30 years ago today the television show Saved by the Bell aired its first episode 1. This will come to no surprise from people that know me but I’m kind of obsessed with Saved by the Bell.
I was born in 1983, so I was six when the show first aired. A show revolving around High School kids doesn’t seem like a show a six year old would be interested in, but I had two older sisters that also watched the show. That being said, I think I did most of my SBTB watching on weekday mornings and afternoons. In fact, I didn’t watch SBTB in its normal time slot, on Saturday mornings, until the last season or two. Superstations TBS and WGN used to air back to back episodes before and after school. Local station, KPLR channel 11, also aired back to back episodes in the afternoon, so I could potentially watch six episodes in a single day. I was in heaven.
This does not include the original show Saved by the Bell was spun off from, Good Morning Miss Bliss, which aired in July of 1987 ↵
The other day I was browsing YouTube and a suggested video that came up dubbed itself a lot episode of Saved by the Bell. What? An episode of SBTB that I have not seen? How could this be? So, I watched it. All twenty minutes of it. It’s not really an episode. It’s a promo for the NBC Saturday morning lineup and it features Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater, Screech and Jessie. There is no Mr. Belding, and the whole premise is really weird.
Because it’s a promo for Saturday morning, there are a lot of clips of cartoons. You have Alf (the puppet) interacting with the SBTB kids and talking about his cartoon. There’s John Candy introducing Camp Candy, and appearances by Marsha Warfield and Sherman Hemsley. It was really weird. If you like SBTB or retro TV stuff in general, give it a watch below.
No, you are not dreaming. There really is a Saved by the Bell board game and it looks amazing. Well, it looks like it would be fun to play once or twice until your friends stop playing with you because you know way too much about the TV show and it is no longer fun for them. From the description on Pressman’s website:
Your homework assignment: Be the first player to collect one of each Character Card, or 3 Character Cards of the same player. Once you spin “View a Scene,” you’ll have a few seconds to glance at snapshots of classic scenes from the show. Be prepared to answer random questions. So, study up and don’t flunk this memory test to win a Character Card!
If you spin a number, you must move your character that number of spaces on the board. You can land on “Time Out” and steal from your fellow players. You’ll even receive your own Yearbook to collect your Character Cards, but don’t doodle on Zack – you must be focused to get an A+! Once you’ve collected one card of each Character or three cards of a single Character, you’ve won the game and you’ve been… Saved by the Bell!
You can pick the game up from Target. If you’re not sure if the game is for you, check out the instructional video on how to play.
The Max, the fictional diner from Saved by the Bell is coming to Chicago this summer. The popup restaurant will only be around for the summer, but is sure to be a popular destination for people my age who grew up on the Saturday morning television show.
The diner, called Saved by the Max, sold out reservations quickly, but travelers may still be able to walk-in for brunch and some late night grub. Visitors can order themed items from the menu, such as A.C. Sliders, Mac and Screech, Preppy BLT and the Bayside Burger (no green mystery meat here). According to Vogue, Ed Alonzo will reprise the role of namesake magician-owner of The Max and is set to perform magic tricks for the grand opening—just one in the series of late-night Bayside After Dark special events scheduled. Others include Tuesday Saved by the Bell trivia challenges and Sunday performances from the diner’s in-house band, The Zack Attack.
The decor looks great, but small. You can see photos at Vogue.
Unfortunately, I was not able to get a reservation. If anyone I know is going, please take pictures!
Today is the 25th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of Saved by the Bell (not Good Morning, Miss Bliss). In honor of this momentous occasion, I present to you a post I wrote in 2008.
The world is a large and frightening place filled with many bad things: Global warming, terrorism, racism, health issues, drugs, poverty, etc. You should not be afraid though. I can help you. The answer to all your fears is four simple little words: Saved by the Bell.
Yes, if everyone in the world watched this show the world would be a much better place. Just think about it for a second. SBTB addresses every major concern that plagues this world. Let’s examine how SBTB could help make the world a better place. The gang, consisting of Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Slater, Jessie, Screech, and for half a season, Tori, faced all these harsh world realities and survived. Let’s see how.
SBTB and the Environment
SBTB was thinking green long before it was the in thing to do. Thanks to Jessica Spano, the resident over achiever and environmental activist, we become aware of the major environmental concerns that plague the world. Whether she’s saving the whales, suggesting alternatives to styrofoam cups, or preventing Bayside High from becoming an oil field, Ms. Spano is a great crusader in the cause for Mother Earth. In fact, it is in episode number 45 “Pipe Dreams” that we learn how destructive drilling for oil can actually be. The gang’s beloved science class pets were all killed in the pond after oil spilled. Oil drilling is dangerous and we should be looking for alternatives to build a better future. As the gang states, we need to look for alternative energy so ducks like Becky don’t die anymore. If only we would have listened to SBTB back in 1991. Also check out the episode “Skip Day” for the harsh reality of styrofoam cups. They are not biodegradable and are ruing the planet. Thank you Jessie and Graham.
SBTB and Terrorism
SBTB was dealing with terrorism long before 9/11. Way back in 1989 the gang at Bayside High had to deal with those nasty terrorist from Valley. Stan and Dan Clegg wreak havoc on the halls of Bayside when they start the annual Prank War. Just as Bush responded to 9/11 attacks, Zack and Slater respond and kidnap Valley’s mascot, then the Bayside Tiger (Screech) is kidnapped. Of course, Bush attacked the wrong country whereas the gang at Bayside actually did target the right school. Of course, the lesson we can all learn from this whole mess is that if we all come together and talk at the end, like both schools and their respected principals do, we can live in a peaceful place and settle our differences. We just have to talk, and as we see in “The Wicked Stepbrother” we cannot negotiate with terrorists. If we do, they’ll take everything we have, including that awesome ball we caught at the Dodgers game.
SBTB and Racism
Bayside High was not the most diverse school. In fact, we barely even know that Lisa Turtle is African-American and Slater is Hispanic. Race was never brought up on the show, until the kids expanded their horizons and went off to college. When Slater finally realizes he has a Hispanic background he becomes interested. He learns about his Chicano background there are confrontations between him and Zack. Slater didn’t believe Zack was respecting his heritage. In the end, they worked things out and the race issues disappeared! Again, we just need to come together and talk and we will all get along! Respect each other’s differences, backgrounds, heritages and we can come together as people and live in harmony. If Zack and Slater can do it, we all can.
SBTB and Health Issues
SBTB didn’t deal with health that often. The kids never got sick in sunny California. However, there were a couple of episodes that did pop up that dealt with health. In the episode “From Nurse to Worse” we see macho man Slater afraid to get a flue shot. He cons Zack into taking it for him, but he learns his lesson at the end. Missing your shots is no laughing matter. If you want to stay strong and healthy, you must take care of yourself. If somehow you do wind up in the hospital, have no fear, because you will get the best healthcare possible, just ask Zack in “Operation Zack” when he has to go under the knife. He didn’t have to sign countless insurance forms and fill out tons of paperwork, he got in, got fixed, and left. Even the homeless guy in “Home for Christmas” received health care when he passed out in the mall.
SBTB and Drugs
Two of SBTB’s most famous episodes deal with drugs. If the world could watch these episodes and see how bad drugs really are, then no one would use them. In the “No Hope with Dope” episode, we see how drugs ruin a lot of lives. Not only is the image of their hero Johnny Dakota shattered when he starts smoking pot, but we learn about other people who have had their lives ruined by drugs, like John Belushi and another student’s older brother (who she has to drive to the beach now because he got high and drove and had an accident). The message is, drugs ruin a lot of lives. We also get reminded of Jessie’s stint with drugs, which brings us to the other episode that deals with drugs, “Jessie’s Song.” In this episode Jessie was addicted to caffeine pills, letting the world know that over the counter drugs can be bad for you too. Jessie screams at the end, mixed with the lyrics of her girl band, Hot Sundae, that she’s “so excited. So excited. So scared,” reminding us that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. If we all could see what Jessie went through in that episode, none of us would ever use drugs.
SBTB and Poverty
Poverty is a huge problem in the world today. If we could all just watch the episodes “Home for Christmas” we would see how big a problem poverty is. One of the biggest problems with poverty is people aren’t aware of it. SBTB made us aware. It showed us that homeless people aren’t lazy drunks, but out of work computer programmers with hot daughters who just need a break in life. If we all pitch in, like Zack’s family does, we can help eradicate the homeless problem in our country, and the world. Just open up your doors and let the homeless in, and if you can, give them a job like Zack’s dad does. With a little awareness and a little help, there will be no poverty or homelessness. Let all the out of work programmers into your home… and your heart.
Saved by the Bell doesn’t stop there though. No, those were just some of the major problems that are addressed in the episodes. There are smaller problems that we see solved, such as heartbreak (Kelly dumping Zack for the college creepy guy Jeff), drinking and driving, natural disaster readiness (the earthquake episode), sexism (the episode when a woman wants to wrestle), and many other important life lessons. Thank you Saved by the Bell. We will continue to learn from your greatness for years and years to come.