The world is becoming a strange place for those of us who don’t watch Duck Dynasty and are only vaguely aware of its mere existence; when this viewer first heard the title, I presumed it was some new variation on the Looney Tunes universe, maybe with Daffy and some nephews? (Why not, it worked for Disney.) Anyhoo, I’m now not only fully aware of what Duck Dynasty is, but of the “secret conservative message” of its protagonists’ unruly beards, thanks to a weekend post over at Salon. Yes, we’ve now seen the true sign of the show’s cultural ubiquity: the inevitable conspiracy theories. Many shows have them (some more than others), and since we know how much you love a good pop culture fan theory, here’s a few of the kookier ones that have attached themselves to popular TV shows.
The Saved by the Bell Fantasy Theory
This one was put into the world by Logan Trent at Cracked, and it springs from the disparity between everyone’s favorite long-running TBS mainstay and the little-known show that it sprung from. You see, Zack, Screech, Lisa, and Mr. Belding began as characters on the Disney Channel show Good Morning, Miss Bliss. On that series, set in a suburban Indiana middle school, Zack is, well, kind of a loser. He can’t get girls, his friends Mikey and Nikki frequently humiliate him, and none of his schemes get past his wise teacher, Miss Bliss. But when the show vanished after 13 episodes and reappeared as Saved by the Bell, Zack was suddenly a mega-popular stud at a California high school, where his every scheme goes off without a hitch, the ladies are his for the asking, and Mikey and Nikki no longer exist. But what looks like a mere “retooling” is, in fact, something more complicated, Trent insists: “It’s nothing more than the escapist fantasy of a disillusioned young man named Zack Morris.” And the best proof is the theme song itself, a description of real-Zack’s terrible life, until he’s “saved by the bell,” and thus, “the song ends with Zack being released from the harsh realities of life by escaping to the one place where everything is all right for him.”