I grew up on television. I don’t see that as a bad thing either. In fact, the TV I grew up on was often a family experience. Yes, I would sneak down late at night, after my folks thought I was asleep, to watch SNL… but The Wonderful World Of Disney (I would beg to be able to stay up ’til the very end to watch the “previews.”) The Love Boat andFantasy Island, Gilligan’s Island, The Flintstones, The Brady Bunch… then Taxi and MASH… Many of these shows were watched together… It was not a mind numbing, solo experience, but a social one…a group one…
Welcome Back Kotter was on that list, too. It aired on ABC “from September 9, 1975 to June 8, 1979.” Did I understand everything? No. Did I want to be a Sweathog? Hell, yes! Did I walk around imitating Horshack? Hell yesser!
We already lost Robert Hegyes this year… and now Ron Palillo. This kills me!
No, they were not my peers, but it feels like they were… and to lose them so young… Well… it scares the shit out of me…
Make every day count… Do something magnificent… Create, laugh and above all love… Love every single day.
This is for you, Ron… Thanks for making me laugh week in and week out…
According to Wikipedia:
“The theme song is “written and recorded by former Lovin’ Spoonful frontman John Sebastian, became a No. 1 hit in the spring of 1976. The show was originally going to be called Kotter, but that was changed because of the theme song lyrics. Sebastian has said he tried to find a more general theme for the song after being unable to find any reasonable rhymes for Kotter.”
(Ron Palillo) (1949-2012)
The class clown of the Sweathogs, completely comfortable with his oddball, if naïve, personality. Horshack was known for his unique observations and his wheezing laugh, similar to that of a hyena. It is possible that academically he is the smartest Sweathog. He was the only one of the central Sweathogs to be promoted out of remedial academics class, but he soon returned after feeling out of place. He has an affection for acting and enjoys old movies, particularly 1930s musicals. He eventually married Mary Johnson, a co-worker and fellow Sweathog. Although his surname sounds like a term for a brothel, he claimed it’s a “very old and respected name” meaning “the cattle are dying.” His middle name (and his mother’s maiden name) is “Dingfelder.”
- Arnold’s catchphrases:
(Used with raised hand when Arnold gets excited because he believes he knows an answer to Mr. Kotter’s question. The shout was an imitation of Joe E. Ross’s phrase fromCar 54, Where Are You?.)
- “Hullo. (pause) How-wah-ya? (pause) I’m AHH-nol’d HOR-shaaaaack.”
(How Arnold introduces himself)
- “That was ver-ry impressive, Mister Kotter-r-r!”
(How Arnold praises Mr. Kotter’s teaching, sometimes jokes.)
- “G’head, G’head! (Go ahead, go ahead)“