Ron Palillo, the man who brought us one of the immortal character of 1970s sitcomdom, the inimitable Arnold Horshack, is as dead as Juan Epstein.
He was 63. But not really. He will always be a high school kid to me, saying the wrong thing in that whiny annoying voice that made you just want to smash his face in.
I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Palillo at a 1999 Biography Magazine “Where Are They Now” event. In fact, it was my job to keep him “contained,” as it were, as he was a giddy sort.
Who is the Arnold Horschack of 2012? One of the Big Bang Theory cast? Or do you require an IQ somewhere in the vicinity of the guy who sold me a pair of sunglasses with the assurance they were made with “100% real sun”?
Oh, the loss, the loss. If any more of the Welcome Back Kotter cast die, a reunion will consist of Freddie Boom Boom Washington comparing diabetes meds with the guy who played Carvelli.
Listen, America: I want every one of you to stand up, wherever you may be—and yes, that means you President Obama—and in honor of the late great Sweathog say: