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Mario Lopez Reveals What His Kids Really Think of the Original Saved By the Bell

Mario Lopez spilled exclusive scoop on the new Peacock series and why he felt like the "goofy" older brother to the new generation of Saved By the Bell stars.

By Brett Malec Nov 23, 2020 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Mario Lopez Talks Reprising Role in New "Saved By the Bell"

A.C. Slater is all grown up!

Mario Lopez is reprising his iconic Saved By the Bell role for Peacock's reimagined series, launching this Wednesday, Nov. 25. While it's been over 30 years since the classic show premiered, Lopez says he and fellow O.G. co-stars Elizabeth BerkleyMark-Paul Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen still hang out to this day.

"I keep in contact with them. We went out to dinner not too long ago, I'll go over to Tiffani's house, our kids will play together. So it wasn't like I hadn't seen them in a while, so it wasn't that trippy," Lopez told E! News exclusively of reuniting with his longtime friends on the set of the new Saved By the Bell. "But to slip back into that character was a bit of a trip. I liked it because he's one of those guys that, I don't want to say he didn't mature too much, but he's kind of stuck in that era. You know those dudes that are kind of stuck in that era? In their glory days rocking the same kind of hair and clothes and all that, which makes it a lot of fun as a character."

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Lopez previously teased that the reimagined series will have lots of Easter eggs and references original fans will enjoy. We'll even see him bust a few moves in the updated version. "Any time I got to dance was a lot of fun. So we did some old school dances and some throwbacks," he smiled.

Chris Haston/Peacock

As for how Peacock's reimagined version will combine old and new, Lopez credits show runner Tracey Wigfield for seamlessly updating the beloved franchise while maintaining its original charm.

"I thought they were very clever in the way they had a balance of the nostalgia with this updated version focusing on these new kids, which are honestly I think are a lot more mature and savvy and just hip, as opposed to when we were in school," he dished. "You can't be in high school forever so obviously we had to grow up and now we're sort of in those more mentor type roles. But considering that I thought they did a very good job as far as blending the old school world and this new world."

In the new version, Lopez's Slater is Bayside High's athletic director looking to recruit some A-list talent from the new generation of Bayside students. Lopez had nothing but praise for Saved By the Bell's new crop of young actors.

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"They were great! I really like them," he gushed. "They're all really talented, great group of kids. Really smart. They all got a long really well together. I was kinda like their goofy, older, immature brother in real life, so we had a lot of fun. I like hanging with them." 

Casey Durkin/Peacock

Lopez jokingly added that reprising his role over 30 years later, "makes me feel crazy old." "Yeah, it kinda trips me out," he laughed. "I didn't think decades later people would care but hey, hopefully they'll check it out and like what they see."

Lopez says he hopes his three kids, Gia, 9, Dominic, 7, and Santino, 1, will love the reimagined version.

Peacock

"They're definitely going to check it out," he revealed. "They don't really watch the old version but my daughter said they're going to give this one a chance, so we'll see."

"My mom has shown them the original, they just weren't really into it," he added. "They weren't really into it, so hopefully they'll have a change of heart."

Saved By the Bell season one launches Wednesday, Nov. 25 on Peacock! Scroll down for more scoop on Peacock's Saved By the Bell.

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family)

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.
Governor Zack Morris

Mark-Paul Gosselaar initially wasn't involved in the series despite Zack Morris factoring into the plot. However, the mixed-ish star ultimately heard from the powers that be and signed on—according to the Hollywood Reporter he'll appear in three episodes and have a producer credit. The best part? Zack is now the governor of California.

Kelly Kapowski

Fans were initially uncertain whether or not Tiffani Thiessen would be joining the reboot, but thankfully, Kelly Kapowski is back! Making her return even sweeter is that she's now married to Zack and serving as California's first lady.

A.C. Slater

Mario Lopez is reprising his role as A.C. Slater, who's now Bayside High's athletic director! He's at a point in his life where he really wants a win, so he sees this new group of kids coming in as that potential opportunity.

Jessie Spano

Like Slater, Jessie Spano, played by Elizabeth Berkley, is back at Bayside as an employee. She's the school counselor, and her son, Jamie, is a student and current captain of the football team. 

Lisa Turtle

Lark Voorhies is set to make a special appearance, reprising her role as Lisa Turtle.

Principal Toddman

Bye-bye Belding—Principal Toddman, played by John Michael Higgins, is the new sheriff in town, which means he's constantly being pranked by his privileged students and yelled at by their entitled parents. But this all changes when Bayside gets an influx of new students and Toddman gets a second chance to really make a difference.

Mac Morris

Mitchell Hoog, whose credits include Harriet and Richard Jewell, will play Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski's son, Mac. He's described as handsome, charming and privileged.

Jamie Spano

Belmont Cameili is Jamie Spano, son of Jessie Spano. Jamie is the captain of the Bayside football team and described as a "sensitive man-child." His other credits include Empire and My Evil Stepdad.

Daisy

Haskiri Velazquez will play Daisy, an ambitious sophomore who is excited to attend Bayside High after her local school gets shut down. Velazquez's other credits include Blue Bloods, The Birch and The 40-Year-old Version.

Devante

Dexter Darden, who starred in all three Maze Runner films, is Devante, another new student at Bayside. A bit of a loner, he might just end up using the fresh start as an opportunity to reinvent himself.

Lexi

Josie Totah is Lexi, the most popular girl and cheerleader at Bayside. She's as loved as much as she's feared. Her other credits include The Other Two, Champions and No Good Nick.

During Peacock's TCA summer press tour, Totah expressed, "Getting to play just a transgender role on screen is obviously very rare. There is almost zero representation of people in the trans community. Which, growing up as a young trans girl, I feel like never seeing myself made me never feel truly accepted by the world."

The trans actress called the role an "incredible opportunity," especially since Lexi's identity isn't all about her being transgender. "My character is so many things. She's in theater, she's like evil. She's the popular girl in school," Totah added. "But she just happens to be transgender."

Aisha

Alycia Pascual-Pena plays Aisha, Daisy's ultra-competitive best friend who grew up playing on boys' sports teams and causes a stir when she tries to play football at Bayside. Her other credits include MOXIE on Netflix.

Zack Attack Is Back!

Luckily for O.G. fans, it looks like we'll get to see all four original co-stars perform a number together as their group Zack Attack during season one!

The Max Lives on

Much like the original, the new students at Bayside spend every day eating at Saved By the Bell's favorite hangout The Max! And yes: owner and original co-star Ed Alonzo still works there.

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.