Gary Coleman’s ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ Catch Phrase: ‘What you talking about Willis’ Sold on eBay Lead to Lifelong Obsession

Hollywood, California --

Forced to sell his own memorabilia in order to make ends meet years back, Gary Coleman then child star of 1970s show sensation ‘Diff’rent Strokes’ even sold his trademark catch phrase: ‘What you talking about Willis’ on eBay with much regret, family and friends claiming that he was not the same ever since.

“It’s like the day he sold his catch phrase, a little piece of him died that day,” said James Morris, a close friend of the Coleman family.

Contractually forbidden as a condition of the sale from ever saying his catch phrase either publicly or privately ever again, Coleman resorted to secretly saying it to himself in a darkened closet.

“He’d sit there in the dark for hours,” said Morris. “Saying to himself over and over again: ‘What you talking about Willis….What you talking about Willis…What you talking about Willis…”

Over the years, Coleman became increasingly fixated on speaking the forbidden catch phrase, which contributed to his recurring unemployment in the end.

“He was obsessed,” said a former employer, who terminated Coleman after catching him in the act.

Reportedly, Coleman would often excuse himself from his duties as a parking lot security guard, claming to have to use the restroom.

“Then he would walk across the parking lot over to the ‘Port-A-Potty,” according to a former fellow security guard. “Lock the door behind him and say to himself over and over again: ‘What you talking about Willis…What you talking about Willis…What you talking about Willis…”

Finally, after being terminated from his most recent job, Coleman’s family and friends gathered to attempt an intervention.

“But that wasn’t very successful,” said Phyllis Washington, another close Coleman family friend. “Because when we confronted him, he’d just say: ‘What you talking about Phyllis…What you talking about Phyllis… What you talking about Phyllis…”

Copyright © 2008-2010 by Robert W. Armijo