Literally half the conversations I’ve had in the past week revolved around my “Boy Meets World” column in some shape or form. It’s been a long week. All in all though, it was a fun trip down memory lane, and since I like to give the people what they want, I figured I’d stick to the script for at least one more week and do the whole “Where Are They Now?” shtick with another childhood favorite. Realistically, there was only once choice: “Saved by the Bell.” Let’s get right to it…
First of all, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Mr. Belding is dead. Sorry.
After playing the legendary Zack Morris, Mark-Paul Gosselaar had a decent run on “NYPD Blue,” but other than that he hasn’t really done much. Kind of a disappointment, although my search did uncover the fact that he colored his hair blonde for every episode, a complete and utter slap in the face to all of us sexy brunettes. He’s married now too, although sadly not to Kelly Kapowski.
Speaking of Kelly, Tiffani Thiessen dropped the Amber from her name in order to be taken more seriously, and is now an out-of-work actress and co-founder of Tit 4 Tat Productions. Settle down guys, it’s just a production company. Thiessen did have a pretty productive run on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and she made a lingerie-clad appearance in one of the most underrated movies of all time – “The Ladies Man” – so she actually did a pretty good job of moving past the Kelly Kapowski days, as much as we all miss them.
True story: When the producers couldn’t choose between Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley for the role of Kapowski, they just created a new character for Berkley, and thus Jessie Spano was born. After her Bayside years, Berkley was passed over for the role of Rachel on “Friends” and then decided to commit career suicide by stripping down repeatedly in “Showgirls.” Anyone who ever saw the episode where Jessie’s hooked on caffeine pills knows she’s a shitty actor, so it’s no surprise that after years of guest spots on every crime show out there – including two different “CSI’s” – she’s now relegated to Broadway.
Lisa Turtle/Lark Voorhies has honestly done nothing worthwhile, but my research turned up the amazing fact that she was once engaged to Martin Lawrence and only found out it was over when she saw him on “The Arsenio Hall Show” talking about his engagement to another woman. Apparently, Martin Lawrence is kind of a dick.
Mario Lopez has inexplicably turned himself into the poor man’s Ryan Seacrest, which despite being embarrassing is probably pretty lucrative. He’s hosted everything from “Extra” to “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and he even auditioned for Bob Barker’s role on “The Price Is Right.” In perhaps his greatest accomplishment since his A.C. days, Lopez was the runner-up on the third season of “Dancing with the Stars,” which is no surprise to anyone who remembers Albert Clifford Slater busting out a few “manly” dance moves down at The Max.
Finally, we have the train wreck. In the last decade Dustin Diamond has beaten up Horshack on “Celebrity Boxing” and started feuds on not one, but two seasons of “Celebrity Fit Club.” As embarrassing as his on-screen moments have been, his real life has been even worse. In 2006 he claimed he was broke, leading to a bizarre situation where he ran a scam selling $15 T-shirts to help pay for his house. Later that year a sex tape was released, apparently purely as a publicity stunt, despite the fact no one in their right mind would ever want to watch Screech having sex. It gets even weirder. Diamond claims the tape was made because he and some buddies have a monthly gathering where they exchange sex tapes and earn points based on what they accomplished in the film. Yup, Screech has officially hit rock bottom.
Oh, and before I forget, Mr. Belding is alive and well, and still acting. Sorry.