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Welcome Back, Kotter was an American sitcom set around a sardonic high school teacher played by Gabe Kaplan who was in charge of a racially and ethnically diverse remedial class called the “Sweathogs.” Recorded in front of a live studio audience, it ran on ABC from September 9, 1975, to May 17, 1979. Mr. Kotter, a wisecracking teacher who returns to his alma mater, James Buchanan High School in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, to teach a remedial class of loafers, called “Sweathogs.” The rigid vice-principal, Michael Woodman dismisses the Sweathogs as witless hoodlums and only expects Kotter to contain them until they drop out or are otherwise banished. As a former remedial student and a founding member of the original class of Sweathogs, Kotter befriends the current Sweathogs and stimulates their potential. A pupil-teacher rapport is formed, and the students often visit Kotter’s Bensonhurst apartment, sometimes via the fire-escape window, much to the chagrin of his wife. Welcome Back, Kotter’s first season was controversial. In Boston, the local ABC initially refused to air the show as the city was going through a tumultuous school busing program that involved widespread protests and riots, and the local affiliate felt Kotter’s fictional integrated classroom would exacerbate the situation. The show became an early ratings success, however, and the affiliate relented, picking it up from its fifth episode. Additionally, teachers in other cities had concerns about how Kotter would be portrayed, so producers allowed a union representative on the set to ensure the show protected the image of those in the profession. Kaplan opposed the idea, at one point asking a reporter if there was a junkman on the set of Sanford and Son to protect the reputation of junkmen.
Like all our designs, this one is treated with our signature ‘relic-ing’ process which includes our own secret recipe of hand-painted chipping, cracking, fading, and just the right touch of yellowing to ensure that it looks the part of a true vintage imprint.** We lay these works of art down on premium Next Level 3900 Premium Women’s tees, aka ‘the boyfriend tee, one of the softest, best-wearing women’s t-shirts available today. We utilize state of the art direct to garment (DTG) printing which allows us to create a vintage effect that simply can’t be accomplished with other printing methods. In short, these shirts are everything you’ve dreamed of and more – it feels soft and lightweight with just the right amount of stretch making it both comfortable and flattering while the feminine fit and shorter sleeves add a special touch to this classic missy cut tee.
Not sure what size is your best fit? We recommend taking one of your current t-shirts, laying it flat and measuring it. The measurements in the chart below are taken with the shirt laying on a flat surface. To get the length, measure from the high shoulder point down to the bottom of the shirt. To get the width, measure approximately 1-inch below the armhole, across the chest, from seam to seam. The Next Level 3900 is a fitted women’s t-shirt, so if you are looking for a roomier fit, we suggest going up a size or with the unisex Bella + Canvas 3001 we print our men’s t-shirts on as they are the same super soft ring-spun cotton that feels like an old favorite. While our tees are all made using premium, pre-shrunk, ring-spun cotton, there can be some shrinkage depending on your personal wash and dry cycles. With that said, if you’re on the fence, we always suggest going up a size.
All sizes are provided in inches!
*Heather colors are 90% ring-spun cotton and 10% poly. **Due to the nature of the printing process and different sizes of shirts offered, imprint position and scale may vary slightly from the product images, but we do our best to be as accurate as possible.