“Saved By The Bell” Star Dustin Diamond Blames Hotels For His Stage 4 Cancer

Screech from Saved By The Bell (and its progeny The College Years and The New Class) was certainly typecast, and didn’t have much of a future outside of the franchise.

  • He directed and released his own sex tape (although apparently acted by a stunt double) and resorted to appearances in things like Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling.

  • He alienated himself from his Bell co-stars with a tell-all book that he claims was fabricated by the ghost writer.

  • He hawked T-shirts on the Howard Stern show to avoid foreclosure on his house, and was found guilty of disoderly conduct after pulling a knife in a bar fight as well as later for carrying a concealed weapon. He served 3 months in prison in 2015.

There’s sad news for those of us who grew up with the show, and fondly remember Zach and Kelly Kapowski or just remember Bell-alum Mario Lopez more for entertainment updates on hotel TVs.

Diamond is receiving chemotherapy for stage 4 small cell carcinoma. And he blames hotels (but not Mario Lopez) for his illness.

The rep says Dustin’s worked all over the country on film sets and at comedy clubs for meet-and-greets … and sometimes had to stay in pretty questionable hotels and motels, because there were no other options.

We’re told Dustin believes some of these spots might have had mold or asbestos … which he could have breathed in, causing his cancer.

You’d think, though, the traveling a lot and moving around would mean avoiding prolonged exposure to carcinogens – that if you stay in one place and that place is associated with increased cancer risk, you might find yourself a statistic, but if you spend a single night someplace and move on your risk is much lower.

The hotel lifestyle may not be good for the waist line or relationship stability, but surely it helps you avoid spending too much time drinking the wrong kind of water.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. He was also a rude and dismissive dickbag when I met him in the late 90s. Thought he was better than us. Now I’m ultra high net worth and he’s an ex-con. So yeah, have fun Dustin Diamond.

  2. I know times are tough, Gary. But really? View From the Wing is becoming nothing more than a tabloid with loose links to travel. What’s sad is that I actually valued your work here for some years. Not so much the reviews as much as the analysis of the industry etc. Or else just perspective. But these articles are getting more and more. I just think that if you are out of things to say you might consider saying nothing. And going for quality over quantity.

    Of course, I could be oblivious. Maybe tabloid sells. Gets you clicks and advertising. But it really leaves me with a bad taste for a blog that I once thought was first rate in breaking down the miles game, showing sweet spots, and actually providing thought provoking analysis. This, well, is just another cheap offering that is not becoming to your tag as, “A thought leader.” I”ll keep hoping that you go back to your original and worthy premise.

  3. As a mortician I’ve embalmed victims of small cell carcinoma and the great majority had lung cancer do to a history of smoking. My question: was Mr. Diamond a smoker?

  4. “There’s sad news for those of us who grew up with the show,”


    You’re too OLD to have grown up with that show…

  5. Gary is not too old to have grown up with the show. He was born around 1974, which was the right age to be watching this show at the time. The characters were class of ‘93.

  6. Small cell carcinoma is lung cancer. Did he smoke? Stage 4 is bad. Ridiculous that he is blaming hotels.
    18 month life expectancy.

  7. So much blame. Cancer happens. I know a few close relatives that never smoked, drank alcohol that got colon cancer, kidney cancer. I myself had a precaution cyst on my overy removed. I go every year to get c-scan. Cancer is here. Go to your primary care doctor and tell them your family history!!

  8. Sad news about “Screech”. He grew up feeling out of place because he was a few years younger and was seen as his on screen personality. Then wrote a book later in life to further alienate himself from the rest of the cast. He turned into a child star statistic. Hopefully he will be cured of his cancer and maybe change his ways.

    **If Gary is in his 40s or early 50s it is possible he grew up watching the show. Most of these guys are close to 50. Even if he was in college he could still enjoy the show .

  9. Cancer happens. Sure , if you smoked cigarettes, drank alcohol then if you get cancer, you can place blame. But I know people that do those things and live a long life. I know people in my life that never did any harmful substances and got colon cancer kidney cancer throat cancer ,overy cancer (me)

  10. Author Gary couldn’t be more of a [redacted -gl] bag. You’re next job should be with CNN. Good journalism doesn’t need opinions, the opinions are for the readers to make.

    If I see you in person I’m going to punch your face ‍♂️ . Make an opinion now? Then write another biased opinionated article on the random guy that punched you in the face even though it was well deserved.

  11. Never hardly watched saved by the bell. Some of my relatives have passed from cancer. It’s a bad disease that i wish NEVER existed. Hang in there, Dustin. Peace & Love.

  12. @ Stuart: Kind of agree. What’s really disappointing is that Gary has been posting political-themed posts lately, clearly trying to rile up readers who voted for the previous president and angry at the new president. It’s a truly disappointing turn for this blog.

  13. So sad, but in all honesty Dustin is the biggest A**hole that came off of Saved By the Bell. Maybe he will finally treat people better and have some respect.

  14. @footballfan412 90% of comments critical of me have been by supporters of the previous President, you really think my posts have been geared towards “trying to rile up readers who voted for the previous president and angry at the new president”..?

  15. Cancer is a horrible thing to go through and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but Dustin Diamond shouldn’t place the blame on hotels for his condition when smoking was probably the real cause.

  16. Wow! I am taken aback about how mean- just right down nasty people can be. I have never met Mr Diamond , so I have no idea what kind of personality he had in real life. I have done some research on comedians, however. Many times and in many cases they suffer from crippling depression and are very unhappy people on a very deep level. This may explain (not condone) their behavior towards other people. Mental illness is just that- an illness . Just like any other. Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma associated with it. I don’t know for a fact Mr Diamond suffers from depression or some other behavioral or mental disorder, however, he very well may. It could be that he may have or still does suffer from low self esteem that was exacerbated by portraying a stereotypical “nerd” on Saved by the Bell . Since he did play that role very well, he was typecasted and after the show ended he may have wanted to act in more serious roles but wasn’t afforded the opportunity to do so. Make no mistake- I am not condoning in any way someone acting rude and mean to others, I am merely trying to understand what would cause someone to behave that way and try to put myself in their shoes. You never know what other people are going through that could cause them to be unpleasant to be around. With all that being said….. the man has CANCER. If anyone has ever seen someone struggling with this horrible disease then they know how painful, brutal and heart breaking it is seeing someone die from it. I would not wish that on anyone no matter what. This world is filled with enough hatred and animosity and hatred. We should not add to it by kicking a man when he’s down- regardless of how big a jerk they may or may not be. Remember, one day we may suffer with cancer or some other illness one day. Would WE want people treating or talking about us that way? People – try to be compassionate and empathetic to everyone- even if you don’t think they “deserve” it. You yourself will be all the better for it.

  17. I dont know why people are mad at Gary for doing fluff and political posts.

    There is no travel happening.

    At least he doesnt have every second post pushing credit cards like other blogs.

    It’s tough going in blog land nowadays, gotta get clicks somehow!

  18. It is unfortunate that this man has stage 4 lung cancer.

    Please note that there is an association between smoking and lung cancer, but that is not the same as causation. Not everyone who smokes contracts lung cancer and not everyone with lung cancer has a current or prior history of being a smoker.

    The claim of frequent hotel/motel stay as causation for his lung cancer is dubious at best. Please note, however, that frequent flying on commercial aircraft poses a very small risk. A long haul,~6-7 hour, flight exposes one to radiation similar to the exposure of a chest x-ray.

  19. Seriously people just leave Dustin Diamond alone. He has the right to his opinion it’s freedom of speech. He has a lot on his plate due for him having cancer. You do know that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer, it’s called 2nd hand smoke. I’m sending out my prayers to you Dustin.

  20. Other kinds of lung cancer are not 100% from smoking, but small-cell lung cancer pretty much is limited to smokers.

  21. I think why not just be kind any human Havi g cancer sucks don’t sit there and fault him for it I work in pallative care I see it for first hand family friends devestated there loved ones are leaving.And this is how you react to others having cancer?

  22. I never cared for him or the show, but I am amazed he brings up such vitriol with people. I never gave him much thought. I also don’t recall ever wishing such bad things on anybody because they were rude and/or an AH (or smoked),

    My dad died of lung cancer / emphysema in 1999. He smoked (until his last five years), but I wouldn’t have felt any different about him and the cancer if he hadn’t.

    I was operated on for colon cancer in 2004. There was nothing more irritating than people conjecturing on what caused it.

  23. In the words of the immortal Philosopher and Character Coach, Mr. Jimmy Crack Corn. ” And I don’t care “.

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