The Today Show hosted a Saved by the Bell reunion on Tuesday? With Mr. Belding AND Kelly Kapowski? Talk about incredibly awesome! Or, you know, not.
Al Roker and the rest of the main Today Show team did in fact bring together two of Bayside’s finest, actors Dennis Haskins (Belding) and Tiffani Theissen (Kelly), for a fun, retro TV-themed segment during their Tuesday morning broadcast. But it went kind of horribly, as Theissen appeared less interested in being in the same room with her former co-star than Zack Morris did when he actually went to class.
Theissen was on the show to promote her latest TV project, White Collar. As a way to amp up the fun, and harken back to Theissen’s earlier, three-named career (we miss ya, Tiffani-Amber Theissen!), Roker and Co. invited her to play an ’80s/’90s TV trivia game with them.
“We want her to feel right at home with a replica of the Saved by the Bell diner!” Roker announced, pointing to the neon-coloured backdrop, which evoked the decor of infamous Bayside student hangout The Max.
As Roker launched into the first trivia question, he was interrupted by an unmistakably familiar voice — the voice of none other than “Big Bopper” Belding! Suddenly, Haskins walked on stage, revealing himself to the audience and Theissen for the first time, and yelled one of Belding’s most remembered catchphrases: “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey!”
The look on Theissen’s face when she was forced to shake hands with Haskins was not one that recalled the endlessly chipper cheerleader nature of her former Saved by the Bell character. Yes, unlike Kelly’s caffeine pill-addicted pal Jessie Spano, Theissen did not appear the slightest bit excited. She just seemed scared.
As Haskins took the segment-hosting reins, Theissen remained notably sour-faced. She got into the game slightly, especially during questions centred on My So-Called Life and The Golden Girls, but seemed slightly distracted the whole time.
Although other Saved by the Bell cast members have expressed their desire to hold a formal show reunion, Theissen has mainly remained mum on the issue. Although she did partake in a People photoshoot alongside her Bell co-stars back in 2009, she did not join Jimmy Fallon’s attempted Late Night reunion, which saw actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar appearing in full Zack Morris costume (blocky cell phone and all!) and Mario Lopez recreating a famous A.C. Slater-centric scene. Haskins, however, did participate.
With a new Boy Meets World spinoff series in the works, Haskins believes it is about time the old Bayside gang came together again, for old time’s sake.
“I have always supported a reunion of any kind including all of us,” Haskins told TMZ recently. “Honestly, the fans still love us and our show so much … they deserve it!”