Saved by the Bell: 108 “Cream for a Day”

Season 1 Episode 8
Airdate: October 7, 1989

Boycott the Caf name: “Kelly Gets a Pimple”
Issue of the Week: Acne

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The Homecoming game is coming up. Bayside will play their old rival, Valley High, which has beaten them for the past 23 years in a row. That sounds like my high school’s Homecoming game because we’d usually be scheduled against high schools that were three times our size or more. I come from a small town and when the opposing team had fourteen players on the sidelines while we could only afford to have one (a golden retriever who, surprisingly,  turned out to be a really good kicker) it made it hard to win.

Kelly is in the running for Homecoming Queen, but worries she is not hot enough because Bayside High is located in Bizarro World where she has average looks. Turns out she wears a retainer at night, which gets her an invitation to a retainer club full of nerds. Kelly has to run away because ugly people disgust her.

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Science class is underway. I think it is in the same classroom they learned to “drive” in. Bayside High is a one room schoolhouse.

Screech is proud because he has his first zit, and this means he has arrived at puberty. Screech has this long running crush on Lisa, so he says to the fair maiden, “Lisa, I’m sailing on my voyage to manhood. Care to come aboard?” That is the best line in the entire series. I bet right now a 35-year-old Screech is sitting in a bar somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area and he still uses that line to pick up women. It doesn’t work, so then he will follow up with, “Oh, yeah, also I work at Apple. Want a free iPhone? First you need to meet me in Blowjob City. Population: us.”

Screech is wrapping up a chemistry project when it explodes in his face. It won’t be the last time Screech’s face will be covered in hot white cream while Zack is present. Hee hee.

The gang eats at the Max. Zack and Slater both compete for Kelly’s attention. Zack insults Slater’s hair. What? What right does Zack have to insult someone’s hair. Does he think looking like a blonde Kramer is cool? OK, it is, but that is beside the point.

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The next day, Screech is sad. Zack asks if it is because he learned that Alf is a puppet. The late 80s/early 90s references on this show are many and magical.

No, Screech is up[set because his zit is gone. Turns out that chemistry accident created a fast acting acne cream. The boys realize they can make a lot of money as everyone will want this pimple cream. Screech says it will work wonders for Gorbachev. Oh, there’s another one!

To make sure the cream really works, they test it on “Crater Face” Coburn, who got his nickname for having lots of pimples. He would probably have a normal amount of acne for a kid in the real world, but in TV world, having one pimple is enough for a kid to be laughed at. Zack pays him ten bucks for his time. Coburn notices this ten dollar bill has Jason Bateman’s portrait and wants real money. Hey,  another reference! That counts. I think Arrested Development was a rebound for Mr. Bateman. His resume for the 90s looks pretty slim.

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Kelly is freaking the fuck out because she has a pimple, so refuses to go to school. Oh no! She has one zit! Because most teenagers have perfectly clear skin. Jesse and Lisa coax her out of her bathroom by saying George Michael’s new video is on TV. Man, was George Michael really that popular among girls in the early 90s? Because DJ and Stephanie Tanner also has a poster of him in their bedroom. Remember that?

Kelly has a pink bordered daydream that she will not win Homecoming Queen because her zit is the size of a big red Rudolph nose. She’d have my vote. Ask me, that nose is highly erotic.

Kelly desperately wants to win Homecoming Queen because it will make her parents proud. There are seven kids in her family, so it is hard for her to do something that makes her feel special or stand out and …wait…seven kids? Her family must own a huge fucking house. I mean, not only does she have her own bedroom, but it comes with a private bathroom.

Not that they’re aren’t families that large in LA, but those families don’t have girls with names like Kelly Kapowski; they have girls with names like Karmen Maria Katalina and all seven kids sleep in one living room above the bodega. Maybe Kelly’s family lives in a farm that is somehow located inside the Los Angeles school district.

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Zack gives a sales pitch in the hall on their new anti-acne cream. The crowd is skeptical until they see Crater Face Coburn with clean, beautiful skin and then  rushes to buy the product. Principal Belding does not like the selling of wares in the school and hauls Zack and Coburn into his office. “I have had it up to here with your antics,” Belding tells Zack, “and I’m a tall guy!” LOL.  Zack gets out of the jam by offering to give some proceeds from the sales to the school as well as providing Belding with a free tube of the good stuff.

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The next day, Screech shows Zack a big problem. The cream turns your skin maroon, but only for 24 hours. This makes their product a bust. Also, Kelly rubbed it all over her face the night before Homecoming. Now Kelly is scared she will not win Queen with a maroon face, even though voting would have taken place days earlier. Kelly screams at Zack, saying he ruined her life. Zack yells back, telling her to stop being a bitch.

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The Homecoming pep rally is held the next day in the Max. I don’t think Bayside High has a gym. Kelly is elected Queen over two other girls, one who is named Muffin Sangria, which be a great name for a drink. Or maybe a breakfast snack. Everyone overlooks the color of her face because they have their eyes on her tight orange dress. I would think that would be a bit inappropriate for a high school in 1989. I also think you’re supposed to crown Homecoming Queen at halftime during the football game.

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Kelly, Lisa, and Jesse lead a Bayside cheer, accompanied by Slater making beet box sounds. I guess Bayside only has three members in their cheer team. It’s then that we see that Zack got other kids to paint their faces maroon, which is one of the school colors. At least I think the kids paint their faces. I noticed most of the students who look like they have maroon faces are the black kids, and it’s hard to tell if that’s just their skin with the video quality of this show. There are also only, like, a dozen people at this pep rally.

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Mr. Belding congratulates Zack on his face painting plan. Belding thought Zack only did this for school spirit and does not know about the zit cream’s effects. Belding has maroon marks on his face, but does not notice. I guess he doesn’t wash his face or shave in the morning. Belding has to be a filthy man to not have noticed those marks. Nice to know I can expect to still have to worry about acne in my late 30s. I remember in health classes in middle and high school; they would tell you that acne goes away around the age of 18. Fucking liars. Here I am in my mid-20s and I still have to pop zits while I ride the bus.

Also, I love that the mascot for Bayside is just the old Detroit Tigers mascot. That mascot was awesome. It has this awesomely mad stare like “Holy fuck that crazy tiger is going to eat your face off!!!! Baseball!”

Zack breaks the fourth wall and tells the audience that Bayside wins the game 7-0. He tells us this before the game actually happens. Zack can see into the future as well as stop time.

Best Outfit:

Lisa’s purple jacket over her crazy 90s print dress.

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