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The man who wrote the Saved by the Bell theme is the cool music teacher you never had

Like every aspect of the show, Saved by the Bell’s theme song is very much a product of its era. It’s a song for lifting weights, for shoving Screech into lockers, for not attending school in a timely fashion. Oh, and it absolutely fuckin’ shreds. In the above video from Great Big Story, the song’s delightful composer Scott Gale explains how the song came to be in all its guitar-wailing glory.

Gale, whose credits credits also include The Golden Girls and Blossom, says that producers were not bullish on the show’s chances. “It might make seven episodes, maybe not.” That skepticism is reasonable considering that Saved by the Bell was the only series of its type at the time, a live-action sitcom wedged into a lineup of NBC Saturday morning cartoons. Hoping to fit in the rest of that lineup, the edict from the show’s executive producer was that the show needed to be “brash and happy and lots of color.” In terms of the music, that meant rock. Given those parameters, Gale says that song took him about two minutes to write. “It was the luckiest two minutes of my life.”

Gale’s theme song would book him the gig and he’d go on to compose the music for all of the show’s four seasons, which evolved as story and trends required. (On the show’s occasional forays into rap: “We did the best we could.”)

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And while Gale delivered just about everything the producers were looking for in a theme, he admits there was one request he could not honor: that the show’s title not be included in the theme song.

“I did not get that note,” says Gale. 

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About the author

Gabe Worgaftik

Contributor, The A.V. Club.