In the annals of television history, few TV series have stood out and have become so beloved that fans consider them true classics. One of these classic series is about to be released for the first time in its entirety on DVD and the world can finally say, “Welcome Back, Kotter.”
Welcome Back, Kotter was a TV series that ran on ABC for three seasons from 1976-1979 and introduced the world to one John Travolta, who starred as Vinnie Barbarino. Kotter focused on the kids at James Buchanan High School in Brooklyn and followed a teacher, Gabe Kotter (played by series co-creator Gabe Kaplan), as he took a job at his old school teaching remedial history to Buchanan’s troubled youth, The Sweathogs. As the series went on, audiences learned that Kotter himself was once an at-risk teen at the school who actually started the Sweathogs years before, and his handling of the new generation of kids was comedy gold, even for the tame late-1970s.
According to Newsday, the Welcome Back, Kotter complete set has been a long time coming. Just recently, studios have been more open and willing to release these coveted sets. As Garson Foos, president and co-founder of Shout explains, this new flood of DVD sets are the culmination of years of pestering the studios for release.
“These are shows we’ve been wanting to do for years, and the studios have finally decided to let them go and let us put them out.”
Welcome Back, Kotter is one of the most requested, and just one of many sets scheduled to hit stores this fall. Other popular TV series from the 70s like WKRP in Cincinnati and The Jeffersons are both in line for wide release.
As reported by DVD Talk, the Kotter set features all 95 episodes spread out over 16 discs, as well as a 28-page spiral bound book of show notes and two featurettes on the show, one narrated by Marcia Strassman, who played Gabe’s wife, Mrs. Kotter (or Kot-tair in Sweathog speak).
The set is remastered from the original tapings, but is not in high definition.
The original cast lost two members recently, as reported by The Inquisitr; Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, and Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack, both passed away. John Travolta and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, who played Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, are both still active in acting, and Gabe Kaplan is a successful professional poker player and author who still performs live.
Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series will be released on August 26.
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