Awkward! Fans may be clamoring for a Saved by the Bell reunion, but if Tiffani Thiessen‘s reaction to a surprise visit from her former TV principal, Dennis Haskins, is any indication, Kelly Kapowski will not be part of it. At least, not by choice.
Thiessen, 39, who currently stars on USA’s White Collar, did not seem to be feeling the love when Haskins, 62, stopped by the TODAY show during her Feb. 5 guest appearance. She played along when the set was transformed to resemble Bayside hangout The Max, and when anchor Natalie Morales challenged her to a ’90s trivia game — but she appeared slightly uncomfortable when Principal Belding walked in quoting his famous catchphrase: “Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! What is going on here?”
“Can I just say hi real quick?” Haskins asked Al Roker as he extended a friendly hand toward Thiessen, who managed only a half-hearted smile for her former costar. Sensing the awkwardness between the two, Morales piped in: “Tiffani’s in shock!”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Thiessen was the main holdout when Jimmy Fallon tried to get the Bayside gang back together on his late-night show in 2009. She even filmed a Funny or Die video in which she listed all of the reasons she couldn’t make it. Among the (fictional) activities on her “to do” list ahead of reuniting with her former cast mates? Working with NASA on a new fuel cell for the next space shuttle, singing in an Indigo Girls tribute band, training for the UFC tai chi competition, and looking hot while sitting by her pool.
Haskins, on the other hand, is more than eager to stage a meet-up with his ex students. “I’ve kind of carried the banner for Saved by the Bell for a bunch of years, because — let’s face it — I’ll be Mr. Belding for the rest of my life,” Haskins told Today.com, adding that he has stayed in touch with Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played A.C. Slater and Zack Morris, respectively. (Incidentally, Lopez and Haskins ran into each other at a 1990s-themed bash in West Hollywood on Jan. 31.)
“I have always supported a reunion of any kind including all of us,” he told TMZ recently. “Honestly, the fans still love us and our show so much…They deserve it!”