Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SBTB 02.13 - Running Zack

This episode is kind of uncomfortable to watch. Did you notice how they bandied about with the term "Indian?" Or how Screech was an incredible mockery of the Native American? Yikes. Then again, we are now watching this episode through the lens of people that have gone through extensive training in societal political correctness. When this aired, no one really gave much thought to these types of sensitivities. Now? As much as I try to push back on political correctness, the thoughts I had as I watched this episode still took me by surprise.

Even more offensive? They really expect us to believe that apple wasn't already cut?
Riiiiiiight.

But let's stick with our Native American theme and talk about our guest star. Chief Henry is played by Dehl Berti.
Dehl Berti
Sadly, this episode of Saved by the Bell was one of the last projects Mr. Berti worked on (aside from his regular appearance on "Guns of Paradise). He died a year later. Looking back at his credits, it is clear that he played "the Indian" in plenty of productions. Let's have a little game: Native Americans are often portrayed as having names with animals in them, like Running Wolf. Which of these three names was he credited with most: Elk, Bear, or Eagle?

He was Standing Elk, White Elk, and Black Elk.

He was Brave Bear, Bear Paw, George Running Bear, and Gray Bear.

He was Sidney Eagle, John Eagle, and Sun Eagle.

Bear wins it!

Sadly, this headband does not win.
You see that hanging part of beads? They couldn't at least try to make the headband look legitimate? It's falling apart in Kelly's hands! Pathetic.

Speaking of pathetic:
Yikes, man. Mr. Belding does some creepy stuff in this series.

As a last note, I couldn't find any information on a Native American named Whispering Wind that could have been the inspiration for Zack's family history. I did find, however, a poem called "Whispering Wind" that was an ode to Chief Joseph. So, some connection does exist with the name. (The poem looks like it was written in the mid-2000s so I like to think that this episode inspired it.)

Feel free to share what stood out to you in the comments below.