Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome Back, Kotter

Welcome Back, Kotter ran on ABC from 1975-1979. It featured Gabe Kotter, a wise-cracking teacher who returns to his high school alma mater - the fictional James Buchanan High in Brooklyn, New York - to teach an often unruly group of remedial wiseguys known as the "Sweathogs." The school's principal, Mr. Woodman, dismissed them as worthless hoodlums and only expected Kotter to attempt to control them until they inevitably dropped out. Recognizing that he is those students' last chance to have a decent enough education to allow them to survive beyond school, he soon befriends them while they learn to recognize and appreciate his commitment to them. This extended to his students often visiting his Bensonhurst apartment, sometimes to the chagrin of his wife, Julie.

The Sweathogs:

  • Vinnie Barbarino ("Up your nose with a rubber hose!")
  • Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington ("Hi there.")
  • Juan Epstein ("Hey, Mr. Kotter, I got a note!")
  • Arnold Horshack ("Ooh-ooh-ooooh!")


  1. I found it a bit depressing, exsp the promo. I watched this but I think I was looking forward to Mork and Mindy after more.

  2. When Doctor Johnny Fever left radio and got a job teaching gifted kids in "Head of the Class" an interviewer asked him if the new show would be like 'Welcome Back Kotter" and he replied, "God I hope not!" which I always thought was just a wee bit tacky.

    When I was in school we had no Puerto Ricans and few if any Jewish students so I was never sure if there really were half Jewish/half Puerto Rican guys like Juan - who was always the cutest one!

    Thanks for the memories!

  3. There is a mistake in your list of charachters it was Horshack who was always going "Mister Kah ter." Boom Boom Washington was the one that was always saying "Hi there."