Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.


The sad news from yesterday is still reverberating in the entertainment world as "Saved By the Bell" star Dustin Diamond, who played the famed character Screech, passed away at age 44. Did you know he once visited Dover and sat down in the 102.1 and 105.3 The Shark studio?

It was the winter of 2007 and the reality show he was starring on, "Celebrity Fit Club," was in between seasons.

For those of you that were fans of the show as I was, you may remember that Dustin had the rare distinction of being a cast member for two consecutive seasons, Season 5 (Men vs. Women) and then Season 6 (Boot Camp).

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As I have said many times, there is nothing more fake than 'reality television That being said, I thought Dustin Diamond made those two seasons highly entertaining. It's a lot more interesting if there is an antagonist, and Dustin played that role quite well.

The day he sat in the Shark Tank, he was booked for a comedy gig at the IOKA Theater in Exeter that same night. There was a camera crew that was to follow him to The Portsmouth Brewery to film an interview he had with E!TV and then get snippets from his gig that night at the IOKA.

I remember him being quite funny, friendly and interesting. Believe it or not, a lot of comedians will stick to their schtick and absolutely freeze when asked anything that falls outside their comfort zone, but Dustin was very at ease.

I have to think growing up in the intense network TV spotlight with millions of fans makes the prospect of talking to a New Hampshire radio station slightly less intimidating than it is for most people.

RIP Dustin Diamond. From what I remember, you were the opposite of an antagonist and way cooler than Screech could ever be.

(And I think Screech was cool, by the way).

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