The 13th Episode is entitled “The Election.” In the episode, Jessie is running for class president. Zack finds out the winner gets a trip to Washington DC and decides to run against her. He sabotages his own campaign when he hears the trip has been canceled. He wins anyway and find out the trip was never canceled. Feeling guilty, he concedes to Jesse.
We find out in this episode that Jessie’s Mom was an activist in the 60s and has inspired her daughter. Jessie wants to make a difference. This component of her character is established here and built upon in later episodes.
Dashiell Driscoll comments about a joke about Rosanne Barr skipping a meal. He says a joke about her weight wouldn’t fly today. We would more likely be joking about her political views. Then Dashiell comments on Mr. Dewy. The actor who played him was Patrick Thomas O’Brien. He was 40 years old when he made his appearance—younger than Mark-Paul Gosselaar is now. Mark-Paul comments on how odd it is to realize that he is older than both Belding and Dewy right now. Anyway, O’Brien made appearances in a lot of 90s shows, including the Gilmore Girls and Home Improvement.
Mark-Paul introduces the Podcast guest this week. His name is Reed Dickens. Dickens grew up in a small town along the Louisiana and Texas border. He was a young press aid who became Assistant Press Secretary. He worked in the Bush Administration. In 2004, he moved to California and started a company that dealt with Major League Baseball Supplies.
He and Mark-Paul both knew Vanessa Lachey. Lachey played his wife in the short lived Sitcom The Truth Be Told. When Mark-Paul started on the show Pitch, Lachey said he should given Dickens a call. Dickens was told that he was a Zack Morris type character when he was growing up and he was a huge fan of Saved By The Bell.
Anyway, Mark-Paul and Dickens were on a plane together. They didn’t speak until they were descending. Then Dickens mentioned he was a fan. Dickens gave Mark-Paul his card at the baggage claim and then Mark-Paul called him later. They have been friends since.
Dickens mentions how a savvy politician knows his audience. He needs to be reflective of current politics. Zack claiming that Jessie was going to take the pizza from the students was a savvy move. Dickens mentions how Nixon was a smart man, but not as savvy as JFK, which is why JFK won the election. People want to vote for the “cooler” candidate. Obama was cooler than Mitt Romney. Clinton was cool because he went on Arsenio Hall and played his Saxophone. He joked about the Kayne West and Taylor Swift Ticket. He was surprised when Kayne West actually decided to run. He talked about Plato and the late stages of the Republic turning to Democracy and the problem with Mob Mentality Ruling the day. Anyway, Dickens also talked about the popular vote vs the electoral college.
Back to the show though. Screech is doing a weird thing with his mouth. Mark-Paul noted the catcalls that Mario Lopez got when he entered the stage. They calked about the dialog about what would happen if women ruled the country. Slater replies, “Less violent and more color coordinated.” It sounds cute, but it is really representative of the sexism inherent in the character.
So when Slater puts Screech up against the locker. Screech info dumps. They also chat about how great it was that Dennis Haskins committed to the part in letting himself look so silly in the locker room. He is lifting weights with his belly sticking out! We move onto the Election Video. The narrator’s voice is the voice of none other than Don Barnhart the director. Mark-Paul noted that they used real photos for the montage. He also said that the photo of him with his mother should have clued in the fact that he is mixed race. He is part Asian, but most people don’t realize it. The dyed blond hair often helped disguise this fact.
Dickens added it is not a political ad that changes people’s minds. The substance doesn’t matter so much as how the video made them feel. He also talked about how campaigning was a totally different skill set than governing. The video Zack made convinces Kelly to vote for Jessie instead. Zack then tries to flip his stances and positions.
Mark-Paul talked about a pair of shoes sitting on his desk. The shoes were Vision Street-wear. Those shoes were a special Skateboarding brand that Mark-Paul was proud of. He used to skateboard.
Anyway, Kelly was the swing vote Zack wages a disinformation war against himself and all the bad press changes Kelly’s mind. She votes for Zack. And then when Zack wins, Zack demands a recount. This was not common practice. Most people didn’t know you could even do so until Gore V Bush in 2000. Dickens thinks we should be patient for the upcoming election in real life. We may have to wait and see who the House of Representatives choose in December.
At the close of the episode we have a tender moment between Zack and Jessie. Zack resigns and lets her have the Presidency. Zack often behaves badly, but he does feel remorse. He is not a total jerk.