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When it comes to the all-time great Saturday Night Live performers, Will Ferrell is without a doubt comfortable in the top 5. He doesn't have three Best Of's for nothing! In his time at SNL, Ferrell took part in a huge number of great sketches and characters, from George Bush to male cheerleaders to Celebrity Jeopardy to (of course) Cowbell. But though Ferrell dished out the laughs, even he wasn't immune to a bad sketch, and the comedian revealed his least favorite sketch was a huge dud banking on a pretty bizarre reference to a classic TV sitcom.
I'll say my least was one where I dressed up as Gabe Kaplan from Welcome Back, Kotter. And I worked in an insurance agency, and he was a client, and I dressed like him because I was his biggest fan. It was the day that he visited and no one told me that he came. So I was really sad in the break room, dressed as Gabe Kaplan, and I was overhearing this conversation like, 'He was so nice.' I went, 'What are you guys talking about?' 'Oh, Gabe Kaplan is here.' 'You guys! I cultivate my look to look like...why didn't you...?' It got zero laughs.
Depending on your age, it's quite possible that you read that and had little idea what or who he was talking about, so let me help you out. Welcome Back, Kotter was a late '70s sitcom starring the mustachioed comedian Gabe Kaplan as high school teacher Gabe Kotter, who returned to his Brooklyn alma mater to teach a remedial class containing a group coined the "Sweathogs." The diverse group of students were labeled unteachable, but Kotter strikes up a bond with them and thus good-natured high jinks follow. It was John Travolta's TV debut and the show ran for four Horshack's laugh-filled seasons.
Will Ferrell appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and brought up his Welcome Back, Kotter sketch when asked about his least favorite. As stated, Ferrell has plenty of sketches that died on the stage, but he always secretly liked some of those. It sounds like there was no saving this Kotter sketch though, either with audiences or with Ferrell's memory. The entire premise banked on Will Ferrell getting angry while dressed like the middle man below:
This concept doesn't exactly have a lot of meat on the bones, but even the simplest of SNL sketches prove that as long as one premise is funny enough, the sketch will do fine. Not happening here. Welcome Back, Kotter also wasn't exactly the most relevant of topics during Ferrell's SNL run, as the show had long been off the air by the time that sketch hit. Can't really blame Will Ferrell for not looking back fondly on that one.