In the past few years, Dustin Diamond has built a career as a stand-up comedian and reality-show star, but he is still best known as Samuel “Screech” Powers from the cult TV hit “Saved by the Bell.” This week Diamond added “author” to his résumé with the release of “Behind the Bell,” a tell-all book about the behind-the-scenes goings-on among cast members on the show.
But Diamond says the book isn’t meant to be a takedown or an attack. He’s simply tired of answering questions about the show. “I was sitting in my house and I heard ’E True Hollywood Story’ was coming up and thought, ’I wonder what show is going to get the beating this time?’ And they were like, ’Saved by the Bell!’ So I thought, ’I better make popcorn,’ ” he told MTV News. “There was nothing! Nothing saucy or whatever.”
Diamond wanted to rectify that situation partially for himself but mostly for fans of the show. “I’m doing comedy 47 weeks out of the year, and 99.9 percent of my audience wants to know what it was like. I’m just tired of answering the questions,” Diamond said. “Some people are saying ’Oh, he’s just trying to dish on people,’ but I’m putting out what the audience is asking for! Everybody’s been asking these questions for years. So this is for the fans.”
And even 20 years later, he’s still straightening out rumors regarding “Saved by the Bell.” For example, he was not included in the reunion photo that appeared on the cover of People magazine earlier this year. “I did 10 years with these people, doing 10 million photos with them. NBC probably has a stock room devoted to nothing but ’Saved by the Bell’ footage and publicity photos,” Diamond said. “I wasn’t there because I wasn’t going to cancel a sold-out 2,200-seat theater with a paying comedy audience to fly myself to L.A. to go, ’Click. Thanks!’ ”
It’s all just water under the bridge for Diamond, who doesn’t hold any resentment toward his former castmates. “It’s not a bitter thing,” he explained. “We just don’t hang out.”