For those of us with Disney Plus, here’s a blast from the past show from the 1990s. (Been watching the whole thing and it totally holds up).
The premise of the show revolves around the Henderson family: Floyd, a widowed contractor, Yvette, the oldest sibling and only girl of the fam, Marcus, the middle child who is an athlete harboring R&B dreams (he was the singing voice of Young Simba in The Lion King so he’s a legit musician) and T.J., a MENSA-level genius who is advanced to high school with his siblings at age 10. The show also stars Omar Gooding as Marcus’s best bro Mo, who is a frequent house guest at the Henderson house.
In my rewatch of this stellar show, I’ve seen so many familiar faces on the journey!
Naya Rivera & Bianca Lawson
Naya and Bianca is in an episode where three people decide to find T.J. a date to the high school dance. T.J. ends up being a baller and takes all three girls to the dance, because that’s cute things that you can only pull off as a 10-year-old. (FYI: this was where Tahj met Naya, whom he dated when they were teenagers.)
Of course Destiny’s Child ended up on Smart Guy. Back when Destiny’s Child was a a quartet, they were casting a music video and ended up picking TJ to be in it as a backup dancer. Then, like every time a “famous” person ends up a high school drama, they all go to the high school dance together!
Destiny's Child then hops up on the stage and sing an ah-mazing acapella version of Amazing Grace:
Taraji P. Henson
One of Yvette’s homegirls, Taraji P. Henson appears later in the series, when they started focusing more on the older Henderson kids and less on TJ’s transition to being in high school.
TJ expands his network with the streetwise Brandy, played by Kyla Pratt. He even trades in the khakis and polo shirts for a more...shall we say baggy look, which his father was less than pleased about.
I have totally been binging The West Wing lately, while also watching Smart Guy on the side. So see my surprised face when I find out CHARLIE CAN TAP DANCE LIKE THIS.
Gabrielle Union (not pictured)
I mean, Ms. Union is close enough with Essence Atkins (who played Yvette) that Essence officiated her wedding to Dwyane Wade. In her episode of Smart Guy, she is a friend of Yvette’s who has a crush on Floyd. This OP cannot dispute her taste because Floyd was a zaddy. However, this episode (said to be Episode 4 of Season 1) is curiously missing from Disney+. WHAT GIVES.
Here’s a bonus bop from Macadocious to get you through (with Jason Weaver’s sultry voice):
Anyone else rediscovered this show? Any other stars that you saw wandering the halls of Piedmont High?
SOURCES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7, 8