“EEKKKSS!!!!” That was the immediate, incredibly visceral reaction several of my coworkers and I had when we watched the clip of Mark-Paul Gosselaar in full character as Zack Morris on last night’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
Sure, it was a ploy for Mark to plug his new TV show — which sadly isn’t some extension of “Saved by the Bell” and is instead about lawyers — but this is the best way I’ve ever seen someone plug a show. Zack, dressed exactly the same as he did when he was in high school at Bayside, insisted that he is actually Zack, and that he changed his name to Mark-Paul Gosselaar to pursue a career in acting.
Gosselaar — who doesn’t seem to have aged a day since “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” ended in 1994 — knows that all we really care about is his “SBTB” alter ego. As he sat on Jimmy’s couch, crossing his legs to show off his pegged jeans, black socks and hideous high-tops, Mark/Zack managed to reference every greatest “Saved by the Bell” moment ever: That summer he worked at the Malibu Sands resort and judged the Miss Liberty pageant; the time he almost got all Hollywood on the group and started hanging out with teen star Johnny Dakota. But the real way he proved that he really was Zack Morris was by calling a time-out and freezing everyone as he talked directly to the camera. Yes, that actually happened.
All hardcore “SBTB” fans know about being timed out, just as well as they know about the Kelly Kapowski poster that once hung in Zack’s bedroom (which also made an appearance on “Late Night”). What did come of Zack’s relationship with Kelly? Well, she dropped him for Jeff from the Max, again, just like in high school. And Zack ended up with Stacy Carosi. If this means nothing to you, then you’re clearly a preppy.
And in case you ever wondered if Zack Attack’s greatest hit, “Friends Forever,” still stands the test of time (not unlike his amazing cell phone), then you will be excited to know it does, especially when he sings it with the Roots.