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I have no idea how many kids had crushes on Tiffani Thiessen and her Saved By The Bell character Kelly Kapowski when they were growing up, but whatever the answer is, it’s definitely not a small number. I had a crush on her. Several of my friends had crushes on her. Random celebrities have admitted they had crushes on her. For a certain age group interested in women, there was no one more appealing, and it turns out she was well aware of how we all felt.
Tiffani Thiessen stopped by Barstool’s Pardon My Take podcast last month, and the topic of her numerous admirers came up. Host Dan Katz talked about having a crush on her, which many celebrities have admitted in the past including Justin Bieber. He asked how aware she was of the interest, and it turns out she was very aware, or at least she was after she stated doing live appearances. Here’s what she had to say…
I don’t think I really realized it during it until we were doing these mall signings. I think it wasn’t until then that I realized the impact of the show itself because I would see how girls were with (Mark Paul Gosselaar) and then I would see how boys were with me. And that was really kind of the turning point of like ‘oh this is kinda weird. This is kinda crazy’. Then the fan mail started getting creepier.
A show’s popularity isn’t always best understood in raw numbers. Saved By The Bell was never the most popular show with a wide audience, but for the kids in its target demographic, it was so cool, so well-liked and so impactful. At its height in the early 90s, there were more than a dozen books written, a comic book series and later two spinoff shows. The cast made appearances all around the country. They fronted the covers of magazines, and they were an endless source of conversation for those who liked the show.
I’m sure it was an incredibly weird experience for the cast themselves, but it certainly seems like Thiessen has come to terms with her time as a teenage starlet and has a sense of humor about it. And of course, Saved By The Bell is still going strong. There is currently yet another version rolling, this time on the streaming service Peacock. Both Thiessen and her partner in crime on the original series Gosselaar are back as recurring characters, which makes sense since the two are occasionally spotted hanging out in real life, sometimes just the two of them and sometimes with Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley, who were both leading characters on the original show and are back as main cast members for the reboot.
Outside of Saved By The Bell, Thiessen has found success with a few shows, most notably Beverly Hills, 9021, White Collar and more recently, Alexa and Katie which just concluded a three season run on Netflix. She’s also been married since 2005 and has two children. In case you’re wondering, yes, her kids have watched Saved The Bell, and like the rest of us, they can’t get enough.