Episodes: 95 (half-hour)
TV show dates: September 9, 1975 — June 8, 1979
Series status: Cancelled/ended
Performers include: Gabe Kaplan, John Travolta, Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Marcia Strassman, John Sylvester White, and Ron Palillo.
TV show description:
Gabe Kotter (Gabriel Kaplan) returns to his alma matre, James Buchanan High, to teach a group of unruly, remedial teens referred to as “Sweathogs.” Having been a Sweathog himself in his younger years, Kotter empathizes with his students.
Among them are athletic Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs); goofy, hyena-laughing Arnold Horshack (Ron Palillo); unflinching Puerto Rican, Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Epstein (Robert Hegyes); and slow-witted hunk, Vincent “Vinnie” Barbarino (John Travolta), the ring leader and Casanova of the group. Also traveling the halls of James Buchanan High are Rosalie “Hotsie” Totsie (Debra Lee Scott), the reckless daughter of a reverend; Sweathogs tutor Judy Borden (Helaine Lembeck); and southern boy Beauregarde “Beau” De Labarre (Stephen Shortridge).
While Kotter wins his students’ approval, he fails to win much praise from vice-principal Mr. Michael Woodman (John Sylvester White) who disapproves of Kotter’s teaching style and ethics. Kotter’s biggest fan is at home — his wife Julie (Marcia Strassman).
The Sweathogs demand a lot of attention and Kotter must balance life with Julie and his students, who not only take up so much of his time, but his space.