Saved By The Bell is a tv show that brings many memories back for so many, especially Peter Engel. His memoir, I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love, and Dreams That Do Come True explores all the ups and downs of his life and career which led him to becoming Executive Producer of Saved By The Bell.
The book begins, “ But as early as the first scene, they’d be hooked.” This identified what life was like on set, as they would bus in high school students to fill the bleachers and watch the taping of the show and how successful the show became. The book follows Peter’s journey through the decades from his first television set to working on successful television shows, to life now.
As a 12 year old boy in 1948, Peter can vividly remember coming home to see a television in his house for the first time. From the moment he watched his first show, he knew that his future would be in television. This led to him attending NYU to study television. After wanting experience, not just an education, he decided to march himself to 30 Rock and find himself a job as a page. Even though he was advised that he would not be seen and must apply like everyone else, he knew he had to be seen. After sitting down with an interview right then and there, he got the job, and this began his successful path in television.
The book follows his early career from New York City to life in California. Unfortunately, things did not always go his way in both his career and life. Peter was very open and honest about his downward spiral with drugs. Although he went through a very difficult time, Peter found redemption.
At the age of 50 when he thought his big chance had passed, new doors opened, with the television show Miss Bliss, a show centered on an influential teacher and her students. The show didn’t quite make the impact as they had hoped, but it did lead to bigger things.
Peter shared secrets from the casting room. He knew immediately that Mark Paul Gosselaar would be Zack. Mark Paul Gosseaar had an influence on the decision making of Dustin Diamond playing screech when he told Peter how perfect he was for the role. After the show was cancelled, Saved By the Bell was born. Zack and Screech, along with Lisa(Lark Voorhies), and Mr. Belding, (Dennis Haskins) stayed with the new show. Lisa was almost fired from the show until, “The Lisa Card” episode showed her talents and they decided to keep her. Tiffani-Amber Thiessen who played the role as Kelly Kapowski was a teen model was not the most trained but been gaining a lot of exporsure and they decided she would play the role of Kelly and her acting would get better over time.
The show and the cast not only became successful, but were adored by so many around the country. The show changed so much for the lives of the actors, and the life and career of Peter. The book shares many behind the scene secrets that you will have to read to find out! As fans of the show, it was great to feel as if you spent a day with the cast and crew, as Paul shared so many details from set. Paul has done a wonderful job sharing his story and his passion.
One of our favorite lines from his book was at the end when he said, “If your happiness abandons you, find another happiness. And remember, someday today will be a long time ago…don’t miss one moment of it!
Peter never gave up on his dreams, and has had so many experiences throughout this life and career.