We took some heat in the comments yesterday for not totally enjoying Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s appearance as Zack Morris on Monday night’s Fallon. If we can explain ourselves a little, our umbrage had less to do with Gosselaar — whose performance and sportsmanship were both admittedly impressive — and more to do with Jimmy Fallon. Like every other twenty- or thirtysomething who had access to a television in the nineties, we sometimes feel inexplicable nostalgia for Saved by the Bell, and we’re not necessarily opposed to a cast reunion. We’re just not sure what gives Fallon the right to demand that one take place on his show. And neither is Gosselaar, apparently!
We were under the impression that the Zack Morris bit was Fallon’s idea. According to an interview with Starpulse, though, it was Gosselaar’s, but he says it was only something he came up with to “get in front of this reunion”:
“I’ve never been opposed to the reunion but it’s got to be, sort of, under our terms. If someone puts a gun to your head and says, ‘You know, you should do this reunion,’ like Fallon kind of has done — and I love Jimmy by the way, I think he’s awesome — he kind of put us under the gun in a way.”
And we’d sort of figured that Fallon’s producers had asked all of SBTB actors to participate before plans for a reunion were announced on the show. But unless Gosselaar is lying here, that wasn’t the case:
“I heard about it online. We found out kind of like the rest of everyone. My first reaction was, ‘Dude, Fallon, you’re such a motherfucker.’ In a funny way and that’s exactly what I said to him, ‘You fucking motherfucker, you bastard, you. You’re going to make me do something.’ It’s a challenge. It’s when somebody does something and you go, ‘Okay, what are we going to do here that people are going to like and enjoy?’
So, again, what really gives Jimmy Fallon the right to call for a Saved by the Bell reunion on his three-month-old show, which is typically watched by fewer than 2 million people at 12:30 every night? This isn’t like that time Lorne Michaels tried to reunite the Beatles on Saturday Night Live for $3,000, which was funny and mostly in jest — Fallon actually expects these actors (all of whom are trying to have different careers) to show up for the greater glory of Late Night. And if one of them doesn’t want to do it, then they look like the jerk (like Michael Cera did when people thought he didn’t want to do the Arrested Development movie). Gosselaar’s thing on Monday gives us hope that a Bell get-together might be sort of fun, but wouldn’t it be better if the cast members didn’t all have guns to their heads?