Each week, we will be taking an in depth look at some of the best sitcoms and comedy shows from both the UK and the USA.
Today we will be looking at a comedy that starred a very young John Travolta, won three awards and was originally banned in Boston. Today we look at – Welcome Back, Kotter
Opening Sequence / Theme Tune
About the Show
Summary of Plot
A compassionate teacher returns to his inner city high school of his youth to teach a new generation of trouble making kids –IMDb
Number of Seasons / Episodes
Gabe Kaplan – Gabe Kotter
Robert Hegyes – Juan Epstein
Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs – Freddie ‘boom boom’ Washington
Marcia Strassman – Julie Kotter
John Sylvester White – Mr Michael Woodman
Ron Palillo – Arnold Horshack
John Travolta – Vinnie Barbarino
+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 tack, 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 on a single which went to #1 on the charts.
+ Gabe Kaplan and John Travolta both left the show after the third season. Kaplan left after two episodes in the final season, due to creative differences with producer James Komack. Kaplan’s name still in the credits but, he rarely appeared in the show. On the other hand, Travolta’s original five year contract was altered after the massive success of Saturday Night Fever. Finally, Travolta appeared in eight of the 22 episodes, for $2,000 an episode and, he was billed as “Special Guest Star”.
+ The show was originally banned in Boston. The Boston ABC affiliate did not want to air the show at first because they thought it was about busing, a very heated topic at the time. They eventually ran the show with no problems.
+ The school building shown in the opening and closing show credits is New Utrecht High School, located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, NY.
+ This show was the inspiration for Facts of Life, which was called “Kotter Girls” when it was in development.
+ According to Arnold Horshack in the show… Horshack means “the cattle are dying”
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