Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Zack Attack

     Normally I would start this post out by saying "Well, Company, did you see that Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night?" but I am not going to start things out by saying the because I know you didn't see that.  Nobody saw that because no one even knows that Jimmy Fallon hosts Late Night let along watches it.  So I am going to start like this:
Well, Company, Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night.  Or the night before.  Or the other night.  I am not exactly sure, but it was sometime within the last week.  Now, I can hear you saying "Ummm...Zack Morris is a made up character from that show who was played by an actor named Mark-Paul Gosselaar who has had a relatively distinguished career acting in NYPD Blue and now Raising the Bar among other things."  That's true.  But Zack Morris was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  And I have the video proof to prove it.

Oh yeah, that just happened.  And you can't make it go away.  Anyway, I think that this is the coolest thing.  And I'm going to tell you why.
     First of all, it's pretty creative, especially for a late night talk show.  I know that during the Conan years Late Night was always a little off the wall, just like Conan, and now it is following the same path by playing to Jimmy's strong suits, but I still think it's a pretty cool thing they came up with.  Many of the shows like this wouldn't have the balls to do something like this, even at this late of an hour.  It's original and certainly unexpected, and that means it has a lot going for it.
      Part of the reason why it is so unexpected is because most actors and actresses who are in similar circumstances as Mark-Paul - successful child actor who went on to do other respectable things as an adult - aren't as cool and good-humored about it.  Most of them don't want to relive their cheesy kids stuff because they want you to talk about their turn on Broadway or the show they had on TBS.  They are slightly embarrassed by what they did back then and they want to get as far away from it as they can.  Think about it.  Nobody sees Tiffani Theissen coming around with a volleyball and a Bayside Tigers sweatshirt cut way down so just one shoulder shows.  Wild horses had to be used to drag Susan Dey back to the TV Land reunion for The Partridge Family.  I think that it is fantastic that Mark-Paul had the sense of humor and good nature to don the white high tops and pull off a pretty respectable Zack Morris all those years later.
     Oh yeah, I believe that.  He pulls off a pretty good Zack Morris.  I know that you are thinking that he should have because he is an actor, and actor who played that part for four magical years back in the early 1990s.  But it is still a pretty tough thing to take that mold twenty years later and fit yourself back into it.  He is a little stiff with it sometimes, but the dialogue isn't Saved by the Bell dialogue.  It's written by different writers.  So Mark-Paul didn't exactly have the best to work with.  But he did good.  He had just the right mix of sarcasm and love focused towards the part, making fun of it while gently nurturing it in his little hands, just like the giant Zack Morris cell phone that he pulls out.
     In the end it was just perfect.  And the best part is that I am not sure anyone else will do something like that again.  And that's okay.  It was great for what it was.  It worked for that time and place, and thankfully we live in an age of video so that everyone can see it.  So go watch it again.  Then Hulu some old episodes of Saved by the Bell and relive your days in middle school.  It's a blast.

No comments: