March 26, 2007

Idea: The Kotter Family Tree

Kotter Family TreeNearly every episode of the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter began or ended (sometimes both) with the main character Gabe Kotter telling a really corny joke about a family member. It usually started with him and his wife sitting around, and he asks, “Did I ever tell you about my Uncle So-and-so?” When I was a kid, I loved this show. I found it hilarious. Now, not so much. But I’d still like to see a definitive list of Kotter family members and the situations they found themselves in. I think there’s a Wikipedia article somewhere waiting to be written. I’ve done a little bit of research, and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Uncle Carl was a hunter out hunting game. One day, he shot a beautiful girl in the woods because she told him that she’s game. (Season 2, Episode 11)

Uncle Max was a barber. He once hired a private investigator to follow a man who kept coming in the barber shop, asking how long the wait was until the next haircut, and leaving. The investigator followed the man and reported back to Max that the man was going to Max’s house every day. (Season 2, Episode 11)

Aunt Brenda believed in reincarnation. After Uncle Sidney died Brenda went to a seance where Sidney’s ghost revealed that in the afterlife he has a lot of sex before and after every meal. He explained that he is not in heaven — he has been reincarnated as a bull in Montana. (Season 3, Episode 5)

Uncle Eddie was a thief. He used bricks to break windows of stores so he could steal precious items for his girlfriend. When she got too annoying about all the things she wanted, Eddie asked her if she thinks he’s made of bricks. (Season 3, Episode 5)

Uncle Julian was raised by wild dogs. Eventually he was brought to civilization and became a mailman. He was fired for biting himself on the leg. (Season 3, Episode 24)

Uncle William was a pharmacist. He was fired for trying to fit bottles into a typewriter in order to type information on the labels. (Season 3, Episode 24)

Uncle Milton was a famous spiritualist who held seances every Friday night. One night Milton felt the presence of a spirit named Max who in life made a living as a waiter. Milton asked Max’s spirit to come closer to the table. Max refused, as Milton was not at one of Max’s tables. (Season 3, Episode 25)

An un-named uncle went to an Italian restaurant where he noticed a Chinese waiter who speaks perfect Italian. He asked the restaurant owner why. The owner explained that the waiter has only been in the country for two months and is under the impression that the owner is teaching him English. (Season 3, Episode 25)

Uncle Melzer was a navigator. He once removed a thorn from an elephant’s foot in Africa. The elephant was so grateful that he picked Melzer up in his trunk and placed him in his second floor hotel room. A year later, at the circus in Pittsburgh, the elephant picked up Melzer in its trunk and flung him into the balcony, breaking his legs. It was a different elephant. (Season 4, Episode 3)

Uncle Nezbit had no friends, but he brought his dog everywhere, including to the movie theater. The dog enjoyed a particular movie, which surprised Nezbit, because it hated the book. (Season 4, Episode 4)

When Gabe was young, his father told him that the local bully Tommy O’Shaughnessy was a coward. So Gabe told Tommy that, prompting Tommy to beat up Gabe’s father. (Season 1, Episode 2)

Young Gabe’s mother told him to ignore kids who made fun of his big head. But when she sent him on an errand to the supermarket, she suggested he could carry all the groceries home in his hat. (Season 1, Episode 2)

Anyone have more to add?


love your blog! Makes the day better

I’d like to think this post was inspired by my Welcome Back, Kotter rebus!

I guess it wasn’t clever/difficult enough to win, though :(

Did you know that Ice Cube, the rapper is about to star in the new, “Welcome Back, Kotter”? Why does Hollywood contantly try to fix things that are not broken?

Did you know that Ice Cube, the rapper is about to star in the new, “Welcome Back, Kotter”? Why does Hollywood contantly try to fix things that are not broken?

I wasn’t born until 1980 so I missed the original airing of “Welcome Back, Kotter” but that hasn’t stopped me from making it my favorite sitcom of all time. This site is great but its missing the joke about the uncle that was a higway patrolman. I think that this joke was at the begining of the episode called “Sweatside Story” but I’m not too sure

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