Black SplatWelcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979)

"Up your nose with a rubber hose!"

Welcome Back, Kotter - John Travolta as Vinnie Barbarino

Description: Insult used by Brooklyn high school student Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta), a member of the Sweathogs on the situation comedy WELCOME BACK, KOTTER/ABC/1975-79.

Vinnie Barbarino is an Italian-American teenager who attends James Buchanan High Schoo located in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, USA. He belongs to a gang of unruly, misfit students called the Sweathogs.

Vinnie's 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 Sweathogs include:

  • Juan Luis Pedro Phillipo De Huevos Epstein (Robert Hegyes), a Puerto-Rican Jew who lapses into impersonations of the Marx Brothers on occasion and brings 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)
  • And , of course. Vinnie Barbarino (John Travolta), a slender, Catholic boy 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 gets a part-time job as a hospital orderly.

Later in the series, new students join the ranks of the Sweat-hogs. They are Angie Globagoski (Melonie Haller), the first female Sweathog; and Beau De Labarre (Stephen Shortridge), a smooth talking southern exchange student who can talk his way out of any difficulty.

For fun, the Sweathogs delights 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. Once Vinnie Barbarino addressed Woodman, saying, “Well you little snow capped leprechaun; it looks like somebody played Danny Boy on your face with an ugly stick.”

Most of the time Vinnie expresses dislike for someone by using silly, rhyming insults like "Up your nose with a rubber hose," or "Off my case, Potato Face!" See also - "Sit on it!"

Note: Gabe Kaplan who played Mr. Kotter originated the “Up your nose” phrase. During a 2011 reunion of the cast, Kaplan explained that Barbarino's catchphrase was based on what they really said in Brooklyn in the 50s. He added the original phrase was somewhat vulgar and needed to be cleaned up for television. "We couldn't do that so we came up with 'Up your nose with a rubber hose.'" The actual phrase was “Up your ass, with Mobil gas.”

Welcome Back, Kotter - TV Series Cast

Welcome Back, Kotter - TV Series Title Logo

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