Brooklyn, celebrity deaths, closeted celebrities, come out John!, death by heart attack, John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Robert Hegyes, Ron Palillo, sweathogs, the black guy did it, untalented stars, Welcome Back Kotter
Ron Palillo, the sometime actor best known for playing the cretinous Arnold Horshak on the 1970s TV series Welcome Back Kotter has died of an apparent heart attack. Palillo and his co-stars Robert Hegyes, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and breakout star John Travolta portrayed the “Sweathogs,” four ethnically diverse, wise-cracking but sweet-hearted hoodlums from the mean streets of Brooklyn.
The passing of this pop-culture nonentity might have escaped notice had it not been yet another incident in a string of tragic Sweathog-related events. 2012 has been a particularly bad year for three former Sweathogs. Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein, also died of an apparent “heart attack” in January. Travolta has been recently suffered a string of calamities, including the death of his son Jett, and his recent outing as a gay man accompanied by accusations of lewd conduct.
Ask yourself–just who benefits from the death and ruination of these three men? The answer, though painful, is obvious.
Witness The Fight You’ll Wish Both Men Could Lose: Screech vs. Horshak
Classic, Smak! Classic, Indeed!!! hahahaha 😀
Oooh, oooh-oooh, oooh, oooh…….
Carrie Rubin said:
Thanks to that video, I now have two pairs of tiny man boobs forever burned into my brain. Thanks so much for that…
Memories of Sweathogs…. Still loved to this day..!
William Miller said:
I’m just glad you didn’t provide a youtube link to John Sebastian’s theme-song for this show.
I always liked the not-so-subtle Marx Brothers-style interplay between Mr. Kotter (Groucho) and Epstein (Chico), though I was too young to completely get it at the time.
Madame Weebles said:
I wish I could unsee that video. But still, RIP, Horshack. You left us too soon.
What a fight!
“pop-culture nonentity” — works for me.
The things people do for attention. Wasn’t it Screech who had a website asking people to donate so that he wouldn’t lose his house? Just couldn’t watch the entire video because it was kind of sad. Your mention of Horshack is the only thing I’ve heard of this…..
That video is a classic. Brilliant.
Glad you enjoyed it! I watched that fight “live” about ten years ago. It was a short-lived show called Celebrity boxing. As I recall, in this particular episode, it was Todd “Willis from Diff’rent Strokes” Bridges vs. Vanilla Ice, Screech vs. Horschak and Joey Buttafuoco (who is famous for having sex with an underage girl who later tried to kill his wife) vs. the female Wrestler Chyna.
I was looking forward to the show, because, not having seen these “celebrities” in years, I had the erroneous idea that the fights would be somehow even. You saw the Screech/Horshak fight. Screech kept growing after his time on TV was done. That was all the bigger Horshak was ever going to get.
The Buttafuoco/Chyna was just ugly. Chyna may be a tough lady, but Buttafuoco had well over 100 pounds and probably eight inches on her.
However, the Willis/Ice fight was supremely satisfying, because although Vanilla Ice was overmatched, it wasn’t to the farcical levels of the other bouts.
There was a very short lived version in the UK, which got stopped by the various boxing bodies with all kinds of threats. Ricky Gervais faced off against someone or other. He won on points, but I think only because he was more popular, I had the other guy winning at the time.
Sounds just as classy as our version. Actually, accounting for culture, it probably was slightly classier. I didn’t know Ricky Gervais could box. I would love to see him in a match up with Floyd Mayweather.
Ricky Gervais is a wickedly funny individual (loved The Office, which is really the only thing I’ve seen him in), but I’ll bet I’m not alone in wanting to see him punched in the face a bunch of times.
He couldn’t box at all, I only think he did it as the money went towards “Comic Relief” which is an annual fund raising thing for charities in the UK.
You might enjoy some of his standup, if you get chance to see that.
Oh, Boom Boom. How could you stoop so low as to slaughtering Sweathogs? I hope Mr. Cocktail hears about this.
El Guapo said:
Saw him in a dramatic role, and my first thought was “HORSHACK!!!”.
After I got over that, turned out he was pretty good.
I’m glad to hear that. Obviously I made fun of the guy, but in the few interviews I saw him in (and in celebrity boxing) he looked so pathetic (and I don’t intend that in the cruel, dismissive way it’s so often used today, but really in the sense of being pitiable). Do you remember the dramatic role? If you don’t off the top of your head, I’ll just check it out on IMDB.
I had a similar experience with Robert “Benson” Guillaume. Back when Phantom of the Opera came to LA it was a bid deal (yes, I know you guys get all the big shows first–that’s why they’re so grimy by the time they arrive on our sunny shores!). Michael Crawford had a pretty long run, but I didn’t see it until Guillaume had taken over. Even though I had known about the switch, when he first came out, I thought “Benson!” But he was awesome, and before long he was just another tortured musician living in the sewers of Paris.
I remember watching the sweathogs…(and Horshack’s laugh) he got a pretty good swollen eye from Screech. I had no idea he had died. I watched a bio of “making the WBK show” and it was fairly interesting.
He JUST died. And it really wasn’t “news” per se, so I don’t think you’re exactly uninformed for missing it!
Wait just a sec…. did I read right? John Travolta is gay ?
It was a shock to us as well! If a virile he-man like that can turn out to be gay, I guess you can never tell. I mean, the next thing we’re gonna find out is that someone like Tom Cruise is gay!
By the way, we answered your question about breath & boyfriends here.
Yeah, I listened to your answer. Ha ha ha…. You talked to my gay friends ! ! !( stylist, theater guy, dancer, muscle man )
Anyway, Travolta has progenies. Is that possible ? I mean, a gay man, with a girl ? Take that as another question for your Ask Tardsie, lol.
Also, Gabe Kaplan, once the go-to commentator for poker shows, has completely disappeared from that genre. Perhaps, he has become part of Travolta’s image-remaking team.
Gabe Kaplan? I thought that was Gene Shalit!
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