- Not Rated
- 3 Seasons
What's Happening!! is a situation comedy that aired in the late 1970s on the American network ABC. The show was filmed before a live studio audience. What's Happening!! is the story of three working-class, African American teenagers who live in a neighborhood of Los Angeles known as Watts. The main focus is on Roger Thomas, played by Ernest Thomas. Known to friends and family as Raj, he lives in a house with his mother Mabel, portrayed by Mabel King, and his sarcastic little sister Dee, played by Danielle Spencer. Raj's best friends are Dwayne Nelson (Heywood Nelson) and Freddy Stubbs (Fred Berry), who is known around the neighborhood as Rerun. Both of these teens have their own unique idiosyncrasies. For Dwayne, it's his repeated greeting of Hey, Hey, Hey to everyone he sees. Rerun, commonly adorned in a beret and suspenders, is a skilled dancer. All three friends routinely hang out at Rob's Place, where they're waited on by server Shirley Wilson (Shirley Hempill). Most of What's Happening!! deals with the adventures of Raj, Dwayne, and Rerun in the pursuit of their dreams. Raj's goal is to become a successful writer while Rerun competes in dancing competitions to attain success. Being the youngest of the three, Dwayne's goals are simpler - hook up with one of the girls in school and try to avoid the bullies. When they end up getting in trouble, Dee tends to find out, responding that she'll tell Raj's mother what happened. The first two seasons of What's Happening!! feature all three friends in high school. By the third season, focus shifted away from Raj's family as he began college and shared an apartment with Rerun. Raj's mother Mabel was reduced to a minor role as well, being mentioned by name rather than being seen. To replace her adult presence, Shirley moved into the Thomas home as a boarder, becoming the caretaker of little sister Dee. What's Happening!! premiered in the summer of 1976 on ABC. It ended its run in April of 1979.