Patrick Fabian admits he still gets recognized for Saved by the Bell - just for the wrong role. While very few Hollywood actors reach A-list leading star status, that isn't the only path to carving out a memorable long-term career in films and TV. Case in point is Fabian, one of the most prolific small-screen character actors in recent memory, but definitely a guy many would be likely to blank on the name while recognizing the face. With over 100 roles to his credit, the 52-year-old definitely never seems to be at a loss for work.
Currently, Fabian can be seen playing the regular supporting role of Howard Hamlin on AMC's hit drama Better Call Saul, a character initially presented as a straight-up foil to Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill, before additional layers to their past relationship were revealed. Calm and calculating, Howard rarely loses his cool, and is often tasked with trying to deal with the aftermath of his business partner Chuck's emotional outbursts at scheming brother Jimmy.
What many Saul fans might not be readily aware of though is that despite Fabian's current prestige cable gig, back in the 1990s, the actor spent some time in the colorful world of classic teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. A one-season extension of the main show, Saved by the Bell: The College Years saw Zack, Kelly, Slater and most of the gang head off to the generically-named California University in 1993. While there, Kelly fell for dashing professor Jeremiah Lasky, played by Fabian. Fabian looks back on his time on the show with fondness, but during a recent chat with Cinema Blend, revealed his frustration at people sometimes recognizing him as the wrong SBTB character:
"They were all so nice when I worked with them then, and whenever I run into them now, they're really cool, too, so it's a great thing to be a part of. Except people still call me Mr. Belding every now and then, which really pisses me off. I always thought...I really was in love with my hair as Professor Jeremiah Lasky, so I'm not sure how you could ever make that mistake, but that's all right."
While Fabian seems to be saying the above in a fairly tongue-in-cheek way, that really is quite bizarre that he would get confused for Mr. Belding, the balding Bayside High School principal played by Dennis Haskins. Other than working in education, the two characters - and actors - aren't remotely similar looking or behaving. Plus, as Fabian happily points out, he got to kiss Kelly Kapowski, something Mr. Belding definitely never did. Of course, coming between Zack and Kelly didn't exactly make him popular with SBTB fans:
"You know what? I still get shout-outs from that all the time. People love making the connection of 'Oh, Howard's a dick. Just like when he screwed Zack over with Kelly.' They love bringing that up. And you know what? If I go to my grave right now, they'll say, "Better Call Saul," but it might just say 'He Kissed Kelly Kapowski' right on my tombstone. Which is not a bad way to go. If that's what you have to go with, I'll take it."
From dating Kelly Kapowski to wrangling Chuck McGill, Fabian has truly had quite the career, including stints on cult shows like Joan of Arcadia and Veronica Mars. One wonders though if someone somewhere is bizarrely mistaking Dennis Haskins for Jeremiah Lasky right now.
Better Call Saul returns for season 4 in 2018.
Source: Cinema Blend