Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Save Screech's house

I am a snarky 20something dude, so of course I have some love for Dustin Diamond, the white Urkel, better known as Screech from "Saved By the Bell." Through no effort (or fault) of my own, I have seen every episode of the craptastic early '90s Saturday morning sitcom. In high school, I used to wake up every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. specifically to watch "Saved By the Bell." I didn't try to do it, I just woke up automatically at 9:55 a.m., like my body set its clock to NBC's teen programming. (I also watched "California Dreams" at 10:30 a.m.)

I was sure then (as I am now) that "Saved by the Bell" was the most poorly written, acted and executed show ever to appear on a major network. And, yes, I'm counting "Mama's Family." I'll never forget the driver's ed episode where A.C. Slater takes his test by driving a go-kart around a classroom. We were supposed to buy that as teenaged viewers, that Slater would get his driver's license because he safely negotiated a turn around a desk while going 3 mph. I can accept artistic license, but that's just showing contempt for the audience. Watching "Saved By the Bell" was like dating a girl with a chemical imbalance. I hated the show and the show hated me, but we couldn't get enough of each other.

But I digress. The reason for all this "Saved by the Bell" talk is Diamond, who is in danger of losing his house in Port Washington. I first heard about the story from my friend Tom Roz, a man who inexplicably insists that there are genuinely funny moments in at least a couple of "Saved by the Bell" episodes. Apparently Screech has taken to the Internet to raise the needed $250,000 to save his house from foreclosure.

Today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story about the matter, along with deets on Dustin's troubled finances.

He is cagey about giving specific information about both his current income and the home, which he declined to allow reporters into. On the 2001 bankruptcy filing, he listed his employer as NBC and his take-home income, at the time, as about $5,300 a month.

The active run of "Saved by the Bell" happened before Diamond turned 18, and he said that problems with both his parents spending his money, and substantial tax miscalculations, left him in a hole as a young adult.

Now, he says, he has reconciled with his father, owes money only for his home and car, and needs mainly to find a way out of foreclosure to move on with life. His best plan for it, he said, is the $15 T-shirt, on which a disheveled Diamond is pictured, as he described it, "in the Wisconsin woodlands in front of a shack," holding a "Save My House" sign.

The back reads "I paid $15.00 to save Screeech's house," with the third "e" added, he said, to offer at least a technical separation between the fund-raising shirt from the "Screech Powers" character on a copyrighted show.

"I think there's a lot of people who think it's funny," Diamond said. "It's not a hoax. I wouldn't draw this kind of attention to myself for nothing."

There is absolutely no way this is going to work, right? I mean, a T-shirt sale? Why not have a car wash? If you want to help, go here.


Blogger Thomas Roz said...

Where's a shoebox full of mall cash when you really need one?

Steve, we are totally going to have a "SBTB" marathon at my place, and I will keep track of the legitimate laughs from beneath that beard.

"Tonight, all my Johnny Dakota action figures become lawn mulch."

12:23 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

Steve, my respect for you has skyrocketed today... you actually admit to watching "California Dreams", which really outlames SBTB in every possible way.

As for Mr. Diamond, I'm a little mixed on this. I mean, I loved SBTB and his character... he was pushing interracial dating for all us chocolate lovers. But does he deserve to have his house saved more than your average joe?

Incidentally, he's one of the worst stand-up comedians ever. He should pay more attention to Wil Wheaton.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

"Surf dudes with attitude ..."

Where's the love for TNBC here? Three lousy comments, two by me? Appalling.

Jake from "California Dreams" was like a poor man's Dean Cain. Just awful. I'd really love a "Where Are They Now?" on those fools, though the lameness of "Dreams" is still nowhere near the Bob Golic infused "College Years." Dreadful.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

I agree that "California Dreams" is dumb than "SBTB." However, I give "SBTB" bonus points because it managed to stay on longer and spawn more spin-offs.

"Mama's Family" is tough competition, though. At least I can get through episodes of "SBTB." "Mama's Family" is unwatchable.

By the way, if we're talking worst sitcoms ever (including ones that originated on syndicated channels), you have to mention "Small Wonder" and "Out of This World." "Charles in Charge" also deserves a mention.

2:21 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

"Charles in Charge" was one of my favorite shows! I had a pretend crush on Scott Baio, who (at that time and the age of nine) seemed like the coolest guy to have living in your house. Waaay cooler than the 'rents!

I too have seen every episode of SBTB, though I thought Screech was a silly character. I had a little crush on Zach. I loved his high school shenanigans. I can't support the saving the the Screeech bachelor pad, because I have a strict rule against t-shirts with words and pictures on them. (And I think all the shady no-information denotes shady not-smart-with-my-moneyness.)

5:44 PM  
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10:23 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

$900 having fun... sweet.

I also liked Charles in Charge... but I can chalk that up to the same kid's-eye-view that made me think Thundercats was cool. (T-Cats are still cool, but really a poorly put together show by today's standards.)

10:51 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

I was watching SBTB last week, and Zack was explaining to Slater how attractive the new girl was.

"She makes Madonna look like Bart Simpson."

Timeless comedy.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Steve Kabelowsky said...

I have a mortgage to pay off. I'm going to quit my job and sell t-shirts.

Screech needs to go out and get a job. Flip burgers, stock shelves, work at a warehouse, something. Stand-up, come on, I'm better than he is at it, and I'm bad.

There's got to be at least 5,000 other people in Port Washington I'd rather spend $15 on to help them stay in their house.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Thomas Roz said...

"She makes Madonna look like Bart Simpson."

Gold, Jerry, gold!

4:07 PM  

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