[Book Review] “Behind The Bell” by Dustin Diamond

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved Saved By The Bell. Sure there are detractors who will say the show is “lame” and “predictable” and “an inaccurate depiction of high school” and “in one episode, the Bayside gang makes a documentary in which they were inexplicably able to film dream sequences.” And while all that’s true, I never felt ashamed for liking it.

Well, that all changed recently, as my fandom overpowered my better judgment, causing me to spend money on Behind The Bell the behind-the-scenes tell all by Dustin Diamond, known to SBTB fans as Samuel “Screech” Powers. Not only is this the worst book I have ever read, it’s the only published work of any kind that has ever caused me to feel intense envy for the illiterate.

Basically all you need to know about this book is that the actor who played Screech hated his cast mates as well as many other aspects of the Hollywood life and decided to exact his revenge by writing this torturous excuse of a memoir.

The only thing I had really heard about Behind The Bell prior to reading it was that it was put together very unprofessionally, and this is true. There are spelling and punctuation errors throughout, even a couple instances where entire paragraphs are repeated. It turns out being Dustin Diamond’s buddy who got a B+ during one semester of 10th grade English doesn’t qualify you to edit a book.

While that would annoy several people to no end, it’s far from my biggest gripe (I can hardly guarantee this review will be without grammatical errors). The problem is everything else about this book is horrendous to The Max.

From what I can tell, Diamond doesn’t possess one solitary shred of self-awareness. If he did, surely he’d realize it’s hypocritical to bash a promiscuous Mario “A(lbert)C(lifford) Slater” Lopez’s “cheesy game” only to turn around and brag about using his celebrity status to allegedly sleep with 2,000 women. Or that maybe it’s difficult to sympathize with his personal struggles as a child star after he’s taken a hatchet to his cast mates who may very well have been feeling the same way he was.

The awfulness doesn’t end there. His discussion of how the show was made is mind-numbing, his endless supply of nauseating dick jokes are unfunny and instantly tiresome, and his attempts to name drop celebrities he knows are just embarrassing (for those of you wondering, actor Jeremy Jones is a douche, while Jaleel “Steve Urkel/Stephon Ur-kell” White is cool).

Even after evaluating all that garbage, we still haven’t gotten to the biggest problem, which is that there isn’t any realm of any universe where this book needs to exist. As I stated above, I am as big a Saved By The Bell as there has ever been. I’ve skipped school to watch episodes I’ve seen dozens of times, written little in jokes for newspapers articles (I’m a sportwriter) and even written a play where a guy is able to use his SBTB knowledge to prevent an airline hijacking (clearly I possess the artistic merit to criticize others).

And yet, just because I love the show doesn’t mean I’m not aware of its shortcomings. It’s not like The Simpsons or Seinfeld where I truly cherish the hours I’ve spent watching. It’s a guilty pleasure, and even when I do find someone who can discuss episodes with me in great detail, at one point or another we have to stop and make light of what dorks we are.

Therefore, I found it hard to care that Daimond thought Mark-Paul Gosselaar was stupid for hating A Nightmare On Elm Street because of Freddy Krueger’s sweater, or that Tifffani-Amber Theissen was dating the actor who played Johnny Dakota who caught her fucking Mario Lopez, thus causing a stir on the set of the “No Hope With Dope” episode. Even I feel sorry for anyone who finds this information useful or entertaining.

Final Words:

Like the infant intrigued to discover if an electrical outlet is edible, I’m afraid my purchase of this book was a catastrophic result of my curiosity getting the best of me. In fact, if there were ever a reason to hope for an up-kick in infant mortality rates, preventing Behind The Bell from potentially reaching future generations would be as good of one as there has ever been.

I don’t care how much you love Saved By The Bell, there is no reason to read this book, and I would just assume mona-lala-lala than so much as read a single paragraph of it again.

Final Score: 0.002/10 (Someone should wave a skunk in front it).

5 thoughts on “[Book Review] “Behind The Bell” by Dustin Diamond

  1. Remember when he beat this shit out of that old guy for that celebrity boxing thing?

  2. I’m not sure if any of what is written in the book is true. Mark Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez both claim those times were positive. On the other hand, they don’t deny the claims written in Dustin Diamonds book. So there could be some truth in what is written in the book, but we’ll never know since Mark and Mario are not fessing up to the speculations about them in the book. I actually read the book. According to Dustin Diamond. Mario Lopez slept with dozens of girls, hanged around gang members, and apparently raped a girl who was planning to report it to the authorities, but she was payed hush money 50,000 dollars to be exact. Dustin also claims in the book that Ed Alonzo who played Max actually had a gay relationship with Neil Patrick Harris before Neil came out as gay. Of course, Dustin Diamond paints himself as a ladies man. He claims that he has an enormously large penis and that he had sex with over 2000 women. One of these women he claimed to have banged was Linda Mancuso who is 18 yrs older than him and died of cancer in 2003.Some of his sexual escapades happened at Disneyland, and he recalls how him and Mark Paul Gosselaar went to Disneyland and had hook ups with girls they met there. He claims that Lark Voorhies was once involved with actor Martin Lawrence and that the relationship was abusive. That is why Lark appeared to be strange and distant when he seen her around. He also claims that Voorhies was also banging Mark and Mario along with Elizabeth Berkely. He claims that Voohies was the sloppy thirds. The way he put it Tiffany was with them first then Elizabeth and Lark last. I’m not sure about that one. It sounds made up. I’m surprised he didn’t add himself in as one of the guys who banged them. Diamond also claims that Peter Engel was involved in bisexual relationship with Mark Paul Gosselaar and Tiffany Amber Thiessan. He claims that Peter Engel was once a drug addict, but he became a born again christian and found god. So he refers to peter sacastically as Saint Peter. Dustin Diamond also claims that he and the others were promoting anti drugs, but him and the other cast members were getting high on Dope. Diamond claims that Eddie Garcia the actor who played Johnny Dakota on the anti-drug episode of Saved By The Bell was in a serious relationship with Tiffany Amber Thiessan, but the relationship ended because Eddie supposedly found Tiffany in her dressing room banging Mario Lopez. I personally think that the cast members had ordinary lives as teenagers, and Diamond is trying to paint everyone as being rebellious sex crazed teens who dabbled in Dope. On the other hand, some of what he said could actually be true. Mark and Mario said in interviews they remember things as being positive. They don’t recall all that has happened to them as teens. They did not in anyway try to deny the accusations that Dustin Diamond painted of them in his book. So you have to wonder if any of it is true. We’ll never really know.

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