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Official Article

Best Saved By The Bell Teachers

Zack, Kelly, Jessie, Slater, Lisa, Screech (and sometimes Tori) were definitely the focal point of Saved By The Bell, but their teachers had some pretty funny bits over the years. Many of the actors who portrayed the put upon educators got recurring roles as members of the Bayside Faculty through multiple seasons and worked their way into our hearts. Today is a tribute to those unsung heroes of Saved By The Bell.

Mrs. Simpson


Persona: This hard of hearing teacher most often found herself teaching the kids about Shakespeare and was always good for a laugh. Her bits involved asking the class a question, not hearing the response and scolding them for being rude. Alternately she would hear a comment incorrectly, then act on it, to the confusion of her students.  

Classes Taught: British Literature

Best Moment: At one point Mrs. Simpson got a hearing aid to correct her hearing issue, but it was too powerful, so she kept scolding the kids throughout the class for being loud. When the bell rang signaling the end of class the intense volume caused her to scream in hilarious agony and throw the hearing aid on the ground.

Best Quote: “Get thee to Belding!”

Other Roles: Pamela Kosh has appeared on every major TV show from 1985-2012. Dynasty, Matlock, The Golden Girls, Star Trek: TNG, ER, King of Queens, Desperate Housewives, you name it. My favorite credit though is the short lived sequel series Team Knight Rider from 1997.

Mr. Dewey


Persona: Basically a poor man’s Ben Stein (“Bueller? Bueller?”), with his signature monotone voice and nerdy look. Mr. Dewey did manage to blaze his own trail by making humorous comments that fell flat due to their delivery, then laughing at his own jokes. He also seemed to have an amazingly active social life outside of school and seemed just as eager to leave class as the kids. The biggest revelation to me in researching this article was that Mr. Dewey was actually the vice-principal of Bayside, I had never picked up on that before.

Classes Taught: Political Science, Geometry

Best Moment: When leaving the classroom claiming to have a try-out for American Gladiators, the "Dew-Man" strikes his best bodybuilder pose and tough guy face.

Best Quote: “Study hard. I'm off to my tryouts for American Gladiators."

Other Roles: Patrick T. O'Brien played the same character everywhere he went, but the man got around. He appeared on everything from The Facts of Life to Baywatch and even Gilmore Girls. If you needed a nerd, Patrick T was there.

Mr. Tuttle


Persona: Full of energy and moving about with a signature waddle, Mr. Tuttle was certainly the most versatile teacher on the Bayside staff in terms of classes taught. He was always encouraging to the kids with clever alliteration and rhyming. When it came to dealing with Mr. Belding, he was kind of hot head and they had a fun rivalry that spanned multiple episodes.

Classes Taught: Driver’s Ed, Academic Bowl Coach, Economics, Science, Glee Club, Head of Teacher’s Union

Best Moment: Further development of his character revealed that the animosity between Mr. Belding and Mr. Tuttle stemmed from the fact that the portly teacher was runner-up to Belding to be Principal of Bayside. Can you imagine what different show that would have been?

Best Quote: “Affection detection, a charming selection”

Other Roles: Jack Angeles didn’t do much beyond Saved By The Bell except an uncredited role in the Nathan Lane movie Mouse Hunt. But prior to joining the Bayside crew he made an appearance on the 80’s classic sitcom Growing Pains as Kvetch-O the Clown.

Coach Sonski


Persona: A balding, tough talking, New Yorker, Coach Sonski was a smart mouthed chauvinist who liked to give the students a hard time. He seemed like he could have been the understudy for the Coach Lubbock from the Growing Pains spin-off Just the Ten of Us, but with more attitude. 

Classes Taught: Wrestling Coach, Auto Shop 

Best Moment: When he refuses to let a girl onto the wrestling team, he gets called out by ultra-feminist, Jessie Spannow on the airwaves of KKTY Tiger radio and in the face of a public protest, relents to let Kristy Barnes try out for the team.

Best Quote: “I have pets at home that love me.” Jessie: “Probably a Pig.”

Other Roles: Monty Hoffman has worked on everything from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, to The Drew Carey Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but his first credit is his most impressive in my book. He was a bouncer at the club where Lea Thompson’s band played in in the 1986 mega-flop, Howard The Duck. That earns him a gold star in my book.

Mrs. Hatcher


Persona: Bright and bubbly, this Home Economics teacher was the Bayside Gang’s guide through the world of parenthood. Perky, but a bit absent-minded Mrs. Hatcher was hard to take seriously, but so excited about babies that it was contagious.

Classes Taught: Home Economics

Best Moment: While teaching the kids how to care for an infant, she explains how important it is to support the baby’s neck. While quickly turning around to coach a teenage parent she swings her baby doll by the leg, causing the head to fall off. Her reaction is priceless.

Best Quote: “See? That could hurt baby.”

Other Roles: OK, the real reason I chose to feature Mrs. Hatcher for this section. In the 80’s, when you couldn’t get Edie McClurg for your movie or TV show, you called Patrika Darbo. Playing bit parts in everything from Seinfeld, to Big Bang Theory and Speed 2: Cruise Control, she always lights up the screen. Of course I know her best as one of the wilderness girl leaders in Troop Beverly Hills. When asked how many boxes of cookies her troop plans to sell, she sheepishly replies, “40? Uh, 42?” Comedy gold.

So those are my picks for the 5 best Saved By The Bell teachers? Of course Mr. Belding didn’t make the list, because he was a series regular, but Dennis Haskins gave us some great moments over the years. Who were your favorite members of the Bayside faculty?
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