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Welcome Back, Kotter (Television Favorites Compilation)

69 customer reviews

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(Feb 28, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome Back Kotter: TV Favorites (DVD) (Multi-Title)

Take a time-trip back to the wide lapels and bell bottoms of the '70s in one of that decade's biggest comedy hits! Teacher Gabe Kotter (Gabe Kaplan) returns to his former high school, teaching the remedial class--of which he had been a member--known as the "sweathogs." But, for some reason, the lovable losers and delinquents of Buchanan High accept their new teacher as they provide a nonstop string of laughs on Welcome Back, Kotter. This compilation brings you the hit series for the first time ever on DVD!


Welcome to DVD, Mr. Kotter. Born of Gabe Kaplan's stand-up comedy reminiscences, this 1975 series stars the Marxist (as in Groucho) comedian as a teacher who returns to the tough Brooklyn high school of his youth to teach students who are as unmotivated and undisciplined as he was. If Ron Paillo, as "village schmendrik" Arnold Horshack was Kotter's class clown, then John Travolta, as Vinnie Barbarino, the dim leader of the Sweathogs, became this series' "Most Likely to Succeed" star pupil. He gets extra credit for graduating from Teen Beat idol to A-list movie star, and seeing him at the beginning of his roller coaster career is the main fascination. Not to take anything from the rest of the cast, including Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs as Freddie "Boom Boom Washington," Robert Hegyes as self-described "flim-flam man" Juan Epstein, the late John Sylvester White as curmudgeon Mr. Woodman, who remembers Kotter from his delinquent days; and Marcia Strassman (displaying an off-center Diane Keaton quality) as Mrs. Kotter, whose main purpose seems to be an audience for Kotter's jokes that open each episode. This collection contains six episodes from the series' first three seasons: "One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; "Father Vinnie"; "Sweatside Story"; "I'm Having Their Baby"; "The Deprogramming of Arnold Horshack"; and "Goodbye, Mr. Kripps," something of a Very Special Episode in which Vinnie blames himself for a teacher's heart attack. Welcome Back, Kotter is grade-A nostalgia, but points are taken off for lack of commentary or interviews with Kaplan or any other members of the ensemble who aren't John Travolta. Casting memo to Ice Cube, who is reportedly preparing a big screen remake: Philip Baker Hall for Mr. Woodman! After that, you're on your own. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Six episodes: One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Father Vinnie, Sweatside Story, I'm Having Their Baby, The Deprogramming of Arnold Horshack, Goodbye Mr. Kripps

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E1MXWI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,135 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Welcome Back, Kotter (Television Favorites Compilation)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By take403 VINE VOICE on October 23, 2005
Format: DVD
This was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. Gabe Kaplan played Mr. Kotter, a teacher in Brooklyn, NY (Buchanan High, I believe, was the name). He was funny, clever with a good bit of wisdom in his teaching style and cared a lot about his students (aka the Sweathogs). He'd often start and end the show with a corny joke about one of his uncles ("Did I ever tell you about my Uncle So-and-So?"). Marcia Stassman played his long suffering wife, Julie (Gabe Kotter loved his wife, but not her tuna casseroles!). John Sylvester White played Mr. Woodman, consumate curmudgeon who had little tolerance for the Sweathogs. John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever and Ladder 49) played Vinnie Barbarino, the class stud. He was the most popular with the ladies. He could be difficult when Mr. Kotter asked him questions in class ("What? Where? When?"). Sometimes when frustrated, he'd shout "I'm so confuuuuused!" When annoyed, he'd tell one of his fellow Sweathogs "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" His theme song was "Ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbarino" (to the tune of "Barbara Ann." Ron Pallillo played Arnold Horshack (pronounced by little Arnold as "Hawwwwshaaaack!"), the lovable class dork ("Hallo! Howrya? Very impressive, Mista Kotta!"). To get Mr. Kotter's attention, he'd often shout "Oh-oh-oh-oh!" He also had the best laugh in the class (he'd grunt "heh-heh-heh-heh!" like a seal). Lawrence Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High and The Jackson Story) played Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington, lovably hip African American. He was the only Sweathog with a steady girlfriend (Verna Jean) and played on Buchanon's basketball team. He'd address Mr. Kotter "Yo, Mr. Kottair!" and when addressed in class, he'd smile and say (in a deep voice) "Hi there!" or "Unfortunately, I don't have my homework haaandy!Read more ›
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By type1kirk on March 1, 2006
Format: DVD
Very Cool show.

This Welcome Back Kotter DVD has six 30 minute episodes on it. No extras, but i'm not complaining for the price. I just hope this DVD is a sign that Welcome Back Kotter will be released as full seasons in the SHORT future.

No complaints.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Nelson on July 25, 2006
Format: DVD
I loved watching these shows again! I had vague memories of the show, I remember really liking it, but I didn't get to see it often because my parents didn't like me watching it. lol. Anyway, it's still just as funny as it was back then. If you liked the show in the '70's, you're bound to still like it now!

I can't wait for a more complete collection of the show to come out!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on February 19, 2007
Format: DVD
Remember June 12, 2007-that is when Welcome Back Kotter Season one will be available

Until this season one collecyion happens , this six episode sampler collection will have to do. This six episodes have the heart of the swries with many of its Marx Brother antics that Kotter and crew did so well

To make a person wait for June is cruel and harsh, so buy this set now and enjoy the taste of Kotter before you partake of a full will be glad you did

Bennet Pomerantz, Audioworld
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Robert Huggins VINE VOICE on March 22, 2006
Format: DVD
Maybe it's the episode selection on this "sampler" release but, after viewing the six episodes included on this DVD, I found that "Welcome Back Kotter" just didn't hold up for me as well as some other sitcoms from the same era. That said, there are still a number of reasons to like and enjoy this show. For starters, Gabe Kaplan's humorous stories still tickle the funny bone, and it's a shame that he did not find other television vehicles suited to his comedic talents after this series ended. I also enjoyed Marcia Strassman's role as Kotter's wife Julie, even though her role was secondary in the early years of the show. In a few of the episodes, she has a bigger part and, when given the opportunity, she really shines. And, who can forget John Sebastian's great theme song, surely one of the most memorable in the annals of television history that's perfectly matched to the opening/closing scenes of life in Brooklyn. So what's not to like about this popular series? In a nutshell, the writing for the "Sweathogs" generally tends to be weak. While there are some truly funny moments, the writing tends to be repetitious . . . in almost every episode, you can be assured that Washington will say "Hi there," Barbarino will quizzically ask "What . . . When . . . Where . . .," Horshack will do his "ooh, ooh" routine, and there'll be yet another note from Epstein's mother. These characterizations are funny a few times . . . but not when repeated in almost every show.

Considering that most of the episodes were taped nearly 30 years ago, this 6-episode DVD release looks and sounds great. Fans of the series looking to get good clean transfers of a few episodes will likely be happy with this abbreviated presentation from Warner Home Video and I hope, for their sake, that full seasons will eventually be released. For me, this sampler collection is enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tami J. Lehnhart on April 4, 2007
Format: DVD
This dvd gives one a chance to tap into their childhood, growing up in the 70's. I wondered if these episodes would be as funny to me as an adult as they were as a child. They didn't disappoint! It's nice to travel back in time with some good, clean, shows. If you were a Kotter fan, then you will enjoy these episodes.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andre M. on April 23, 2007
Format: DVD
Its somethines the case that after seeing a show you haven't seen since childhood, you're often disappointed that it really wasn't as good as you remembered. This sampler is an exception to the rule.

While not a comprehensive set, it has some really entertaining episodes.

"One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is the unlikely tale of Kotter's sweathogs being forced to share a class with some gifted studetns durig a flu epidemic. Good comedic moments and an interesitng message about people being gifted in different ways.

Another tale has the comically pathetic resident geek-boy Arnold Horshack (Ron Palillo) joining a cult. He's really at his comic best in this one (especially when he recites the Baba's matra) and in an interesting twist Ellen Travolta (castmate John Travolta's mother) plays Horshack's mom. Interestingly, weak and silly characters joining ridiculous cults (see a similar episode involving Rerun in the "What's happening" season II set) were a staple of seventies sitcoms. The Jim Jones tragedy of 1978 stopped this trend.

The other episodes, such as the Sweathogs joining a gang, Travolta's guilt after a teacher has a heart attack while yelling at him, and were Travolta becomes a priest, all have their moments of knee-slapping leave your brains at the door fun.

Gabe Kaplan's storytelling interludes in these tales reign supreme, especially the yarn about his uncle facing a firing squad (you've got to hear this)! Bonzo Maretti was quite a guy.

It's too bad that Gabe Kaplan's 1974 comedy album "Holes and Mellow Rolls" (which inspired this show) isn't currently available. But in either case, this is a good way to have some knee-slapping belly laughs after a long day at work or school.
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will warner release seasons or not
Robert Heyges died back in January & Ron Palillo passed away earlier this week-Warner Home Video should definitely release the remaining three seasons-"Welcome Back Kotter" is a bonafide guilty pleasure.
Aug 16, 2012 by Scott N. Burton |  See all 3 posts
I want to order season 2 do you have it? Be the first to reply
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