Hey Eldergays! Tell me about Welcome Back Kotter!!
This was one of America’s favorite TV shows in the late 1970’s and gave John Travolta, as sex on a Brooklyn stick, Vinny Barbarino, his big break.
Was Ron Palillo as Arnold Horshack America’s first gay TV star? Don’t forget sweathogs, Juan Epstein and Freddy Boom Boom Washington
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 64||05/23/2020|
Marcia Strassman was the female Ed McMahon. She was hired solely to laugh at Gabe Kaplan's corny dad jokes.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 1||05/19/2020|
It was an obnoxious loud POS. Just bad.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 3||05/19/2020|
Every single character was defined by a catchphrase.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 4||05/19/2020|
The show ran from 1975-1979.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 5||05/19/2020|
A show that should be in the "Jump The Shark" Hall of fame for continuing after Gabriel Kaplan left.
At one point I vaguely remember his wife was teaching the class.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 6||05/19/2020|
It came on right before dinner in the early 80s. Even as a little kid, the show gave me a headache.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 8||05/19/2020|
It was huge for a couple of years, but it has not aged well. I think even by the time it went off the air it was kind of forgotten. I don't remember it being in the rerun cycle like other 70's sitcoms in the 80's like Happy Days or Good Times.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 10||05/19/2020|
i was obsessed with Juan in the late 80's, reruns.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 11||05/19/2020|
Yes. Juan was the sexiest on the show.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 12||05/19/2020|
I luv me some Puerto Rican Jews.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 13||05/19/2020|
[quote]I don't remember it being in the rerun cycle like other 70's sitcoms in the 80's like Happy Days or Good Times.
True, though I think it may be running on Antenna TV right now (or was until recently anyway).
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 14||05/19/2020|
R1 that show was bookended by those corny jokes. 🤕
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 15||05/19/2020|
I loved Hotsy Totsy played by Debralee Scott
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 16||05/19/2020|
The theme song was written and sung by John Sebastian, formerly of the Lovin' Spoonful. His godmother was, believe it or not, DL icon Vivian Vance.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 17||05/19/2020|
What was the thing with showing low -income neighborhood footage in 70s for intros like All In The Family, Welcome Back Kotter, Good Times, Chico and the Man, Sanford and Son, What’s Happening?, etc. It seemed like a that was a thing: corny theme song over amateurish footage of the average neighborhoods or the ghetto. Was it to give it a sense of gritty realism?
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 18||05/19/2020|
Yes, it was a very conscious 180 from the manicured suburbs that prevailed in 50s and 60s TV Land.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 19||05/19/2020|
This show was on when I was a young kid. I thought the teacher's name was Mr. Carter, and the pronunciation "Kotter" was the result of the kids' New York accents. I was wrong.
You have to give them credit. The show was ahead of the times in terms of diversity, with multiple demographics groups represented in the main cast.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 20||05/19/2020|
Why did Ron Palillo skip the reunion in 2010? He died in 2012. RIP. He was so funny as Horshack.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 21||05/20/2020|
I liked Freddie Boom Boom.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 22||05/20/2020|
Gabe Kaplan cowrote all the episodes and cocreated the show? Holy shit!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 23||05/20/2020|
Yeah, I hated that show. I never liked teachers like Kotter who let the cut-ups run the class; they want too badly to be the "cool" teacher that it slights the quieter students who just want to learn without all the yuk-yuks and Groucho Marx bullshit.
Never understood the appeal of Travolta, when it was Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs who was "sex on a stick".
Kaplan and the actress who played his wife belong on the "Costars who hated one another--and it shows" thread. It made me uncomfortable just watching their pained interactions.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 24||05/20/2020|
I liked the song. I STILL like the song.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 25||05/20/2020|
R18- The Good Times neighborhood was a SLUM. The All In The Family neighborhood was lower middle class. Big difference between the two neighborhoods which you're lumping together as LOW income.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 26||05/20/2020|
John Travolta was beautiful!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 27||05/20/2020|
Juan Epstein piqued my interest as a child. Only reason I watched this as a kid.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 28||05/20/2020|
i liked it when male model turned actor steven shortridge appeared as the pretty preppy that the sweathogs hated until he became "one of them".. he sure was pretty and the early episode where they showed him off shirtless wearing only a towel because the sweathogs had stolen his clothes was pure homoerotica... wonder if travolta had the hots for him on set?...
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 29||05/20/2020|
I was a weird young gayling but I thought Mr. Kotter was hotter than Vinny Barbarino, who was too stupid for words and always seemed rather simian to me.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 30||05/20/2020|
R31.. thanks! i remember the scene had him strutting down the school hallway past the lockers in only this towel covering his lower half and the sweat hogs are laughing at him but the live audience was whooping it up see him half naked handsome pretty boy steven shortridge..
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 32||05/20/2020|
Up your nose with a rubbah hose!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 34||05/20/2020|
Robert Hegyes had a nice ass. Watching episodes of Cagney and Lacey, he looked good in his tight jeans. Even had a brief scene in his jockeys in the locker room.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 35||05/20/2020|
Really old looking high school students.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 36||05/20/2020|
Just like the movie GREASE. Stockard Channing was 33 and playing a 17 year old. In real life Stockard Channing was actually in high school in 1959!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 37||05/20/2020|
I don't remember so many hair chests when I was in high school.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 38||05/20/2020|
R31’s pic makes it look like he’s got a woody.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 39||05/20/2020|
[quote] Just like the movie GREASE. Stockard Channing was 33 and playing a 17 year old. In real life Stockard Channing was actually in high school in 1959!
Travolta was 21 when the show started. As stupid as Vinny was. 21 in high school would have been correct for him.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 40||05/20/2020|
John Travolta looked the right age for Welcome Back Kotter. Stockard could have played the Eve Arden role in Grease. Seriously.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 41||05/20/2020|
Was Travolta in sort of a Farrah/"Angels" situation where they were basically forcing him to keep making guest appearances? Didn't he leave after his movie career took off? I also thought Shortridge was brought in as his replacement but of course never took off like Barbarino (though to be fair, I'm sure the show had also started to fade a lot by then, too).
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 42||05/20/2020|
I thought it was bad. I was never a Travolta fan and this certainly didn't create a good first impression.
And the Horshack character was difficult to watch.
Not to mention Kaplan's shtick seemed dated.
But most of my school friends liked the show.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 43||05/20/2020|
The high school shown in the opening credits was New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I lived near there and passed it on the train every day for 8 years. The subway line that's visible on screen is the West End Line. I'm not sure which train it was in the 1970s, but I know in the late 90s it was the B, then replaced by the W, and finally the D, which currently runs on the line.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 44||05/20/2020|
R18 suspension of disbelief. it was to make us forget that the show was shot in a studio.
But then again John Amos screaming "live from television City in Hollywood" before each episode of Good times didn't really help.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 45||05/20/2020|
I meant "Epstein" when I was working in retail in Los Angeles in the mid-90s. It was very friendly and easy going.
It was sad to hear that he died in 2012. RIP Robert Hegyes
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 46||05/20/2020|
Wow, r46, I didn’t even realize he died.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 47||05/21/2020|
It's okay, he was excused.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 48||05/21/2020|
Like everyone mentioned, the show has not aged well. It wasn't well written or acted unlike surprisingly Goot Times. It's appeal was the characters and the theme song. And about the gritty scenes in the credits, folks that was NYC in the 70s, like a more sanitized Saturday Night Fever or the Warriors.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 49||05/21/2020|
The Horshack character wasn't gay just extremely goofy and socially awkward just shy of being developmentally disabled. Were the Sweathogs supposed to be a special Ed class?
The hotsy totsy episodes were interesting because it suggested all the guys in the class slept with her. I don't think that was ever on tv before.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 50||05/21/2020|
R34 In your ear with a can of beer.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 52||05/21/2020|
Thanks R27 for the video. Loved it when Travolta laid down for the night. He had a nice arse.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 53||05/21/2020|
Gabe Kaplan was Groucho, Epstein was Chico, and Horshack was Harpo.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 54||05/21/2020|
[quote] Epstein was Chico
Dear lord! That’s racist!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 55||05/21/2020|
R53 Saw the video. U r right!
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 56||05/22/2020|
[quote] Thanks [R27] for the video. Loved it when Travolta laid down for the night. He had a nice arse.
You’re welcome. The question is how many guys had gotten between those cheeks at that point.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 57||05/22/2020|
There’s never a mention of a wife or female partner in any of Lawrence Hilton Jacob’s biographies. So possibly three gay men in the show’s cast?
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 58||05/23/2020|
Yeah I didn’t feel like getting into an extensive socioeconomic breakdown of the intros in my comment—I figured low income or lower income neighborhoods was a general enough reference to illustrate my point about the use of amateur footage of neighborhoods.. I’m confident most adults could distinguish the different types of neighborhoods in the intros and know they weren’t all the same without having to have it clarified.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 59||05/23/2020|
The series is super dated, but I admit I still love the theme song. I feel a happy wave of nostalgia when I hear theme songs of shows from the 70s and 80s, and this is one of the better ones.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 60||05/23/2020|
R60.. personally i LOVE the intro song to WKRP in Cincinnati! love the lyrics, both upbeat and melancholy longing sad...
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 61||05/23/2020|
Howard Stern did a segment on the best TV show theme songs.. The Jeffersons was anointed the best.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 62||05/23/2020|
Interesting that Gabe Kaplan’s career literally ended after this show finished, despite the fact that it was a significant hit.
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 63||05/23/2020|
R27, do you suppose JT always looks like this when he lies on his stomach? Or, did the director have to tell him how to position his legs?
|by Mr. Woodman||reply 64||05/23/2020|