Apartment of Mr. Drummond

TV show Diff'rent Strokes Bernie Kukoff (1978)
The building at 900 Park Avenue stands out from the other buildings in this prestigious neighborhood. Not only because of its bold style, but also because it was here, in one of these luxurious apartments, that Mr. Drummond lived. in the cult series Arnold and Willy...
900 Park Avenue New York
900 Park Avenue New York - Photo Credit: Fantrippers

– Be careful with my goldfish. His name is Abraham.

– I had never seen a black goldfish before.

– That’s okay, because he’d never seen a rich white man before either.

Arnold Jackson (Gary Coleman) and Phillip Drummond (Conrad Bain)

The Diff’rent Strokes theme song is undoubtedly one of the most popular in television history. The original version was composed and performed by Alan Thicke, a television figure seen notably in Growing Pains. With a speech encouraging tolerance, the credits also allow the sitcom to offer a brilliant introduction during which the characters and their environment are presented.

Arnold and Willy, where two young brothers whose mother has just died are taken in by a billionaire on the Upper East Side. The boys go from living in a slum to the luxury of a lavish apartment near Central Park. Originally titled 45 Minutes from Harlem, although Mr. Drummond’s building is actually about 15 minutes from the kids’ home neighborhood, the series was created around characters specifically written for Conrad Bain, the lead in the sitcom Maude, and Gary Coleman, a child star who was noticed in commercials. Eventually, the production changed the title and took inspiration from a quote popularized by Muhammad Ali. “Different strokes for different folks” became simply Diff’rent Strokes then Arnold et Willy in French. Mohammed Ali is also one of the many stars to have agreed to make an appearance in the show, like Nancy Reagan, David Hasselhoff, then hero of K 2000, Soleil Moon Frye, the mythical Punky Brewster, Janet Jackson or Mister T. from The A-Team.

A great success on the small screen, the series also managed, like Little House on the Prairie, to impose itself thanks to its morality, notably fighting racial segregation with humorous dialogues, and tackling sometimes serious themes such as drug addiction or violence. The building at 900 Park Avenue has not moved. Nor changed. We can even easily identify the driveway that Mr. Drummond’s limo borrows at the end of the credits and plunges back into the sitcom’s oh-so-benevolent atmosphere. All this under the gaze of the Lady on Horseback, the sculpture by Manolo Valdes that now stands in front of the entrance to this discreet monument to Manhattan pop culture.


A spin-off series of Diff’rent Strokes was produced after season 1. Entitled The Facts of Life, it followed the adventures of Edna Garrett, the Drummond’s housekeeper. It has nine seasons, one more than Diff’rent Strokes.

Arnold et Willy générique
Générique d’Arnold et Willy. Tous droits réservés : ABC/NBC.
Arnold et Willy
Arnold et Willis. Tous droits réservés : NBC/ABC

900 Park Ave

A 28-story luxury building, 900 Park Ave embodies the grandeur and prestige of one of Manhattan’s most iconic streets.

Built in 1973, the building has 122 apartments, a residents-only gym and a 24-hour reception. In the heart of an affluent neighborhood, Park Avenue is comparable to Avenue Foch in Paris. It includes the MetLife Buil... Learn more about 900 Park Ave

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By Gilles Rolland

Monday, January 3, 2022

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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