Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 19: “Screech’s Birthday”

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For this week’s out of season episode, we’re going all the way back to season one when Screech created artificial life and no one seemed to think anything of it! Yes, that’s right, Kevin the Robot is back and he’s just as pointless to the plot and good for a cheap laugh as ever!

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So Screech, who evidently doesn’t shave with a razor yet, is pissed off about something or other, and Kevin lets Zack Morris know that Screech is mad that the whole gang forgot about his birthday. Screech is pissed Kevin told Zack Morris because he was hoping to just go along passive aggressive for a while.

At Bayside, the girls all practice stereotypical accents for the “drama festival,” including Lisa with a southern accent, Jessie as Joan of Arc with a French accent, and Kelly as Eliza Doolittle with a British accent. They do realize a drama festival will have an actual play and isn’t just about spouting whatever random gibberish comes to mind, right? They all sound horrible anyway like black face for foreign people, or regional in the case of Lisa.

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Slater tangles with Neil, the hall monitor, who’s harassing the gang for loitering in the halls even though other students can be clearly seen doing the same thing in the background. Kelly uses her British accent on Neil and gets +10 attack, rebuffing Neil and sending him flying away.

Zack Morris and Screech come in and Screech uses his passive aggressiveness on them as well.

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At The Max, the gang decide they need to do something really special to make up for forgetting Screech’s birthday. Zack Morris decides they’re going to throw Screech a surprise party, but not just any surprise party. It will be a surprise party during school in Mr. Belding’s office. The rest of the gang have the reaction you’d expect, spitting water in whatever direction they hope the writer of this episode is. Zack Morris convinces them, though, that they have to do something daring to show Screech they really care.

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So we’ve got about forty seconds to waste so, since it’s a first season episode, let’s bring in Saved by the Bell‘s worst time-waster, Max, to do something stupidly magic that the gang will think is amazing. Today, it’s making a birthday cake for Screech using his magic cookbook. Is this like the book from The Never-Ending Story?

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And, waalaa! Forty seconds successfully wasted on a non-gag that even the Saved by the Bell audience, the world’s most easily impressed group of people, didn’t think was funny. Thanks for that, Max. Come back in another four years, or not.

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Slater says they still have another issue to take care of: Neil, the hall monitor  most likely to try and steal your milk money! Zack Morris has a plan, though: record lots of things Neil says so they can play them back later out of context since adults on this show can’t tell the difference between an actual person’s voice and a late ’80s recording.

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Oh, hi, Mr. Dewey! Good to see you one more time, and just in case to play the idiot for this scene! And, here’s something interesting: Mr. Dewey identifies himself as vice-principal in this episode. That’s…something that’s never hinted at again, before this episode or since. Also, if he’s vice-principal, why does he teach algebra? Administrators don’t normally teach a subject since they’re paid to, I don’t know, administer! Strange…

Basically, while Mr. Dewey has his back turned working a problem, Zack Morris plays back the recording of Neil, making Mr. Dewey think that Neil’s insulting him. Going off the rule of all adults are stupid unless it’s relevant to the plot, this makes Mr. Dewey strip Neil of being hall monitor and he’s sent to detention.

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Zack Morris convinces Mr. Dewey the next hall monitor should be Screech because they should all have a taste of what we’re in for during six seasons of The New Class

In the hallway, naturally, no one listens to a word Screech says, as it should be, and part of Zack Morris’s plan has come together now that they own the halls. It’s time to get Mr. Belding out of his office!

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This involves the girls calling Mr. Belding with their bad accents and convincing him that a student with multi-personalities is lost at the mall and needs his help. Once again, all adults are stupid unless it’s relevant to the plot, so Mr. Belding not only believes them but rushes over to try and help out. I hope all this is going to start making sense in a minute. I have a feeling it won’t.

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Mr. Dewey finds Screech, once again. run over by a bunch of students who don’t give a crap what Screech says and does, so Mr. Dewey give a pep talk to Screech, or at least the best semblance of a pep talk Mr. Dewey can give. He tells Screech that, to be tough, he has to think tough and that he has to come up with someone to channel his inner tough guy with.

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This leads into a dream sequence where some random guy tries to force Lisa to go on a date with him.

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But, never fear, it’s RoboScreech, the world’s most incompetent hall monitor and human being, to save the day by lightly hitting him in the chest until he falls down.

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Oh, no! Before he can celebrate, Neil wants a duel so he can get his hall monitor job back, but, by utilizing the power of special effects that look like they belong on a commercial bumper during one of those “the more you know…” segments…

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Screech is successfully able to turn Neil into a pile of ungrinded coffee beans. Now Screech can secretly switch your cup of name brand coffee with some Neil brand goodness!

Screech comes away with a new sense of power as Mr. Dewey gives him the power to send all rule breakers to detention.

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Lucky for the gang, Mr. Belding doesn’t lock his office when he’s not at school because the gang apparently live in Mayberry where crime is nonexistent, so Zack Morris and Slater are easily able to get in and decorate. Kelly and Lisa have gone to The Max to get the cake…even though we already saw Max magically make a cake for them earlier, but we needed an excuse for them to be away and stress out Zack Morris, and Jessie’s off to get paper plates and utensils.

But they aren’t back before the scene cut, so Zack Morris is worried they won’t be able to pull off the party. Slater runs off to find them and randomly meets Screech in the hallway because…hall monitors don’t go to class? I don’t know; none of this makes any sense. He says he sent Jessie to detention for not having a hall pass and he’s sending Slater for not having one as well.

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Screech calls in his deputy, Kevin the sentient life made in Screech’s basement, and goes off to commit some more time wasting.

After a commercial break, Kelly and Lisa finally get back with cake and ice cream. Now both Slater and Jessie are missing, though, so Kelly and Lisa go to look for them. They’re soon intercepted by Screech who sends them both to detention despite the fact that Lisa tries to use her feminine wiles on him. This time, Zack Morris observes it so he prepares to go into backup plan.

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So, if detention is happening right now, that means school’s out so why did everyone have to have a hall pass? This is all hurting my brain! It’s like they just threw shit together and called it an episode! AGH!!!

Mr. Dewey’s finally recovered from the adults are stupid syndrome and doesn’t believe any of the gangs’ excuses to get out of detention…but he does apparently want to see Slater wrestle shirtless…

I need an adult.

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Then, Zack Morris gets on the intercom pretending to be Mr. Belding’s new secretary, and calls Slater, Kelly, Jessie, Lisa, and Screech to Mr. Belding’s office. Mr. Dewey, not apparently knowing who works there at any given time excuses them to the office.

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And he demonstrates his tai kawn do skills for everyone else. Oh, Mr. Dewey, how we’ve missed your Ben Stein-like qualities of lethargy!
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The gang don’t have much time since Mr. Belding’s about to get back so they use Zack Morris’s ability to bend time and space to quickly setup for Screech’s party. He comes into the party and apologizes for being a jackass since they did something so stupid for him. They party for about a minute and then bend the rules of time and space again to get Mr. Belding’s office back in order.

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And our episode ends with Screech overwhelmed by this stupid idea for a party. Oh, first season Saved by the Bell. How little sense you made! Not that anything after made any more sense, but you know what I mean!

11 responses to “Saved by the Bell Season 4, Episode 19: “Screech’s Birthday”

  1. This is one of those episodes that I first saw on WPIX-11 NYC and/or TBS a few years before NBC played it. Being I started watching SBTB mid run, I thought this was just NBC playing repeats. I didn’t know they were New-To-NBC. Still kind of weird.

  2. The editing on Max’s cake trick is really bad, you can visibly see the splicing of two video segments.

    • Hm, watching it frame-by-frame, maybe I’m wrong, because everything but the cake looks like one take, butbutbut… look at it kinda jump into his hands!

  3. They should of kept Neil around as a recuring cast member. He would of been a good foil for the SBTB gang.

    He was the unthinkable, a student at Bayside who didn’t think Zack, Kelly, Lisa, Jessie and Slater were the coolest kids in school. He could of been a good villian. Something the show could of needed once in a while.

    • You might be on to something… besides, along with Stacey Carosi, I think Neil is one of the more believable characters on the show.

  4. Yep, one thing SBTB needed was a villain from time to time.

    Zack when you strip him down is nothing more than a Ferris Bueller clone, with Screech as his Cameron. The issue was from the first episode Mr. Belding was never meant or going to be Mr. Rooney. He was more of a Mr. Feeny light than anything else.

    So why not have a villain when the only authority figure on the show isn’t?

    Like I said before, Neil seemed to be the only student at that school who didn’t think Zack, Kelly, Lisa Jessie or Slater were the coolest kids in school and could do whatever they want. So why not build on that. Make him a foil for the SBTB gang.

    But hey, they didn’t even air this episode on the first season so what do I know.

  5. This wasn’t actually shown til season 4? Wow! It was on the season 1 and 2 DVD set I own.

  6. ILovedKellyKapowski

    Say what you will about The New Class, at least none of those episodes were aired out-of-SEASON!

  7. The plot for this episode was taken from the Gilligan’s Island episode “Gilligan Goes Gung-Ho.”

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