diff'rent strokes · the show

This sitcom starred Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson and Todd Bridges as his older brother Willis, two African American children from a poor Harlem background whose deceased mother previously worked for a rich white widower Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain), who eventually adopted them. They lived in a penthouse with Drummond's daughter Kimberly (Dana Plato) and their maid - they went through three maids during the show's run: Edna Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae), Adelaide Brubaker (played by Nedra Volz), and Pearl Gallagher (played by Mary Jo Catlett) on Park Avenue in New York City. As Arnold, Coleman popularized the catch phrase "Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" which was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s and is still mentioned in pop culture references today.

1983-84 season
During the 1983-84 season, Phillip Drummond was re-married to Maggie McKinney (Dixie Carter), a television aerobics instructor. The two-part marriage episode featured the return of many past guest stars and recurring characters including Janet Jackson, Nedra Volz, Charlotte Rae and Dody Goodman. McKinney had a son, Sam McKinney (Danny Cooksey), from her previous marriage to Wes McKinney (played by Hoyt Axton). This was Plato's final season as a regular, as she had become pregnant. Both she and the producers felt that pregnancy would be out of character for Kimberly, and rather than attempt to hide the pregnancy, Plato was written out of the show; Kimberly went to Paris to attend college, although she would return for numerous guest appearances.

1985-86 season
Diff'rent Strokes moved from NBC to ABC for what turned out to be its last season. Carter had left the show at the end of the previous season, believing it to be the show's last, and joined the cast of Designing Women. She was replaced by Mary Ann Mobley. Plato continued to make appearances as a guest star. While he remained a regular, Bridges was absent for a number of episodes as the series shifted its focus to Arnold and Sam.
The final season had some other noticeable changes. The show's theme song was owned by NBC, and had to be rerecorded for the show's final season. The show's new recording was sung by Alan Thicke. The show's set was also heavily redecorated from its prior appearance to better reflect the mid-1980s.

Theme Song
Now, the world don't move to the beat of just one drum,
What might be right for you, may not be right for some.
A man is born, he's a man of means.
Then along come two, they got nothing but their jeans.

But they got, Diff'rent Strokes.
It takes, Diff'rent Strokes.
It takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.

Everybody's got a special kind of story
Everybody finds a way to shine,
It don't matter that you got not alot
So what,
They'll have theirs, and you'll have yours, and I'll have mine.
And together we'll be fine....

Because it takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.
Yes it does.
It takes, Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.