BSS #135: Gabe Kaplan


Condition of Mr. Segundo: Not suffering scoundrels riding on past television achievements.

Author: Gabe Kaplan

Subjects Discussed: Why those duped by email wanted to be included in Gabe Kaplan’s book, celebrity stature, celebrity auctions, Scientology and John Travolta, television ratings, Dick Clark Productions, sixty-year-old celebrities fighting each other, Sioux City, Iowa and parades, the art of composing email, X-rated rap songs, Letters from a Nut, career-planning, Gabe Kaplan merchandising tie-ins, how Radar was duped by fake Stalinist history, Wilt Chamberlain, the ethics of duping people, Jerry Falwell’s refusal to be included in the book, why so many standup comics end up being cast in positions of authority, and television high-school teachers.


Kaplan: They picked me and I was, I think, the first person who they did a sitcom about, basically, their standup comedy. I would talk about being in a school with the Sweathog type of guys, and growing up in that kind of New York City school system where they always put you in the class with people who were as brought as you were. And this was my act. So we just translated it into a sitcom where the only fictitious character is Kotter. Everybody else was based on someone I had went to school with.

One Comment

  1. As a fan of Gabe Kaplan and sometimes teacher, I enjoyed hearing about the jokester (sp?)
    side of Mr. K. In front of a class, I often couldn’t resist saying inane things like, ” Did you know that gullible is not in the dictionary?” My veracity was hardly ever challenged. Also,
    I would tell my students and the school’s director that a famous scientist from M.I.T. was to visit, a Mrs. Wizard, and everyone believed me including the director. On the annointed day of Mrs. Wizard’s visit, I would tell the students to be very respectful to our guest and then disappear and reappear dressed up with a wig, thick glasses, and pink lab coat. It would take a while for people to realize that the famous scientist was really their teacher! It’s always been amazing to me how gullible people are! I’m not surprised that so many folks believed that Gabe Kaplan’s e-mails were legit!

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