Saved by the Bell stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Elizabeth Berkley were a thing back in the day. The former co-stars of the Saturday morning teen sitcom, which ran from 1989 to 1993 on NBC, were a real-life couple during the show’s original run, Entertainment Tonight reports.
Gosselaar, who played high schooler Zack Morris on the teen hit, made the surprising reveal on Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast earlier this week, confirming that he used to date Berkley, the actress who played Jessie Spano, while working with her on Saved by the Bell.
“We dated. If you want to call it dating, sure. You’re in an environment, you know how it is when you’re working on a set, and we were young, I mean we were young. There’s no one around really. I mean, you work and live in a bubble.”
The 46-year-old actor explained that as a teen actor, he basically got driven to the Saved by the Bell set by his mom or manager, did his work, and went home. Since he was surrounded by pretty co-stars, he didn’t have to look far for a date.
“You’re not going to school, so you don’t have a lot of choices,” Gosselaar explained. “People say, ‘Well didn’t you go out?’ Not really.”
Mark-Paul Gosselaar previously joked about the Saved By the Bell set, telling People in 2009, “All of us dated at one point or another—it was incestuous.”
“Tiffani [Thiessen] and Elizabeth would hate me, and then they’d hate Lark [Voorhies] because Lark was talking to me. …All that stuff you did in high school, like, ‘How could you talk to him?'”
Indeed, things got downright ugly behind the scenes on Saved by the Bell. Executive producer Peter Engel’s memoir about the show, I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love and Dreams That Do Come True, revealed that Tiffani Thiessen even caught onetime boyfriend Mario Lopez cheating on her during the filming of the comedy series.
According to Us Weekly, in an incident that allegedly occurred in 1991, Engel wrote that Lopez thought Thiessen was filming so he used the opportunity to hide out in his dressing room and make out with an extra.
“Tiffani came in, catching him red-handed,” Engel wrote. “She was wearing his letter jacket and, in a rage, ripped it off and threw it at him. After that, she ran out. They broke up, but the [show] family stayed together.”
As for the possibility of a Saved by the Bell reunion, Mark-Paul Gosselaar recently told the Metro he is “completely open for it” as long as it’s done correctly.
The original Saved by the Bell starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater, Dustin Diamond as Screech, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, and Dennis Haskins as Principal Belding.