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Several members of the Saved by the Bell cast reunited on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this month, but funnyman Screech was missing — because the actor who played the geeky character did not receive an invite.
Dustin Diamond told St. Louis’ Fox 2 Now that he did not make the reunion because an invitation wasn’t extended.
“It would have been fun, but I don’t see it as a personal insult,” said Diamond. The actor found out about the skit prior to its airing, when his girlfriend’s friend texted her and informed her of the reunion.
Since his days on SBTB, Diamond has made entertainment headlines, but not for his work as an actor. “It’s a shame. My parents wasted so much of my hard work. A lot of my youth,” said Diamond of the money his parents spent, leaving the actor with just a few-hundred-thousand dollars from 10 years of work when he turned 18.
After a few projects, Diamond hosted a T-shirt sale in 2006 to save his home in Port Washington, N.Y., from foreclosure. The sale of more than 20,000 shirts saved the house, but some buyers did not receive their purchases, which Diamond said was due to wrong addresses.
In the same year, Diamond released a sex tape as a way to make money, now calling the decision “an opportunistic moment when I was young and dumb.”
Three years later, the stand-up comedian appeared on reality TV show Celebrity Fit Club as the bad guy, which furthered the public’s negative perception of him.
Shortly after the reality show, a tell-all book about the actor was released, but he claims the information in the book was distorted by the ghostwriter: “I wanted to do a book on my life — all the stuff I’ve gone through, like my brother, a lot of things people didn’t know about, and nobody was interested in it. No one wanted to hear it. Everybody just wanted gossip.”
The actor now works as a stand-up comedian, trying to pay the bills and make ends meet. In January, Diamond was involved in a bar fight and pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
“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,” said Diamond. “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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