Have you seen the Jimmy Fallon video parody of the 90’s classic Saved by the Bell? Of course you have! It had the perfect recipe for a viral sensation. Multiple people forwarded it to me. Everyone under the age of 60 knows and loves Saved by the Bell. Everything Jimmy Fallon does is hysterical. And we all know there’s a wave of 90’s nostalgia sweeping the nation.
But want to know the real reason it was a smash? Casting.
Yup, Jimmy’s parody cast all of the original cast members in their original roles. Even Mr. Belding (who’s gained a few pounds since the original). Think about it: If SNL had done a parody of Saved by the Bell, they probably would have used their own relatively unknown cast members doing an unfunny job of recreating the original.
But no. Jimmy Fallon knew that to get maximum laughs you should cast the grown-up versions of all the original stars. It worked on so many levels. We’re all curious to see how the kids of Bayside High look today. And even though some of them are still big stars (hello, Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar), it’s fun to see them all in one place horsing around together. Just like the old days.
Casting the original stars was a stroke of genius. Keep this in mind when you think about your place in the world of casting. Of course, you probably weren’t a 90’s star looking to recreate your famous role. But casting directors are always looking for actors who can authentically embrace a part … and for you, that means internalizing the essence of a character, almost as if you’ve played them before.
So embrace your inner Zack Morris or A.C. Slater. And if you happen to look or act like Dustin Diamond, go ahead, embrace your inner Screech.
Don’t miss ClaimFame‘s tutorial series “Casting Essentials – everything you need to know to get started and find success in showbiz“: