8 Things You Didn’t Know About Diff’rent Strokes

  
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The sitcom Diff’rent Strokes aired on NBC from 1978 to 1985 and on ABC from 1985 to 1996. Starring Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Dana Plato and Conrad Bain, the show depicted the tribulations of a wealthy white man (played by Bain) who adopts two black children (played by Coleman and Bridges) and dealt with a wide range of issues from racism and drug use to kidnapping and sexual abuse. The show was an immediate hit and even spawned a spin-off series, The Facts of Life. It’s been over thirty years since the show went off the air, so we have 7 things you didn’t know about Diff’rent Strokes:

8. Original Concept

The show was originally going to called “45 Minutes from Harlem” and was supposed to be air on ABC. It was going to be set in the upscale Winchester County town of Hastings on Hudson in a mansion, not a penthouse. It was going to star Conrad Bain and Gary Oldman, who had caught producers’ attention after he had appeared in a number of commercials.

Everett Collection

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7. Theme Song

Actor Alan Thicke co-wrote the theme song for Diff’rent Strokes with his first wife, Gloria Loring, and Al Burton. Both he and Burton sang in the opening number. He also co-wrote the theme song for the Strokes’ spin-off The Facts of Life with Loring as well, except that time she was the one singing.

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