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Diff'rent Strokes

By upsilon

One of the few bright spots in NBC's dark days in the late Super70s and early Awesome80s, this sitcom takes place in New York City with a rich widower Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain), his daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato), and two adopted African-American brothers, Willis Jackson (Todd Bridges) and Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman). There was also a succession of maids in this program: Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae, who later reprised her role in Facts of Life); Adelaide (played by Nedra Volz), and their last maid, played by Mary Jo Catlett.

Philip (Mr. D) usually had his hands full with the kids, particularly Arnold. Arnold was known for the phrase "Whatchu talkingabout?" (words always said together). The boys were always explaining that they were (in one episode) "two peas, different pod."

Many contemporary issues were focused on in this show, namely illegal drug use (then-First Lady Nancy Reagan appeared in one episode during her infamous "Just Say No" campaign), teenage tobacco use, suicide, anorexia nervosa, and other issues from that time period. It is ironic in the first case, since the children in real life had so many drug problems and others (Dana Plato died in 1999).

Janet Jackson had a recurring role as Willis' girlfriend Charlene. Also Dixie Carter joined the cast as Maggie, Philip's later-wife (pre-Designing Women).

A good show, especially at the beginning, and one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal period at the peacock network.

Diff'rent Strokes on DVD!
Diff'rent Strokes is now available on DVD! Get it at Amazon.com!
Season One

 

Share Your Memories In Our Forums!

Check out our Diff'rent Strokes forum! Do you have a favorite episode of the show? What do you remember about the series? Do you have any questions about it or its stars? Now you can post comments and questions directly to our TV forums! Click here to see what other Diff'rent Strokes viewers have said or to post your own comments about the show!

Your Memories Shared!

My favorite episode of Diff'rent Strokes is when Arnold,Willis,and Mr,Drummond are in a bank and a robbery is going on! I also liked the one where Janet Jackson becomes Willis's girlfriend.

--Kayla

Note: This is just a random sample of the Diff'rent Strokes messages in our TV forums! Click here to see what others have said or to post your own comments!

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: November 3, 1978 - August 30, 1986

Cast: Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, Conrad Bain, Charlotte Rae, Janet Jackson (1981-82)

Network: NBC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

SpinoffsFacts of Life, Hello Larry

Image courtesy of NBC


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Use of this site is subject to our Terms of Service.
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