Veteran TV Writer Behind ‘The Monkees,’ ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ and Other Shows Dead at 82 — He’s the One Who Came Up With ‘The Sweathogs’

Mar 15, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The writer who came up with the nickname “The Sweathogs” for the motley crew of students on “Welcome Back, Kotter” has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Peter Meyerson, who developed the 1970s ABC comedy and was involved in a number of other popular shows, died March 11 of natural causes, the piece reports. He was 82.

Meyerson also co-wrote the first episode of the NBC series "The Monkees," and wrote the 1968 episode in which Monkees bandmember Michael Nesmith switches place with eccentric musician Frank Zappa, the story notes.

Meyerson talked about “Kotter” in a 1999 interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I came up with the idea of Epstein, a Puerto Rican Jew (the character played by [Robert] Hegyes),” he said at the time. “I came up with that phrase, ‘Sweathogs.’”

His other TV work included "That Girl," "The Partridge Family" and "The Bob Newhart Show.”

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