“Hello. How are ya? I'm Arnold Horshaaack.” Those signature words were spoken by the late actor Ron Palillo on the TV series “Welcome Back, Kotter” (1975-79) every time he introduced himself to anyone.
The series focused on a group of under-achieving students, taught by a teacher (Gabe Kaplan) who used to be one of them.
According to Kaplan, Palillo introduced himself the same way during his screen test, and Kaplan was sold. Weren't we all?
Palillo was the perfect actor to take the imperfect Horshack and make him his own. That laugh. The “Ooooh! Ooooh! Ooooh!” every time he knew an answer. He was the sensitive one who understood more than anyone realized. He understood his role so perfectly he had a hard time finding work once “Welcome Back, Kotter” went off the air.
How well do you remember the show?
1. What subject did Mr. Kotter teach?
2. What was the name of the group of students he taught?
3. Who was the school administrator who daily checked in on the class?
4. What was the name of the high school?
5. What did Mr. Kotter do at the beginning and at the end of every episode?
6. What was Freddie Washington's nickname?
Answers: 1. Social studies. 2. Sweathogs. 3. Mr. Michael Woodman. 4. Buchanan High School. 5. Tell his wife, Julie, a joke about one of his family members. 6. Boom Boom.