6.9/10
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What's Happening!! 

Not Rated | | Comedy | TV Series (1976–1979)
Trailer
1:24 | Trailer
A trio of black youths learn about life, love, friendship, credit cards, gambling, and a variety of other things while growing up in an inner city.
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Popularity
3,585 ( 573)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1979   1978   1977   1976  
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Ernest Thomas ...  Roger 'Raj' Thomas 65 episodes, 1976-1979
Haywood Nelson Haywood Nelson ...  Dwayne Nelson 65 episodes, 1976-1979
Danielle Spencer ...  Dee Thomas 65 episodes, 1976-1979
Fred Berry ...  Freddie 'Rerun' Stubbs 64 episodes, 1976-1979
Shirley Hemphill ...  Shirley Wilson 60 episodes, 1976-1979
Mabel King ...  Mabel 'Mama' Thomas 42 episodes, 1976-1978
Learn more

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Storyline

Roger, Rerun and Dwayne are three buddies growing up in Los Angeles. The three of them always have a penchant for getting into mischief and trying to find ways of getting rich quick. Almost always the trio's schemes wind up getting them into trouble and it is up to Roger's mother to get them out of it. Also, half of the time, the boys get into trouble because of Roger's bratty sister Dee. Written by Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Saul Turteltaub, Fred Silverman presented Gary Coleman for a possible role in the show. Coleman was denied a part, as Danielle Spencer was already considered the young star of the show. Silverman then took Coleman to NBC Television, where he was promptly cast in a star vehicle of his own, Diff'rent Strokes (1978). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the entire series, it is made very clear that neither Mama nor Raj have a car, as often indicated by Mama needing to ride the bus to work and Raj always needing rides from other people (or walking) to his many adventures and escapades. Yet, in the very first scene of the opening credits, Raj is seen exiting his house with two cars parked in the driveway. See more »

Quotes

Dee Thomas: [Knock on door, Rerun and Dwayne enter. Dee is disappointed] We thought you were our father.
Fred 'Rerun' Stubbs: Does Dwayne look like he could be your father?
[laughs]
Dee Thomas: [Dee chuckles] That's funny!
Fred 'Rerun' Stubbs: Of course!
Dee Thomas: No, I mean the way your body shakes when you laugh!
See more »

Alternate Versions

During its syndicated run, the tag sequences that were included in the original ABC network versions were removed. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010) See more »

User Reviews

"A Hit 70's Sitcom with Everlasting Appeal"
11 February 2006 | by MikeSmashSee all my reviews

Anyone who is in their late thirties to forties should remember laughing to the antics of Raj(Ernest Thomas), Dwayne(Haywood Nelson), & Rerun(late Fred Berry) from the popular sitcom "What's Happening!" The show was centered around three ghetto Los Angeles black high school boys & their hilarious high jinks. Roger Thomas(studious & spectacled), Dwayne Nelson(nervous but loyal), & Freddy Stubbs(chubby & dimwitted) were the best of friends who spent a lot of time together at school & at Rob's Soda Shop. At Rob's was Shirley(late comedian Shirley Hemphill), the wise-cracking & worldly waitress who provided sparkling wit with insults to spare. When not with Dwayne & Rerun, Raj came home to strict but loving divorcée mother Mabel Thomas(late Mabel King) & cute but pain in the keister little sister Dee Thomas(Danielle Spencer). From one kind of trouble or silly situation to the next, the three guys never split up, always help each other, & find a way to persevere when the going gets tough.

The show was quite successful & can be shown in reruns on TVLand or Nick at Nite. Oldschoolers & kiddies alike can enjoy a show that gave me hours of unadulterated pleasure as a kid. "What's Happening!" did expand to an unsuccessful spin off called "What's Happening Now!" which featured the core cast all grown up. Raj & Shirley bought & co-owned a diner while Raj pursued a writing career. Raj also is married in this show to Ann-Marie Johnson & cares for her niece. Dwayne & Rerun are off on their careers while sharing an apartment. Dee Thomas is all grown up & in college. The comedy was not as sharp as the original series but kept loyal fans watching. The show did not last but entertained some nonetheless.

All said, "What's Happening!" holds fond memories of a time long gone. Three of the show's actors have passed on in recent years & the core thespians have been low key since the show ended. For those who watched & enjoyed the show, you know that successful sitcoms are hard to come by. Those of you who have not seen "What's Happening!", you missed out on a small piece of 70's Americana.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's Happening!! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(79 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »

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