Aug 27, 2023

Michael Cade

Do you know this man?  You should.

Saved by the Bell (1988-93) was a mega-hit, especially among teenagers, so of course it spawned countless imitations (even a cartoon series, Tiny Toon Adventures).  Suddenly Friday night and Saturday morning was crowded with buffed twentysomethings attending affluent high schools that required their students to be semi-nude most of the time.

In addition to the usual problems with parents, teachers, dating, homework, and sports competitions, California Dreams (1992-97) put the high schoolers in a band.  The members kept changing, but they included Brent Gore, William James Jones, Jay Anthony Franke, and Aaron Jackson.

20-year old Michael Cade played Sly Winkle (yes, that was his name), the fast-talking, scheming manager of the band. Oddly, Sly was not the least concerned with heterosexual hookups.  He liked modeling, wrestling, surfing -- anything that required his shirt to be off -- but he only dated girls in two or three episodes, and they were all designed to give him a comeuppance rather than demonstrate girl-craziness.

All of the male cast members were attractive enough to become the first crush of gay boys everywhere, but Michael Cade was stunning, a worthy successor to Mark-Paul Goesselar or even such 1980s hunks as Alan Kayser and Robby Benson.  He also had a winning smile, and enough charisma to shine in even the most pedestrian plotlines.

After California Dreams, Michael continued to work in television and movies, mostly independents with limited release, such as Along the Way (2007), and shorts like The Trip (2007) and Customer Service (2009).

They may be difficult to find, but they're worth seeking out.  Even without the shirtless shots.

Michael is a gifted performer, and his characters are usually immersed in groups of male friends, with no hint of a quest for heterosexual romance.

See also: Weird Science.


  1. Sometimes his characters like girls, but with a physique like that, who cares?

  2. I always think it's weird watching teen shows from the 90s. A lot of schools, in an effort to craft a gender-neutral dress code, didn't let students wear anything that exposed the proximal half of the upper arm, or similar terminology, i.e. T-shirts, but not A-shirts or basketball jerseys. All of this was about bübs. (That annoying way straight boys front the vowel in "boobs", to go with über.) Don't think otherwise.

    Bear in mind, outside of school, a lot of us wore A-shirts, basketball jerseys, open jackets with no shirt, and similar. But never in school. Dress code.

    Aughts fashion, largely influenced by hip hop, was more conservative. People don't even realize it was hip hop and not Dubya who did that.


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