In entertainment, there are notorious sharks who just know business. Roman Craig from The Great Outdoors. Derek Huff from Step Brothers. Gordon Gekko from Wall Street (1987). These gentleman stopped at nothing to get things done. But forgotten in the glitz and glamour of the big screen, there was one man who was all but forgotten that might have been the greatest business mind of all — Derek Morris.
As Zack Morris’s father on Saved By The Bell, Derek Morris had an unclear profession. We didn’t know much about him other than that his pants were high, his suspenders were tight, and his smile was like the sunrise. Often desperate for attention from his father, Zack struggled throughout their relationship. But as we all know, business requires an absence of emotion which is why Derek Morris knew how to dominate.
Take, for example, a phone call that Derek took in Zack’s bedroom. You’ll have to fast forward to 1:33 to see Derek in all his business-savvy glory, but I assure you, it’s worth it.
In case you missed it, here’s the deal that went down (after hours, mind you).
If you buy a hundred computers from us, I’ll knock off 20%.
Alright, alright. I’ll even throw in season tickets for the Lakers.
Despite it being a short exchange, there’s still a lot to digest here, so let’s get all these ducks in a row.
This man is not only selling computers by the hundreds, but he’s also throwing in season tickets to the Lakers on top of it? Are you… are you kidding me? And not only that, he’s making these deals on his cell phone (something you’ve gotta imagine only real ballers could afford in the early-90s).
The aforementioned exchange occurred in an episode from 1990, which is crucial to dissecting just how much of a playboy Derek Morris was. You see, in 1990, computers still weren’t all that common in the home, school, or at the workplace. Computers sold for anywhere in the realm of $2,000 to $4,000. So for D-Rock to be hustling computers by the hundreds, he had to have some major clients on the receiving end of his sales calls. So if he’s selling a hundred computers for an average of three-grand (minus the 20% discount he offered, because Derek Morris is a closer), he’s bringing in $240,000 on a single phone call.
When he threw the Lakers season tickets on top of the 20% discount, my initial reaction, “Come on, D-Man! Don’t be an idiot!” Like, these are the 1990 Lost Angeles Lakers with a roster of James Worthy and Magic Johnson. There was probably a waiting list to snag those seats. After all, during the 1989-1990 season, the Lakers had the highest average ticket price in the entire NBA at $29.18 per home game. If you multiply that by 41 games (not including the playoffs, where the Lakers went to the 2nd round), that’s a total of nearly $1,200. But, being the baller that Derek is, you can’t imagine he was going to force someone to go stag to those games either. You double up on those season tickets? We’re talking $2,400 which is still a mere 1% of the deal that he just closed on.
But that’s the wolf mentality that Derek Morris had. If you think he went into that call without crunching those numbers beforehand, you’re out of your mind. He knew that those numbers made sense from the get-go. And then you had the trademark flash and flare that’s so characteristic of the Morris men? Game, set, match. It’s an uphill battle for anyone trying to negotiate with him.
Simply put, Derek Morris was 1990s business. He had the power suit, power tie, power phone, power hair, power suspenders, power everything working in his favor. He was even ruthless in his personal life, clearly putting deal closures in front of his relationship with Zack as shown by Zack only being able to get through to his dad by calling him on his own cell phone when they were in the same room together.
But that, in itself, might be the biggest tell of all that Derek Morris knew how to handle business. If even your son has a cell phone on 1990, you’re clearly doing something right. And that’s without even taking into account Mrs. Morris either.
Image via YouTube