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Cool out and return to the days of tight pants, afro picks, and... empty wallets. What's Happening was the African American answer to Happy Days and featured a theme almost as catchy as Quincy Jones's bouncy number for Sanford and Son (this time by the great Henry Mancini). The popular L.A.-based sitcom premiered in 1976 during the height of the disco craze and the action centers around bespectacled teenager Raj (Ernest Thomas, the show's Richie Cunningham) and fun-lovin' pals Dwayne (Haywood Nelson) and Rerun ("'cause every summer he gotta go back to school to repeat what he did all winter"; played by Fred Berry). The boys are kept in check by Raj's hardworking single mother, Mrs. Thomas (Mabel King), bratty kid sister Dee (Danielle Spencer), and sassy waitress Shirley (Shirley Hemphill). (Sadly, King and Hemphill passed away in 1999; Berry in 2003.)
When not in school--and the show takes place largely outside the halls of academia--the gang hangs out at the soda shop, "bumps" to the latest grooves, and trades quips with local cuties, like Debbi Morgan's Diane. That's about it. Of course, the trio does get into (minor) trouble each week and learns a valuable lesson before the end of each episode, but What's Happening mostly revolves around the fun they would conjure up out of the tiniest of budgets. Consequently, money--or the lack of it--figures prominently throughout the series. If What's Happening wasn't as groundbreaking as Good Times or as acerbic as The Jefffersons, it was directed at a slightly younger, more innocent audience. Kids throughout the nation came to rely on Raj, Dwayne, and especially the beret-and-suspender-sporting Rerun for all the latest catch phrases (like "Hey, hey, hey!") and funky moves. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
I was eleven years old when What's Happening premeired on television and this was a show that my friends and I enjoyed watching. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by Thebookwoman
Absolutely hilarious!!!!!!! This show is one of my all time favorite. I love the character "Dee." The first season is a winner. You can't go wrong.Published on July 3 2004 by A. Brown
I wasn't even born when this show was on tv, but let me tell you, it is one of the funniest sitcoms that i've seen. Read morePublished on July 1 2004 by Ed
This is one of my favorite all-time sit-coms, with Dee and her sarcasm that I love so much, with Shirley and her wits I also love, this has got to be one of those comedies that... Read morePublished on June 27 2004 by Monica D. Affleck
I Watched What's Happening back then when I was a child growing up in the 70's. TV shows back then were better shows. These Shows of today stinks Too High Heaven! Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by ROBIN BAILEY
This purchase was one of the best sets that I've ever bought. It is hilarious and an absolute must-have for anyone's DVD collection. Read morePublished on May 10 2004 by "msjames10"
I can't tell which is better - the show, or the memories they bring back. Excellent selection of episodes, all sure to make you laugh. I'm glad I bought it.Published on April 29 2004
I would recommend this DVD to anyone. It's non-stop laughter. I just got it in the mail two weeks ago and I've already repeated several of my favorite episodes. *****(five stars)Published on April 8 2004 by T.A.
This is one of the best series ever on TV. I watch this DVD all the time and it still cracks me up. Sadly, Fred Berry died last year, robbing the world of the character Rerun. Read morePublished on March 20 2004 by Peter07