Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|What's Happening - The Complete First Season|
Actors: Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Fred Berry, Danielle Spencer, Mabel King
Directors: Alan Rafkin, Bill Foster, Bud Yorkin, Danny Simon, Dennis Steinmetz
Genres: Comedy, Television
THE FUNNY FUNKY LATE-'70S COMEDY CLASSIC FEATURING PALS RAJ,DWAYNE & RERUN, RAJ'S BRATTY LITTLE SISTER DEE & SASSY SHIRLEYHAS ARRIVED ON DVD.
Similarly Requested DVDs
Hey HEY Hey! It's Raj, Dwayne, Rerun, & Shirley on DVD!
B-MAN | Earth, occasionally. Until I get bored. | 02/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What's Happening!!(1976) is such an essential addition to the other classic 1970's sitcoms that have already been released on DVD. The show was created by Eric Monte, writer of shows such as All in the Family and co-creator/writer of Good Times. It also featured executive producer Bud Yorkin, already known for his work with Norman Lear on All in the Family and Sanford & Son. What's Happening!! ran for only three seasons (1976-1979) and had 65 episodes. The show was inspired by the 1975 film, Cooley High and centered around three high school friends: Raj (Ernest Thomas), Dwayne (Haywood Nelson), and Rerun (Fred Berry) (The nickname Rerun coming from his habit of having to repeat classes). The action usually bounces between Raj's house, where he lives with his mother and annoying little sister Dee, and the burger hang out that Shirley (Shirley Hemphill) runs. The show had plenty of hilarious moments and was very well written and watching Rerun dance is always a highlight! Collected on this awesome 3 DVD set is all 21 episodes of Season 1. The tri-fold case is one of the most colorful I've seen (inside and out). Each DVD has one of the main guys on the face. There isn't much in the way of extra features except for some trailers for similar releases and the much loved "play all episodes" feature! I'm not totally interested in extra features when it comes to sets like these because I feel it's special enough that these classic shows get the season set treatment they get! This set includes the following episodes:Disc 1:
01. The runaway
02. The birthday present
03. When daddy comes marching home
04. My three tons
05. Saturday's hero
06. The burger queen
07. Speak for yourself, Dwayne
08. Shirley's date
09. The sunday father
11. The maid did it
12. The incomplete shakespeare
13. The hospital stay
14. The firing squad
15. The boarder
16. Dwayne's dilemma
17. The tickets
18. What's wrong with Raj?
19. Nice guys finish last
20. From here to maternity
21. Puppy loveTrivia: *Out of the three main guys, Haywood Nelson was the only one to be of actual high school age (16) in real life. Ernest Thomas and Fred Berry were 26 & 25 respectively!*After What's Happening!! ended in 1979, the "reruns" on TV in the 80s became so popular that a spin-off with the main cast, What's Happening Now!! (1985) was created. The show lasted for 3 seasons and like the original, centered around Raj, Dwayne, Rerun, Shirley, & Dee, only now in their adult lives. Also of note is comedian Martin Lawrence got his start on this show as a character named Maurice.
Fred "Rerun" Berry (1951-2003)
Shirley Hemphill (1947-1999)
Mabel "Mama" King (1932-1999)
Also highly recommended:
All in the Family (Seasons 1 & 2, 3 coming soon!)
Sanford & Son (Seasons 1, 2, & 3, 4 coming soon!)
The Jeffersons (Seasons 1 & 2)
Good Times (Seasons 1 & 2)Barney Miller (Season 1)"
One of the funniest sit-coms of all-time
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 03/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was thrilled to death when I learned that the first season of What's Happening!! was being released on DVD. When I was growing up, this show was a constant staple of my after-school afternoons, but I can't remember how long it's been since I got to see a single episode. Now, it's as if I was never separated from all my good friends: Raj, Rerun, Dwayne, Dee, Shirley, and Mrs. Thomas. I hope the release of this DVD will restore some of the popularity that this hilarious sit-com enjoyed and will introduce the show to a whole new generation of youngsters. I don't think I've ever laughed as hard and continually as I did re-watching these classic episodes again now, despite the fact that I've seen every episode many times in the past. Sadly, three of the stars have passed away in recent years (Mabel King - Mrs. Thomas, Shirley Hemphill - Shirley, and Fred "Rerun" Berry), but I see this DVD set as a fitting homage to some of television's greatest and most memorable characters.What's Happening!! goes all the way back to 1976; as such, it is truly one of the pioneer television shows featuring an African-American cast; the only real agenda this show had, though, was to make people laugh and, in its own way, impart valuable lessons about growing up and life in general. This show was basically all about family - a normal family consisting of Mabel Thomas (Mabel King), a divorced mother who works hard to support her family and raise her two kids the right way, Raj (Ernest Thomas) the smart and funny teenager with talent and dreams, Dee (Danielle Spencer) the short and sassy younger sister who could hold her own if not out-do the likes of Fred Sanford and George Jefferson in the smart wise-crack department, and - as the show evolved over the course of the season, Bill Thomas, the ex-husband and father who lived nearby. But of course the extended family has to include close friends Dwayne (Haywood Nelson), Rerun (Fred Berry) and Shirley (Shirley Hemphill). So what is happening here? Well, the gang spends a lot of time hanging out at Rob's Place, the soda shop where Shirley, the sassiest waitress you'll ever meet, works. They come up with crazy plans to get rich, make more wisecracks than you can count, and basically just hang out - they are no different from teenagers anywhere. A lot of action takes place at Raj's home, where Mama keeps everything on an even keel, coming up with solutions to the crazy problems the kids keep getting themselves into. Nothing goes on without Dee's knowledge, though; she has something to say about everything (especially Raj's mistakes and problems). Dee may be the funniest character in sit-com history. There are a lot of fat jokes on the show, most of them exchanged between Rerun and Shirley, but they are all told without a hint of malice; heck, everybody on this show gets made fun of by their friends and family, although only Dee has the art of sarcasm perfected.There is not one bad episode among the 21 first-season episodes you'll find here. Some, however, truly stand out. You'll see plenty of Rerun's dance movies throughout the season, but My Three Tons has him winning a spot in a hot dance group called the Rockets; when the gang finds out that the Rockets plan on making fun of him as Fat Freddy, Mama comes up with a killer plan to teach those guys a lesson. Then there is The Burger Queen, wherein Dee finds herself selected as the new spokesperson for a burger joint whose food she can't stand. One of the funniest episodes is The Sunday Father; Raj may have been smart but he was not a model student; in this episode he gets expelled when he manages to pull off some of the funniest gags ever witnessed on his sourpuss history teacher. Yet another classic episode is What's Wrong With Raj? Mama and Raj try to teach Dee a lesson when they discover that she is breaking into Raj's desk and reading his journal, only to learn that pulling the wool over Dee's eyes is easier said than done. Pure comedy aside, there are also plenty of touching moments scattered across these 21 episodes. Christmas is a great family offering, as Mama frets about spending Christmas alone while her kids are spending time with their father, but of course everything works out in the end. The Hospital Stay lets Dee truly shine. When Raj goes in for knee surgery, Dee alone stands up to the grouchy old man in the bed beside her brother; through Dee, the whole gang comes to recognize the career of a Negro League baseball star and reunite a bitter, lonely old man with his daughter before it is too late. I could go on and on. Every episode here is a winner. If you are old enough to remember What's Happening!! you already know that it represents quality family entertainment at its best and funniest. If catchphrases such as "Hey-Hey-Hey" (not the Fat Albert version) and "Uh-Uh!!" mean nothing to you, you are missing out on a veritable buffet of comedic delights. Knowing how much this show meant to me growing up, I hate to think of kids out there today who have never had the chance to meet this show's wonderful, unforgettable characters and enjoy comedy at its wholesome best - and to see Rerun dance."
What's Happening!!! on DVD
DEAN M. Dent | SAN LEANDRO, CALIFORNIA USA | 01/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons and Good Times,What's Happening was an African American show that wasn't designed to make social issues or offend anyone(It was more or less an African American version of Happy Days).Based on the 1975 movie Cooley High,it was just a harmless show about three high school buddies hanging out, having a good time.
The trials and tribulations of three teens,Roger "Raj" Thomas (Ernest Thomas) the aspiring writer, Dwayne Nelson (Haywood Nelson) the youngest of the three, and Freddy "Rerun" Stubbs (the late Fred Berry) the portly one who keeps flunking school, but possesses some smooth dance moves.The show also included Raj's single mom Mabel(The late, great Mabel King),his sacrastic sister Dee (Danielle Spencer) and Shirley (The late Shirley Hemphill) the waitress at the guys favorite hangout,Rob's Place.
Debuting as a summer replacement it was an instant hit,especially to younger viewers who were spared the social issues of other African American shows.The highlights of season one include The Runaway (Raj sneaking out to a party when he's suppose to babysit Dee), The Birthday Present (The gang tries to come up with money for a present for Mabel), My Three Tons (Rerun's dreams of joining a dance group are dashed when they only let him join to tease him about his weight),The Burger Queen (Dee stars in a TV commercial for Hamburgers she don't like),Nice Guys Finish Last (After dating a girl,Dwayne is targeted by her bully Ex boyfriend).
What's Happening lasted three seasons and 65 episodes.It was revived as What's Happening Now which also lasted for three season (Fred Berry only stayed for one season,while a little known actor named Martin Lawrence was featured in the last season).
In the end ,What's Happening will always be remembered for being a fun harmless show,and the visual of Rerun chasing after the truck in the beginning credits."
"What's Happening" is a timeless classec!
Mikeisha Best | Mitchellville, Maryland United States | 03/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
I have read each online review of "What's Happening" in their entirety, and I read almost all positive comments. I completely agree with all of this positive feedback. "What's Happening!" is truly a timeless classic! I first became interested in the show when BET played it in syndication everyday during the weekday. That was years ago, and the show never left my mind. I would think to myself from time to time, "It sure would be nice to see an episode of "What's Happening!" I was elated when I saw on TVShowsonDVD.com that they would be releasing this television show on DVD.
Roger Thomas (Earnest Thomas) is the shows main character. He is an intelligent high school student who is quick to make a joke, but also quick to stand up for what he believes in. He has a little sister with a big mouth named Dee (Danielle Spencer). It seems as if her sole purpose on the show is to irritate people and get smart with them. Roger has two best friends; Rerun (Fred Berry) and Dwayne (Haywood Nelson). Rerun is an obese teenager who has failed classes repeatedly and Dwayne is the youngest of the three, and he makes it obvious because he seems to be scared of everything that probably wouldn't intimidate the average young man. Roger's mother Mabel (Mabel King) is also on the show to teach all of the adolescents lessons from time to time. Shirley is the "less than attractive" full figured waitress who takes no mess.
This show is hilarious! From Dwayne dating a girl and meeting her ex and being scared of him...to Dee taking advantage of her babysitter, to Shirley getting fired form the soda shop, anyone will find this show amusing somehow. The chemistry of the cast makes the show even better than it is. As other reviewers stated, a person from any generation from ages 1-100 will get a kick out of some of the things that HAPPEN on WHATS HAPPENING! 5 STARS!