Saved By The Bell Parody Brings Mario Lopez And Mr. Belding To Fox's NFL Coverage

Sundays are heavenly for football fans aiming to spend the entire day cheering and jeering. Fox's NFL Sunday pregame show even offers non-football fans something to enjoy each week, thanks to the comedic stylings of Rob Riggle. Here, Riggle donned a blonde wig, and welcomed Saved by the Bell alumni Mario Lopez and Dennis Haskins for a cheesy-as-hell parody dubbed "Saved by LaVeon Bell," in reference to the beleaguered Pittsburgh Steelers running back.

Where can we begin talking about the magic seen above? The most obvious place would be the most obviously recognizable faces: Mario "A.C. Slater" Lopez and Dennis "Mr. Belding" Haskins. Saved by the Bell was a career-maker for both men, who remain game to make fun tie-in appearances such as these whenever they make sense.

It definitely looks like Mario Lopez had to turn in his appearance from elsewhere, since he's just seen in front of a green screen. Of course, when the green screen is used to showcase mock-ups of Saved by the Bell's fantastically colorful trapper-keeper backgrounds, we have zero complaints.

Speaking of those backgrounds, I'm not certain the logo for the Pittsburgh Steelers would feel at home in the stomping grounds of California's Bayside High. But then Bayside was not a place where logic was readily apparent. No one would have continued to employ Mr. Belding after he failed to have Zack Morris expelled and arrested.

mr belding nfl sunday saved by the bell

For my money -- none of which went into this video at all -- the greatest moment in the video comes right as it starts, for two reasons. For one, Dennis Haskins gets to deliver one of the main catchphrases that Mr. Belding could call his own: "Hey, hey, hey! What is going on here?" Not only was that awesome on its own, but it was amusingly arbitrary within the context of the scene, since he seemed to be fully aware of what was going on here.

The second reason why that opening moment rocks is less readily noticeable that Haskins' audible words. As the scene jumps to Sorta-Belding, someone in a bear suit is making an exit by walking to the side of the stage. What was that bear's act about? Was it insane enough to make someone inquire about what was going on there?

Also, if there are tigers (Bayside) and bears (one in a suit), does that mean a lion was lurking nearby? Or is it too much to try and slap a Wizard of Oz reference on top of this already strange mash-up?

As great as the parody song is in matching up with Saved by the Bell's memorable theme song, it may not have been the easiest thing to understand for those who don't keep up with NFL drama. The well-paid Pittsburgh Steelers running LaVeon Bell attempted to get a bigger contract negotiation going into the new season, but was denied. In response, Bell chose to sit out the team's games this season, which also hasn't worked in his favor.

With the NFL's trade deadline coming next week, LaVeon Bell was expected to either take the franchise tag to round out the season, or for the Steelers to find a team to trade him to. It's possible neither will happen, though, since backup running back James Conner is crushing it, and other teams haven't shown much interest in picking Bell up.

Saved by the Bell's A.J. Slater and Moose might be interested in that kind of football story, but I can only see Zack Morris interested in figuring out how to use LaVeon Bell's tactics to his own advantage. Maybe Bayside will find oil under the field again.

The absolute best Saved by the Bell reunion happened on The Tonight Show, but this was still a bizarre treat. Check out what Rob Riggle will bring to Fox NFL Sunday next weekend at 12:00 p.m. ET. Fox is also the latest home of Thursday Night Football.

To see all the comedies and dramas about sports and teens that hitting primetime soon, our fall TV premiere schedule will be of assistance.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.