Offscreen. Man’s voice: “Lemme see your titty.”
Onscreen. Woman: “I don’t even know you.”
Offscreen. Man’s voice: “C’mon! You grew up with me, baby.”
The disembodied voice behind the camera is brazen and predatory-sounding. The girl onscreen is unsure about the come-on; alcohol appears to be clouding her judgment. She giggles. And sure enough, the shirt comes down, and she hoists a single pale boob out of her bra. A hand appears from off-camera and gropes the bare flesh.
After all, how could anyone say no to such a masterfully seductive line? How could any woman resist Dustin Diamond?
You know him as Screech. And yes, Screechonce the squeaking, Afro’d punching bag from Saved by the Bellis about to have sex with two women at the same time. And thanks to Screeched, a four-year-old homemade porno released last November, anyone with DSL and a credit card can watch.
After nearly seven years in the “Where are they now?” celebrity wilderness, Dustin Diamond is being talked about again. First he made news selling autographed T-shirts to save his house from repossession. Then came the sex tape, and two words that reverberate like no others: Dirty Sanchez. It also helped that he’s hung like a mule. His reward? A return to the D-list.
The first time I walk through the door of Diamond’s large, bland suburban home in Port Washington, Wisconsin, near Milwaukee, I’m quickly swept up in the workings of the Screech rejuvenation machine. Diamond is doing a phone interview with a newspaper in New Hampshire, in advance of his appearance at a comedy club there. Jennifer Misner, his girlfriend of four years, apologizes for the piles of dirty clothes dotting the living room. (The pair met at an Arby’s while Diamond was on tour in Pennsylvania.) “Oh, no, no, no, no, we’re not married,” she says when I bring up the subject. “He doesn’t like that word.” Instead of getting frustrated about that ringless finger, Misner throws herself into her role as Diamond’s handler, manager, agent, publicist, booker, and, at this most festive time of year, buyer of Christmas bouquets for the neighbors.
“We’ve just returned from a tour of England,” she says, preparing a poinsettia arrangement she’s presenting to a neighbor who refuels jet planes for a living. “Next week we head down to Texas to record Dustin’s first live comedy album. Tomorrow we leave for Los Angeles and another appearance on Celebrity Fit Club.”
Diamond looks up from the row of Christmas cards that Misner has signed and laid out in front of him on the coffee table. “People want their audiences to tune in, so they need somebody with recognizability,” he says of his Fit Club gig. “And I definitely have that. I’m not going to be starring in the next Tom Hanks movie or anything, but I am a celebrity.”