Monday, August 26, 2013

Top 5....Diff'rent Strokes Characters

This will be a new feature to the blog.  I will think of a random pop culture TV show, movie, band, or item and make a Top 5 about it.  I've gotten away from the randomness of the website so this is a better way to do it.  I begin with the Top 5 characters from the classic TV show "Diff'rent Strokes".

I sort of forgot that there is an apostrophe in the word "different" in the title.  My spell check is going to go berserk. Anyway, this show was about a lonely white rich man with an older daughter adopting two poor black kids from Harlem.  Did I mention that this concept would be sort of questionable in today's more PC times?  Either way, its a beloved show and there are have been some memorable moments and characters along the way.  Let's take a look at my Top 5 characters.

5.) Dudley

Dudley was Arnold's right hand man.  In fact, I think he was his only friend other than Willis (who didn't have any friends except for Janet Jackson and a young Andrew Dice Clay).  Anyway, Dudley was at the forefront of two episodes that I remember the most yet had absolutely no idea what was going on during the episode.  The first was when Arnold and Dudley smoke a cigarette for the first time and the second was the episode where a random bicycle owner attempts to plow Arnold and Dudley with alcohol and watch dirty cartoons with their shirts off.  Again, I was pretty lost watching these episodes.

4.) Arnold

Arnold was the central character in practically episode and I think he probably grated on my parents after awhile because he did get pretty annoying after awhile.  Then again, he coined the most popular phrase of the 1980's, "Wha-chu talkin' about (fill in the blank)".  As he got older he picked up another younger brother Sam (who I couldn't stand and is regarded as one of the worst characters in TV history) and stopped being the sole focal point.  Anyway, I did like him and he never not seemed to find a way to get into trouble.

3.) Kimberly

Kimberly was hot.  I didn't know it at the time but I could tell she was pretty.  Little did I know that the actress who played her, Dana Plato, was struggling big time with drugs.  Still, she got the job done and was in one of the more weird two part episodes when she and Arnold get kidnapped by a crazy guy.  Thankfully she was not hurt.  As the seasons went on, her character appeared less and less (damn you Sam and drugs I guess...but I blame Sam) but it was always a treat to see her pop in and say hello.

2.) Mr. Drummond

God Damn, I loved this guy.  He did the coolest thing in the opening credits when he opened and closed his hands around his eyes.  I have no idea what he did to get all that money to live that lifestyle he did but also adopt two kids.  He always had a nice demeanor, wore nice suits, and sometimes he'd wear track suits. Plus he was suave enough to bed Dixie Carter's character to get married again...unfortunately that led to Sam being added to the family (Damn you Sam!!!).  Also played by an actor with a super cool name...Conrad Bain.

1.) Pearl

Yes, the Drummonds had enough money to have a full time servant at their beck and call.  First was Mrs. Garrett, who went on to Facts Of Live...then Anabel, the old lady maid...and lastly there was Pearl.  Pearl made me laugh a lot.  I don't think I'd like her much now as she does too much to get a laugh but back then, I didn't need much. She was the main player behind the scenes, always making sure the kids were looked after while Mr. Drummond was away.  Of course she was probably privately seething in rage that she pretty much had to cook every meal and clean every part of the house for this ultra upper class guy.  Still, she got the most laughs from me...and laughter is important to a 7 year old.

Honorable Mentions:

Bottom 3
Sam's Mom
The "Child Molester" character.

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