Welcome Back Kotter - Up your nose with a rubber hose!

By Rebeka Knott

Television sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter, first aired in 1975. The show portrayed a group of students, fondly referred to as “Sweathogs.” Mr. Kotter, had their number because he was one of the original Sweathogs!

Gabe Kotter (Gabe Kaplan), the wisecracking Sweathog teacher, ended up right back where he started.

The Sweathogs were widely referred to as hoodlums and considered to be troublemakers. Mr. Kotter’s role, as far as the school was concerned, was to babysit them in the interim

The four main (student) characters are lady's man Vinnie, cool-dude, Freddie "Boom-Boom" Washington, tough guy, Juan Epstein, and the awkward Arnold Dingfelder.

Welcome Back, Kotter was based on Kaplan’s own experience in remedial education at New Utrecht High School. The show continued another two seasons before going off the air in 1979.

The theme song, “Welcome Back” written by John Sebastian, included the line, “your dreams were your ticket out.” Ironically, those dreams led him, “back here where we need ya…” as the song goes; and it comes full circle.