Anyone who simultaneously lived through the 1990s and watched TBS would likely be able to instantaneously pen a rough draft biography of any Saved by the Bell character thrown at them. But not everyone is so "gifted," as it were. Saved by the Bell: The College Years vet Patrick Fabian recently talked to CinemaBlend about portraying the cucumber-cool Howard Hamlin in AMC's beyond excellent Better Call Saul, and when I brought up his days as Kelly and Zack's suave Professor Jeremiah Lasky, Fabian amusingly shared that some fans' memories aren't as good as others.
They were all so nice when I worked with them then, and whenever I run into them now, they're really cool, too, so it's a great thing to be a part of. Except people still call me Mr. Belding every now and then, which really pisses me off. I always thought...I really was in love with my hair as Professor Jeremiah Lasky, so I'm not sure how you could ever make that mistake, but that's all right.
Of course, while the Mr. Belding mistakes are apparently quite real, Patrick Fabian wasn't being completely serious in saying that he gets pissed off about it. Well, he was laughing in a not-severely-malicious way, so I assume his anger isn't real. (It isn't. Probably.) But I mean, who could blame Fabian if he gave someone the Evil Eye for not remembering he was Professor Lasky? He brought up the hair, and there's really no other reason needed. You know who was asking Bayside's principal what kinds of shampoo and conditioner he used? No. One.
And you know what? The Saved by the Bell-tinged harassment doesn't stop there for Patrick Fabian, either. I asked him if fans ever railed on him for being one of the few "non-Zack" men in Kelly's life, and he said that not only does it happen, but people connect it to his current quasi-villainous role.
You know what? I still get shout-outs from that all the time. People love making the connection of 'Oh, Howard's a dick. Just like when he screwed Zack over with Kelly.' They love bringing that up. And you know what? If I go to my grave right now, they'll say, "Better Call Saul," but it might just say 'He Kissed Kelly Kapowski' right on my tombstone. Which is not a bad way to go. If that's what you have to go with, I'll take it.
As someone whose youth involved buying any and all teen magazines with Tiffani Thiessen's posters in them, I can relate to being content with that as a tombstone message. Although I can't relate to kissing Kelly Kapowski, nor being on Better Call Saul, so I guess my tombstone will say something like, "It Would Have Been Cool To Be Patrick Fabian." Just look at the pain on Zack's face.
Fabian should pull that picture out every time someone calls him Mr. Belding. "Oh yeah, pal? Did Mr. Belding ever do that? You remember that episode at all, pal?!?" Not that it would ever happen, though, since the actor doesn't appear capable of flying off the handle.
Unfortunately, Patrick Fabian won't be around to be calm or manic as Howard Hamlin in the near future, outside of reruns anyway, since Better Call Saul won't return to AMC for its recently renewed Season 4 until 2018. In the meantime, you can stream all the Saved by the Bell: The College Years that you want on Hulu, and then you can head to our summer premiere schedule to see what's coming to the small screen in the near future.