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Kevin Hart to Take On ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Role Originated By Gary Coleman During ‘Live In Front of a Studio Audience’

Kevin Hart is set to fill the role originated by Gary Coleman in a live television re-enactment of an episode of “Diff’rent Strokes.”

Get ready for Kevin Hart’s take on “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout Willis?” (Photo: @kevinhart4real/Instagram)

Show creator Norman Lear and Jimmy Kimmel are bringing their “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” series back to viewers for the third year with a live episodic reenactment of the late ’70s to mid-’80s series. The one-night-only performance will star Hart as Arnold Jackson and Damon Wayans as his brother Willis Jackson (originally portrayed by Todd Bridges). John Lithgow and Ann Dowd will star as Mr. Drummond and Mrs. Garrett, respectively. The show will also feature an episode of the “Diff’rent Strokes” spinoff series “The Facts of Life.”

“Other than with my family, there’s no place I’d rather be in my 100th year than on a soundstage at Sony with these glorious actors reliving what our company had produced all those years ago and sharing it with the millions of viewers who could use a little laughter,” the 99-year-old Lear said in a statement.

Although a hilariously unsettling Hart/Coleman meme circulated on the internet in 2019 and was even posted by Hart himself, fans aren’t totally on board with the casting news as of yet.

“The networks were drunk when they signed off on this and had to run with it…”

“I don’t understand why they didn’t just use child actors? Are they supposed to be adults now?”

“I almost woke my granny up screaming at this because why tf”

In previous years, “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” has re-enacted episodes of “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” and “All In the Family,” with star-studded talent including Anthony Anderson, Jamie Foxx, Wanda Sykes, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, John Amos, Marla Gibbs, Tiffany Haddish, and more.

“Live in Front of a Studio Audience” premieres on Dec. 7 on ABC.


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