I'm going to need these "young" cats to hang on just a little bit longer these days. Here I am just creeping over 40 35 and the folks from my childhood television seem to keep dropping off like flies. Giving me slim hope for my future years when these cats can't even make it into their 70s. And now another one is gone.
It really hasn't been the best of times for the former Sweathogs as of late. One former member, Juan Epstein (Robert Hegyes), passed away in February this year. Travolta has made recent news for "allegedly" coming on to a massage therapist. And now this. Somewhere Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs is trying his best to fly below the radar.
Admittedly, I didn't watch a whole lot of "Kotter" when I was a shortie. It was in its prime on network tv when I was still in my single digits. It wasn't really my cup of tea. But as with most shows from that timeframe, I would catch on later on as I got older and saw it in syndication. Partially because of my latching on to "Grease" and then starting to watch any and everything John Travolta.
There wasn't a single Sweathog that I didn't like. Sure, Travolta was the star of the group, but they all shined in their own way. They all had their own distinct personality. So much so that I always wondered if a motley crew of that sort would even hang out together if it were a high school. I honestly don't remember an Arnold Horshack (Palillo) in my group of friends in high school. But then again, I didn't to to high school in the 70s so who knows.
Palillo would make a name for himself in another way in his later years. Unfortunately, he found himself fall victim to the reality show curse that befalls a lot of older has-been actors looking for a quick payday. Arnold ended up getting in the ring with Screech for a celebrity boxing match. With Palillo being in his 50s at the time, it was not a pretty sight. Thank goodness there's still plenty of Sweathog footage for us to remember him by.
Rest in peace, Horshack.