Welcome Back, Kotter

ABC (ended 1979)





Welcome Back, Kotter Fan Reviews (26)

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out of 10
346 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The best thing this show had going was its theme song.

    oh, Mr. Kawter...it's not that hystARical

    What is it about this show? The acting was mediocre and the lines were too scripted. The '70s styles were not attractive. The plots were never compelling nor were the endings surprising.

    Still...I would watch it if they brought it back to Tv Land.
  • It was a trendsetting show from the 70's

    Ok so it is time to fess up. Who didn't watch this show. A comedy centered around a group of misfit kids. That formula became a mainstay for comedy shows to follow decades later. The center of the show was the original misfit teacher himself, Mr Kotter. His students, each with different issues and personalities all fit in with someone we each knew or could associate with back in the day. There was Barbarino, the ladies man. We had one of those in high school. Horseshack, the nerdy guy, who wasnt smart, just weird. Freddie Washington the con man jock who tried to smooth his way past everything. And of course Juan Epstein, a Puerto Rican of Jewish decent tough guy, who tried to bully his way past those who got in his way. They are all familiar personality types, and the stroies were good, although the repeatetive nature of them sometimes got tedious in later years. But the best part of the show was always his narrative about his "uncle", a different uncle each week with a different bad joke at the end. Personally, at times, I kind of miss this kind of simplistic humor.
  • Ok, G - here's my review!

    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
    Just for you, G! Great show, you rocked!
  • Long before Jerry Sienfeld and Ray Romano were sought after by the networks to build sit-coms around their material, a stand-up comedian by the name of Gabe Kaplan had great success with a little show called Welcome Back Kotter (ABC 1975-79).

    As was common in the seventies the shows have a very theatrical feel due to the way they were filmed and the limited sets consisting of the Kotter's one room apartment shared by Gabe and his wife Julie (Marcia Strassman), and the classroom at the school. One cannot help but get the feel of watching a play as we are introduced into the world of Buchanan High School. The reoccurring bit of Kaplan closing each show with old school jokes only reinforces that theatrical feel, as his bits are reminiscent of vaudeville.

    Though the writing is typical seventies sitcom set-up punch, and the far-fetched scripts establish the characters as a comedy team rather than a teacher and students, it works, especially in season one. In these first twenty-two episodes we get to watch our characters develop and grow, and it makes for very enjoyable viewing. Eventually Travolta’s Barbarino will be the break out star before we even knew who Fonzie was, and the stories will begin to focus far too much on him. That is not the case here, as each character gets the spotlight. For a complete review; check out maskedmoviesnobs.com
  • Funny 70's Sitcom

    Welcome Back Kotter was based on Gabe Kaplan's standup routine which in turn was based on his teenage days growing up in Brooklyn. The show was basically Mr. Kaplan doing his standup routine but as the teacher with his students, The Sweathogs, providing punch lines that became catch phrases such as "up your nose with a rubber hose". The show made a star of a then unknown John Travolta. The shows first two seasons were classics, but it began to lose steam in the third season and the final season was a washout as Mr. Travolta was a major star by then and skipped a lot the episodes and Mr. Kaplan was in a contract dispute that limited his appearances.
  • good show

    this was a good show 2 bad i was not alive to watch it when it was in its prime but i watch reruns of it sometimes. i started watching this show cause my sister liked it and i thought it was okay. My favorite character would have to be arnold horshcak cause he is so funny also i like vinnie cause he is also funny and i like the way he talks and all that. My fav line from the show would have to be the line boom boom says "Hi There" I always think that line is funny.
  • ive got a soft spot for the old school stuff. gabe kaplan is a pretty funny guy. this show was an early look at the humors of the teaching environment. each character is funny.........even john travolta..............

    im a closet gabe kaplan fan, and i remember seeing this in rerun when i was like 10.......is that good or bad? because i laughed at this show even at that young age. its classic! they need to re run it agan in my opinion, as i would DVR every episode. gabe kaplan has recently gone on to host HIGH STAKES POKER, another one of my favorites.........coincedence? i think not!
  • Has it's moments

    I can remember seeing "Welcome Back Kotter" from it's very first episode, but I didn't stick with the series. I was fun for the first two season, after Marcia Strassman had her twins, I stopped watching. When Gabe Kaplan quit and John Travolta devote more time on the big screen, almost everyone stopped watching. I was a good four years, but in the middle of it's run, the series almost fell apart with the departure of Kaplan and Travolta made few visits. Overall it wasn't much of a series, but the real star of the series is Marica Strassman. She struck it out for all four seasons and she's very sexy. If you ask me, I would take a much better school comedy like "Square Pegs" over "Welcome Back Kotter" anyday.
  • Some of the best bad TV ever

    To me, there are shows you watch because they're good, shows you watch because they're popular and shows you watch because you can't look away. Welcome Back falls into the last category. From the dizzying size of Kotter's and "Boom Boom's" fros, to the corny jokes Kotter cracked and the even cornier lines, I became totally caught up via Nick at Nite. It was so bad-it's good. So stupid its brillant. So simple its genius. The Sweat Hogs really did have a knack for making their slow learners club look even more retarded. My verdict: Great show to laugh at and not take seriously!
  • Shows the constant challenges of the teaching world in a humorous manner

    As a teacher, I used this series to help me learn how to handle a classroom of unruly but bright kids. Kotter used humor, and so did I. I was also young enough that John travolta really turned me on, with his virile animal magnetism.
    The writing was top notch. I'd love to know who were the writers on that show, and if they're still working. Maybe they could help out 'Will and Grace'.
  • A Seinfeld wannabe

    Gabe Kaplan evidently wishes he were Jerry Seinfeld - a stand-up comedian who finds himself in the title role of a 30-minute situational comedy. Only Seinfeld did it better, and with more taste.

    Welcome Back Kotter has some legitimately comical themes - the teacher who comes back to his old school is a nice touch, along with the improbable scenes that the most underachieving class in the city would enjoy spending time at their teacher's apartment. But it makes inappropriate light of a serious sitation in our society: the underachieving student with little likelihood of success upon graduation.

    Somehow, a principal who hates a block of his students is funny. Somehow, a heartthrob actor is humorous when he can't answer his own name.

    I'm embarrassed that I really do like the show. But it thrives on second-rate stand-up "uncle" jokes, the stale humor of a forged note for every occasion, the appeal of an actor who would later go on to be a national sex symbol...

    ... and the innocence of Arnold Horshack, his enthusiasm in knowing the answer to just one question asked in class, and his pride in his family name: "the cattle are dying."
  • Seems intresting.

    This show seems like a show worth watching if it level two here on tv.com. This show does look very intresting to watch. Though, i do not know why it was taken off of the air unless it was taken off like all the other shows were. Must have been because of new shows.
  • Another one of those childhood favourites ...

    I loved this show when I was a kid, and was quite surprised that I can still enjoy it as an adult. Gabe's jokes make more sense to me now, and I've picked up on alot that I missed back then.

    I miss the 60's and 70's era of comedy that WBK hails from. Where the jokes only bordered on being a bit naughty, and you could watch a show with a kid without having to worry about what they were going to see. This definitely describes this show. It's a great, all around down to earth comedy that thankfully has somewhat stood the test of time.

  • funny funny funny

    I don't watch this show enough to know all the characters names but i love it. That black kid with the afro is one of my favorites. Kotter himself is pretty cool too. I like all the characters. My fav episode is when they all watch over Kotters house and make a huge mess.

  • A funny show that should be remembered

    “Welcome Back Kotter” was a funny sitcom about a teacher who goes back to his neighborhood where he grew up to teach in his old high school. He teaches a class of misfits called “Sweathogs” (from which TV.com level 2 gets its name). Each of the characters came from the stand up comedy routine of comedian Gabe Kaplan, who stars as the teacher, Gabe Kotter.

    Some of the people in the show have disappeared with the sands of time. The most notable non-disappeared actor is John Travolta. If you get a chance to see this series, watch it. It is very funny and you will be amused to see the young long haired Travolta.
  • Fun, pure fun

    Yeah, this was a great show that was fun, fun, and fun. This show had put a great twist on the times and schooling for inner city NJ/NY. Career starter for some, and a bust for others, either way this program was fun to watch and follow. I think they did a great job with the story line, charactors, and actors! Bravo

  • Up your nose with a rubber hose!

    Welcome Back, Kotter is, simply put, one of the best sitcoms I have ever had the pleasure of watching! Until it came on Nick At Night around 10 years ago, I had never heard of it, but I was hooked from the moment that first show started. Who among us who have seen this fantastic series could forget the antics of Barbarino, Horshack, Epstein, and "Boom Boom" Washington? As the summary says, also, the show has tons of catchphrases, though the summary left out perhaps the most memorable one of all: Barbarino's ever classic "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" That, and his proclamation of "I'm Vinny Barbarino!" whenever he wanted to make it appear that he was immune to something happening. Oh, and who can forget Horshack's confusion as he asked, "Hey, can she do that?" when a girl who claimed she was pregnant by one of the Sweathogs changed her mind when none would admit to the deed. Even as I type this review, I find myself laughing, thinking of all the hillarious moments I have witnessed in the series, so just imagine the reaction that actually watching an episode invokes! As so many have said before, I find it hard to think of a reason for this series to not have a box set yet. Not to knock Pee-Wee's Playhouse, but if every episode of it is now available on DVD, why not Welcome Back, Kotter? To those of you who were born after 1979 and who didn't get to see it on Nick At Night, my condolences, and I hope the DVD set comes soon so you won't have to wait long to watch it. Trust me - it would be well worth it to buy the whole series.
  • Mr. Kotter......

    This show was a classic. It had so many dimentions in it. It showed what life was like for the kids without privledge. It showed how a teacher can make a difference in a kids life. It showed how the kids began to gain hope and self esteem. It was funny and serious all at the same time. The actors they picked were perfect for the parts they played. It was a classic show in its time. They have tried to duplicate it in recent shows but it just never caught on I think like the old time Welcome Back Kotter.
  • A show about a substitue teacher who comes back to his old high school and teaches the students (the Sweathogs) in the class in which he used to be in. A classic show that should be brought back on national television and should also really be kept back o

    Classic show. I like this show. Funny and at the same time, deals with real issues. At one point, it was on TVland and now it's not on anymore. I would like to see this show back on the air. One of the things that I love about this show was the theme song. It's very catchy and it puts me in a good mood. The characters were great.
  • Hey, Mr. Kotter!

    This is one of my favorite shows of all time. If you haven't seen it, your missing out. The main characters, Mr, Kotter,the teacher, Horshack, with is high pitched laugh, Epstein, the tough guy, Boom Boom, the basketball player, and Barbarino,the leader of the group, who is played by John Travolta are some of the best of all time. The plot, four remedial Brooklyn students being taught by a former remedial student from Brooklyn who made good, was great. The storylines were mostly set in Kotter's social studies classes where he taught the Sweathogs, the remedial students nicknames. This show could have been an all time great, but after the third season, Travolta and Gabe Kaplan, who played Kotter, left. Stiil a classic and one of the best.
  • The show that gave John Travolta his career wasn't just about him. There were plenty of good characters to be found in this comedy. As a teacher, maybe I'm a bit biased though.

    There were 4 main students that the show focused on, collectively known as the "Sweathogs". Each had a distinctive personality with a tagline. Unlike many other shows' taglines, I usually found them to be pretty funny.

    Arnold Horshack was the white kid who yelled out "OOO!! OO!! OOO!!" with his hand up when he knew the answer to a question. He also flattered the teacher with "Very impressive, Mr. Kotter" from time to time.

    Freddie Washington was the suave black basketball player with the pick up line "Hi there". Typing it doesn't do it justice...those who watched the show know how it went.

    Juan Epstein missed alot of class but always had an excuse note that he would write, supposedly from his mother, which was signed "Epstein's mother" each time.

    Vinnie Barbarino, played by Travolta, was the "cool" one with the phrase "Up your nose with a rubber hose".

    Yeah, it's a bit dated now....and Kotter's jokes to his wife and class were always pretty bad. I think the students made up for that though and usually made for an entertaining episode.