Posted by Posted by Dark Beige On 14:19

By Dennis Haskins, better known as Saved by the Bell’s "Mr Belding"

Hi, I’m Dennis Haskins. You may know me better by my alter ego, the larger than life headmaster in Saved by the Bell, Mr Belding. For over a decade now, I’ve been keeping my wacky pupils in line, as that loveable bunch of tearaways try (and fail!) to pull the wool over my eyes.

I’ve been there to dispense much-needed fatherly advice where appropriate, but also to show that I can be one of the gang too with some hilarious one-liners and gentle put-downs when the guys get a little too fresh! I remember one time I was announcing at an assembly that the vegetarian society where looking for new members. I quipped, "All they are saying is give peas a chance" and almost brought the house down! But there could be tears too as I helped Zack realise the depth of his feelings for Kelly, or young Brian (season seven) get over the death of his grandmother.

And what about me and Screech? First as pupil, then as fellow teacher, we were a dynamite double act that recalled Laurel & Hardy or Sonny and Cher in their prime. At times you’d be forgiven for forgetting there were any pupils, as us teachers kept stealing the show!

Alas, time passes, and after three different generations of pupils have passed through the doors of Bayside (with me, I might add, as the one rock of consistency in those ever-changing times), the powers that be at NBC have decided to put the show out to pasture. Well, I can’t say I entirely blame them, there’s only so many adventures a loveable rogue, jock, geek, slut and girl next door can keep having!

However, I do think that they may have been a little rash in simply deciding that that’s it for all of the characters involved. It shows a lack of vision just to say "We’re cancelling Saved by the Bell, so that’s it for all the old Bayside regulars". Do I have to remind everyone of a certain little show called Frasier?

And that’s where I step in. I could be the next Frasier. All I need is a new set-up! Maybe my wife’s died and I’m moving to a new high school in South Central LA. Gives me a chance for some great Dangerous Minds-style "reaching out to my homies" emotional moments as well as some hilarious scenes where I bond with my afro-American pupils by wearing shades and a backwards baseball cap and saying "Yo!" a lot.

Alternatively, maybe I need a whole new kind of challenge. Maybe Belding has left high school teaching to teach at a college like UCLA or Yale. That way we can allow for some more sophisticated humour, maybe even a romance between Belding and a very hot 21-year-old student (handled sensitively, of course).Or maybe now I’m a newspaper columnist in Chicago! A weatherman in Detroit! I return to my old hometown and take over as sheriff! Or I have to look after a South American street child under the terms of a will! The possibilities are endless!

So come on NBC, what do you say? You don’t really want to miss out on the next Frasier, do you? No, I thought not. And the title? Well, I kind of like "Belding", it really has a ring to it.


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