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Dustin Diamond (born January 7, 1977) is an American actor, musician, and stand-up comedian best known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers on the television show Saved by the Bell.

Early Life

Diamond was born in San Jose, California and is the son of Mark Diamond. His first job involved working as a live mannequin in a department store display. As a fifth grader, he landed the role of eighth-grader Samuel "Screech" Powers on the popular TV sitcom Saved by the Bell.


Screech from Saved by the Bell

Diamond's most memorable role was that of the nerdy Samuel "Screech" Powers on the television show Saved by the Bell, a role he played for close to thirteen years from its beginning as Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1988-89) through its final incarnation, Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1995-2000).
Screech was originally supposed to have an extremely low pitched, almost bellowing voice, but instead, it was decided that the character would possess a high adenoid, although not over-the-top tone.
Screech was frequently a pivotal figure in the schemes and pranks depicted in the show, from pretending to be an extraterrestrial (which almost resulted in his dissection at the hands of the government), to getting kidnapped by rival high school Valley in the ongoing inter-school "Prank War", and in one instance even winning the "Miss Bayside" Pageant. His parents, who were extremely obsessed with all things Elvis-related, were never seen, aside from one episode where his mother (played by Ruth Buzzi) leaves him in charge of the house as his parents went on a vacation to Graceland, which led to an episode-spanning dilemma involving a broken Elvis statue.
Screech's robot Kevin was also occasionally shown in some episodes but was eventually written out of the show.
Screech claimed to be descended from the "Great Italian lover and spy" Luigi Powerelli, making it clear that he is part Italian. In the final episode of the regular series, he magnanimously relinquishes the title of valedictorian to another character.
Continuing the series into college, Saved by the Bell: The College Years shows most of the cast transplanted into not only the same college, but also the same college dormitory, where Screech continued his typical misadventures.
After the end of that series, he quickly returned to Bayside High as Principal Belding's assistant in The New Class episodes, remaining with the show until its cancellation.
On April 19, 2006, the official website for Adult Swim announced that Saved by the Bell was going back into production, with the original first series characters (save for Elizabeth Berkley) becoming the new staff of Bayside High. Screech would be the principal according to the report. However, it was all a hoax.

Appearances after Saved by the Bell

Since Saved By The Bell ended, Diamond has been featured on a number of TV shows, including The Weakest Link, a celebrity boxing contest, and professional wrestling matches. Of special note is his appearance on Celebrity Boxing, where he resoundingly defeated Ron Palillo, of Welcome Back, Kotter fame. Concerning his reaction to his decisive victory in the bout, Diamond claimed to have "...beaten Horshack like I was Soda Popinski".
Later in 2001, Diamond released the video Dustin Diamond Teaches Chess in which he shows various techniques for becoming a better chess player. It is punctuated by appearances by Dustin, in various costumes, such as dressing as Screech, Liberace and Al Jolson-style black face.
In 2000, he made a guest appearance on short-lived WB Network comedy, Off Centre.
Diamond appeared on the June 7, 2002 edition of The Opie and Anthony Show, with co-guest Lil Jimmy Norton.
Diamond has a cameo appearance as himself in the movie Made, in which Vince Vaughn's character incredulously questions a doorman at a club as to why "Screech" was allowed into the venue while he was not. Diamond also appeared as himself in two scenes in the 2003 comedy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
In the May 2006 issue of Stuff magazine, readers voted Diamond the third most annoying former child actor that they would like to punch in the face. He was "beaten" by former child stars Danny Bonaduce and Corey Feldman.
Diamond plays Bernardo in Hamlet A.D.D. (2007), a partially-animated science fiction comedy based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Bernardo, the first character to appear in the film, is haunted by the ghost of Hamlet's dead father.
Diamond played himself in a cameo appearance on The Knights of Prosperity in an episode that aired January 31, 2007. In the episode, Kevin Michael Richardson is assigned to guard him while at his sparsely-attended stand-up acts and his hotel room.
Celebrity Fit Club
Diamond was a cast member of the fifth season of Celebrity Fit Club, during which his personality, his refusal to alter his dieting habits, his reliance on diet pills, his tendency to quit in the middle of physical challenges, and his antagonism of his castmates caused much conflict. He particularly came into conflict with former American Idol finalist Kimberley Locke, country singer Cledus T. Judd, rapper Da Brat, and trainer Sgt. Harvey Walden IV. At one point during the season, he apparently quit the show, but later returned. Despite his insistence that he had achieved a peaceful state of mind, he continued to sequester himself from enthused participation in group events, refused to offer encouragement to his teammates during weigh-ins, and responded to criticism from the show's judges by claiming that he was being unfairly targeted. Tensions between Diamond and the rest of the celebrities culminated in an open confrontation between himself and Harvey Walden. He eventually challenged Walden to "physical combat," which did not take place. Diamond started on the show weighing 217 lbs. and lost 30 pounds with a total of 187.
Dustin returned for the sixth season Boot Camp edition of the show, joining a team of "Second Chancers" that includes Toccara Jones, Tina Yothers, and Willie Aames where he gained 30 lbs back to his starting weight at 217 lbs. Diamond appeared to be trying to follow the show's program, in a marked contrast to his behavior during the previous season, and was named team captain. However, the judges remained skeptical of him. Sgt. Walden openly questioned the decision to name him captain (saying Yothers should have been his choice) and another judge said that she was "waiting for the other shoe to drop" regarding his behavior. When Diamond didn't show up for a day of work, claiming he was stranded at an airport by bad weather, Walden "fired" him as team captain and named Toccara the new leader. While Diamond and Walden clashed again the following week when Walden called Diamond a "Nazi", Diamond ultimately stayed put and held his own for the Second Chancers. Later on the season he and Tina Yothers were traded to the Newbie team. Diamond lost 23 lbs on the show, with a total of 194 lbs. His team won the grand prize.

Stand-up comedian

Diamond has performed stand-up comedy for many years. His comic style is similar to that of Bob Saget, referencing his sitcom years as well as using very blue humor in his stage act. He frequently defends his stand-up comedy career from critics that attribute his success to his former child star status, saying: "I hope people stop remembering me as Screech and remember me as a total period-stain. I think my stand-up routine is helping that."
Diamond has had trouble as a result of failing to show for a scheduled performance. Diamond was scheduled to appear at the University of Connecticut to give a stand-up comedy performance followed by a meet and greet on Thursday, February 8, 2007, but did not appear. According to Diamond's agent, Roger Paul of Roger Paul Management LLP, he failed to board his plane. All of the tickets purchased by students were refunded and Diamond, having breached his contract, did not receive any payment.

Personal life

Diamond was three years younger than most of the cast of Saved by the Bell. Because of the age and religious differences, he was never very close to any of the other teenage actors on the show. He said that while the other teenage actors went out together and got along, he basically did his own thing. He said that he did get along with T. K. Carter and Dennis Haskins. Diamond claims that he still keeps in touch with Haskins to this day.

In 2003, Diamond attempted to take control of the domain, which was owned by Max Goldberg, the creator of YTMND. Diamond was apparently upset because some visitors were posting gay fantasies about him in the guestbook on Diamond's lawyer, Herro & Lamont, LLC, served Goldberg with a cease and desist order that was unsuccessful.
In 2004, the case was submitted to the National Arbitration Forum acting on behalf of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Diamond ultimately lost the suit. The decision read, in part, "The Panel accepts Respondent’s argument that the "outrageous ugly and low-tech graphics and numerous errors and misspellings" as well as the sheer absurdity of the site’s claim that Dustin Diamond is a "FAMOUS SUPERSTAR AND SEX SYMBOL" clearly signal that the site is not meant to be taken seriously. Goldberg offered, in court, to produce various letters of support, confirming public understanding of the website's humor, including letters from a Professor of Cinema Studies who coauthored two well-known books of religious parody among other publications, and a letter from an art correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and the Oxford American. These writers called the website "an electronic art installation of great wit and outstanding merit," a "parody," and an "obvious and clearly affectionate joke." Whether the site is regarded as parody, satire, or critical commentary, and notwithstanding Respondent’s assertion that "lawyers are notoriously bad at understanding how humor works,” this Panel finds that legitimate noncommercial fair use commentary is involved." Goldberg, then 21, represented himself through the suit.
The precedent-setting decision may be the first time that a celebrity has lost a domain name dispute to a non-commercial parody site.

Alleged debt

On June 11, 2006, Diamond appeared on the Dean Blundell show in Toronto on 102.1 The Edge revealing he was in fact "broke" and was facing foreclosure from a lender, as poor credit was preventing him from obtaining a mortgage from a bank.
On June 13, 2006, Diamond appeared on The Howard Stern Show. Diamond said he was given 30 days to come up with US$250,000 or risk losing his Port Washington, Wisconsin, home for failing to make payments on his land lease. Diamond said he blamed Arthur Giraldo, a mortgage broker for New York Capital Exchange, who Diamond claims "screws over the working man then laughs at their expense". Diamond decided to sell t-shirts for $15 that had "I gave 15 dollars to help Screeech [sic] save his house" emblazoned on the front. He said that he would need to sell 30,000 t-shirts to completely cover the costs. He explained the extra 'e' in Screeech was needed because of copyright laws, since he does not own the rights to the name or character.
On June 14, 2006, Diamond did a phone interview with MTV Live, the flagship show for MTV Canada promoting the sale of his "D-Shirts" to save his home.
In June 2006, Diamond appeared on "The Hamish and Andy Show", a Melbourne, Australian-based radio program. His phone interview was due to a contest conducted by the two hosts of the radio show called "Where the Bloody Hell Are They Now?," which consists of a race between the two to find ex-celebrities. Diamond was one celebrity, Vanilla Ice was the other. During the interview, Diamond was asked what had his life become after fame and what he was up to at that moment. He appealed to listeners to buy his T-shirts online from his website to help him save his house, and anyone who bought a "D-shirt" would also get it personally autographed for an extra $5.
On August 14, 2006, Diamond was scheduled for an online television telethon, in an effort to raise funds to prevent the foreclosure on his house. His broadcast was canceled less than 90 minutes before it was to be aired live, as an executive at the startup online television network claimed that the foreclosure story lacked credibility, and that Diamond had "exhibited some really strange and obnoxious behavior."
On September 2, 2006, Mike Nichols, the Ozaukee County columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said in an article that Diamond was a fraud and the whole story about Diamond losing his house was a publicity stunt. On October 7, a follow-up article stated in interviews with several people that they had not received t-shirts after months of waiting, corroborating the alleged fraudulence.
Diamond's website claims that appreciation of his real estate resulted in his large debt. Usually the lessee of a mortgage still owns the real estate and merely uses it as collateral, thus benefiting from any appreciation. If Diamond must buy back his land at the request of his landlord, his situation would be better classified as eviction under the terms of a very harsh lease.
On November 16, 2007, Diamond appeared on the Mancow (Eric Muller's) Morning Madhouse and admitted he was never destitute, but his mortgage broker had tried to rip him off.

Sex tape

On November 13, 2006, Dustin Diamond's sex tape Screeched, aka Saved by the Smell, was released by Red Light District. It features a bride-to-be, her bridesmaid, Diamond, and a friend of his all engaging in various sexual acts, including a dirty sanchez. According to Diamond, the sex tape got out because he and some buddies allegedly have a "monthly gathering" wherein they allegedly exchange such tapes which earn points based on "what we're able to accomplish" on film. "We do it almost like poker. The tape could have been left out in anybody’s home, machine, computer." The people that are allegedly involved in this group are all, according to Diamond, 'profile people.' Diamond has expressed the belief that the tape was not leaked by any of those people, but that it may have been the significant other of one of them. Diamond's manager, Roger Paul, acknowledges there was hope that the tape would raise his client's profile.

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