There Was Almost a Kobe Bryant Cameo on “Saved by the Bell”

He was reportedly a fan of the original series

Kobe Bryant mural
A mural depicting Kobe Bryant is unveiled on Mamba Day on Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.
Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

The worlds of star athletes and television comedies do not often overlap, with a handful of exceptions. Wade Boggs showed up in a memorable Cheers episode once, while JJ Watt turned up on an episode of New Girl. Those are the exceptions rather than the rule; that’s understandable, though, as feats of athletic heroism and solid comic timing are two decidedly unrelated skill sets.

That being said, Boggs and Watt aren’t the only athletes to try their hand at comedy over the years. And had it not been for his untimely death in 2020, we might have seen another illustrious sports figure added to that list — Kobe Bryant. As Entertainment Weekly reports, Saved by the Bell co-stars Josie Totah and Alycia Pascual-Peña spoke about Bryant’s scheduled appearance on the show on their podcast Dare We Say.

“[O]bviously, we are the least of importance when it comes to this legend and his daughter’s passing, but we were actually supposed to film with Kobe two days after he died,” Totah said on the episode. As IndieWire noted in an article on Bryant’s planned appearance, it isn’t clear whether Bryant was slated to play himself or take a different role on the episode.

According to Pascual-Peña, Bryant had enjoyed the original run of Saved by the Bell. The reboot/continuation of the show ran for two seasons after debuting in late 2020.

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