Don’t feel sorry for Screech! After much speculation, Dustin Diamond has finally revealed that he, in fact, wasn’t invited to the epic Saved by the Bell reunion on The Tonight Show earlier this month. But instead of pouting about it, the actor seems to be brushing it off.
“It would have been fun,” Diamond, 38, recently told Fox6 News, “but I don’t see it as a personal insult.”
Diamond, as well as Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle), were noticeably absent from Jimmy Fallon’s nostalgia-filled skit on Feb. 4, which Diamond said he found out about when a friend of his girlfriend’s texted her. It’s been years since Diamond has reunited with his former costars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski), Mario Lopez (AC Slater), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano). But since saying goodbye to Bayside High in 1993, Diamond has hit a couple of bumps in the road. Professionally, it was difficult to find another job after playing the nerdy character.
“There were a lot of naysayers. There were a lot of people saying, ‘You’ve already peaked. You’re never going to get that again,'” Diamond explained to the local affiliate. At auditions he’d often hear: “You did a good job, but we just keep seeing Screech in you.”
“Everyone went through their awkward stages as a kid. I went through all my awkward stages in front of millions,” he added. “So when Screech pops out next to the muscular guys, especially if they had me wearing shorts or didn’t have a shirt on — I knew I was pale and scrawny and gangly — it’s kind of embarrassing…I get that they’re making fun of me, but I’m an actor. This is my job.”
Diamond also has publicly been criticized for past decisions. In 2006, he had a T-shirt sale to help raise funds for his Port Washington home, which was under foreclosure. That same year, he also made a sex tape. “[It was] an opportunistic moment when I was young and dumb,” he now says of the situation.
More recently, and more seriously, Diamond was arrested for allegedly stabbing a man during a Christmas bar fight. Amidst the latest scandal, he tells Fox6 News that he’s trying to overcome his mistakes.
“Here’s the way I look at it. I walk a very honest and humble path, and I know what kind of person I am. I’m very comfortable where I fit in life,” he said. “I want to have a family. I want to have kids and I want to raise them right. I’m playing comedy clubs. I’m not rich, but I make a living. I’ve tripped and fallen many times in my life. If you don’t, how do you learn?”
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