Monday, June 26, 2017

WELCOME BACK KOTTER





Please excuse this post from having any sense of taste today.  Signed, Epstein's Mother.

1947--IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN--The earliest appearance of James Buchanan High School.  (Not named such, but the same building is used, and both are set in Brooklyn, even though the school used is really Gabe Kaplan's real childhood school, New Utrecht High School.)

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1972--SUPER FLY--Apparently the car from this film later is purchased by teen Vinnie Barbarino.

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1975--THE GREAT TV SITCOM BOOK--The Sweathogs are locked up by Barney Miller.   Additionally, in the DVD extras for Welcome Back Kotter, Vinnie Barbarino is at the 12th Precinct (in John Travolta's screen test).

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1975 to 1979--WELCOME BACK, KOTTER--Former gang member Gabe Kotter returns to his old high school as a teacher.



1976--FONZIE FAVORITES--The Fonzerelli Slide"--Fonzie shows up at the Annual Sweathogs School Dance and meets Horshack.  You can find the evidence here.  

1976 to 1978--WELCOME BACK, KOTTER (DC COMICS)--The show's popularity spawned a licensed comic book, which had one crossover linking it to the DC Universe (well, Earth-1 at least) in Superman versus Muhammad Ali, where the DC Comics version of the characters appeared on the cover.

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Fall 1976--MR. T AND TINA--This was a spin-off of Welcome Back Kotter featuring Pat Morita as brilliant Japanese inventor Taro Takahashi, or Mr. T for short.  Takashashi had previously appeared in an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter to set up the premise of the spin-off.  Other spin-offs that failed to launch were RICH MAN, POOR MAN; HORSHACK!, which started with an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter that focused on the Horshack family, and a planned show that would have featured the grown up Sweathogs (minus Travolta).


Just before February 1978--SUPERMAN VS. MUHAMMAD ALI--The cover art for Superman vs Muhammed Ali shows cameos of several real and fictional characters, including the teacher and students from WELCOME BACK KOTTER, Columbo, and Lucy!  And Donny & Marie Osmond, Sonny & Cher, the Jackson 5, etc.

December 1982--FUNNY OR DIE--"Tron Holiday Special"--Mr. Kotter ends up in the video game land of Tron.

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1989--HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS--Another stretch, but it could be that Julie had a twin sister, Diane Szalinski.  

1996 to 1997--MR. RHODES--The Sweathogs and Mr. Kotter appear.  They reveal that Vinnie Barbarino is now an actor.  This happened in a dream sequence but since it was a guardian angel related dream sequence, it can't be sure if it really was a dream or not.  It's unclear, especially since we can't seem to find the episode anywhere and are going off of some TVCU Crewsies' memories, if Welcome Back Kotter is a fictional show that he is dreaming about or not, but since Mr. Rhodes doesn't seem to have other crossovers that I'm aware of, even if it is a visit to a fictional show, perhaps Mr. Rhodes takes place in an alternate universe and is being brought to the TVCU via the dreamlands (which is often used to travel the multiverse).

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March 2001--THE DREW CAREY SHOW--"What's Wrong with This Episode IV"--Vinnie Barbarino (role reprised by John Travolta) has a walk-on cameo in this episode.  

2003--FILLMORE--A bit of a stretch, but there is a Winston Kotter who is the son of the Canadian ambassador and is attending X Middle School.  Could be a relative.

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2005--THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE--Theoretical crossover from Toobworld places Arnold Horshack on the doomed Poseidon passenger list.  Toby O'Brien also links THE QUEEN AND I, THE GALE STORM SHOW, OH SUSANNAH, THE FAMOUS TEDDY Z, WEBSTER, THREE'S COMPANY, MY BIG FAT GREEK LIFE, CHEERS, FRASIER, FULL HOUSE, and PERFECT STRANGERS.  Read more about it here.  

ALTERNATE REALITIES:

Rule 34--The universe where WELCOME BACK, KOTTER XXX:  A DREAMZONE PARODY exists.  

SKITLANDIA:  SNL does a sketch conflating Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction with Welcome Back Kotter and Laverne & Shirley. 

TVCU-2--As it's been trending lately to bring back old shows as movies, WELCOME BACK, KOTTER is in development as a movie.  

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