BOOTLEG FILES 729: “Gabe Kaplan as Groucho” (1982 television special).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On VHS and LaserDisc.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Out of circulation for many years.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.
In 1976, the producers of the popular sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter” planned to have Groucho Marx make a cameo appearance in an episode called “Sadie Hawkins Day.” The script called for Gabe Kaplan to do an impression of Groucho, only to have the real Groucho come in and react to the unreasonable facsimile. Unfortunately, the 86-year-old comedy icon was in extremely frail health and it was decided that he would not go on camera. Instead, Groucho posed for publicity photographs with the show’s cast – but these were not released to the media and only surfaced many years later.