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>
The character 'Dee Thomas' was ranked #5 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 10 Biggest Brats" (27 March 2005 issue). See more »
In the opening credits for the second season, both Dee and Mama are added, with Dee shown running out of her house and Mama ordering her back inside. However, the house Dee exits does not appear to be the same one (although it is similar) to the house Raj is shown exiting since the opening credits of the first season. See more »
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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