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'Facts of Life' star Lisa Whelchel shocks viewers more than 30 years later: 'Has not aged at all'

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  • Lisa Whelchel
    Lisa Whelchel
    American actress, singer, songwriter, author, and public speaker

The ABC special Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes treated viewers to reenactments of two classic sitcoms, introduced by some of the original stars from both shows.

One of those original cast members was Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair on The Facts of Life for the show’s entire run, from 1979 to 1988. 

LIVE IN FRONT OF A STUDIO AUDIENCE - Emmy® Award-winning Live in Front of a Studio Audience makes its highly anticipated return with a third iteration, featuring live reenactments of the hit series The Facts of Life, created by Dick Clair and Jenna McMahon, and Diffrent Strokes, created by Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris. Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diffrent Strokes premieres TUESDAY, DEC. 7 (8:00-9:30 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images)
LISA WHELCHEL
Emmy® Award-winning "Live in Front of a Studio Audience" makes its highly anticipated return with a third iteration, featuring live reenactments of the hit series "The Facts of Life," with Lisa Whelchel. (Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty Images)

The 58-year-old actress had viewers on Twitter stunned, with many commenting on how she “has not aged at all!”

The live show was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel along with the creator of these and countless other classic sitcoms, 99-year-old Norman Lear, whose decades of experience didn’t stop him from making a major live television gaffe — dropping an F-bomb.

“Never before in the history of American television has a 99-year-old person used the F-word. So congratulations. Another feather in your hat,” Kimmel said, later adding. “You know it’s a live show and we were worried that, like, Snoop would curse on air. And sure enough, Norman dropped an F-bomb right at the top of the show.”

The big surprise guest stars of the night were Jason Bateman and Will Arnett in a mini Arrested Development reunion, along with Snoop Dogg. But it was the previously announced performers, notably Jennifer Aniston as Blair, Kathryn Hahn as Jo and Kevin Hart as Arnold, who really stole the show. Including Hart delivering one of the most famous lines in sitcom history:

“Whatchu talkin’ about Willis?”

The nostalgia didn’t stop with the sitcoms, however, as viewers loved the vintage commercial parodies for brands like Kraft singles and Kool Aid starring the likes of Alfonso Ribero and Bob Villa.

While looking back on the classics is always a good idea, Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges, who paid tribute to his late co-stars Gary Coleman, Dana Plato, Conrad Bain and Charlote Rae, did have one little reminder for fans.

“I want to take this opportunity now to thank you for watching and to ask you to please stop asking me what I'm talking about,” Bridges said to much laughter and applause. “It's been 43 years. I done forgot.”

Live in Front of a Studio Audience: The Facts of Life and Diff'rent Strokes aired Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

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