The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum — but when Boyz II Men starts singing, the studio audience rises from their seats.
ABC’s Live in Front of a Studio Audience — consisting of reenactments of Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life episodes — enlisted four-time Grammy winners Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men to perform a live rendition of the theme song that accompanied Diff’rent Strokes during its eight-year run.
What followed was a star-studded reenactment featuring John Lithgow (3rd Rock From the Sun) as Phillip Drummond; Kevin Hart (True Story) as Arnold Jackson; Damon Wayans (My Wife and Kids) as Willis Jackson; and Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mrs. Garrett — a role she also played during the preceding reenactment of Facts of Life.
Prior to Boyz II Men’s performance, original Diff’rent Strokes cast member Todd Bridges (aka Willis) entered the recreated Drummonds’ penthouse set to tee up the episode.
“It’s hard to believe that I walked through those doors 43 years ago, back when I had hair,” he began. “Now in 1978, Diff’rent Strokes premiered and ran for eight seasons — which back then meant 169 episodes of television — with… the late Conrad Bain, Dana Plato, Charlotte Rae and Gary Coleman.
“Now, I know that if my family was here, they would be just as proud as I am here, celebrating Diff’rent Strokes and Facts of Life,” Bridges continued. “And I want to take this opportunity now to thank you for watching and to ask you to, please, when you see me, stop asking what I am talking about. It’s been 43 years, I done forgot!”
Press PLAY above to watch the live theme song performance, and hit the comments to share your thoughts.