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'Live in Front of a Studio Audience' brings out Todd Bridges, Snoop Dogg, and Boyz II Men for 'Diff'rent Strokes'

·2 min read
Todd Bridges
Todd Bridges

Christopher Willard/ABC Todd Bridges         

It may be different strokes for different folks, but everyone can agree that the Live in Front of a Studio Audience re-creation of Diff'rent Strokes was a guest star bonanza.

The episode kicked off with a special appearance from Todd Bridges, who played Willis on the eight-season sitcom and its only surviving original cast member. 

Bridges reminisced about first walking through the doors of the Drummond Park Avenue apartment in 1978 when the show premiered, and what Diff'rent Strokes meant to his life. He concluded by joking that if anyone sees him on the street they should ask him what he's talking about, referencing the Diff'rent Strokes catchphrase, "Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?"

Shawn Stockton, Wanya Morris
Shawn Stockton, Wanya Morris

Christopher Willard/ABC Shawn Stockton, Wanya Morris         

But Bridges wasn't the only special guest star of the night. He was followed by Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men, who offered audiences a live performance of the show's iconic theme song (originally written and performed by Growing Pains star Alan Thicke and his wife Gloria Loring).

They saved the biggest surprise for last, bringing out Snoop Dogg as Willis' friend Vernon during the episode. The Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear-hosted affair re-created season 1, episode 17, "Willis' Privacy," which explores Willis' growing need for privacy and a fight between him and Arnold (Kevin Hart) that leads them to temporarily divide their bedroom.


Christopher Willard/ABC Kevin Hart, Snoop Dogg, Damon Wayans, John Lithgow         

Snoop showed off his acting chops while wearing an afro wig as he helped Willis with his photography hobby. Hart paid homage to Snoop's predilection for smoking by improvising a crowd-pleasing final line: "Hey Willis, why does Vernon always smell like weed?"

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