Dustin Diamond’s character, Screech, was both iconic and a staple of Saved by the Bell. The new revival kicks off season 2 today and though he’s no longer with us, it found a way to honor the late actor.
Dustin Diamond, unfortunately, passed away this year in February from lung cancer. In the first season, cast members informed us Screech was on the International Space Station with his robot friend, Kevin. However, the show chose to address his death this year through a tribute. The original gang goes back to The Max, just like they used to, and eat a Screech-inspired spaghetti burger, according to TV Line. As they eat, they reminisce about their friend and talk about the good times they had.
Though no character directly talks about Screech passing away, the conversation and their way of speaking heavily imply it. The montage of Screech clips at the end of the episode also serves to honor Diamond’s character.
Executive producer Tracey Wigfield spoke to Variety about how they had to acknowledge Screech. “It would have been wrong to not acknowledge [Diamond’s death] in a real way and to not have our OG characters mourning this character that we’ll never get to see again,” Wigfield told the outlet.
Another executive producer, Franco Bario, added how important it was to be respectful and that they do it right. “It was important for all of us — obviously the OG cast and myself, but it was important for Tracey — that this was tasteful, and that it was meaningful…. I think we all felt good about it.”
Screech had many iconic moments, so if you’re a fan of the new show, the end of the season 2 premiere may be a bit somber in tone.
Dustin Diamond’s Girlfriend Reflects on His Last Conversations
Dustin Diamond was taken from us rather suddenly, passing away mere weeks after his stage 4 small cell lung carcinoma. Shortly afterward, his girlfriend came forward to disclose some of his last conversations to the world.
Speaking to DailyMail.com, Diamond’s girlfriend Tash discussed how close the two were and how devastating the loss was. “He was the love of my life. We planned on a future together and spoke often about having kids. I’m heartbroken.”
Tash goes on to say despite his condition, he let her know how much he cared and loved her. “Even though he was struggling to breathe and had difficulty speaking he was able to get out the words to me, ‘I love you,’ I told him I loved him back.”
After being hospitalized for some time, Diamond went to their friend’s house for hospice care. Tash said he hadn’t even settled into the house when she discovered he wasn’t breathing. He was pronounced dead shortly after by emergency personnel.