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Welcome Back, Kotter

ABC (ended 1979)



User Score: 857

out of 10
User Rating
344 votes

By TV.com Users

Welcome Back, Kotter

Show Summary

Gabe Kotter, formerly a Sweathog, returns to James Buchanan High as a teacher and is assigned the remedial class to which he once belonged. Mr. Kotter is an involved and caring teacher, which one would have to be in dealing with a certain four students in his class, who end up in trouble on a regular basis -- lady's man Vinnie Barbarino, the always cool Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington, the tough Juan (Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos) Epstein, and the sheepish Arnold Dingfelder Horshack. Welcome Back, Kotter was based on Gabe Kaplan's own high school experiences with redmedial education and a teacher who cared dearly for her students. Changes on the show. Gabe Kaplan left the series in the third season. He hadn't expected the show to run as long as it had. Kotter was made Vice-Principal, and thus was seen considerably less. John Travolta, of course, found his own place as a celebrity, leaving the show around the same time Gabe Kaplan did (returning every so often as a "special guest star"). The replacement for Barbarino was Beau, who didn't help things much. By now the show had essentially lost its two biggest stars. Theme song. "Welcome Back" by John Sebastian: opening credits 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 around. Who'd have thought they'd lead ya (who'd have thought they'd lead ya) Back here where we need ya (back here where we need ya)? Yeah, we tease him a lot 'cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. end credits The second verse of the full song plays partially over the end credits. It goes as thus: 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 learnin' in. Was there something that made you come back again? And what could ever lead ya (what could ever lead ya) Back here where we need ya (back here where we need ya)? Yeah, we tease him a lot 'cause we've got him on the spot, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back. Catchphrases. Welcome Back, Kotter was a breeding ground for memorable catch phrases. If you have one that's been overlooked, feel free to contact the editor. Gabe Kotter: "Hey, Julie, wanna hear a joke?" (or similar dialogue) Vinnie Barbarino: "What? Where?" "I'm so confused!" "Ooookay, fine." "I said a ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbarino..." Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington: "Hi there." "I don't happen to have it...handy." Juan Epstein: "Signed, Epstein's mother." Arnold Horshack: "Ooh! Ooh, ooh!" "Hello. How are ya? I'm Arnold Horshack." "Very impressive, Mr. Kotter!" "Be brave, little soldier." (or "buckaroo") ...and a very distinctive laugh. DVD? Welcome Back, Kotter has yet to be released properly on either video or dvd. Be sure to visit TVShowsonDVD to vote for Welcome Back, Kotter on dvd (you will have to register for free in order to vote).moreless


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  • R.I.P.

    Ron Palillo, Welcome Back Kotter's Horshack, Dies at 63

    The actor passed away from an apparent heart attack at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.


    June 12, 2007 DVD Releases

  • Marcia Strassman

    Marcia Strassman

    Julie Kotter

    John Travolta

    John Travolta

    Vinnie Barbarino

    Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs

    Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs

    Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington

    Ron Palillo

    Ron Palillo

    Arnold Horshack

    John Sylvester White

    John Sylvester White

    Mr. Michael Woodman

    Gabriel Kaplan

    Gabriel Kaplan

    Gabe Kotter

    No results found.
    No results found.
    No results found.
    • Take the show for what it is

      Somehow people think this show is supposed to hold up for 2015?

      It was made 40 years ago, yet people are expecting this to be funny?

      The show is what it is, a time capsule for what society was like back then, love it or loathe it, it's here to remain..

      I'm watching the show as I write the review, the show is funny, using ethnicities of all cultures, a refreshing way to see TV now

      I'm giving this a solid 7, based on it's a blast from the past

    • WBK: Seasons 1&2 are good, 3&4 not so much

      I've been watching WBK for several weeks thanks to MeTV. I enjoyed this show when I was a kid and haven't seen it since it originally aired. I'm giving the series an overall rating of 6.5 (which is probably generous), but if I could rate it season by season, it would break down as follows:

      Season 1: 7

      Season 2: 8

      Season 3: 4

      Season 4: 1

      There was a lot of turmoil on this show and this included cast as well as people behind the camera. Kaplan wasn't getting along with Komack, and Strassman hated Kaplan's guts (according to an old People magazine story, at least). I think this stuff came to a head during season 3. The series jumped the shark when Gabe and Julie had twins and moved to a nicer apartment. At that point, a lot of the story moved out of the classroom. I guess there's only so much you can write about a remedial high school social studies class. Even so, the transition to their broader lives outside of school didn't work out to well.

      I'd have to say the final episode of season 3 (where Carvelli says he saw aliens), is one of the worst from any TV show, ever. Perhaps as a result, the writing staff was wholesale replaced for season 4, but the new crew used to write for Lucille Ball and had no clue how to relate to the target audience of this show. If season 3 is bad, then 4 is unwatchable.

      When I was a kid I really disliked the Woodman character. He reminded me of the real thing and he was always a downer with his sadistic treatment of Kaplan and the Sweathogs. Well, I now have a whole new appreciation of Mr. Woodman. Every scene he's in is awesome. John Sylvester White was a major acting talent and I regret that he didn't leave behind a larger body of work. I also find most of Gabe Kaplan's "uncle" jokes to still be pretty funny.

      In sum, enjoy seasons 1&2 and do what you want with 3&4.moreless
    • was one of the best shows on tv

      loved the show was right in front of the tv every week when it was on would love to see it back on one of the channels like reelz or antenna tv or the channels that play the older shows
    • Not a good show

      I may have only seen a few episodes of this show, but in my opinion they were just terrible, they were just not funny. Beside the fact i can't stand John Travolta (besides the occasional movie his in), I found that the teacher Mr.Kotter to be even more annoying. The show was just not for me i don't know if it was the kind of comedy style but i just couldn't stand the show. I'm sorry if you don't agree with what i say but this show i not my kind of show, and i don't think i would recommend this show to anybody.moreless
    • An enjoyable show that has, sadly, lost its luster for me in the new century...

      As a kid growing up in the 1970s, I made "Welcome Back Kotter" appointment viewing when I wasn't doing schoolwork. I used to laugh at the antics of the Sweathogs, particularly since I was in a special education class of my own in Central Indiana. But upon renting the first-season episodes of "Kotter" on DVD, I somehow don't find the stories nearly as amusing as I did as a child. Now I find Horshack's noises to be irritating rather than amusing. Gabe's jokes fall so flat as to be dated. Because the social issues are not as prevalent as on "Sanford & Son", "Welcome Back Kotter" becomes one overblown live-action cartoon. This is a sad commentary on what should have been a timeless comedy enjoyed through the ages.moreless

    More Info About This Show




    surviving high school, observational humor, no parental guidance, pressures of high school, altruistic behavior