That Very Special Diffrnt Strokes Episode
Do you remember that "Very Special Differnt Strokes" espisode that gave us this iconic image of "TV with a message"? Assad Kelada did himself proud. I was just thinking about this episode the other day, and how naive and funny it was, but, at the time, it was a big deal. I think the cast came out at the end to start a "dialogue" on the issue of child molestation.
The gang at Jump The Shark put it all in perspective, caring more about the names and pop cultural references than the "specialness" of the episode:
"... the appearance of Gordon Jump (a.k.a. Mr. Malone on Growing Pains) was creepy. remember he was that scary pettafile (sic-- Ed Note: This is a very creative spelling of that word). He made arnold and dudley play 'jungle adventure' and watch porno's while he snapped pictures."
"Kudos to the last entry regarding Mr. Carlson's (Gordon Jump) molestation of Gary Coleman (Arnold) and Shavar Ross (Dudley). That single episode may have been the most famous 'very special episode' to ever appear on TV. Mr. Carlson was a bicycle shop owner who made Arnold and Dudley drink wine and watch dirty mice cartoons and play 'Jungle Adventure.' Arnold wised up and decided to leave - Dudley made fun of Arnold for leaving, but it would be Dudley who had egg on his face when Mr. Carlson touched Dudley where he 'didn't want to be touched' The worst performance by an actor to ever appear in a single television episode award had to go to Lee Tari (Dudley's father) (he ironically also appeared on the shark jumping/Very Special Episode of 'What's Happening Now' as Doctor Blood a retired gang-banger who became an unassuming plumber) who showed about as much emotion as an iceberg after finding out that the owner of WKRP/Maytag Repairman tried to have sex with his son. After this episode it was many more very special episodes for DS (Kimberly & Arnold are kidnapped by a photographer; Sam gets kidnapped buying potato chips) and all downhill. "
All the posters seemed to remember that the game the molester proposed was called "Jungle Adventure," which is kind of odd when you think that that's what we all came away with after all that self-important writing. Oh yeah, Shavar Ross, who played Dudley is now a born again Christian, like Willie Ames, who so ably played Buddy Lembeck on Charles in Charge (and Scott Baio's sleazy pal in Zapped), but now makes straight-to-video religious shorts in Kansas. Shavar even has his own church. I guess you kind of have to turn to Jesus in a big way once you've had people kissing your ass in LA before you hit puberty and then you are a has-been once your voice breaks. Either Jesus or drug addiction.
(Ed Note: No posts tommorrow, due to work commitments)