Zack Morris Regrets ‘Whoring Out Lisa’ on ‘Saved By the Bell’

Zack Morris Regrets ‘Whoring Out Lisa’ on ‘Saved By the Bell’

According to Zack Morris, underaged sex-work plotlines aren’t appropriate sitcom fodder anymore. Do you know what I am saying?

It’s a setup that’s been used weirdly often in comedies made before 2015 — a naive boy enlists an even more naive girl to trade kisses, hugs, hand-holds or ice cream dates for cash, inadvertently turning himself into a pimp and his female friend(s) into his stable of hos. South Park did it, giving us the iconic Butters line listed above, The Other Guys did it with a college-aged Will Ferrell turning from accountant to big-time bill stacker, and, perhaps most weirdly, Saved By the Bell chose to turn Zack Morris into an amateur hustler in the episode “The Lisa Card” when he “helps out” his friend Lisa Turtle overcome a sizable credit card debt by selling kiss coupons redeemable by the boys of Bayside High School at the most hilariously inopportune moments.

Like all sitcoms of its time, Saved By the Bell is currently enjoying a resurgence of public interest due to the multiple rewatch podcasts started by its principal actors who dissect each episode with behind-the-scenes info and amusing anecdotes. Zack Morris actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar hosts such a project, Zack to the Future; however, he finds “The Lisa Card” incredibly hard to rewatch. Imagine how Lisa Turtle felt.

“There was one where I was basically whoring out Lisa Turtle,” Gosselaar told former Boy Meets World stars and current Pod Meets World co-hosts Danielle Fishel, Will Friedle and Rider Strong during his recent appearance on the show, where he answered questions from the hosts and their listeners about Saved By the Bell. “I charged people to kiss her without her consent. That was a tough one.”

Gosselaar previously addressed the discomfort of “The Lisa Card” when it was featured on his own podcast, telling Pod Meets World, “We had to preface the episode by saying, ‘We do not condone this. We’re here just to discuss it.’”

On Zack to the Future, Gosselaar said to his listeners about the offending storyline, “I feel a little conflicted by this particular episode. It wasn’t as carefree and innocent as the last episode, but maybe it’s because I’m watching it through these eyes and not the eyes of a 13-year-old or the audience that watched it back in the 1990s.” He later added, “We’re not gonna say that we don’t see some of the morally abhorrent or dated situations and responses to certain things, but we’re also here to give you a fun podcast. It’s a celebration of Saved by the Bell.”

Lark Voorhies, the actress behind Lisa Turtle, has not publicly commented on her former co-star’s retrospection of the uncomfortable episode, nor has she appeared on Zack to the Future. Something tells me it will take a lot more than $1 for Zack to get her to do anything anymore.

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