Richard Belding

Richard Belding

    Saved by the Bell
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up... as a rebel. He had visions of one day becoming a disc jockey, but life hasn't turned out the way he expected. 

Living… in Southern California’s Palisades with his wife Becky.

Profession… principal of Bayside High School. While he’s presumably the principal of the entire student body, he almost exclusively focuses his attention on student Zack Morris and his friends. For all their back and forth maneuvering, Zack and Belding have a mutual respect – especially after Zack realizes Belding’s job is not as easy at it looks. The teaching staff Belding oversees is seemingly among the worst ever assembled.

Interests… humor, intentional or not. Belding is always trying to land his next zinger, and more often than not, it tanks. Some of his jokes are so bad they’re good, but most are so bad they’re terrible. Now and then he tries to sing, with equally abysmal results. 

Relationship Status… married. Belding frequently makes reference to his poor love life before he met his wife Becky. While he was in the Army he fell for a North Vietnamese girl who was probably a spy. 

Challenge… stopping the schemes of Zack Morris. Belding can come out on top at times – outsmarting Zack and turning the tables on him. More often than not, though, Belding is one step behind. For all his efforts to discipline, the (sometimes sad) truth is that Belding actually wants to be considered cool as well. He also has rivalries with teacher Mr. Tuttle, who is after his job, and NBC president Brandon Tartikoff, who was once after his wife.

Personality… a buzzkill. Not only does Belding avoid any fun in his own life, but he also forbids any one else from having fun too. At least that it is way the students see him even if he has good intentions sometimes. 


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