Ah yes, when I wake up in the morning because my alarm gives off a warning I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time. By the time I grab my books (or in today’s case my cell phone) and I give myself a look I’m at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by. But ya know what? It’s alright cuz I’m SAVED BY THE BELL.
I can’t believe there isn’t a decent version of the intro online. What is the Internet good for if not this? If you’re missing Bayside High as much as we are then you should definitely dance your ass off at The State Theatre this Saturday for Saved by the 90’s – A Party with the Bayside Tigers. Gone are the days where I’ll be dancing alone to an old 90’s mixed CD I made in high school. I can finally hear my favorite, never really let ’em go, hits live and almost in person. If we play our cards right we NEVER have to grow up.
To prep for such an auspicious occasion we asked some of our favorite BYT writers to regale us with their beloved Saved by the Bell memories.
Andrew Bucket (comic/poet/lover)
Mr Belding: I am Mr. Belding. I have a bald stupid face. I’m mad everyone is having fun instead of school work. I am absurdly gullible even after being tricked in similar ways every previous week for my whole life. I used to be cool, in a real way, more real than anyone in this world, even my fake son, could ever be. I am always in this tiny hallway and I don’t have an office. I hang out at the rec center too despite there surely being other places to go. I’ll keep showing up even after all the cool kids move on from the scene. I will repeat myself, redundantly. I will never change. I have always been here, before the blond and the blonde and the curly haired one, and the rest. My love will never be returned. I will never die. I will roam these golden cliffs forever until the young ones return, and when they do I will scold them for being late. I am Mr. Belding. My name even sounds like Balding.
Let’s take a moment to address all of the #VioletTruthers out there who assert that Tori Spelling landed a three-episode arc on Saved by the Bell because her father was Aaron Spelling, the mega-producer responsible for The Mod Squad and Charlie’s Angels and other shows that I don’t know because I wasn’t alive in the 1970s.
First of all, you’re out of your goddamned mind. You seriously sound like an insane person, and this will probably affect your credit score. It’s called a fucking coincidence. There is no correlation between thespian Tori Spelling appearing on Saved by the Bell and her father being a highly influential Hollywood figure. That is like trying to assert that the George W. Bush presidency is in some weird way connected to his father being George Bush. It just doesn’t add up. What does add up is Tori Spelling’s long list of scene-crushing appearances on other programs prior to Saved By The Bell: The Love Boat, T. J. Hooker, Hotel, Fantasy Island, and Vega$. Were all of these shows produced by Aaron Spelling? Technically, yes, and that is a crazy coincidence. But you know what? Life is crazy. Weird things happen. This what that film Magnolia is about.
Second, did you actually see Tori Spelling’s portrayal of Violet Anne Bickerstaff? It is a game changer. You can’t argue with craft. You also can’t argue with the electricity and chemistry between her and Screech. The first taste of forbidden love in the “House Party” episode? The way Screech saves her at the end of the “Glee Club” episode? Come on. Those two were meant to be together. If they had ended up together, Screech would have never made porn. What happened to Violet Anne Bickerstaff? Wikipedia doesn’t know: “Violet is then never seen again, without any explanation.” Whoever edited that page is clearly naive. Everyone knows that Lisa Turtle murdered Violet Anne Bickerstaff and buried her at the 50 yard line of the Bayside High School football field. It’s fucked up, sure, but strategically speaking, it was a pretty canny move on Lisa’s part.
Third, it is highly insensitive that you would even bring this up in light of Tori Spelling’s recent brush with Ebola. OK, she didn’t actually have Ebola, but she totally thought she did, and many would argue that that the mental anguish from thinking you have Ebola is worse than actually having Ebola. Do you even comprehend the courage that it takes to brand your surgical mask to promote your TV show when you think you have Ebola? Like, Tori Spelling doesn’t even know if she’ll see tomorrow, but she wants to make sure that you see the new season of True Tori. That is an artist putting her art above her physical well-being. How dare you drag your conspiracy theories into this. How dare you attempt to sully the legacy of Violet Anne Bickerstaff.
Max, portrayed by Ed Alonzo
Like all great magicians, he only went by one name, and while he only appeared in 20 episodes throughout the series, Max was the owner of the mecca of Saved By The Bell: The Max. It was where the Bayside Tigers would celebrate big wins. It’s where Lisa started an entire dance craze. It’s where Kelly got a job when she really needed the money (but then she met that creepy older dude and Zack was so right about him all along). The Max was also one of the few characters to make it into the follow-up show, Saved By The Bell: The New Class. In fact, when it was burned down thanks to a Christmas decoration accident at then end of a two part finale in season 4, it was gloriously rebuilt with a new look and free internet in season 5. Max the Magician, making the world fit inside the palm of your hand, his greatest feat of all.
Tam Sackman (BYT Intern – Not Alive During SBTB)
It’s pretty safe to say that Zack Morris is directly responsible for the sexual awakening of at 3/4 of the current population of America’s women born after 1975. That effect does not deteriorate with reruns. I always felt kind of bad for Mario Lopez’s character, you know? No matter how hunky he was, he just couldn’t compete with Zack’s boyish charm. Also why did all of these cool teens (that would probably be very adept at hashtagging were that thing then) hang out with Screech? He just wasn’t as socially competent as the rest of them. Was there an episode that revealed why? I’m sorry if I’m being insensitive here. Even though I was pretty much in the process of being born for much the earlier part of the 90s, I have to wonder if actual cool teens were really that willing to look past the fact that Screech-types were weird as fuck and willingly accept them into their cliques. Oh well, thankfully anybody can be a cool teen on the Internet now, regardless of lack of real life social skills.
Jenn Tisdale (BYT Staff Member – Unable to Leave the 90’s)
Saved by the Bell prepped me for much racier high school shows like Beverly Hills 90210 (man can that Aaron Spelling pick ’em). And while there will always be a special place in my heart for the Brenda/Dylan drama, Kelly’s brief cocaine addiction, Gabrielle Carteris as the 30 year-old freshman in high school, Luke Perry’s wrinkled forehead and Ian Ziering’s questionable hairline; nothing will ever be as pure as SBTB. I couldn’t identify with any of these people. California was an exotic, mysterious world. It might as well been the lost city of Atlantis. There couldn’t have been a more (intentionally) diverse group of friends who on paper should NOT get along and yet they worked together beautifully, especially when that was needed the most. They made high school seem like fun, primarily because no one was ever in class, but each character/archetype on the show spoke to some part of me that I wanted to be.
Zack: The charmer
AC Slater: The jock
Screech: The geek
Kelly: The hottie
Jessie: The brain
Lisa: The fashionista
Separately they would have probably been pretty hideous to deal with but together, in some weird Voltron way, they made the perfect person and for that I am ever thankful for the kids at Bayside High.