Proof that too long a tenure as one character can be bad , Dustin Diamond is known for only two things. The thirteen years he played Samuel “Screech” Powers on various incarnations of “Saved by the Bell” and his attempts since at achieving recognition. Now in 2018 let’s look back and try to unravel the truth from the lies woven by Dustin Neil Diamond.
Dustin Diamond’s Early Life
Born on January 7th 1977 in San Jose, California. He began acting as a child appearing in “Purple People Eaters”, the off beat “Big Top Pee Wee” and guest spots on the T.V. series “The Wonder Years” with Fred Savage. As a kid Dustin developed a love of writing and chess, passions he would hold on to in later life.
It was in 1988 he began playing the role of Samuel “Screech” Powers on Disney Channel’s “Good Morning, Miss Bliss”. The short-lived show focused on the staff of John F. Kennedy Junior High in Indianapolis. After being cancelled, NBC bought it and retrofitted the characters into a new setting. This new series, dubbed “Saved by the Bell”, put the focus on the students rather than the teachers and changed the setting to Bayside High School in the Palisades of L.A. California.
The show was a success, soon becoming the highest-rated show in its Saturday morning slot. People loved the blend of low comedy and teen drama, the relative high stakes of School life. Dustin Diamond’s Screech became a fan favorite for his oddball antics and earnest demeanor.
At the height of its popularity Dustin and his cast mates did road tours, appearing in malls and other public venues, signing autographs and selling merchandise. So influential was the show that NBC’s Saturday morning block went from mainly cartoons to mainly live action teen shows. The final episode aired on May 22nd 1993 in a Prime Time slot. It was followed by the pilot of the sequel series “Saved by the Bell: The College Years”.
Dustin again played Screech in “Saved by the Bell: The College Years”. The returning cast members now attending the fictional California University, Cal U. The show only lasted one season, seeing fierce competition from both “Full House” and the first half of “Rescue 911”, both shows ranked in the Nielson Top 30.
He appeared in numerous “Saved by the Bell” related films through the years, including the 1994 “Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas”. The film acted as a finale to “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and was moderately well received. Dustin Diamond would play Screech for the last time in the daytime sequel series “Saved by the Bell: The New Class”. This time he was Mr Belding’s assistant. He appeared 130 out of 143 episodes.
Screech’s Life After Saved by the Bell
Dustin never again saw the success or popularity that he had achieved in “Saved by the Bell”. Shortly after the cancellation of The New Class in 2001 he released an instructional video online line called “Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess”. Filled with awkward attempts at humor and distasteful caricatures of various ethnicities it never really took off.
He also released an album with his band Salty the Pocketknife in 2003. Playing bass and writing most of the music his attempt at alternative metal was surprisingly on point. The band broke up not long after the release due to creative differences. He also appeared in a few celebrity specials, including “The Weakest Link”, “Hollywood Squares” and “Celebrity Boxing” where he dominated Ron Palillo knocking him down twice in the second round.
In 2006 we got the news we never wanted to hear. Screech from “Saved by the Bell” had released a sex-tape. Initially claiming it was a leak, Dustin Diamond later came clean and informed us it was an intentional release. Dubbed “Screeched: Saved by the Smell” the nausea inducing video left little to the imagination, though it probably should have. I would not recommend looking it up, seriously don’t. He later claimed that he used a body double, though we have been unable to verify these claims.
He appeared as a contestant on “Celebrity Fit Club” in 2007. Seeing a side to him that we hadn’t before, Dustin came into conflict with all the other contestants. Culminating in an open confrontation where he challenged several of them to fisticuffs. He lost 30 pounds and his team won the contest.
Dustin Diamond’s 2009 tell all book “Behind the Bell” claimed to tell the whole story of what happened on and around the set of the show. The book slanders his former co-stars, making allegations of sordid back room behavior. All former stars of the show have slammed it as false, describing their experiences on the show as very positive. Dustin would later say in an interview that the Ghost writer had made up a lot of the stories based on very minor statements he made during the interview process.
What is Dustin Diamond Doing Now in 2018?
Most recently Diamond has been in the spotlight for more unsavory reasons. In December 2014 he was arrested in Wisconsin for stabbing someone in a bar. He claimed he was being accosted and that his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, had been punched in the face. He was charged with disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and carrying a concealed weapon.
The judge would find him not guilty of the felony charge of reckless endangerment but he still received jail time of four months and was ordered to pay a $1000 fine. Initially he appealed the sentence but recently he copped to it and will spend four months of 2016 in a county jail north of Milwaukee.
Screech will be doing two stand up shows at the Harrisburg Comedy Zone in Pennsylvania before beginning his stretch.
After serving time Dustin continued to pursue his stand up career. He has been interviewed several times, and has finally issued a public apology to his former co-stars. it is unlikely to make much of a difference to his relationships with them, and I am certain that there will be more pitfalls for the troubled actor. His performance at the World Theater on New Years Eve was well received.