Saved by the Bell producer Peter Engel has released a memoir titled, I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love, and Dreams That Do Come True and in his new book, he spills A LOT of the drama that occurred behind the scenes.

In the book, he revealed that Mark Paul-Gosselaar (‘Zack’) and Mario Lopez (‘AC Slater’) both dated Tiffani Amber Thiessen (‘Kelly’) in real life.

Gosselaar and Thiessen got together after their characters split on the show.

He says, “They made it very clear that they were now in a relationship — holding hands, being cutesy, etc…’



Whereas Lopez and Thiessen got together for a short time before he allegedly cheated on her with an extra!

“He was in his dressing room, making out with an extra, and Tiffani came in, catching him red-handed…She was wearing his letter jacket and, in a rage, ripped it off and threw it at him. After that, she ran out.”‘

Feeling Nostalgic/YouTube
Feeling Nostalgic/YouTube


One of the show’s most popular and iconic episodes centered around another character, ‘Jessie Spano’, played by Elizabeth Berkley.

The episode, titled, ‘Jessie’s Song’ centered around ‘Jessie’ turning to caffeine pills in order to keep up with school and her singing group and then subsequently becoming addicted to the pills.

This scene with Berkley and Gosselaar’s character ‘Zack Morris’ is likely the show’s most memorable…

An excerpt from Peter Engel’s memoir, the show’s executive producer, he revealed that caffeine pills weren’t the initial drug that ‘Jessie’ was supposed to be addicted to: What fans don’t know is that, when I originally wrote the episode with Tom Tenowich, Jessie was hooked on speed, not caffeine pills. But Standards and Practices, the censorial department of NBC, vetoed it, saying speed was too serious for Saturday mornings. I insisted that we needed to start dealing with more important issues than we had in the past, and that speed was a vehicle not only for exploring drug use but also the pressure that kids put on themselves to achieve. But Standards and Practices wasn’t budging…What if she gets hooked on caffeine pills?” someone—I don’t remember who—suggested”.

He continued, “The S & P folks talked it over, and told us caffeine pills would get a green light. So we compromised. We kept the episode virtually the same, but swapped out the speed. I wasn’t pleased about it — after all, the average caffeine pill was the equivalent of a cup of coffee, if that, so we might as well have had Jessie get addicted to Earl Grey, or breaking into the Max to snort coffee grounds. But hey, we had to start somewhere”.

He added, The scene people remember most is the scene in Jessie’s bedroom. Zack comes over to pick Jessie up for a performance—the girls’ singing group, Hot Sundaes, is being scouted by a record label. Jessie is disoriented and confused, and starts freaking out about time, about how there’s never enough time to study, how she’ll never get into Stanford, and so on. Zack tries to calm her down, but she runs to her bedside table and pulls out a bottle, saying, “I just need one of these.” Realizing what’s going on, Zack knocks the bottle out of her hands, and she lunges for the pills on the bed. As they struggle over the pills, Zack grabs her as she’s singing, “I’m so excited! I’m so excited! … I’m so, so scared.”

Saved by the Bell is one of my favourite shows ever and I really enjoyed episodes like this where they discussed more serious topics.

If you were a fan of the show, what was your favourite episode?

You can pick up Peter Engel’s memoir I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love, and Dreams That Do Come True,HERE.

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