‘Saved by the Bell’ trivia is a test for fans
Christine Bolin-Dascher, of Aurora, and her brother, Tony Bolin, of Elmwood Park, celebrate some correct answers during "Saved by the Bell" trivia at Playbook Sports Bar in Niles. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 11, 2013 1:57AM
NILES — When it came to studying for this test, no one needed coaxing from Mr. Belding.
They arrived prepared, memories of gigantic cell phones, caffeine pills, the Zack Attack and Bayside High School cemented in their minds thanks to years of Saturday morning and cable television re-runs.
“Tonight’s going to be awesome because every single person loves ‘Saved by the Bell,’” said Ryan Murphy, self-proclaimed fan of the popular early 1990s teen sitcom and moderator of the first-ever “Saved by the Bell” Trivia Night hosted Nov. 28 at Playbook Sports Bar in Niles.
Proudly wearing his gray Bayside Tigers sweatshirt, Murphy described the adolescent antics of Zack, Slater, Screech, Kelly, Jessie and Lisa as “a huge part of (the lives) of anybody from the age of 19 all the way up to 40.”
The crowd, consisting of both men and women in their 20s and 30s, reflected that sentiment as 16 teams — with names like I’m So Excited (referring to Jessie’s exclamation after taking too many caffeine pills), No Hope With Dope (the slogan of a commercial filmed at Bayside), and some that took affection for Tiffani-Amber Thiessen’s character, Kelly, to a new level — packed the bar and scribbled answers during five rounds of trivia.
Players were asked hard-hitting “Bell” questions such as “What is the name of the duck that Zack and the gang rescue from the oil spill?” “True or false: Zack has kissed Kelly, Jessie AND Lisa?” and “Who helped deliver Mrs. Belding’s baby in the elevator?” (Answers: Becky, true and Tori.)
Taking first place, and a grand prize of $300, was the four-member team of Need a Friend? How About Five? consisting of Beth and Derek Kenar of Buffalo Grove, Nick Castellano of Wilmette and Sarah Kwasigroch of Chicago.
“Sarah was the linchpin. And I did some studying of the college years, which helped a little bit,” Castellano acknowledged. “She’s the biggest (fan). I think she’s got a Bayside T-shirt and she was Kelly Kapowski for Halloween two years ago.”
“I just figured if I’m ever going to win trivia in my life, this would be it,” Kwasigroch said with a laugh.
The second-place team, I’m So Excited, consisting of Christy Rojas and Ashley Schoenecker of Chicago, Elizabeth Thorn of Lincolnshire and Kristin Hunt of Glenview, said they all grew up watching “Saved by the Bell” and it is nostalgia that keeps them fans today.
“Any time Zack and Kelly get back together, it’s a good moment,” Schoenecker noted.
“If it’s the episode where Zack and Kelly break up, she will post (online), ‘It’s going to be a bad day,’” added Rojas.
“I wish I could time-out my life,” lamented Hunt, referring to Zack’s method of briefly pausing the activity around him so he could address the camera. “But I can’t. It doesn’t work.”
Plenty of men also got into the “Saved by the Bell” spirit.
“I watched a lot of ‘Saved by the Bell’ this week,” acknowledged Jose Morales of Chicago who, with friends Christian Tubigar of Skokie, Kevin Blitz of Deerfield and Jerzy Mastal of Des Plaines, share a fondness for Kelly.
Playbook hosts pop culture trivia nights once each month, but Murphy noted that trivia focusing on a particular theme draws the most participation.
“We did ‘Seinfeld’ trivia, we did ‘Family Guy’ trivia. We narrowed it down to themes and it tripled the amount of people, if not more,” he said.