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Saved By The Bell Stupid Character Profiles - #6 - Kelly Kapowski
Dave - 06/28/00

When Matt originally asked me to write a profile for Kelly Kapowski, I was honored that he wanted me to be a part of a series of posts that he had created. As I sat here trying to write this… it occurred to me. Honor, my ass. This was like if Matt was playing the game Card Sharks and he had a sweet run of aces and two's. I mean c'mon, I could write about Slater and Jessie in my sleep. Having to write about Kelly is like the equivalent of a seven being turned over. So, what did Matt do? He said Freeze as the audience cheered him on. So now it is passed to me. Alrighty…. Let's play.

Kelly Kapowski… Hmmm… Kelly Kapowski… What can possibly be said about young Kelly Kapowski? She was a cheerleader and on the volleyball team. Other than that there isn't much to be said about her. Right? I mean, she really never exhibited any personality up until SBTB: The College Years when she started sleeping with good ol' Professor Jeremiah Laskey… Now most people might believe what I have just written, but ya know what? I don't. Kelly was indeed a complex young women.

For pretty much all intensive purposes, Kelly was the #1 Girl on the show. She dated the "star", Zack, for most of SBTB's run. Yet, for being the "it" girl of Bayside High not much was ever really known about her. Jessie was the neurotically intelligent environmentalist; Lisa was the superficial clothes horse ; and Kelly was… well Kelly was "nice". Oh yeah, she also had a zit once.

Kelly was the oldest of 7 children, yet we only ever got to see two of her siblings. The first being her younger brother Billy who dumped a bucket of water on Zack's head as he stood at the front door of the Kapowski residence. (Talk about character development) The second being her younger sister Nicki who had a serious crush on "The Blond Tom Cruise" during the episode where he ran the "Teen Line". For a girl with so many family members.. didn't anyone find it odd that her family pretty much wanted nothing to do with her? We never even saw her mother once. I guess she was just too busy making siblings for Kelly that the audience was never going to get to see. Don't even get me started on her Dad. The guy showed up in one episode… and that was only to gladly take away her prom dress money. This is how that conversation pretty much went:

Mr. Kapowski: "Kelly, I lost my job today."
Kelly: "Oh Daddy… do you want my prom dress money?"
Mr. Kapowski: "Thanks. (swiping money) See ya later."

Nice guy he was. It's no wonder that Kelly was borderline psychotic. Yes you heard me correctly…psychotic.

Anytime Kelly got the chance to remove the false smile and act out of her goody two shoes character.. she jumped at the chance. Let's look at some examples:

Exhibit A: Driver's Ed

In this episode Zack was all paranoid about Slater stealing Kelly away from him if he got his license before he did. So in typical Zack Morris fashion, he set up Slater and rigged the driver's ed "golf cart" to crash. Of course the typical SBTB hijinks ensued as Zack unintentionally ended up hurting not only Slater, but Kelly as well, as the cart crashed into the famous SBTB hallway of lockers. This is where the fun starts. After finding out Zack was responsible for the crash, the gang convinced Kelly to pretend that the bump she got on her head from the crash had caused her to go "psycho". Slater even put a cast on his leg and hopped in a wheelchair, pretending that Kelly had beaten him severely.The only thing more demented than a school using a "golf cart" to teach students how to drive, was this ridiculous plan that the gang concocted to get even with Zack.

How could such a plan actually work? Simple… Kelly pulled it off perfectly. She grabbed a bat and cornered Zack in a classroom, while holding her head and banging on desks. Not only was Zack scared, but so was I, as a viewer. Very convincing performance indeed. Just thinking about it makes me reach out right now for somebody to hold me and tell me it will be okay. Oh well, since nobody is around, I'll just seek comfort from one of my friends. I call him Marlboro Light.

Exhibit B: Snow White and the Seven Dorks

What would an early nineties sitcom be without the gratuitous "rap" episode? SBTB, took it a step further by making the episode revolve around the gang putting on a rap version of Snow White. Excuse me, Executive Producer Peter Engel, how much crack were you actually smoking back then? Well, in this episode Kelly was cast as the Wicked Queen in the play. She bit into this role, like poor Snow White bit into the poisonous apple. If I ever write a line so poignant about an episode of SBTB again, somebody please track me down and kill me. Kelly was downright evil while she was playing the Queen. This was fueled by her jealousy over the possibility of Zack getting it on with the girl who had been climbing through his window since the first grade, Jessie. *Writer's Note: Where the fuck were you during the Miss Bliss years Jessie? It's a long walk from California to Indiana to climb through Zack's window.

The actual best part of this episode however was Slater playing the role of Dork # 7, Studly. Do you really need me to make a witty comment about the preceding sentence? I didn't think so either.

Exhibit C: The Evil Identity Switching Plot

SBTB, ended it's original run with easily one of the most awful made for TV movies of all time… Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. It was assumed that after this movie that Kelly and Zack, newly married, lived happily ever after. This is not the case. What actually happened was Miss Kapowski in a psychotic stupor, flew out to Buffalo and encountered a girl who looked eerily similar to her, Valerie Malone. The only difference being that Valerie had enormous breasts and the cranium to match. Kelly stalked Miss Malone and discovered that Val had just killed her own father who was molesting her. This was Kelly's chance to strike. She killed Valerie, got a boob job, and used a basketball hand pump to inflate her head to double it's size. The switch was complete. She then moved back to California, but not to return to her beloved Zack. She returned to move in with the Malone's family friends, the Walshes. The night that she moved in, she sparked up a joint and made 90210 audiences everywhere stand up and cheer. The rest as they say, is history.

Kelly Kapowski… Little Miss Sunshine? Look again. Look closer… you'll see the thunderstorm brewing on the horizon. Before you go to sleep tonight, check under your bed. Will Kelly be there? Probably not… but maybe, just maybe a driver's ed golf cart will be.

-- Dave