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Diff'rent Strokes, Column One: A Shocking Discovery

original print date, August 14 2002

...................Paul Ryan

Okay, hold on everyone. This is important. I was going to download pictures of all the Diff'rent Strokes cast members and make my own profane and horribly childish episode for today's column, but something else has come up.

First off, on the most popular Diff'rent Strokes website I could find, I saw the following picture:

As you can see, it's a picture autographed (in the lower right-hand corner) by Shavar Ross, the kid who played Dudley, one of Arnold's friends on the show. Now take a look at the photo again, and let me ask you a question to those of you who used to watch the show. Notice that there's bicycles in the background of the picture. Do you recognize the older man kneeling down in front of the two kids? Remember which episode this picture is from? No?

Allow me to refresh your memory. This picture is from the episode where the guy who runs the bicycle shop tries to molest Arnold and Dudley. Yes, you heard me right. Dudley is apparently signing photos of the episode of Diff'rent Strokes where his character was molested. Let me repeat that one more time.


Okay, you can call me a sick bastard if you want, but this is by far the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. I wonder if the molester guy also signs photos from that episode.

"Hi, I'm Gordon Jump. I molested Dudley on Diff'rent Strokes in 1983. Who should I make this out to?"

"Hi, I played Mr. Horton on Diff'rent Strokes. I was the one who ran the bicycle shop, and asked Arnold and his friend Dudley to take off their shirts in the backroom. Say, will you do me a special favor, just between us special friends? And have it be our special little secret that no one else will know about? Ha ha! Just kidding! So would you like your autograph personalized?"

See, that last part of the column is where you begin hating me. Of course, I give my apologies to anyone who's ever been molested. I'm sure it's not funny to you. But in all honesty, you can't really blame me. Dudley's the one signing pictures.

Moving on to another Diff'rent Strokes subject, can someone please tell me what the hell this is?

I couldn't find much information on this, but I think it's some kind of "reruns" show, where they recreate popular sitcoms in the modern day. Either way, all of these people are frightening. Why does Arnold look like a woman with her legs chopped off? Why does Willis look so goddamn . . . well, look at him! Christ! Why does Mr. Drummond look like his entire face is made out of Play-doh? And why is he only slightly taller than Arnold and the little girl?

The show is airing on TNN. Explains a lot, doesn't it? And who's that Janet Jackson look-alike standing in the back, next to the housekeeper (who looks like a fat man with a bad wig)? Okay, I'll stop.

Tomorrow I will bring you column two of my Diff'rent Strokes series. I really could care less about Diff'rent Strokes, but I just kind of struck gold with this topic. I'll also work on finding out how to contact Dudley. I have some questions that need answering. Any decent person alive has some questions that need answering. If I find him–and I assure you I won't, because as I said before, I absolutely refuse to do any sort of research for this column that might help make it educational–the interview with him will become column three.

Are you just brimming with anticipation? You damn well should be.