Just how long has Donald Trump been infiltrating the zeitgeist? Well, back in 1991 there was a parody of him on, of all TV shows, Saved By the Bell. Yep, somehow Trump’s outsized personality was deemed familiar enough that even a children’s show in the ’90s thought its young audience would laugh to see it roasted.
When we mentioned the bit to Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack Morris on Saved By the Bell, at the end of an interview about his new Fox series The Passage, his eyes just about bulged out of his head. “We did?!” he exclaimed. “Really? Back in ’91?!”
The Trump reference comes in a fantasy sequence in which Elizabeth Berkley’s Jessie Spano is a contestant on a fictional Blind Date game show hosted by Gosselaar as Zack. Each of her three potential matches are based on ghastly figures from pop culture: “Teddy” Kreuger, spoofing the Nightmare on Elm Street villain; “Mason” Voorhess, riffing on the Friday the 13th baddie; and “the richest kid in the world,” named “Donald Chump.”