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TV has produced an almost countless number of romantic couples whose milestones and hardships were shared by obsessive fans. That kind of thing didn't happen often on Saturday mornings programming, though, which is just one more reason Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski were the match made in heaven for young people in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But when asked if Zack and Kelly would still be married today, teen sitcom mastermind Peter Engel gave an observation that will likely send a lot of people to drinking (malts at the Max).
Probably not. Well, they'd be married --- but not to each other.
Shot through the heart, and Peter Engel is to blame! I'll admit that I haven't spent every day of my adulthood caressing a pillow that has "Z + K = 4EVR" on both sides of it, and statistics show us that marriages are more inclined to break down than remain intact over time, but there's nothing about common sense that's going to lift me up from the floor. Not even someone calling a radio station and requesting Zack Attack's "Did We Ever Have a Chance?" (Watch that here, because love.)
It's mildly disgusting that it's been a whopping 22 years since Zack and Kelly got married in Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas (though not as disgusting as it would have been if Tori showed up). As we've seen from some of Saved by the Bell's cast members themselves, real life can be...troubling, to say the least...so maybe it's legit that Zack and Kelly weren't in possession of what it took to make it into their 40s as a loving pair. I bet Mr. Belding can be blamed for some part of it, though.
It was technically TV veteram Sam Bobrick who created the Saved by the Bell prototype Good Morning, Miss Bliss, but he soon retired, and it's Peter Engel's name that fans are more familiar with seeing on the show's opening and closing credits. He was there through The College Years and the TV movie Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, as well as The New Class, which was the last time Mark-Paul Gosselaar played Zack in live-action outside of appearances on Jimmy Fallon shows.
And if it seems like you've been hearing more Saved by the Bell stories than normal in the recent past, it's because Engel recently released his autobiography I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Live, Love and Dreams That Do Come True. That's where the real story behind the caffeine pill episode was shared, along with other intriguing tales from that era. Maybe we can all talk about the book after we're done petitioning Kelly's dad to get her and Zack back together after he finds a new job. For what it's worth, here's what Engel told TVLine the main characters would be doing today.
Zack would probably be the host of a game show or talk show, or he'd be managing a hedge fund; Slater would be a high school football coach; Screech would be Bill Gates; Jessie would have just lost to Donald Trump; Lisa would probably be Vera Wang, or a buyer at Neiman Marcus; and Kelly would be married with children and have a cooking show on the Food Network, which [Tiffani Thiessen] has --- and I watch!
Hard to comment on any of that without bringing out the scrapbooks, so we'll pass. You can currently watch Mark-Paul Gosselaar in a squatting position on Fox's baseball drama Pitch, while Tiffani Thiessen wrapped the second season on her Cooking Channel show Dinner at Tiffani's earlier this year. And if you didn't know it, Gosselaar and his wife appeared on that show's Season 2 finale, and - spoiler- they liked the food.