While Dustin Diamond’s nerdy Screech character was a huge part of the original Saved by the Bell series, he was conspicuously absent from the first season of the reboot on the Peacock network.
That absence was explained in the show by Screech and his lookalike robot Kevin living on a space station. An official reason never come to light.
Diamond’s manager recently said he was in talks for Screech to make his return in Season 2, but unfortunately Diamond passed away in February after battling cancer.
On the season premiere, Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Slater (Mario Lopez), Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley Lauren), Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), and Kelly Morris (Tiffani Thiessen) all paid tribute to the actor.
The episode is called The Last Year Dance, and Zack and Slater are catching up in the Bayside High parking lot. The conversation eventually gets to them talking about Screech. Zack asks Slater if he’s going to the get-together with the crew at The Max, the old hangout from the original show.
As they sit around a familiar boxy table in a booth, Slater has trouble talking about his grief and feelings for his old friend. Apparently, he’s been trying to exercise his way out of his feelings.
“This generation is just more emotionally mature than we were,” Jess tells Slater after suggesting therapy could help him. “They get that there’s value in processing difficult things with other people. Doesn’t have to be a therapist, it can be a friend.”
Then the guy who runs The Max tells them about a new menu item called Screech’s Spaghetti burger, and Kevin the Screech robot delivers it.
“You know, it’s a little weird but great,” Slater says. “Kind of like Screech!” Lisa says.
The characters don’t address how he died, but a video montage of some of his more classic moments on the show plays through. It’s a fitting tribute for Screech.
Saved By The Bell seasons one and two are currently streaming on Peacock.