Now, more better help exists to give people a little assistance in an area they might need, and that's therapy.
Yeah, that's better. Help, help. And what this is, it's online. And you can talk with a counselor. They basically assess your needs and then they match you up with your very own licensed professional therapist. And it's more affordable than traditional offline counseling and financial aid is available.
Yeah. And, you know, things that a therapist might be able to help you out with are depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, anger, grief. These are these are heavy things. And if you're going through any of them, it's normal and you don't have to go through them alone and better help exist to be that bridge to a better, happier life.
Well, Daniel, listen, if you want to start living a happier life today as a listener, our listeners, you'll get 10 percent off your first month by visiting our sponsor at better help dotcom f join. Over one million people have taken charge of their mental health superimportant. Again, that's better. Help help dotcom out. Welcome back to The Future, I'm your co-host, Daniel Driskell, joined today by Miss Wentworth's favorite student, Mark Boggler. Hello, Mark.
Hello, Daniel. And I'm not just joined by Mark today. We also have a very special guest to talk to. Means to. Welcome. Thank you to Takamine Native American stand up comedian and actor. He's been on a ton of TV, including shows like The Sun Banshee and I know this much is true, as well as films like Tiger Eyes and Maze Runner, The Scorch trials with which I thought was interesting. Dexter Darden, who plays Davonte on the Twenty Twenty Saved by the Bell, Reimagining Little Bella versus Crossover.
And you may have heard his voice in Red Dead Redemption too. I know I started to talk means welcome.
Thank you so much for having me. Good to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Dude, you were in red dead.
That's what I heard. I don't know. I just. You were. I never heard. I went back and most of them kind of like you. You just kind of leave it behind and, you know, hear about it later. You know what you should do?
You should just start a podcast based on the Red Dead franchise. And, you know, I'm sure people love to hear your take on that. I played that game. I had I had fun and I never finished it. I might have to go back to to playing that. But, dude, I'm so I'm so thankful that you agreed to do this. I have to admit, this particular episode of Saved by the Bell is, is, is and has caused me anxiety.
It is when I see myself in pictures and I just watch this this particular episode a few hours before where we're taping now and made my notes. But when I saw pictures of myself in a full headdress with face paint on not knowing really the context other than the name of the episode was called running. Zach, I, I, I'm being honest here. I didn't know if this is something that we should be tackling. As you know, Daniel and I are I mean one and a half white guys.
Because yeah. That was the first name of the podcast one. It was already taken. So not too many people know this, but maybe they do. I don't know. I guess it's on my Wikipedia page, but my mother is Indonesian and my father is Dutch. So there's there's the half white dude. But I cringed seeing myself portraying a white dude being Zack Morris, who is like the all-American, blonde haired white dude in a Indian Native American headdress.
And watching the episode back, I feel a little bit better about all of it. And we're going to go into the the whole episode. But, boy, I'll tell you that that BS story on this particular episode is pretty rough for me. But before we get into that, let's let's let's let Dashiell do his thing before we dive into that aspect, I just want to touch on Tatanka Father real quick, if that's OK to take.
Yeah, for sure. Uh, Russell Means the first national director of the American Indian Movement, an impressive career in activism and politics. He was almost the nominee for the Libertarian Party. Um, also a ton of great acting roles, Last of the Mohicans, Natural Born Killers, Pocahontas, voice work, just to name a few, uh, kind of a legend there. So that that needs to be noted also.
Yeah. Thank you so much for mentioning him. And I'm really proud of all the work and that already accomplished in a lifetime.
Well, I have a Russell Means quote for us to open the episode according to my summary, and that is Hollywood hasn't changed. It's the most racist anti Indian institution in the world. So I'm going to let that, quote, just hover in the air while we break through this episode because. Yeah, to mark Paul's opening statement, this is a notorious episode of Saved by the Bell. And, you know, maybe, uh. Well, let's just get into it.
I guess, in case you didn't do your homework, here's a summary of running back. The gang's researching their ancestors for class. The same week as the big track meet with Valy. Lisa learns her relative was an escaped slave on the Underground Railroad. While Jesse learns her ancestors were slave traders. Jesse's overcome with guilt. Zach found a picture of a Native American in his room inspiring a racist caricature of a presentation. Miss Wentworth says Zach Star Trek athlete needs to redo his presentation with the help of her friend, Chief Henry, if he wants to pass and compete.
Chief Henry teaches Jack about his rich Native American heritage. Zach gives an improved presentation only to learn Chief Henry died suddenly. Zach grieving doesn't want to race until he's visited by the ghost of Chief Henry in his sleep, who leaves him a beet valley headband. He goes on to race and also Lisa helps Jessie reconcile with her whole guilt over slavery thing. The end. Running Zech, and we're not one, you know, before we get into it all, Deshwal, I just want to get to know to talk a little bit better for our audience to talk about.
How did where did you grow up?
I grew up in Chidley Arizona, which is northern Arizona, up near the Four Corners on the Navajo reservation. It's like smack dab in the middle of the reservation. The Navajo reservation is the second largest, as far as I remember, wise and land wise. And that's where I grew up. But my my mom's from there and my dad is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where I am an enrolled member of the Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe.
So how does someone get into acting other than when your father was where you were you on set with him? Is it something that you aspire to be?
No, no, not at all. I mean, we didn't have a drama club. We just had drama at my school. There was there was it wasn't really a career opportunity, like it wasn't a reality. But my dad doing it kind of made it seem real like that. That's a possibility. And seeing other native people out there in Hollywood made it real. But I actually started through stunt work. I was a boxer growing up and they were shooting a movie on the reservation about a boxer and needed a stunt double to step in.
And that's kind of how I got my foot in the door. And that was in two thousand and four. And I've been acting since two five.
And then you also do stand up. How did that how did that come about? Yeah, I started to stand up. It's always been a just a fascination man, just being able to stand up there and hold people's attention for so long and to effect them on an emotional level. Well, my stand up I mean, native standup, let me say that isn't no regular standup. This is a no not a no clubs. This isn't at the bar.
This isn't at the comedy club. This is like this is on the rez, man. Like we're sometimes we're performing for five people in the audience and no microphone. And we're we're performing on a flatbed trailer on a dirt lot. Sometimes we're performing like the elders home and not in some of the elders don't even speak English. So we're kind of like trying to throw in, like, whatever our words are, whatever language we speak, it's a whole different world.
And someday I want to make a documentary film it because because it's just been in some hilarious situations. The only thing I can compare it to maybe is like maybe like a Mexican comedian performing at is in the city or something like that. I would imagine it's a pretty tough crowd at times out. Oh, definitely. Definitely. Yeah, yeah. It's and they keep you on pretty much like I said, this is a whole different crowd that 18 and above is I got kids running around the audience.
I got baby screaming, I got dogs barking. It just the atmosphere. You just never know what you're what you're going into. But that was kind of early in my career. Now I do a lot of casinos, colleges speak to a lot of high school, stuff like that.
I was doing a little bit of research on you and came across a YouTube video of you.
And it was the routine where you do a yeah a and I thought, I know I've I've seen people do. I just thought that that was hilarious. I really appreciated that routine.
So I would I would I would basically tell our audience to go check out that that particular that particular routine is just awesome.
We could say tonight after after we say something really offensive and wrong, we just a makes it all right.
So I didn't know that that's in the in the toolkit. We need to wait before we get in that one. I just you said something interesting that you were they were filming on the reservation when you were a boxer. I'm just kind of wondering what the attitude about like Hollywood was like on the reservation. Like, is it seen as like a predatory community coming to yours or is it like this is an opportunity or somewhere in the middle? Just kind of curious?
I don't know. I think it just it's so, so foreign to us on the reservation because not a lot a lot of productions come onto the rez. But it seems like now that they are to use the landscape to to to get the cultural environment and try to be more authentic with it. But I think at the time, I mean, it was just it was just a job for me. I was broken to like, hey, we'll pay you a couple hundred dollars to punch you in the face.
And I was like, great, let's let's let's let's do it. But once the movie came out for me and I saw, you know, the back of my head or the back of my feet running or whatever, that made it real is I. Oh, man. There it is, the final product, and that's that's why I decided to try to get in front of the camera right on saved by the bell when we talked.
Did you did you what was your background with man?
First of all, I was like, I can't believe we're talking to Paul like that. And this is like this is the man right here. Like we grew up. We had we had about like 13 channels. Right. Every day, say, by the bell came on as soon as I got home from school, you know, I sit down and and that was it. I watched a couple episodes and so let me play the picture like I'm in my grandparents house.
Like this is where I was watching it on their old old school TV. Like I said, there was only 13 channels. This is before satellite. It must have been, I don't know, basic cable or twenty years or something like that. My grandparents are walking around in the background just doing their daily work. And then along comes running back. And it's like I mean, just to think about it, Ben, I mean, it was it was a it was a time in my little life when, like, native people were making it on to say by the bell, like we're finally getting mentioned.
And then there was that. I don't know that. Thirty seconds, I tell you, this is going to be good. And then, like you said earlier, it was kind of crazy, kind of crazy in there, but mad like, you know, just to have a mention on Saved by the Bell, I always remember it always stands out in my head. Yeah.
I'm I'm I'm I'm glad that we're actually having this conversation because I figured you'd be like, fuck that guy. But that's that's what I usually say.
It gets it gets less cool talking to him. If you want to do it a few weeks in a row, I promise you, I like week seven. It's not as cool. But I'm going to throw this at you, you know, with with Zack Morris is trash was this like your biggest episode was like was this you know, I'm going to have to give credit where it's due that Elizabeth's episode, the caffeine pills was the biggest because it's the fan favorite, but this was the one people were most like.
Once the series got going and I made a few of them, people knew this was coming. But I remember like the I remember watching it and cutting it. And some of the other Zack Morris Morris's trash episodes were really easy to just show. I mean, oh, my God, he's selling swimsuit photos of teenage girls to like creeps. This one I realized in the edit was like, oh, it looks it looks really bad, the visual of it, and that the image of it is extraordinarily offensive.
But I in watching it, it was as like I'm kind of doing a little editing trick in terms of how trash I'm making. Zack, like the we're going to get into the episode eventually, right. One day. But it was clear to me that and in the edit that like. They were trying they were trying to do something right on saved by the bell, but mixed results. And Marfil, this is the only episode I remember as I was making those that you you came out and like distance.
You apologized. Basically you in some interview or something, you were like, yeah, that was we probably shouldn't have done that. And I couldn't because I don't remember I don't remember doing that.
Someone someone turned the heat up on you at some point while those videos were coming out and like that episode got brought up. And you you apologize to whoever you were talking to, which is probably still what you do.
Yeah. I mean, I think that, you know, you know better you do better. Right. And it's one of those things that I I mean, our podcast is based on the fact that I don't remember my experience on Saved by the Bell.
I only remember bits and pieces. And most of them are the things that we did off off the off the set.
This is one of those that I don't I don't like remember putting on the headdress. I don't remember putting face paint on. I don't remember standing in that awkward way that I was standing where my my arms are folded and like a very stereotypical way.
I mean, was that was that your own creative choice?
Well, that's what I'm trying to think, right. Is that was was that my creative choice was that and we're going to get to that scene. But Screech does it before I do it.
He already did. He already did. He hit the stereotype. Why did why did they do it after. I don't know.
But again, again, there are there are protocols in place to to and filters that, you know, like a director of standards and practices, people that I think we're much more sensitive now for good reason that those things would not happen today, like this episode would never get made in current times, and rightly so. Now, what we are what a good thing. I don't want to tell you we're still getting thrown under the bus.
I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if something came out like that, like, yeah, you know, but for whatever it's worth, I think when they were making this show, I, I don't think there was any kind of like native technical adviser on. So it was my impression, dude, no native technical advisor.
We didn't even have we didn't even have stunt coordinators. I've told you this like, you know, the famous iconic scene where Slater and I wrestle. I mean, that was just basically like Mario and I going to want to throw down. Let's throw down. Let's do it. You know, just like every single stunt we ever did was just us just being kids. There was nobody telling us, like, you know, like, oh, we've we've gone through the focus groups.
We've you know, with this I'm on a show now mixed ish. And there are times where we're like, are we sure we're allowed to do this? I mean, is this is this appropriate? And and we've been assured that the writers and the executive producers and everyone behind the scenes has gone through, you know, the blender to make sure that that we are not being offensive for offensive sake. Now, again, we're on a Saturday morning show.
There's I mean, we've talked about the Lisa card, which which to me was I told my wife the other day about the summary of that show because I was leading up to this. I was telling her so anxious about running back. And she goes, well, have you ever felt that way before? I go, Yeah, a little bit with the Lisa card. She was what was that about? And I told her briefly what that was about.
And she goes, There's no way you like that. That's that's criminal. And I was like, yeah, I mean, you're welcome to stay by the balls, but your third episode.
But anyway, how about we just get into it and then maybe we're you know, we're doing I think maybe we're avoiding the liability. So we're doing nothing. I just look, I took I took intro to Psych in college, so I know what I'm talking about. It's been over fifteen minutes and yeah, I think you're right as well. Yeah. The waters, the water's as warm as it's going to be.
We go, we go OK. And we're in the max and at one you know, for the information that yeah it's a track meet against Valley and yeah everyone is also talking about their family tree research projects here. I also have a quick mention of the ZEFFIRELLI. You took Zeffirelli's bathing suit. McPaul, I believe is the joke. Zeffirelli twins, they're right behind. Yeah, but by the way, they're right behind me in the scene. And Screech says that out loud.
They don't even react to it. They're written as the twins. Yeah, that's my thing. Like, I think they were just the twins. Maybe. I mean, you saw the scripts. I did. That's just a fantasy. Yeah, who knows.
But ah, so I have a question like these tracksuits. We're all a part of the track team. It's confusing. I mean, maybe it's just like a spirit thing. I don't know. Exact teams have a lot of people getting used to it. Yeah. But OK, so I run the mile and if I, if my memory serves me right, like, you know, when I think about my. We'll experience there's many events in track.
I mean, there's like, you know, the long jump, the high jump, the one hundred meter, the 50 yard. And so to be a, you know, a mile runner, it's a very specific discipline. Like, why is all the pressure on Zach to win to beat Valley? Like, what about what Isolator do? Like, I would imagine maybe discus or shotput, like he's like a farmer. Shouldn't he perform? I mean, it's on you.
I don't know what you're the star you've got to do. This is your moment. You usually love this kind of stuff. Usually I do. But it doesn't make sense to build this whole episode around the fact that Zach, out of all of them, has to perform to beat Valy right leg.
It's an all or nothing thing. Like if they don't win the mile, none of the other events matter. And yet here, here in the max, we get this BS story, which is like, OK, so everyone talks about running Zach. They think of that scene. We're going to get there eventually, I promise. But this BS story about slavery is is nuts.
Well, let's set it up for the audience in case you didn't do their homework. But basically, Lisa's great great great grandfather. Yeah. Was a slave. And and we're like, oh, my God, that's horrible. And she goes, no, it's not all that bad. He was very he actually helped free other slaves. Right. And on the Underground Railroad. Yeah. Yeah. Underground Railroad. And then and then this is in my notes, but Kelly goes, oh, he was so brave.
And then maybe it's the delivery, but Slater goes, hey, my my great grandfather was brave too. He was a bullfighter right off the bat.
Those are those are very different. Those are very different forms of bravery. Oh, but a baby was a delivery like maybe it was maybe maybe the writers should have.
I don't usually tell a writer to overwrite but maybe overwrite at that point, maybe say something along the lines of, you know, my great grandfather isn't as brave as your great great great grandfather, but he was brave in his own way. He was a bullfighter. What do you think with that fly? It's better. I mean, yeah, they were just trying to put Slater on the story, like getting the bullfighter thing comes up three times. But it was a pretty loose way just to, like, keep Slater involved.
Um, I guess I just want to note this episode of Saturday Morning TV for Children attempts to tackle two of the most shameful events in American history, that is slavery and the treatment of the American Indian. And that is a those are big swings to take. And it just kind of floors me. Going back and really examining this episode is like so much genocide involved. And and Lisa just kind of like the end.
We call it the Soul Train and then, oh, my God, it's like, oh, my God. It was so like it was like, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Let's wait till you get to the car. We're putting the what is it, the caboose ahead of the train as we got here.
New guys are.
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That's easy for Cutco. Go on. They have these things called Kraatz and you click on the arts and crafts, you can click on Geographe, you can click on engineering, and you can also get these crates that are specific for the ages of the children. And inside is everything you need to make these really cool crafts. You know, we've talked about this on the show before. My son made this glass box that he did was all about Italy and he made this really cool little model.
But, yeah, I mean, this is just a great way to keep children entertained without putting them in front of a screen. I love that. Yeah. Anything to keep the mind engaged and to you know, you never stop learning. I think Kiriko even at stuff for big kids like me, I, I might I might get myself a little crazy. So how would I get involved with Kikkoman ball.
Well, you know, with Kiriko, there's something for every kid or kid at heart in your case every month. So get 30 percent off your first month plus free shipping on any crate line with code. Zach Zach M at Kiwako Dotcom. That's 30 percent off your first month at k i w i c o dotcom promo code. Zach m. Now we're in Zach's room for, you know, I mean, this is like it seems like Zach's putting a lot of eggs in the basket of finding this picture in a trunk that like this must be my my relative.
And, of course, great. Yeah. Looks like my Aunt Hannah is actually about to go Bass's whole his whole presentation on this one photo.
Yeah. That photo, I think it's my my mom's side that she said this was an ancestor. I mean, we keep photos and trunks at the bar. I was going to say, you know, what would a beloved family heirloom that is just kind of a trunk like action figures not on the wall.
That and so my photo album carefully scratches out there, like pulling so close and here comes the picture.
Oh, oh, is this oh this something. We also get the information here that screeches mom is clinically insane. She's hearing voices and talking to people who aren't there. So just a little teeny tiny bit of screech back story for eyed monster in a closet. And maybe she's just maybe she's just on drugs. Maybe she's not crazy. Those two things are not mutually exclusive also. Um, so Tatanka, you're a comedian. As we've established, this scene ends on a joke, you know?
Eh, a I guess my question and this is leading, is this like the lowest rung of like Native American based, like humor, like a like a joke?
Yeah. I mean, it it definitely sets the tone of what's what's to come. And it reminds me of the old Disney, the old cartoons back in the day that you see that are just super racist and just offensive, like, whoa, like I don't know, it was like Looney Tunes, like a lot of thing. It was Looney Tunes. Yeah. You'd see them in it. And you're just like, what is going on. Like who, who, why, why so many wise I mean but yeah.
You know, that's I think they had a list of stereotypes and they're like, let's hit all of them.
Yeah. What do we what do we know about native people. The word how. OK, great. Let's end the song on that. That's hilarious. And so just for the people that didn't do their homework, I have a written down so I could recreate the scene for you. But basically Zach has a screech. You can help me be an Indian and screech goes how. And that goes. That's a good start, right.
Yeah. I mean it's just it's like, it's, it's like a hackey it's a hacky set up no matter what. But I mean this is just it just whatever it's bad joke writing for a bunch of reasons.
I also notice like how many times Zach says Indian and this is his ancestor. Right. This is this is someone from his family lineage. But he refers to him like he's somebody not not related at all. And other and yeah. Other not not trying to be politically correct at all just in an Indian Indian was like, oh well after the third time I was like stop, stop. Yeah. Yeah. Well on that note we're just going to keep going.
And that that brings us to the Bayside classroom.
Wait, wait, wait. I noticed in the picture because they show you the picture right off the bat. I'm like, hey, this is this is the Plains Indian because he's on a horse. He has a teepee first. First I. I automatically think this guy's from California, right? The Chumash, the Tongala, that's their territory. And so I kind of jumped ahead there. But then we find out more here in the world.
I'm going to throw something at you. But originally the show took place in Indiana because of Miss Bliss. And then somehow it just we find ourselves in the Pacific Palisades for Saved by the Bell. You actually discussed that, right? So. Right. I mean, what am I am I from California? I'm from Indiana. Say, about about a year from California.
I mean, come on, no one wants to watch a show about a bunch of high schoolers who can't go to the beach. Give me a break. Get out of here with that boring stuff. Let's play some volleyball. Still, the geography would not be.
Yeah, it's more of what please, please keep the show honest in terms of what it gets. Right, which I'm sure is nothing and what it gets almost right or close to. Right. I'm very curious about your perspective is very valued.
I mean, what's the most romanticized American Indian people on television? It's the Plains tribes. But look at how many other people are Indian people from the East Coast to the Midwest to the West Coast, down south to Alaska, up into Canada. I mean, can exclude them. There's so many different ways. So many. So many different languages, but they always bring it back to the Plains people because because of the old Western right, I mean, the the romanticism with the Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse and the Little Bighorn and nobody else existed.
And it's sad that they leave them out because, you know, there's so many other beautiful tribes out there. Yeah.
This just reeks of being sloppy with, you know, the technicalities of of of this. I mean, it just really feels like there wasn't a lot of effort put into this. I guess we should have. Who wrote the Stachel do it? Do you know?
You know, they're not doing this. It's not Bennett. Bennett, if you're out there, it's not you. I don't know. But it's interesting. Like who wrote this?
It would have been interesting to have a conversation with them just to find out, you know, like how much effort went into this, because, again, we talk about this. This would never get made today. And in my opinion, at least not like this. I mean, we could have this discussion, but it wouldn't be like this. But how much effort was put into the room before this? This came down to the actors?
Right. And, you know, like you mentioned, Michael, there's a lot of conversation now when doing something so, so close to it. I don't want to say the edge, but when you're involving other ethnicities and cultures and people and heritages, there's a lot of conversation that goes into it. And you know what? All they had to do was walk down the street. I mean, California is Indian territory. I mean, there was people in the business back then.
All they had to do was make a couple of calls, I'm sure.
But we get to debt when we get to Chief Henry. I like I was I was thinking, like, if I'm the actor, I know that's not always your job to speak up.
So that's a good point that you brought up, because as American Indian people, when you're hired as an actor, everybody goes to you. You're that native representative, you're that you become the consultant. You become everybody doing everybody else's jobs that normally six other people would have been hired. You're doing costume, you're doing props. You're even doing language like people just expect you to know how to speak, whatever, you know, whatever tribe you're playing it, just expect it.
And, you know, so I don't blame the guy. But I mean, even in that time, you know, it's probably hard for him to to advocate for himself. Yeah.
To be like, oh, so you'd like me to do three other jobs here today, but you're still only paying me for one. You know what?
I think I'll just let you guys shoot yourselves in the foot over and over and over in the eyes of history. When's lunch, Eddie? My attitude. So, Daniel, I am in the market to purchase a new bed, I'm not going to tell you the bed that I have right now, but I'm very unhappy with it. And just wondering if you if you had any recommendations. I do have a recommendation for a bed. It just so happens to also be a color that color.
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Zach, I'm ten for ten percent of any order of two hundred dollars or more purple dot com Zach M10 Promo Code. Zach I'm ten terms apply. And. We're in the classroom of Bayside here for Yeda, that Soul Train joke off of the Underground Railroad. Miss Wentworth is back. She's played if you have not done your homework or don't remember, by Carol Lawrence, Broadway legend. She was Maria and the original West Side Story. She was previously on Saved by the Bell.
She's also one of season three Sex and the City episode titled Are We Sluts? So she's got a range here of contributions to TV history. And yeah, the this Underground Railroad, like not a joke. The Soul Train is a joke. Soul Train, by the way. Eleven hundred episodes produced. I thought that was pretty neat. Like the show is trying to do something.
So if I'm a child and I'm watching say by the bell I can tune in and learn about the Underground Railroad. OK, on the surface that's like a noble, commendable thing for kids, you know, teaching them about history. But the execution is just like flawed. Fundamentally, it's you can't really laugh about this stuff the way it's played in this story. And yeah, I mean, if the if the native a story would never get made today, the this is just like both sides of this or just like so they're tone deaf.
You know, that's that's what's going on here. It's not reading the room. I guess the room was different 30 years ago, but it still wasn't. And it couldn't be that different.
And next, we have Jesse coming up to the room with some hesitation with some, you know, white guilt.
Good reason why this is I mean, if anything if anything about this episode is like endured, it is the feeling of a white person going, oh, God, the horrible, horrible history behind me that I have committed, that I'm like, my hands are dirty, very dirty. And Jesse's case, sure. Family, they were slave traders. I mean, Jesus Christ, what kind of you're telling me Looney Tunes is on after this? Like, this is nuts.
I just thought that she was I'm just glad that she was on this side of it. I mean, what if she was on the other side just, like, super proud?
Oh, like, oh yeah. She was like Slater, like, OK, you know how hard it is to sail a ship like. Yeah. Like like that would have not been a good one for one. Jessie Spano. It's also interesting, Jesse's character is so like politically conscious and she's an activist and she's she's constantly on the right side of history. So this is kind of an interesting choice, I think, character wise. But, yeah, it's just a not good.
The whole thing is just just not good. And now for you, speaking of not good, we've had a few appetizers and now we have the entrees.
Sir, let's start it off with Screech using the term kimosabe, which I kind of fed all of us.
Yeah. Racist caricature per my. What's it called. Summary, um, I had to look it up, though, I had to Google, kimosabe, because I was like, wait, I knew the term as friend, but I knew there had to be something more to it. And to talk kimosabe can mean friend.
I mean, I looked it up, it said soggy shrub or and it never, never say this to a native person ever in person to their face because it's a derogatory term, you know, in its original language it probably meant something, but it was bastardized and turned into something that was derogatory. And that's what we see. And Tom DeLay along the Lone Ranger, all the the Westerns back then, it wasn't it wasn't said in a way that was uplifting.
It was said in a derogatory way.
Here again, I think the writers just threw out every single thing they knew is like this, like they probably just made a list of like these are the things in terms and it's it's bad, I mean, and screeches face like dust has done so much here.
It's just Dustin Dustin's role on the show was like he was like he was like the rubber faced guy, like, you know, like Jim Carrey or something. Like he would just constantly be doing these bits and characters. But just like this is you just wish any adult would have been in the room to be like, this is wrong. This is not as much as it's important to teach kids that slavery happened on the Underground Railroad really happen. It's equally important to not, you know, put this kind of stuff on TV.
But here we are. Yeah, here we are, I mean, every stereotype is thrown into this scene as well. I mean, the the face paint, the tomahawk, the you know, when Screech refers to himself, it's me. You know me. It's like it's like a caveman. Yeah. It's like. Yeah, it's not like it's it's.
Yeah. You know, I, I watched the last time I watched this tonight before we got on, I watched it with my daughter and hesitation about showing her like shit. What, what is she going to think of this. I just wanted to know as a nine year old today, but I did have hesitation about about showing her what she said in this scene. She said that's what they think of us, dad. They think we're cave people.
They make it funny. But it's me. I'm. A nine year old, a nine year old, in a surprise me, it really surprised me that the that she knew it wasn't it wasn't me and from her just being so confident and assured with our our our our traditions and our cultures that that she she came from that place. And it made me really proud, actually, that she could tell that to tell the difference. Yeah. Yeah.
Part of me, you know, it's like the first thing I want to do is apologize, but again, like back then I wish I was more educated. I wish everyone around us was just more educated to not make those choices. And it's just it is shameful that, you know, we we this is on film and that your daughter had to watch it.
Yeah, that's a good word that you bring up, though, I mean, education, what were we taught in schools about first? I mean, this is what we were taught. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. We weren't taught anything. And if we were, it was it was always what we learned on TV or something very derogatory and offensive. And it was two pages in the history book. Yeah.
Whatever whatever you were taught was from the people who wrote the history books and whatever made it on the TV shows were from the people who wrote the shows that a lot of not a lot of representation hated. Tonker, I got a serious question for you, though.
Your daughter, did she is she more Zack girl or Isolator girl after this episode?
You know, I think she's probably a Jessie girl.
She's probably change the channel. I don't know.
Do you could she tell that blonde wasn't my real hair color? I mean, did she think I was a blond kid?
Yeah. Yeah, she was like his blonde. Is that natural?
Yeah. Look how natural his blond hair is, which was a good TV show. They didn't give it enough of a shot. They should probably bring like what else did she say? I mean, it sounds like a smart kid. A very smart kid, by the way. But going back to this scene, I mean, there's there's a thing where, you know, Zack has to talk about his ancestors and he really didn't put a lot of time into this.
And Mrs. Wentworth asked him, you know, like what tribe? And he just pulls it out of his ass. That Cherokee, which I've heard is like the go to go to tribe, right. Is like, oh, I'm native to when what are you? And it's like everyone says, you know, that they're Cherokee in some way.
My my great great great grandmother had that. It was it was Cherokee. I got a joke that I always say it's like, you know, people always come to me and they say they tell me that they have an ancestor that my great, great, great great grandmother had some Indian in her womb. They say, sorry, it's a it's a family show, but we'll do booty jokes like that all day.
Wait, now you're telling me it's a family show, but yeah, they're the go to tribe. Like, every time I come to L.A., somebody spits that out. If anybody said any other specific tribe, I would probably believe that. I mean, if they were like, oh, my great grandfather is Chickasaw or Hotto or Comanche or some other. Oh, oh, OK.
Well, any time they say, forget it, Cherokee is the only tribe you can like, quickly scan a parking lot and deduce it from one of the cars. So it's a it's made its way to the American culture in other ways. Like it's it's right there. These guys are messing around no more. When people claim Cherokee in Hollywood like they're checking the Web enrollment to make sure they actually have ancestry right out. That's what I was just going to say, that that's a big no, no, no.
I mean, that's like that's you know, that's a you're on the do not fly list as an actor. If you people any people get in trouble, even what Alec Baldwin's wife or like basically lying about where her ancestry and her her heritage. So, yeah, especially with like native native actors. Yeah. That's you cannot do that. Well, and also I was going to say is to be a Native American. You don't claim a tribe.
A tribe claims you is exactly right. Yeah. You you know, it's just it's just who you are and that's where you come from. But what I mean, there's a lot of identity issues which I thought about the chief, what's his name, Henry and his character. And it brings up relocation because a lot of people were put out on relocation. They would take them from the reservations, displace them, you know, separate them from their culture, their identities, their roots at home and take them in the cities.
And they would grow up there in the cities and they would not know a lot about where they come from or their roots. And so, I mean, this is a whole conversation. But a lot of people that I run into in L.A. kind of have kind of had that that identity issue. And a lot of native people, native actors that I run into, you know, some of them are searching for for that ancestry. They know that they have some of it, but they don't know where specifically from.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, part of that is erasure over time. I mean, it's been again, it goes back to like who wrote the history books and like all that not so fun stuff. And like it's again, I said I said earlier, this is like the most it's these are these are two of the most shameful chapters in American history, period. And they're there on Saturday morning and like a. Get to it in twenty two minutes.
I mean, that's kind of part of it is like it's impossible and they try. That said, I think it all feels so weird and flat.
Well, Miss Wentworth also ask the right questions. She says, you know where your ancestors from and Anzac's as Burbank.
I mean, if you even if you'd put an ounce of, like, sort of research into this, you could have used that Pacoima Topanga to Kohanga Rancho Cucamonga, Azusa.
I mean, there's so many places here in Los Angeles that aren't native terms. And we could have picked anything, but we went with the easy one, Burbank, which I had.
Well, hey, guess where they were.
Also, they were filming the show ABC Studios in Burbank. Yeah. Like they were like, it's it's a funny Burbank. Who cares? I just want to I just want to say something about it. I mean, the cringe that came from this also made me look at everybody in the classroom when they when what was their reaction and how did they feel is that it made me as a kid. Is that how they feel? Like they laugh at us?
And then it made me think about the audience like the live audience. They're like, man, we're just we're just getting hit like left and right, right here. And what I also want to point out, Miss Wentworth, she came with two of offensive comebacks of her own because she's like, I'm probably jumping ahead here, but as the presentation and she says, OK, Tonto, Tonto, she calls me Tonto, which is another derogatory offensive.
I look that up to label. I looked up that in Spanish.
It means stupid.
Right? And then then she says then she calls him Kimballs Sobby. So I mean that to me, like she says, she's a Latina actress, I guess. I don't know. But I mean, I wish I was she would have said something right then. And it's hard because it becomes her responsibility as an indigenous having that background like she shouldn't have to have that responsibility. But I just want to point that I was like, oh, man, now now she's doing it, too.
She's friends with Chief Henry. I mean, yeah, you're right. It's like she should be the the actual adult in the room. I've used that term a few times now, but it's like. Yeah, it's what happens when these worlds collide. I mean, honestly, what did the show think they were going to accomplish with this episode is it's still about beating Valy.
So as much as we're dealing with slavery and Native American history, we are also talking about a track meet and now summer school. It's like the stakes are all all over the place from storytelling perspective, just not great. And that brings us to Chief Henry's home, which is not much of a home chief. Henry, by the way, let's do that. First played by Del Berdy. Tons of TV shows going back, a lot of Westerns in the 50s.
When I say a lot, folks, check out his IMDB. I mean, a lot and interesting on multiple shows, they kept bringing him back, but as different characters. So they would just assume no one would notice that a different character was being played by the same person changes. Which he does, which is that was at the Oldrich also.
He was one of the saved by the Bell Day players. He's a one and done folks. We will not see him again, who did cartoon voice work on a pup named Scooby Doo. His last gig was fifty six episodes of the show Paradise, and I thought this was noteworthy. He passed away almost a year to the day after this episode aired. A year and two days after this episode aired, we lost Oberti. His energy, his smile.
I mean, this guy is so infectious, I mean, I really enjoyed watching him do this again, being knowing better.
I felt I felt bad for him having to portray this character because I assume that he went back home and went like, oh, my God, you can't imagine the character that they're having me play.
I would assume the dude was funny man, like he he brought it and his comedic like what he did to me was just as a comedian, what he what he did on screen. I was like, man, that's, you know, just just like my Paul said, he had so much weighing on him. But still he brought it. And I just I was impressed by by his comedic acting and what he did. But yeah. So as soon as we come into this apartment, what it's not an apartment.
It's like a I don't know what where this guy's living, like in a storage shed or something like that.
Like how come he can't have a nice house. He can't have a nice. Yeah. Like how come he just can't even have a house like this. Feels like a converted garage filled with trash. It's like what it's not, they're not trash but it's like it's, it's just like. Yeah because that's what they think of us. And I think there's a few other things that they could have thrown in there that, you know, would have would have turned us up completely in terms of in terms of stereotype you.
But as soon as we come in, you see him. He's got the leather vest. Why? Because Indian way, leather vest. Right. Like King of the Hill was the Indian garlic guy on there. He has a he has a vest. I don't know. I guess we'll see where his hair is down. Yeah, it's a hole and it's so deep.
It's also like the couch like which is kind of blanket kind of a pattern you see more now. But certainly like was a was a set decoration choice to like then. It's interesting you're calling all these things out and thank you for doing that because I like this scene works to try to like, uh, subvert some of Zach's preconceived notions like. Oh, he did. He learned beadwork at UCLA, not the reservation or the rez, a term I learned tonight, which is very cool.
And I don't think I'll ever be able to use again in casual conversation.
And and and I thought it was so weird. Zach doesn't believe he could be like a Dodgers fan, like, what is it? Know what the hell that it's just insane. Come on.
I mean, the stereotypes. I mean, he comes in and he's beating is beating like what? Why isn't he just butchering a buffalo, you know? I mean, like what what else?
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Zach brought his big stack of books to Belding's office for reasons we'll never understand. Comedy, I guess, um, any just more story stuff. Belding is like weirdly invested in beating Valy. They keep hitting that and let's just move it right along. Passiveness weren't worth unless you got something, Marple. No, I just find it weird that we haven't beat Vali's since Mr. Belding's been principal.
It's just like this, this spectre of valley in the track. It's like guys who cares. Are you hearing what's going on in these halls? Because it's like Mr. Building your role is principalship. Maybe. I mean, why don't you first go tackle the the slavery slave owner story going on out there? Not even owner. Trader. Yeah, and we're in the max for acto like that, um, for this line. Speaking of that BS story, let me buy you a soda to make up for your ancestors.
Holy shit. That's coming out of Jesse's mouth to one Lisa Turtle and Lisa, if you're out there in the universe, I'm amazed you didn't just slap the hell out of this lady right there in the max, because that's not going to a soda is not going to make up for anything any time. On a lighter note, she's she wants Lisa to possibly have a tossed green salad. Come on, man. We've never seen anything green at the max.
You're never eating salad at the max. That's right. That's right. They should have said they should have had an authentic voice in the room to be like, there's no salad here, just a salad here. We're in them. We get this line here. The max. Hey, that's bull fighter. Slave trader delivered from Slater Digestif. Oof! It's just like, you know, something you probably don't want to say on a Saturday morning show for kids.
No, I wouldn't. I mean, honestly, talking about bullfighting is pretty bad. Do kids need to learn about that at any age? But I'm sorry. I was I was going to say that Jesse kind of takes it surprisingly well. I mean, she's called a slave trader and she kind of giggles at that. I'm like, yeah, right. I mean, it's it's kind of like I don't think you should laugh to that.
I mean, it goes back to what to talk about. You mentioned in the classroom of like listening to the audience reaction and looking at the kid's reaction and like, react your reaction to racist and wrong things is like important. And it sets the tone for the room. And, you know, it's like that's I look at it. It's it's just, hey, yeah.
I mean, on television, I feel like that it gave permission, you know, for other people out there, other kids out there to to to keep that attitude up, I guess. And yeah, I mean, just just thinking about it, like when I first saw that, it made me think of these things that I see sometimes on the Internet. Where are these? I don't know. I don't call it like Boy Scout groups. They're usually young white kids and they go out and they have these Boy Scout kind of retreat things and they they make up this Native American culture like warrior.
It's really like it's nasty. It's gross. And when you see it, you're like, I can't believe this is happening right here. And they're going to like something, something and, you know, doing these Boy Scout retreats and people are like condoning this. Know, there's there's people that that that do these on the regular still to this day.
And that's what made me think of when I saw that between the screeching the well, Zaca, speaking of Zach, he spent approximately thirty three seconds reading a book to figure out that he he did all like Chief Henry loaded him up with half a library and he just came back like hyperactive guys. I found out if you open a book and read a page, you can learn a thing. And that's about as much work as he did. Well, he says that his ancestor hit the photo that he has is actually in this book.
And he says that his ancestor was was a famous chief, which will come to learn. There's there's Chief Henry actually kind of enlightens us a little bit more, but then we'll go into the next scene.
But, yeah, I mean, he all he has to do is a he says he has to do a three minute speech for his presentation. Now, how hard is it to do that?
I mean, you guys I mean, I think we can all write a three minute speech in. A half an hour? Yeah, I mean, a three minute presentation in class, you can kill 30 seconds with crowd work at the top and bottom. It's like really not a lot of like and also like you think you think Miss Wentworth is off to the side with a stopwatch, like bring it in at two forty five.
See if she complains. Talk slow, try that. But yeah, we're we're back at Chief Henry's rustic living situation. Is you guys ever printed blankets? Did you guys ever think of this? Maybe maybe he's living like this because I'm going to jump ahead here. But he he's divorced.
You know, you think ex-wife took all his money, you know, and this is his this is a living situation.
Now, I actually have a soft theory on his living situation because he mentions the beach and we see a boogie board. It's real, real expensive to live anywhere near the ocean in California.
So if I if I had to live near the beach, it would probably look not too different to Chief Henry's situation. Right. I don't think I could afford that. That room actually right now in Southern California, that was my like half. Also, we look we know this show is confined to the sets they had. And I get it. I get it. But they could address it differently. We all I think we all with our two eyes, see, they could have done Chief Henry some more favors than they did.
What what what is he going to be, Chief Henry? Could be a good point. Why is it, Chief, let me tell you, you know, I despise being called like when you go to like, you know, someone serving you and they call you boss or chief. I despise that now. I don't I don't ever think of the word chief. I mean, I don't know if I'm doing a subconsciously, but I don't ever think of the word chief as being directed towards the Native American culture.
I just to me, it's it's a when you're talking about a boss or the head of something chief. And I always feel that that's why that person is using it. But I know that that word can be used in a way that's super derogatory to natives and rightly so. It's by the fact that we call him Chief Henry.
It's definitely one of those trigger words that we are probably overly sensitive about. But I don't know. I'm just always aware when when somebody like you said, a waiter says that I'll stop on a well, what is it? Because I'm Indian that way. To me, this is one of the things. But, you know, historically, just to say this really quickly, we don't have chiefs that there was no one person and that's what the government wanted from us.
They wanted a designated person when they came in, who was your chief? They would say, we don't have chiefs. We have we have societies. We have we have a lot of council people, elders, women, a lot of the time. And they said, we want to talk to a man who's the chief, who is the man. And yeah, that's where that come from. And we don't a lot of tribes don't endorse that term right now.
A lot of them are just, you know, headsman or or, you know, president.
That's so fascinating, like trying to trying to fit a completely different culture into, like, the Western view of what a society is like a person at the top, but like basically a corporation or something. That is that is really fascinating stuff. And, yeah, I'm I'm just going to call him Henry now for the rest of the episode. And if I slip up, it's because I wrote Chief seventeen hundred times on this piece of paper we got started so I'm confused.
Is that comes back. He wants some more information about his ancestor and Henry sits down with, with Zak and he says you're not going to find any of these stories in any book, which is why all those books, Henry, which is kind of.
But then also he says that that and this is where I'm confused in the scene prior.
Zach says that it says right here that this photo he was a famous chief and then Henry says, your great great great grandfather was a Nez Perce warrior under the mighty chief Joseph. And he was called Whispering Wind. Is that because of what you just said to Tonker? Is that there there was no like one chief? Or is this just, again, sloppy sort of research on the on the side of our writers, the whole thing?
Like like how how much does that story that he was just telling sound like a real thing? Or like just like playing Mad Libs with, like, Native American terminology?
Yeah, I think so. I mean, there was no like there was no hierarchy. There was no hierarchy. He said he was underneath him like, you know, like he was some kind of a king or something like that. And I'm sure Chief Joseph did not refer to himself. Chief, so that was something that was a label that was probably given to him, and I just want to point out right now that this is a good time because Hollywood doesn't see Indian people as either a chief or you're a warrior.
Still to this day and shows and movies and in Westerns, it's hard for me to get roles because I'm too young. I'm not a I'm not a chief at your age. You're either a lawyer or a chief. And it's so much worse for four women, you know what I mean? Just just trying to play everyday people. So I just got to point that out real quick. And and Mark Paul, how did this how did Chief Henry jump all of a sudden and how did he know so quickly about whispering win because he sent him off with the books and he puts the picture in the book.
Zach walks out of the book is that comes back probably with his book and picture. And he said you weren't ready to listen. All right. Well, I'm ready to listen now. How did he find out so quickly? I mean, people today can't find out. I have so many wise men.
Yeah, well, that goes to my next my next note here, which is when he says, I knew you'd be back at it. Drums up the trope of the magical native, the the ethnic magician in media. You know, like Henry knew Zac would be back. And he kind of just has this sense of how it's, you know, I'm sighing because I don't I don't know what else to say about it.
I'm going to play devil's advocate here. He knew I'd come back because I took eight of his books here. You better come back. Yeah, that's right. You need to come back and return them. I think that's what he meant. He's like, you're going to get an invoice. We also get in this scene the term the Arabs and the Israelis. So just in an episode that is throwing so much at you folks, it's also about the Middle East.
How did this ever, ever, ever get past every single person that had to get past to get on Saturday morning, NBC and the Arabs and the Israelis?
OK, I think we were being very sensitive to the the plight of, you know, Zach asked why why couldn't the white man and the Indians get along?
And Henry says, you know, well, he uses the example, why don't lions and zebras get along?
It's like, oh, that is not even a great example at all. I know why lions and zebras don't get along.
And whoa, dude, I don't mean like in these metaphors, whatever. We can just we could be here, unfortunately, all day with that one. Has gets loaded up on info from his his new best friend, Henry, is putting off his three o'clock boogie board to teach Zac and to talk. This also goes back as you have graciously taken your time to help educate one and a half white men here tonight. It's not your job. So I appreciate you being here to help us be better and to be a voice in the room here.
But like it, this goes back to another problem in this show that it's like suddenly Chief Henry's whole purpose to get Zak excited about his culture and and to, like, hand him gifts about his culture. It's like, no, dude, like you get out there and learn about it because you want to. It's, you know, that's a problem, too. And and shifting gears about as fast as we can. We're back in the classroom for Screech is like a silly Italian man.
Great. He was like an Italian spy. Cool way to take the heat off. Screech It was getting pretty hot back there at all. Henry's, um, and you and Miss Wentworth gives him a I'm going to keep this up for you. Gives him a lot to talk to.
Gives him a little she she gives him I don't know is a day to day does a lot of this peperoni joking that, you know, she's she's not like again these are this is the problem of the writers and like, OK, so we've established kid show.
Why are we teaching kids this stuff. Like well like yeah it's it's not just not good. Um and now we are at the same where the running vaccine, um, for the improved presentation. This is the good version of what Zach has to offer. Now when I walked through that door listening to the reaction from the audience and stuff, there was there was an audible wow.
And some other like audible grunts and ufs.
Yeah. And I'm wondering, like was I mean, were people in the audience aware of what was going on here? I mean, did they think that this was another joke that Zach was pulling off? I mean, I, I don't know on it for words here, Lisa, like the classmates seem to think like, oh, no, he's doing a worse version of what he did before, which folks he is. Um, but yeah, like Lisa is like, oh, god, not this.
Yeah. Like, is it so dark. I would like you to to please weigh in if you will.
Yeah. I just want to. OK, here's Zach enters the classroom. Let's talk about his appearance. OK, he comes in with there's a gift shop headrests obviously from the gas station. It is so plastic like this is this is the what people are doing at.
Looks like he looks like I'm going to Burning Man right after this scene. Yes. Sorry. Sure. Yeah, yeah, exactly like this, I don't know who who in costumes was like this is this is a good idea. Let's dress him up this way. And I was looking up in this dress just to make sure that a headdress is part of of their culture. And, you know, I kind of had a lot of it, but I did find a picture of toso.
But anyways, the headdress is a sign of honor because each of those feathers on the headdress has been earned either through battle or through good deeds or whatever. So that has earned a full just overnight. And and then I look at his his pain on his face. All right. This is this is a whole nother thing I don't really want to mention, but it was a whole kind of Cleveland Indians, Redskins kind of thing that everybody. Defense so hard and I don't even want to I don't really want to touch on it just because people out there, like they think they have the right to tell us what it is fine to wear.
All right. So the pain on the face you have to earn, the pain on the face know it means something. So I'm looking at it and I'm just like, man, this is I actually I think I blocked this out of my memory. Like, I didn't remember this. I just I thought he came back and, like, redeemed himself. And I was like, oh, babe, I'm like, OK. Like, this is why this is this is like what do you what he's what he's saying is a version of trying to redeem it.
Like he's trying to take the lesson seriously by the presentation is just like insane and saved by the bell is known for costumes and known for these like over the top. Let's put our cast and all kinds of crazy stuff. By the way, you asked whose idea was that headdress? Elizabeth Best the costume designer. I looked it up while you were talking. But yes, just like so we're paused right here at with his arms folded, the arms folded again, this is like this is this is saved by the bell, trying as hard as it can to make a poignant moment about race and and history.
And it is just like. It is bad, is bad and bad now, and and we we bring in the Indian mysticism of Cucu, the flute music, Cuban flute music.
I can tell you all the names of who's involved those guys.
He's on the case playing some like Cynthy Flute that can't just give his presentation like a regular student like Lisa did. You know, like like Jesse did he we have to have some mysticism behind it. And and they play the flute music and they do it again later, which with Chief Henry. And that's it's a common thing. Like why why does why is that associate with us anyways. So what Paul, was was this your creative choice to to put your hands like, oh my God, it was on him.
He was his groups already did what and where and where did this idea come from?
Like it was planted somewhere like it came from.
So, yeah, it's interesting because I can tell you, I was I was not aware of Native Americans and, you know, the background of it all and probably like most of the people in this room at the time, went along with all this, because I thought that the this is this is what we saw in in our cartoons.
It was what we saw on television was when we saw in film.
And so I never questioned any of this. I mean, this is one of those things like we've talked about this on the show, that when I get scripts now, you know, I'm much more aware of things. And I'm sure, like, you know, maybe 20 years from now, some of the work that I'm doing at this moment will be questioned. And but that's that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could be a good thing. We don't know.
I mean, but we know, looking back, that this wasn't right. This is this isn't this is not something that I think anyone can be proud of. My the thing I can say is that I, I just was not aware. I know that again, I'm reiterating the fact that no one in this room was aware. I mean, you look at the reactions that Laken and Elizabeth and Kelly and and, you know, all of us have and we're all just like in on this joke.
And that's really what this is. It's a it's a sad, painful joke. But at the time, no one like I didn't know that that I do. No, I didn't. I mean, I've done some things in my career to where I walk away and I go, oh, man, I just I don't know that that that didn't feel right.
I can tell you that after this episode, I did not have those feelings. And that was because I wasn't educated. And, you know, that that it doesn't it doesn't. I walked around after watching this episode today and it's just like, what was I doing? But yeah, you know, yeah. Like I said, no better do better. That's what they say about it. Right. Yeah, and, you know, it's like a it's like somebody doing something, an innocent kid sometimes as an artist and, you know, you're just going, going, going, going.
And you want to please you don't want to disappoint. And it's not your fault. Sometimes you I mean, and I feel like it's it's the higher ups, you know, it's it goes to the writing and now they include indigenous writers in the room. You know, if if they're writing something about indigenous people that they're out there, you know, and I think we're we're moving forward slowly. But, yeah, this was a cultural misappropriation. So it's just a good example of cultural misappropriation.
And, you know, he's trying to make it honorable and they're trying to to do something like great jobs.
And it's like they really the tone of the show, it's like if you did this show today, Miss Wentworth would be like, OK, Zac, I'm failing you again for real this time.
Like you like you can't you can't really to be called the racist, the racist or something. And I think it's like come up to me at the end of the scene not to not to say you to talk about the headdress or the look or anything. I think they're they're they're coming up to me to congratulate me that I got through that monologue. Because over the years, your actor friends. Yeah, that was that was about the most amount of words that anybody at this point has said in one at one time.
So they came up to me to congratulate me that I got my dialogue. Yep. That's OK. They don't make us do that next week. We got to we got to rewind though.
Like what, what did Zac say, you know what I mean. Like what, what did he say. What was it purposeful. Was it meaningful that you were trying to come from a place like that. But it was a very surface. You know, it could have been so much more it could have been, you know, just so impactful because because of the show and how many people was reaching at the time. And, you know, it just oh, man, I just think of, like, my mind just goes like and it could have said this and talked about people today where we can get what they just chose.
This is kind of surface quote.
This whole scene, this whole scene seems very surface. I mean, from from the the wardrobe to the words that come out of my mouth and my appearance. It's all for surface. It's like if you tuned in to this episode at that moment, you're like, oh, look, we're being educated about Native Americans. It's like that wasn't what was going on.
We talk about how the show competed with cartoons. And this is like, OK, what happens when you do a cartoon version of a story about this kind of serious subject matter?
It's, um, it's a I'm just glad that Zach didn't do the presentation in English. I mean, what about running Zach? Like, he gets this name? We did.
We what about how did that how did that relate to this attack as far as like him getting were you like, come on? Or were you like, oh, cool names?
Like probably at the time I was like, cool man. But I mean, when I watch it now, like his name, Zach is already in his it can't be in his any name because Zach. Now you never thought of that.
Maybe that is that's so lazy. Oh my God. Yeah. It couldn't just be and they could have done anything more clever, like an attribute or like even if they wanted to like it.
And it's not in his language. The there's Pierce language which would have been appropriate if you're going to have a quote unquote Indian name, your name's Pierce name. He would have he would have had a whole ceremony. You would have to give away this big thing. And then and then he gives them his name running, probably running boy or running man and in his language or something like that, if they were going to do that. But it just is so funny because he just took it right away.
Yeah. Now I'm running now running Zach.
And yeah, we're in the hall after Zach's presentation. We're building is like thrilled that Zach is going to compete. Thank. Belding is just thanking God in heaven that Zach is going to raise Valiants. It's the most important thing in the world. And he the phone rings and we get that same like somber flute. It's like a synthesizer flute like have you it's kind of a it's just like it might as well be a bitchin guitar solo or something. It's just like this is like, what are we doing folks?
And Jesse is calling out to Lisa about her white guilt over slavery. This is an insane. Wait, wait, wait. Dashiell, we skipped over the vision dream of Chief Henry.
We're we're getting back not. Oh, yeah, no. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure. Yeah. This phone call is cue the somber. Cue the song. Flute, which is a fun combination of words and yes, that gets the news before before we go forward, you know how I how I know that Zach doesn't know anything about the headdress is how he feeling? He flings this thing around beside him. He physically he's like he takes it off like, oh, I'm done with that.
Thank goodness that's over with. And he holds it to his side and know a very sacred object and just flings it around. And I was like, oh, like that that right there was like to talk. I was having the reactions. No, stop.
In fairness, though, I was more concerned about my hair because we had a few more scenes left. And so, you know, to take my hair off right there, I mean, that that took a lot of work. And that headdress was like messing up my mojo there. Yeah, that's where the sacredness was. The hair it was. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, look, we could well we'll do another podcast.
Oh. Exacts a name. Could have been any of that. Brings us to it's a cliffhanger. What was on the phone with Zach. We don't know. One of the X and for the pep rally we learn Slater, the captain of the track team and Slater uses the term twink. Let's just not dwell on that one. Too much jarring to my ears. Let's go to the the real reason for the season here, folks. The vision dream from Henry.
Another like elaborate another extension of the the mysticism here. Oh, sorry. I skipped right past the classroom where Zach is grieving. Kelly comes in and finds Zach and this one with both, you know, severely bummed out. Miss Wentworth has more reason to be upset by the way Zach just met this guy. I mean, it's sad when people die, but like, by the way, it's about ten minutes ago.
I want to I want to point out here, too, that throughout this whole episode, I had a cold. I could tell by the way, I'm sort of nasally in this in this episode. And having that cold actually was helping me sound more emotional. So I was using that as an actor to to better my acting. Well, yeah. Just wanted to throw it out there, you guys. It it made the acting as good as it could be here.
And I will also just note real quick, this is another episode, yet another dealing with death and saved by the bell. I really forgot how many episodes they had, but like Screech was praying about going to heaven a couple of episodes ago. And we have Art Slater's pet who died. It's like there's a lot of death for a show on Saturday for children. Um, just saying that we're in Zach's room here for a visit from Henry. Speaking of wonderful.
He's my bedspread. Where's my iconic bedspread that I that had they got rid of it maybe for the lighting effects. Like maybe because I have I have your my notes that Donald Morgan, we're giving a lot of shout outs to the the crew here who made this episode possible for better or worse. But Donald and Morgan on the lighting effects, the lighting effects really good here. So all you want to say about the show, they did a good job of conveying this like heavenly aura and it like it works.
So they did a good job, I'll say that. Yeah. Yeah, I am. I thought maybe they literally replace your bed sheet because they could get a better bounce off of that that cover that like a duvet. I don't know what that looks like. A comforter, I don't know.
But Zach is obviously in the scene tossing and turning quite a bit. But I just want to point out that my hair is still on point, guys. OK, OK, that's what that's what's important about this episode in particular. Um, and yeah, Zeka, Zach has a vision like the like so to talk please walk us through more of this like, like this element of being like, like I just I'm curious on your thoughts.
It's just, you know, it's adding it's reinforcing to the many stereotypes that we have among us. Of course, he's going to come back as a spirit. And my wife mentioned to me earlier, she said, why couldn't Henry live? Why couldn't he live on in this episode? As you know, as an old man? Why does he have to die? Because that's what we're associated with. Indian burial, India burial grounds, the mysticism. He comes back as a spirit, maybe having a vision.
You know, it's on it's along those lines. Yeah. I'm glad he was in a glider. He was in a suit. So at least like I'm in heaven, they gave me even rattier clothes. That that brings us to to this thing. We're just to close out that scene in Zach's room. It's like it wasn't just a dream. It wasn't a vision. He woke up holding the headband. It's like I have it in my notes.
Like this is like, oh, native of. American magic show on television of like I made a headband appearance like that, that's it's just it's another level. So it's another level of say by the bell. We're like, again, we are on a show where sometimes Screech dresses up as an alien and rips off an alien head like zany cartoon things happen. But when you're dealing with real people in real culture, it's a very different thing to present as fact to children.
Yeah, quick observation, a little rewind it. I found it really funny because Chief Henry gives Zak this beaded headband, right. And he says this is from your tribe or something like that. But Zach then proceeds to not take this headband into class for his presentation, but instead goes out and rents this costume or whatever. So the only actual legitimate thing of clothing or whatever that Chief Henry gives that he had originally like the one he in for, is to bring it to you to bring on a vision headband on top of that other one.
Wow. I didn't I didn't think about that either. Yeah, that's a great point. Instead, he went to like party city and grabbed the the nearest costume we could find. Actually, I didn't go to party city. It was in that trunk. It was under that picture is at the very bottom. I left it up and I put it on and I was in a box labeled Morris Family Halloween Costumes from the 70s, of course, for a lot of good stuff in the area.
And we're in we're in the halls of Baci. We are wrapping things up. We get a very hasty conclusion to the Lisa Jesse stylist's. This conclusion is it's bonkers.
I mean, Lisa, if you haven't done the homework, folks, I don't know how you made it this far, but Lisa, just like, well, buy me a car. And Jesse says, well, that's crazy. That's crazy. It is. And I have it written right here. Buy me a car. That's crazy. So are you. And if you don't leave me alone, I'm going to kick your butt and then they hug.
And that's a wrap. Yeah. Anyone want to guess how many more times in series it gets mentioned that Jesse Jesse's family history. I can tell you the number. It's a big zero. It's never again. And something tells me in real life it might come up one or two more times after being such a major point. But it won't we're in a fantasy world to save by the bell, and that's OK and yeah, we get Zack's headband, says Beat Valy, he'll race again.
And not only did Henry come back from the dead to deliver a gift, he had like an inside joke thing, just nuts. And that, folks, is the episode that's running Zach Poof. Oh, there he goes.
As we as we possibly the show produced by Peter Àngel can't forget that name as long as we're shouting out all the names to Target.
Thank you so much. Sincerely for for joining. I know this was a heavy conversation and like a I really, really appreciate it. So thank you for being a part of this land.
Thank you for the invitation and. It was a good conversation to have. You know, I think a lot of people always wondered about that. And so so it's cool to go in here and kind of get the. Well, behind the scenes and Mark Paul's take on, yeah, I mean, my hope for the future is that the younger natives are included in stories. I mean, we're we're we're living in the same world that everybody else is.
We're watching the same TV, our culture, our cultures, our culture. Why can't we be included in these stories? I always wanted to see a native character on see. Well, maybe this dude just comes in, you know, does does a bass player kind of thing, but they never bring it up again. The the whole Zak's native identity, probably for you know or not. But it would have been it would have been cool if they just referred to it like a rebellion or something like not in a derogatory way, but yeah.
Anyways, I don't know. It was cool. Man Thank you so much. Hey, we have we have the reboot. And Daniel, I know that you're in the writers room, which is very diverse now. And so, you know, we maybe we could do something on the reboot at some point that we have that as an opportunity. I know that you pull a lot of weight in that room, right? Oh, yeah, sure.
You know, I think I think we do try it again. I mean, part of the reason to talk I'm so glad you could join us is because on the reboot, I've I've been lucky enough that I've been lucky enough to work on the reimagining voices in the room is a very important concept of if we're telling this kind of story, that voice should be in the room to help tell that story. I love working on a show like that.
It means a lot. And I did not want to come anywhere near this episode without a voice in the room. So, again, I appreciate you being here and helping us navigate, even though, as I stated, not your job. You don't have to make one and a half white people somewhere with your precious time. But thank you. But I do thank you for doing that.
And if you have anything to plug, I think now's your chance if you'd like to. Come on. I'm on Instagram. On Facebook, I have t shirts for sale, funk, clothing, dot com. I will apologize to anybody if I offended anybody or left left people out tonight. I know that maybe people will go through this with a fine tooth comb. And, you know, I'm sorry if I left anybody out or said anything out of line.
And anyways, I'm just I've been a fan of Saved by the Bell man. I grew up on it. It was really one of those shows that I watched. You know, people say that sometimes like, oh, I watch that show. I grew up on that show. But this was really like the show that impacted my life as a young person. And why couldn't Slater have the ancestry? Just it would make more sense, right? Like as an indigenous kind of background, like why wouldn't he have they mentioned it wasnt inciters ancestry once in the college years.
And we do there's one line about it in season one of the reboot. It's very quickly like but the line is like, hey, isn't it weird we never talk about this? And the answer is yes, but what does I mean? To see him on screen gave me hope as a young brown person in the industry. So I think that was cool having him on the show. And like I said, I grew up on it and. Yeah, thank you guys so much for having me.
And I hope we get to do it again sometime, but in a better and better episode.
Yeah. You know, you have a season ticket, but any any longer you can come back that and. Yeah. So speaking of speaking of any episode, we do have homework. What are we doing next week, folks? It's the baby sitters where Kelly brings her baby brother to Bayside and the like. That's the show we're doing is the babysitters next week. Thank you. To talk means sincerely. Thank you.
Big fan of yours, Ithaka. Thank you so much. I hope one day that you and I get to work together. Yes, man, I'll be awesome.
Every awesome man like I never thought this would I never thought we would be having this conversation. Man, it's crazy.
Like I do it a few weeks in a row. It gets less cool, I promise. And thank you. And we'll see you next week. Zach to the Future is a production of Caden's Thirteen. It's executive produced by Michael Goslar, myself and Chris Kaufman Production and direction led by Terrence Mangan, Editing and Mastering by Andy Jenniskens. Engineering and Production Coordination by Sean Cherry. Artwork by Kurt Courtney with illustrations by Jeff MacCarthy. Marketing is led by Josephine Francis with PR by Hillary Suf.
Thanks to the whole team at thirteen and to you for listening.