“Epstein is Practical Joker” Welcome Back Kotter #2


kotter 2 house adWelcome Back Kotter #2. January, 1977.

Cover: Bob Oksner. Editor: Joe Orlando

“Mr. Woodman’s New Parking Spot”

Writer: Elliot S. Maggin, Penciler/Inker: Jack Sparling

Pranks and practical jokes are epidemic at James Buchanan High, and Epstein is to blame – if this keeps up, he could be expelled! But Epstein isn’t through – he drives Woodman’s car through the (removed) bay window and parks it in Woodman’s office.

The jokes continue. Epstein’s mother calls him at the school just as Kotter and the Sweathogs prepare an intervention to stop Epstein from his joking.

Epstein runs out of the school – his brother is dying and in the hospital, and it is all his fault! He played a joke on his brother who asked him for advice on how to pick up girls. The advice only got his brother beat up by the girl’s gang-leader boyfriend.

Kotter and the Sweathogs feel terrible, and go to the hospital to support Epstein. Naturally, because of their antics, they are thrown out!

Epstein vows to be more effective and less creative. Kotter falls for his own practical joke he was going to pull on Epstein during their intervention.


The text page gives us brief bios of the actors playing the four main Sweathogs … with headshots drawn much more life-like than this issue of the comic!


The artwork is not as good as last time: last issue all the characters looked like the actors that portrayed them. Not so this issue – except in a vague way. It looked rushed and sketchy.

The story is peppered with multi-paneled jokes (Kotter tries to hang up a painting, Kotter’s fingers get caught in a mouse-trap, etc.

I must admit I was expecting a serious “life lesson” ending, but instead it went for the silly, insipid “here-we-go-again” trope.

So there’s THAT …



About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped.  Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!

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