Zack Morris Lives

For the past week or so it seems everyone has been immersed in Conan O’Brien’s new Tonight Show duties.  Personally, I’ve been watching it more regularly than I ever have, and for the most part, I have not been disappointed.  But amidst all the excitement, I’ve been paying absolutely no attention to what has become of Conan’s old Late Night time slot.  I pretty much just assumed Jimmy Fallon was driving both the show and The Roots deep into an eventual TV hell.  You know, the kind of time slot that airs somewhere between Carson Daly and the “Sham-Wow” infomercial.  Well, last night when I tuned in for the very first time I discovered that maybe, just maybe, Late Night was in good hands.  What caused such a shift in these feelings?  It all started when Mr. Fallon sat down for an interview with Zack Morris.  Not Mark-Paul Gosselaar.  Zack fucking Morris!

Now to say that I was fan of Saved By The Bell would be an extreme understatement.  Although I didn’t start watching it until it was in syndication, my knowledge of the show is only rivaled by my knowledge of the Simpsons.  And I think that I felt like many other pre-pubescent kids in the early nineties who watched it.  I wanted to be Zack Morris.  I wanted to destroy A.C. Slater.  I wanted a nerd friend like Screech to do my bidding.  I wanted to narrowly avoid trouble from Mr. Belding and meet up with Lisa and Jessie at The Max.  And most importantly, I wanted to nail Kelly Kapowski.  So yeah, had my future wife not been sleeping in the bed next to me, I would’ve been hopping around the room like a giddy little schoolgirl when Mr. Gosselaar sat down next to Jimmy Fallon.  And from the bleached blonde haircut to the huge tongues on his white sneakers, one thing was clear.  This was Zack Morris.

Yes, the whole interview was scripted, featuring a Saved By The Bell-esque time out and an oversized cell phone conversation with Jessie Spano, but it was also brilliant.  Gosselaar had a new show to plug (which he did, claiming that he was Zack Morris but had to change his name when he decided to go into acting) and was still cool enough to play along, never breaking character throughout the entire nine minute interview.  It almost seemed like after over 20 years since the premiere of the show, Mark-Paul finally realized that being known as Zack Morris wasn’t so bad (probably because some of us still want to be him).  And on top of all that, the interview is littered with tons of callbacks, some of them very obscure, to the days of Bayside.  I gotta admit, I thought it was pretty ballsy and awesome to include such random nuggets of Saved By The Bell knowledge that would both appease nerds like me and alienate normal people who have lives.

So click  here and enjoy (for some reason I can’t post videos from Hulu on my blog).  And kudos to you Mr. Fallon.  Even if every subsequent episode of Late Night is awful and you consequently drive the show into the ground, I’ll never be able to say “That guy didn’t do one goddamn thing that was funny on that show.”

And just because I can’t see it enough times, here’s Bret Michaels busting his shit at the Tony Awards.

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2 Responses to “Zack Morris Lives”

  1. Cassie Says:

    He’s not at a total loss for the show. I mean it can’t completely grind itself to the bottom of the ratings until AFTER the reunion.

    My favorite part is still “Time out!”

    • jamesdolata Says:

      Yeah, I actually haven’t watched a single episode since this one. But when and if the reunion happens, somebody has to let me know.

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