This week, 80s and 90s kids were devastated to discover that Dustin Diamond had died. The actor and comedian was best known for his breakout turn as Samuel “Screech” Powers in NBC’s Saturday morning sitcom Saved by the Bell. Diamond was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer only last month and tragically, his condition was so advanced that it proved untreatable. He passed away on February 1st at the age of 44.
It’s now come out that prior to his diagnosis, Diamond was working on a return to his SBTB roots, as he was planning to reprise the role of Screech for a series of ambitious insurance ads. As per TMZ, Diamond had partnered with Insurance King to play the character again and the commercials would have followed a grown-up version of the geek alongside his trusty robot Kevin, who appeared in many episodes of the original show.
TMZ reports that a new, updated Kevin was being constructed for the ads and at this point is just about finished, but sadly, Diamond passed away before filming could begin. Insurance King’s Dan Block tells TMZ that he intends to offer Kevin to the team behind Peacock’s Saved by the Bell reboot, though, so that they can honor Screech in some way in season 2, which was just commissioned in January.
The revival series was notable for bringing back five out of six of the original cast – Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater), Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Jessie Spano) and Lark Vorhies (Lisa Turtle). Diamond was the only one not invited aboard, likely due to his public falling out with his co-stars and various problems with the law over the years. Nonetheless, the cast is known to have reached out to the actor during his illness and those with social media presences have paid tribute to him since his death.
Hopefully Peacock takes Block up on his offer and uses Kevin in Saved by the Bell season 2, as it could be a funny, goofy and yet touching way of honoring Dustin Diamond.