Show Type: Sitcom
First Telecast: August 5, 1976
Last Telecast: April 28, 1979
In first-run syndication from September 1985-September 1988
Theme Music: By Henry Mancini
Roger "Raj" Thomas..... Ernest Thomas
Freddie "Rerun" Stubbs (1976-1986)..... Fred Berry
Dwayne Nelson..... Haywood Nelson
Mama Thomas (1976-1979)..... Mabel King
Dee Thomas..... Danielle Spencer
Shirley Wilson..... Shirley Hemphill
Bill Thomas (1976-1977)..... Thalmus Rasulala
Marvin (1976-1977)..... Bryan O'Dell
Big Earl Babcock (Barnett/Barrett) (1978-1979)..... John Welsh
Little Earl (1978-1979)..... David Hollander
"The Snake" (1978-1979)..... Leland Smith
Nadine Hudson Thomas (1985-1988)..... Anne-Marie Johnson
Caroline (1985-1986)..... Reina King
Maurice Warfield (1987-1988)..... Martin Lawrence
Darryl (1987-1988)..... Ken Sagoes
Based loosely on the movie Cooley High, this show was about three spirited black kids in the big city.
Raj was the studious dreamer, who wanted to be a writer; Rerun, was the happy, overweight clown who often wound up with his foot in his mouth and Dwayne, was the shy tag-along, who was always striving to be "cool." When they weren't involved in some escapade, the three could be found hanging out at Rob's, a diner near their school, where Shirley was the waitress (and friend). Family problems arose when Raj clashed with his no-nonsense mother, who worked as a maid, and with his pesky, sharp-tongued little sister, Dee. Mama's no-good ex-husband Bill, the kids' father, was seldom seen, as was Marvin, the gossipy reporter for the high school paper.
In 1978, Raj and Rerun graduated from high school and moved into an apartment nearby, while Raj entered college and Rerun went to work. Their new neighbors were Big Earl, a police detective and his smart-mouthed son, Little Earl. "The Snake" was the college basketball star.
First seen as a summer replacement show, What's Happening!! was given a spot on the regular ABC schedule in the fall on 1976. Six years after leaving ABC in 1979, it returned to TV with a new title, What's Happening Now!!, and most of the original cast.
In the syndicated version, Raj was newly married and trying to make it as a writer. Rerun, now a used car salesman and Dwayne, a computer programmer, were now sharing an apartment. Shirley and Raj were also partners running Rob's and Dee (who was only seen occasionally) was in college. Raj and Nadine were living in the house he had grown up in and took in a foster child name Caroline for a while. Added to the cast in the fall of 1987 were local high school student Maurice, who worked part-time as a busboy at Rob's and his best friend, Darryl. Dwayne decided to give up corporate life and opened a small magic supplies shop.
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