Let’s just make one thing perfectly clear before we get into any kind of celebration of a beloved TV character – Saved by the Bell was a terrible show. Settle down, people. Let me explain myself before you sharpen your pitchforks over the worst demon that NBC has ever unleashed on this world. Saved by the Bell was a terrible show… that is so much fun to talk about, because everything from the writing to the acting was so hilariously bad that it has become a legend of television. And nothing on this series in my humble opinion was as consistently bad as the antics, attitude and a-holishness of Albert Clifford Slater, played by the ageless Mario Lopez, who just so happens to turn 41 today.
As is the case with all of Lopez’s birthdays, it’s a perfect time to celebrate A.C. Slater, mostly because Lopez has given us so little else aside from his dimples and the ability to effectively deliver celebrity news in front of a camera. While some people might actually think it’s more interesting that he admits in his new memoirs that he never actually loved his ex-wife Ali Landry – is “Cold-Blooded” a new Doritos flavor? – I prefer to keep things tame and fun for a Friday. That’s why we’re going to celebrate Lopez’s birthday the right way… (drumroll please)
With a GIF dance party of Slater’s best (or more accurately his most hilariously corny) moves. Get ready to have your minds blown by the slickest mother-f*ckin’ moves of any 90s TV show. Let’s get started with that time that he just decided to make Zack his basic beeyotch in front of their entire class (which always conveniently hung out in one group, while fitting perfectly into The Max).
There was no doubt that Kelly was going to pick Slater, especially since Zack didn’t know how to dance. So when they teamed up to be the Spandex Twins, it was like watching actual magic happen, except the magic was wearing E.G. socks and sporting a mighty bulge.
Holy crap! That was amazing and definitely deserved the 95 that the geeky pervert owner of The Max gave them on his incredibly unscientific Clap-o-Meter. Of course, Slater’s presence also inspired others to dance around him, which meant that he could just groove in his throne.
Then there was the time that he and Zack caused their rival pranskter from Valley to dance for them, so he could unwittingly win the cheerleading competition in Bayside’s freakishly tiny gymnasium.
I know that I certainly learn how to pull off martial arts-style dance moves when someone pours flesh-eating ants on me. I’m also somewhat positive that the entire situation could have been deemed assault. But whatever, Valley’s thugs deserved it. Let’s get on to the gang’s best moves…
Whoa guys, settle down. This kind of partying should only be done under expert supervision. But uh oh, wouldn’t you know it – they’re not alone!
Haha, how embarrassing! Of course, that was tame compared to the dilemma Screech would soon face when his mom’s beloved Elvis bust was shattered during a party. Why the gang didn’t just have Slater dance for lonely housewives to raise the money they needed for another bust is beyond me, but I guess they ultimately needed to teach Maxwell Nerdstrom a lesson for being so mean to Violet. (Did I mention this was a horrible show?)
Remember senior cut day? While Zack had to stay behind at Bayside to avoid detention and expulsion – haha, he never took education seriously! – Slater and Kelly got jiggy with it at the beach, just like kids in the 90s did.
“You’ve got some hot moves,” Kelly would tell Slater, indicating the first sign that she was having a stroke. Not all of his hot moves existed in reality, though, as Kelly’s younger sister imagined some in her tween dream about Zack falling in love with her.
He was all, “Talk to the hand later, because I’m A.C. Slater.” See? He even inspires me to be corny. In addition to all of his sick moves, Slater also knew how to slow it down for some romance, like the time at the costume ball, when he finally got Tori to himself.
But wait a second, that’s not Tori in the Gumby costume! That’s Screech!
And they lived happily ever after.
There’s no better way to go out than with Studley the Dwarf finding true love with Snow White. Happy birthday, Mario Lopez, and thanks for giving us this hilariously terrible character to make fun of for the rest of eternity!