In a recent interview, Berkley Lauren, producer of the revival of Saved By the Bell, opened up about the emotional tribute to late star Dustin Diamond in the season 2 premiere. Dustin Diamond played Screech Powers in the original series. For over a decade, Diamond portrayed the character in Saved By The Bell and its subsequent films.
The Peacock revival series welcomes a new generation to the Saved By the Bell universe. The revival has several easter eggs and references to the original series. But earlier this year, Screech actor Dustin Diamond passed away of cancer.
The tribute to Screech shows five of the original cast members returning to Bayside High following covid-19. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, Lark Voorhies, Mario Lopez, and Elizabeth Berkley all returned to the set. They reminisced over Screech’s time on the show.
“We really wanted to be sensitive to strike a chord between the choice about his actual character passing and honoring the legacy of Dustin himself. No one could have done that role but him — so incredibly well and with his comedic genius,” Lauren said according to Screenrant. “And just figuring out a way to integrate that into the script without it being heavy-handed. It just was [about] striking a balance of honoring, reflecting, celebrating, and mourning together.”
Now, Saved By The Bell season 2 will focus on the students returning to school following the pandemic. It’ll focus on how they’re navigating life back in person.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar Shared a Touching Tribute following his ‘Saved by the Bell’ Co-star’s Death
Following the Death of Dustin Diamond, Mark-Paul Gosselaar took to Twitter to publicly express his condolences and pay tribute to diamond.
“Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dustin Diamond, a true comedic genius. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Looking back at our time working together, I will miss those raw, brilliant sparks that only he was able to produce. A pie in your face, my comrade,” he wrote.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s words were amongst the many shared after Diamond’s death in February.
Mario Lopez, for instance, also shared some words.
“Dustin, you will be missed, my man. The fragility of this life is something never to be taken for granted,” he wrote. Lopez noted that Dustin Diamond had a complex life and fought many demons. But at the end of the day, the two stayed in touch.
The actor passed away at 44 years old. He reportedly stayed in good spirits all the way up to his death.
The Saved By the Bell tribute was meant to pay tribute to the actors’ contributions to the iconic TV show as well as his life at large. Now, as the show moves on, that tribute will always remain an important and powerful part of this season.