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The Sweathogs - A rowdy group of seemingly non-teachable high school students on the education comedy WELCOME BACK, KOTTER/ABC/1975-79.

The Sweathogs with Mr. Gabe Kotter - WELCOME BACK, KOTTER
Vinnie, Arnold 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 difficulty.

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 system.

TRIVIA NOTE: 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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