Dennis Haskins is an American actor known for his role as principal Mr. Belding in the teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, which ran from 1989 to 1993 on NBC. He then went on to star in Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
Interview conducted 25th January 2003
Questions to Dennis Haskins
- Were you the manager of Tom Jones?
- What was Tom Jones like? Do you have anything bad to say about him?
- Before pursuing a career in entertainment what did you do?
- Saved By The Bell was originally called Good Morning Miss Bliss. What did you have to do in your audition to get the part of Mr. Belding?
- Between 1987 and 1989 (when it was re-named Saved By The Bell), did your character change much?
- What would you say you have in common with Mr. Belding?
- If in real life you were a principal of a school, what would be your five school rules?
- You once said that “Mr. Belding always put the kids first, and for this reason they loved him”. Surely that’s stretching the truth a bit, because actually Mr. Belding didn’t really act as the principal for the entire school, but only for the main characters. If he talked to any of the other students it was usually to tell them to get lost, as he was too busy telling Slater he needed a father figure. It seems that Mr. Belding had no loyalty to anyone that didn’t have a spot in the opening credits. Do you agree with this?
- What do you think made Saved By The Bell so successful and run as long as it did, which was 11 seasons and shown in over 85 countries. Let’s face it every story line was the same, it was the same people getting into trouble, there was always the same kiss and make up ending. So why was it so successful? Why do you think people didn’t get bored with it?
- You’re obviously very proud of Mr. Belding and of Saved By The Bell. Do you have them all on video?
- Out of the 11 years, which class members, did you prefer? The New Class or the Originals?
- I went onto a website the other day called whowouldyoukill.com and they asked people to vote for who they would kill off in a show. As it stood earlier today there were 65,749 people who had voted for killing certain characters from Saved By The Bell. Who do you think got the most votes? Where do you think Mr. Belding was in line for the killing? If you could kill anybody from Saved By The Bell, who would it be?
- Was there any jealousy between Screech and you, ’cause Screech was obviously a comedy genius. Did you every think “Couldn’t I have had some of his lines?”
- In a fight with the Bayside crew and the California Dreams crew. Who do you think would win?
- What do you think about ex-students who have gone on to other things like Elizabeth Burkley, who played Jessie, and stripped in the film Showgirls. Were you ashamed?
- Of all the episodes of Saved By The Bell, which was your favourite?
- If you could have a student to headmaster fling with any of the 3 chicks from the original series, which one would it be?
- Can you sing the theme tune for us?
- What do you love and hate about the character Mr. Belding?
- Can you explain how Screech became Assistant Principal?
- Now that Saved By The Bell is finished, at the age of 52, what do you see yourself doing?
- You wrote a book called ‘Rating The Agents’. How good is your agent?
- Were Zack and that little Minx Kelly Kapowski going out in real life?
- There have been loads of rumors that Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played Zack, died in real life. Can you clarify this?
- What would you say has been the lowest point in your career, or something you regret doing?
- Your ex-wife Diane was an educational psychologist and you were playing a principal on TV, so both of you knowing a fair bit about education, did you ever come home and play school games together. Like the headmaster and the kinky school girl?
- I heard you were a contestant on the game show Scrabble. Is this true? Did you win?
- As Mr. Belding, which would you say was your favourite pupil?
- As yourself, Dennis Haskins, which one is your favourite character out of the pupils?
- How would you say you’ve contributed to the good of mankind?