Sunday, November 01, 2009

Seinfeld as Just a Remake of Welcome Back Kotter

The TV show Seinfeld was supposedly a groundbreaking concept of a TV show but it occurred to me yesterday that there was nothing new about Seinfeld at all. It is in fact a rip off of the the 1970's show Welcome Back Kotter.

Let's start with the obvious. Both shows were sitcoms set in New York City where the title character is Jewish. Also both shows opened with the star telling a joke. The main difference here was that the opening joke in Welcome Back Kotter was occasionally funny. The openings of Seinfeld with Jerry doing standup was never ever funny. Another parallel between the two shows is the fact that as the show became popular - the opening joke was dropped on both shows. You can't tell me that Jerry Seinfeld wasn't aware of one of the most popular TV shows of his youth that was based in New York and starred a Jewish standup comedian. Yeah - can you say plagiarism?

In the comparisons - Seinfeld is obviously the Gabe Kaplan character. George Kostanza is the Vice Principal Woodman character - both bitter men who knew the star from childhood. Mr. Woodman was old and short while George is short and bald. Elaine is the Vinnie Barbarino slutty character. Newman is Arnold Horshack but instead of skinny and ethnic you get fat and postal. You can equally picture either character exclaiming, "Ooh-ooh-ooooh!" Kramer was the Juan Epstein character - they even had similar hair. Epstein's mother's maiden name was Bibbermann. According to the state of New York - Kramer was the Bibbermann. There was no Boom-Boom Washington character in Seinfeld because Welcome Back Kotter was the more progressive of the shows - not that there's anything wrong with that.

As an aside - a movie version of Welcome Back Kotter is planned with Ice Cube playing the title role but with the school set in South Central LA instead of New York.

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