Peter Engel told thecomicscomic.com. But when they couldn't find the right casting, he became Hispanic.

6 - Miss Bliss Was Real!

Miss Bliss was originally based on Brandon Tartikoff's sixth-grade teacher Miss Bliss, according to a Peter Engel interview with the Outsider's podcast.

7 - Kelly Kapowski Could Have Been Played by Elizabeth Berkley?

Elizabeth Berkley and Tiffani Thiessen were up for the same part of Kelly. Peter Engel said he fought for Thiessen because he knew she was "going to be a major star."

8 - The Show Had Meaning For Producer Peter Engel

The heart at the end of the show was made by Peter Engel’s sons when they were 4 and 2. They inspired him to make the show, also from the Outsider's podcast.

9 - Elizabeth Berkley Wasn't Always Jessie

On the Outsider's podcast, Engel also said an Afghani girl was going to play Jessie Spano, but the network wasn’t sold.

10 - Dustin Diamond Was Younger Than Rest of Cast

Engel only hired Dustin Diamond because he didn’t realize he was so much younger than the other actors. He was 11 when he was cast, three years younger than everybody else.

11 - Work Comes First

Lark Voorhies "wasn't able to go to my graduation or prom," because she was filming the show, she told People magazine. "Those moments we had to sacrifice, we made up for with each other."

12 - The Origin Behind Mario Lopez's Mullet

Mario Lopez grew his hair long for the role because "I wanted to look like Mel Gibson in 'Lethal Weapon,'" he told People. "I didn't even know I had a mullet!"

13 - First Times

Tiffani Thiessen's first sip of alcohol was with Mark-Paul Gosselaar when they were both in Paris for a press tour.

14 - Jaleel White Could Have Been in the Cast?!

Brian Austin Green and Jaleel White both appeared in a scrapped pilot for the original "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," which was set in middle school.

15 - Where Tori Scott Came From?

Tori Scott, who briefly dated Zack, was named after Tori Spelling, the daughter of mega producer Aaron Spelling.

16 - No Swearing

Swearing was banned from the set by Peter Engel, according to MTV.

17 - Lots of Dating

Almost all of the cast dated off-screen. "All of us dated at one point or another—it was incestuous!" Gosselaar told People magazine in 2009.

Peter Engel added that Thiessen dated Gosselaar and Lopez, and that it was terrible because when they broke up, they still had to be in love on-screen. "Everybody dated everybody else except Screech."

18 - Lots of Hairspray for Jessie

Berkley told People she went through almost a can of hairspray an episode. "They diffused my hair, flipped it, teased it, sprayed it with hair spray. I practically went through a can of hair spray a show."

19 - Cast Partying?

Gosselaar admits he broke a few rules. "At 16, I was hanging out in adult clubs. But I didn't abuse it, and neither did my castmates. I can't stress how good we were."

20 - Remember Johnny Dakota?

Johnny Dakota, the hunk and actor that tried to get Kelly to smoke weed, was once a backup dancer for Janet Jackson, according to his Broadway Dance Center bio.

21 - The Beach Club Was also Used in '90210'

Malibu Sands, the beach club in Santa Monica where the gang worked for the summer was actually the same beach club used in "Beverly Hills 90210."

22 - They Used Just One Classroom

In every show, the same classroom was used, but just rearranged and the set of the school was never destroyed and even used in later shows like "iCarly" and "That's So Raven," according to IMDB.

23 - Guest Stars

Scott Wolf, Denise Richards, Soleil Moon Frye and Tori Spelling all made cameos on the show before hitting it big.

24 - Where Kelly and Jessie Went That Last Season

“We were supposed to finish [the series]. We had already shot the graduation and that was supposed to be the end," Engel told the Outsider's podcast about the final season. "We were supposed to end and not do another season. … So we shot the graduation but Tiffani had an offer to go with Aaron Spelling for '90210' and Elizabeth, I didn’t know it was going to be 'Showgirls,' wanted to do movies. So we didn’t re-sign them because we couldn’t re-sign them.”

So, to keep the impact of the finale, they pretended that Kelly and Jessie were off doing other things while Tori came in to play a female lead. Then, they aired the graduation show last with Kelly and Jessie, who came back out of nowhere.

25 - Dustin Wasn't the Only Diamond on Set

Dustin Diamond’s father played a science teacher in two episodes, Mr. Bennett.

Bonus - What's In a Name?

The names of characters came from people Engel knew growing up.

"I knew a guy named Screech Washington. He was a producer. I said I’m not going to hire him, but I’m going to steal your name," he said. "Slater was a kid who was in my son’s kindergarten class, Zack was named after my dear, dear friend, John DeLorean ... His son’s name was Zack. Lisa Turtle was a girl I knew and Mr. Belding, Richard Belding had been my cranky editor when I worked at Universal."

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