Sam Bobrick, the acclaimed writer and playwright who created Saved by the Bell, has died at age 87. Bobrick passed away on Friday at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, as a result of a stroke, according to THR. Besides Saved by the Bell, Bobrick was a writer on The Andy Griffith Show, The Flinstones, Get Smart, and Bewitched, to name a few. He scored a big award win in 1968, for writing The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, which later led to him developing The Paul Lynde Show. Saved by the Bell remains his most famous credit, having run on NBC from 1989-1993, gaining massive fame and sparking an entire franchise of spinoff series, TV movies, and an upcoming revival series.
Bobrick was a Chicago native, and graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, after serving nearly four years in in the U.S. Air Force. He got into the entertainment business by writing for the children's program Captain Kangaroo, before doing work on the aforementioned TV shows, while also producing more than 40 plays in his time. Norman Is That You? ran for seven years in the US, and five years in Paris. Bobrick's co-writer Ron Clark would collaborate with him three more plays (No Hard Feelings, Murder at the Howard Johnson's and Wally's Cafe). He would also write mystery plays, and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award in 2011, for his play The Pyschic. He even dipped into music, co-writing the song "The Girl of My Best Friend" which was performed by Elvis Presley, or "It Will Never Be Over For Me" which was performed by Los Lobos, or most recently "Totally Twisted Country" by The Cowpies.
Ironically enough, Bobrick's greatest success with Saved by the Bell came from a great failure. The show was originally called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, and starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond, and Lark Voorhies and Dennis Haskins; the premise actually followed a junior high teacher named Carrie Bliss, and her interactions with students like charming scamp Zack Morris. After airing on Disney Channel from 1988 to 1989, Miss Bliss was canceled until NBC retooled it as the Saved by the Bell we know and love. Just goes to show: persistence matters, kids. As stated, a Saved by the Bell revival series is now coming to NBC's streaming service, with the two of the stars from the retooled show (Mario Lope and Elizabeth Berkley) making their return. You can bet a fitting tribute for Bobrick are on the way.
R.I.P. Sam Bobrick. July 24, 1931 - October 11, 2019.