The Sweathogs - A
rowdy group of seemingly non-teachable high
school students on the education comedy WELCOME
Juan and Freddie with Mr. Kotter
The Sweathogs attended James Buchanan High
School located in the Bensonhurst section of
Brooklyn. Their homeroom (No. 11) teacher, Mr.
Gabe Kotter (Gabriel Kaplan), himself a former
Sweathog made good, was the only one of the
school's teachers who could relate to the
frustrations of these socially disadvantaged
youth who thought that going to school was a
form of punishment.
Mr. Kotter once said of the Sweathogs "Boy, what
an honor in my class. All four Marx brothers.
Wacko, Stupo, Jerko and Dummo."
The four original Sweathogs were:
Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo De Huevos Epstein
(Robert Hegyes), a Puerto-Rican Jew who lapsed
into impersonations of the Marx Brothers on
occasion and brought attention to himself with
his forged notes from his mother ("Roses are
red, violets are blue, I've been home two days
with the Asian flu")
Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington
(Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs), a tall, hip black
student who suavely introduced himself by
saying "Hi, there"
Arnold Horshack (Ron Palillo), the group's
looney-toon whose catchphrase was "Ooh, ooh,"
(perhaps in tribute to Joe E. Ross)
Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta), a
slender, Italian Catholic who thought he was
God's gift to women and who spoke such
catchphrases as "I'm so confused," and "Who,
what, where?". Toward the end of the series, Vinnie got a
part-time job as a hospital orderly.
Later in the series, new students joined the
ranks of the Sweat-hogs. They were Angie
Globagoski (Melonie Haller), the first female
Sweat-hog; and Beau De Labarre (Stephen
Shortridge), a smooth talking southern exchange
student who could talk his way out of any
For fun, the Sweathogs delighted in driving
Mr. Michael Woodman (John Sylvester White) the
school vice-principal (later principal) crazy
with tricks like running his pants up the
flag-pole and setting off the school's alarm
The concept for the Sweathogs was inspired by the
real life experiences of comedian Gabe Kaplan
when he lived in New York City. It was there
that he learned such classic put-down lines as
"Up your nose with a rubber hose," which were
often used on the program.
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