Welcome Back, Kotter

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Complete 1st Season (1975)
Complete 2nd Season (1976)
Complete 3rd Season (1977)
Complete 4th Season (1978)


September 9, 1975 – June 8, 1979
(95) one half hour episodes (4 seasons)
in color on ABC
Created by: Gabe Kaplan and Alan Sacks
Produced by: The Komack Company with Wolper Productions

CAST

  • Gabe Kaplan
  • Marcia Strassman
  • Robert Hegyes
  • Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
  • Ron Palillo
  • John Travolta
  • John Sylvester White
  • Debralee Scott
  • Gabe Kotter
  • Julie Kotter
  • Juan Epstein
  • Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Washington
  • Arnold Horshack
  • Vinnie Barbarino
  • Mr. Michael Woodman
  • Rosalie ‘Hotsy’ Totsy

 

Opening Music

Written and Performed By: John Sebastian
“Welcome Back”

Welcome back
Your dreams were
Your ticket out
Welcome back
To that same old place
That you laughed about
Well, the names
Have all changed
Since you hung around
But those dreams
Have remained and
They’ve turned aroundWho’d have thought they’d lead you
(Who’d have thought they’d lead you)
Back here where we need you
(Back here where we need you)Yeah, we tease him a lot
Cause we got him on the spot
Welcome backWelcome back
Welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back
We always could spot a friend
Welcome back
And I smile when I think
How you must have been
And I know what a scene
You were learning in
Was there something that
Made you come back againAnd what could ever lead you
(What could ever lead you)
Back here where we need you
(Back here where we need you)Yeah, we tease him a lot
Cause we got him on the spot
Welcome backWelcome back
Welcome back, welcome back
Welcome back, welcome back

 

STORYLINE

Gabe Kaplan in the 1970s was a stand up comedian. Welcome Back Kotter is taken directly from one of his monologues which parodies his actual childhood and schooling. You see he was a remedial student himself and attended the high school in Brooklyn which is shown in the opening sequences of the TV series.

Mr. Gabe Kotter (Kaplan) returns to his former high school as a teacher and is rewarded for all of his hard work by being assigned a remedial class of students. His pupils are known as the “Sweathogs” and are not particularly interested in learning anything. Kotter being a former sweathog himself (a founding member no less) gets through to the kids, managing to teach them something in the process.

The show starts and ends with Kaplan telling a joke, usually to his wife. The real humor is the interactions between he and his students and their distinct and unusual personalities. Each is a caricature of someone we knew (or knew of) in our own high schools.

Video Clip of Welcome Back, Kotter

                                          1970s funny tv series John Travolta

Passings

Marcia Strassman passed away in 2014 of breast cancer, she was only 66
John Sylvester White died of pancreatic cancer in 1988 he was only 68
Robert Hegyes died in 2012 of a heart attack, he was only 60
Ron Palillo also died in 2012 of a heart attack, he was just 63

1970s tv show

1970s retro comedies tv

70s retro sitcoms

70s classic tv sitcoms

70s oldies tv

70s old tv shows

70s oldies tv sitcoms the Sweathogs

70s tv series sweathogs

 

TRIVIA:

The original title of the series was to be simply “Kotter,” but that was before composer John Sebastian had difficulty writing the theme song lyrics.

He couldn’t find enough rhyming words for the title. Giving up on that idea, he decided to compose lyrics that illustrated the premise of the show in a song called, “Welcome Back.”

The producers were so impressed with the song that they decided to change the series title to “Welcome Back, Kotter.” The song was also released as a single which charted at #1.

1970s old sitcom series