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View Poll Results: Boned When...
Day 1 1 9.09%
Exit Stage Left - Howard Hesseman 7 63.64%
Weight loss - Dennis 1 9.09%
New kid in town - T.J. 0 0%
Never Boned 2 18.18%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
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Question Head of the Class Boned the Fish When...

Head of the Class is an American sitcom that ran from 1986 to 1991 on the ABC television network.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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When Howard Hesseman left. He was a great teacher and the show was great. They replaced him with a stand up comedian which is how he came across.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Stuck In The '70's
When Howard Hesseman left. He was a great teacher and the show was great. They replaced him with a stand up comedian which is how he came across.
I agree. Billy Connolly never adequately filled Howard Hesseman's shoes!
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:49 PM   #4
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I wish "other" had been one of the options. I feel like the show jumped the shark when Janice suddenly 'graduated' and was no longer on the show. WTF?! I realize that the older students would eventually move on, but Janice was by far the youngest person in the class. Did they really expect their viewers to swallow that BS?
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marvo301
I agree. Billy Connolly never adequately filled Howard Hesseman's shoes!

I think that Billy added his own comedic element to the series. I liked him a lot. I don't think that this show ever boned the fish. I think it even improved as the seasons moved forward. I did notice that they tried to sex it up during the last season though.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:08 PM   #6
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  • Other Thoughts:

    Should never have gone into production
    Howard Hessman left and that British comic took over
    The first consummated romance
    When no one graduates but the Teacher
    The last season before Billy Connoly took over the starring role, Howard Hessman was obviously ready to leave because the character totally changed. He was always the kids' buddy but that last year he acted like a total *******. It must have been hell on the set.
    "Welcome Back Kotter Revisited." Instead of a remedial group of street smart delinquents, we have an honor's class of naive kids who are only book-smart. Yawn. Wake me when it's over.
    When Johnny Fever left the show is a given! My deal is who ever believed those "kids" were in high school??
    Really jumped when Hesseman left and that British guy took over. He tried, but he was all wrong for the role.
    Honor students?! Then why did it take 5 years for them to graduate??? The episode where the kids make a video (featuring Timbuk 3's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades"). Way over the top.
    The trip to the (then) USSR was stupid. Also the little girl (Janet.. Janice?) was weird.
    The Concept of this show is really stupid. We are supposed to believe that it takes five years for smart kids to graduate. Then the worst insult is that howard Hessman was replaced with that awful awful guy.
    As if losing Jawarhalel and Janice wasn't hard enough, now I've gotta deal with Billy?
    Where were all the oriental students? Every honour (that's how we spell it in Canada) student program seem to be about 50% oriental kids.
    This show jumped when none of the kids ever advanced or graduated. And the kid who was like the "cool" guy in the class, was he supposed to be the cute one? I don't think so, perhaps they could have cast someone who was just remotely attractive! Another thing that bugged me was that if these kids were sooooo smart, why is it that a SUBSTITUTE teacher could stump them every time with like a lame intro? I think I recall one like: the second world war was actually started because of a wrong turn by a limo driver. And then they would all look at him lik he was insane (which he was, he's Johnny Fever for the love of christ!) and he would explain. It was all too goofy to keep watching.
    It was actually the FIRST World War that was started by a wrong turn by a limo driver, resulting in Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria being assassinated at Sarajevo.
    Howard's a pro! Not the BEST (De Niro, Hackman), but definitely the most PROFESSIONAL actor of all time! You can just tell by the way he acted on 'Head of the Class' that during breaks while the other actors were probably just talking about what they did last night or what they were going to do the upcoming weekend or whatever, Howard was thinking about how he was going to act in the next take and getting whatever actors were around him during the break to engage in conversation about just that - 'how they were going to approach the next take'. Now that's professionalism! So ironic that the one who played the TEACHER in this series was the more professional actor out of them all. Not that his replacement wasn't professional, but when Howie left, so did the show's credibility. The other actors who played the students just didn't seem so inspired to act anymore. Hmm? I wonder why? On a closing note, try looking for a flick from the early-80s that Howard was in. Rob Lowe's brother played his son; he committed suicide. Anyway, Hessman's acting was well. Check it out.
    Can Anyone tell me how old Arvid was supposed to be and how old was he in real life? or Did he have that illness that makes young kids grow really old before their time? What was the deal with Brad Pitt showing up for one episode as maria's dumb boyfriend who loved her when she played dumb then who didn't want her because she was really smart. Moral of the story girls if you be yourself you don't get the future "sexiest man alive" How come eric never had to sit in the chair always on top is that where the "cool" people sat. In my highschool you had to sit in your seat no matter how cool you claimed to be at 16 with no job, money or car. Are any of those people still working in Hollywood other than Robin Givens? I am thinking not. That is a sign that when you put a bunch of nobody's together for an ensemble cast + stupid show premise it = no career for the lot of them.
    When the class put on the musical production of "Hair." That had to be the lamest hunk of **** I have ever witnessed on television. Manchester, England--England! I actually had one of those sick feelings in my stomach as I watched it because I was so embarrassed for those "actors" having to go through that.
    Head of the Class was the best show on television! The stories and jokes were great and the acting was wonderful. I strive to learn all there is to know about this show. They should really put it back on the air (a reunion, maybe?). LONG LIVE DENNIS BLUNDEN!!!!!!!!!!!
    When Mike Tyson beat the hell out of Robin Givens.
    My friend Dennis is an extremely gentle soul. He even at one point considered joining a Buddhist commune or something to become an even more accepting & loving person. However, there is one thing that, like a light switch, will transform him into a rabid animal, spewing rage with a red face & bulging eyes...the mention (or sight) of "Billy" from the later years of Head of the Class. I'm not totally sure why, but I swear I'm not making this up, I've seen it & it's scary! "I HATE that guy! I HATE that guy!!!" he'll roar, pointing, with bits of spittle flying. I have only seen him have this reaction to one other image, and that's the face of songwriter Paul Williams. I'd rather not comment on that one.
    When there was no more Mr. Moore. (and that episode when Darlene(?) babysat the smart Asian student)
    Howard Hesseman could never be convincing as a teacher after being Dr. Johnny Fever. Once a smooth talkin' radio DJ, always a smooth talkin' radio DJ. Jumped on day number one.
    I really enjoyed the show. I seem to be the only one so far that actually like Billy... the SCOTTISH (not British) teacher. I also loved the Musical ones
    Unfortunately, it's hard to pull off a sitcom about a school because while school can be funny, it can't be funny every day. It always drove me crazy in this show when the teacher would be giving some lecture or whatever and that fat assistant principal would burst in to make some kind of lame-ass announcement that would distract the students for the rest of the class. "Sorry to interrupt your lecture, but we're gonna have a SCIENCE FAIR!" Then all the students would start bubbling and wiggling like a bunch of kindergartners about to get a cookie. What the hell was that all about? Wasn't that the plot of every show?
    the redhead girl, who, i believe, if memory serves correct, dated the cool-acting fonzie type character who looked like a bad cartoon with down sydnrome, the guy with the leather jacket, is the hottest girl ever, ever, EVER to be on tv. the red head one, not the blonde. what was her name? i need some help. she was perfection defined! man, i tell you... "head of the class" was one of those shows that i just couldn't watch without running to the bathroom (because of the redhead) and, well, let's just say after five minutes i was washing my hands, feeling relaxed yet still weary and lonesomely daydreaming red, red, red, Red, REd, RED, RED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!head i miss you...
    well they did it twice, performing two musicals in two different seasons (Hair and Little Shop of Horrors)
    What was with the goth guy in the corner? And the trip to Paris - please.
    From the moment the show aired it was the vilest form of **** imaginable to the human brain. I mean it. It's ****ing horrible. Every actor not only lacks any semblence of talent, they lack any basic charisma, and they all make baboon asses look like Miss America in a dental floss bikini. NO TV PERSONALITY COULD INSPIRE THE AMOUNT OF SHAME AND HORROR A VIEWER FELT WHEN THE FAT KID WITH THE MULLET AND THE TED KAZCINSKY EYES OPENED HIS BIG, UGLY CAKE HOLE. The only performance coming close is Dustin Diamond's infamous "Screech". This show is like two train hitting each other after smashing into a row of Hyundai convertibles. You JUST CAN'T LOOK AWAY! THE SHOCK AND BEWILDERMENT OF IT FASTENS YOUR EYES TO THE SCREEN! I used to stay up until 2 am to watch back to back episodes until 3 am until the show was cancelled. I became a "head- junkie". I started incorporating the show into my S&M with the transvestite hooker. I needed help. And then that Scottish guy "! Billy" came onto the show and WAS ACTUALLY MORE HORRIFYING THAN HOWARD HESSEMAN! HE WAS LIKE JOHN CLEESE WITH A 2X4 UP HIS ASS! The only thing that managed to keep me sane were the street-wise words of that dood that was on NY Undercover about 15 years later "Yo...I'm DOWN with my CONSTITUTION!" Word homie, word.
    The redhead's name was Khrystyne Haje. Around 1990 she made an appearance on some talk show where she was shown video clips of five guys, and picked one to go on a date with (I can't recall why she was doing this). Four of the five were black men, and she picks the one white guy, even though she admired the religious beliefs of one of the black guys. Anyway, that was a strange moment and about the last time I remember seeing her as I had quit watching the show. I didn't like it after they got rid of Maria, since she was the prettiest and had quite a nice rack.
    Not that Billy Connolly isn't funny, he wasn't suited to the role and it ultimately hastened the show's demise. Some fool should have realized that on a program based around gifted children, the kids should graduate, NOT the teacher. For crying out loud, Arvid and Dennis were probably on the wrong side of 30 by the time they cancelled it.
    This show made a practice run at the ramp the minute they cast a bunch of thirtysomethings to play teenagers. Then another run when they replace just part of the class after 4 years. I have to say I had quite a thing for Lara Piper (Viki) although Khrystyne Haje (Simone), Leslie Bega (Maria) were hot too. Robin Givens had a face that was made for Mike Tyson's fist. Although she did deliver one of the best line in the series just after the new kids were introduced she referred to Alex and Viki as "La Bamba and La Bimbo". It made another trial run when T.J. (Rain Pryor) moved from remedial class to honors class for plot convenience. It finally jumped when Billy Connolly replaced Howard Hesseman. Billy Connolly can be a good actor, witness "Mrs. Brown". But for this show he spent a lot of time practicing his stand up routine which stops the show.
    This show could have been a really cool sitcom, but it constantly undermined itself. For instance, there were such wild jumps of continuity or instances of unnatural behavior and/or dialogue committed in the name of advancing a "plot" (such as it was), that the abilities of good actors like Hesseman (and, yes, some of the kids, too) were constantly being farted on. While it was truly PAINFULLY obvious that the high schoolers were all in their late twenties, this fact alone could have been excused if the overall quality of the show could enforce a proper suspension of disbelief. It couldn't. As far as being a good show, it just wasn't. The ONLY two reasons I continued to watch it are as follows: (1). Initially: the cute girls. And, (2). Eventually: Billy. Not because he made such a ringing success out of his role as teacher or the show overall, but because you could enjoy him out of context. A previous poster referred to him as having a jacked-up Cleese vibe about him. He did, at times. That was kind of different for American prime-time TV at that point in time and made for a breath of fresh air, in my opinion. Billy didn't make the show better, he just gave you SOMETHING to chuckle at between shots of the chicks. Crass? Yeah, but at least I'm trying to find a silver lining on this floaty turd. If anyone finds the gun that was stolen out of Arvid's locker, you just let me know. I've got a couple of ideas. OH, ALAN...! DENNIS...! No, no, stick around, too, Arvid...this concerns you, as well.
    If nothing else, Billy Connolly taking over from Howard Hesseman is completely justified by the fact that Billy delivered, hands down, the funniest moment in “Head Of The Class” history (in his second episode, no less): when Alan was acting like a total ******* and justified it on the grounds that he had to do everything it takes to be the school Valedictorian, and Billy responded by totally humiliating Alan’s aspirations, running around and sarcastically yelling out the merits of being Valedictorian in an inspired Cleese-like rant: “Don’t shoot me, I’m a VALEDICTORIAN!! The ship’s sinking – women, children and VALEDICTORIANS first!! Sorry Mr. Gorbachev, I have on the other line a VALEDICTORIAN using the big red phone!! We’ve only got one heart to transplant – who shall we give it to, Bishop Tutu...or the VALEDICTORIAN??!!” There was a lot more to it than that, but that’s all I can remember and I’m sick of writing “Valedictorian.” In all the episodes of “Head Of The Class” I’ve watched, this is the only time I ever laughed out loud. Charlie Moore would never have been so crass and yet so hilarious, and this is a prime example of what one of the previous posters said: Billy Connolly’s insane monologues rejuvenated the show, and made for something different in mainstream American TV at the time.
    Jumped when the kids were PARTIALLY replaced by inferior performers. Rain, you're on that list. The previous poster left out my favorite portion of the valedictorian speech--"I don't have to use a CON-DOM! I'm a valedicTORian!" I will not say that Billy Connolly was the appropriate replacement for HH, but I will not deny his talent. He is an accomplished entertainer, not just a comic but also a gifted actor, musician, and composer.
    Started to JTS on day one. JTS completely when Howard Hesseman left. Leslie Bega and Robin Givens were HOT. Poor Richard Pryor...His daughter Rain is not only a lesbian, but an UGLY lesbian. Guess no grandkids in his future. Hesseman wasn't that great on this show, he was excellent on WKRP, but then again WKRP was a much better show.
    STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT REPLACEMENTS! Bloody Hell (excuse my language but these people make me angry). The show was genius and Billy Connelly (excuse my spelling if it is wrong) was a Godsend. Want proof? As mentioned, the Valedictorian (again, if it is wrong, excuse my spelling) episode. Stop complaining and enjoy.
    I used to watch this show for the same reason I watched the A-Team...TRAIN WRECK!!..a partial JTS moment was when the Red head acted dumb to impress the dumb,good looking jock that liked the 'The Three Stooges'.First of all no 'cool people' watch the three stooges which brings me to believe the writers are just as dumb as these kids.The final JTS moment was when T.J. was introduced.It was an inner city school in the Bronx and 'T.J.' thought she was going to be sent home for saying 'Bull' to Mr.Moore.I'm sure in real life Mr. Moore had a million knives pulled on him and yet he was going to send her home for saying the word 'bull'?...yeah sure.Oh and by the way that was the worst 'rap' by Rain Pryor I ever heard.Then T.J. sold her soul to the devil in order to get into the NERD CLASS full time.That was the last episode I ever watched.
    I can’t figure out whether I like this show in spite of it being so cheesy in an 80s way, or BECAUSE of it being so cheesy in an 80s way. Anyway, here’s my two cents on “Head Of The Class”...CONS: Forced humour; heavy-handed drama; repellent characters - Darlene (Robin Givens) was an obnoxious bitch and Sarah (Kimberly Russell) looked like a hag; and contrived plots (in almost every episode, a student would take inspiration from a history event Charlie had just taught about which by lucky coincidence was analogous to some personal crisis they were currently going through). PROS: Consistently impressive performance from Howard Hesseman (who always maintained an air of professionalism even when involved in a ****ty plot); a lot of genuinely funny moments and some nicely quirky characters; the constant belittling of Reaganism; the endearingly 80s atmosphere that makes me feel kinda nostalgic; and Khrystyne Haje. And in its final incarnation, the best thing “Head Of The Class” had going for it was Billy Connolly. Billy didn’t ruin the show – in fact, he made it more watchable after the horrendous fourth season (Hesseman’s final one). Season 4 was the real shark-jumping, with its increasingly lame plots and the introduction of too many new regular characters who were given almost NOTHING to do: Alex (the latino guy), Viki (the blonde hippie chick), Aristotle (a.k.a. Argyle the limo driver from “Die Hard” and the kid who tried to steal a guitar from Ray Charles in “The Blues Brothers”), Jasper (a.k.a. Short Round from “Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom”), and the uber-annoying, “streetwise” T.J. (Rain Pryor). At least Viki was pretty easy on the eyes. Anyway, it was the fourth season that had lame two-parters like the visit to the NASA space centre (when Dennis sold Arvid out to secure his passage into MIT), and the infamous one where the students performed the musical “Hair” despite the embittered protestations of the crusty old English teacher whose son died in ’Nam. Other turkeys included the one where T.J. made a deal with the Devil to get into the IHP, the one where Alex tried to help the school basketball star who is discovered to be illiterate, and the one where Arvid considers nose reduction surgery. There were only a few good episodes that year (the one where Eric becomes a fashion designer; the one where everyone thinks Dennis saved Simone from drowning, but it turns out it was his fault that Simone almost died in the first place; and the one where Alan snootily pays out on everyone when he thinks he’s leaving for Harvard, then he finds out he’s not going and has to face his classmates). You can’t really blame Hesseman for bailing out after that season, since he was the nominal star of the show but was kept pretty much on the sidelines, with most of the attention going to the kids. The fifth season was like a reverse shark-jumping. I don’t think it was Billy Connolly who hastened the show’s demise – it was the fact that the actors playing the students were far too old for their characters, and after five years, there was no reason for those characters to still be at high school. If Hesseman had stuck it out for the fifth season the show would have been canned anyway. The Billy season worked, primarily because the attention was taken away from the kids who by that point were almost uniformly annoying. In the last year, most of them had nothing to do but sit around and unconvincingly yuck it up while Billy was spinning his endless (and admittedly funny) monologues and (as a previous poster had mentioned) it was possible to enjoy Connolly’s character out of the context of the show. Billy was too colourful a character to be dominated by those kids, so much so that most of them were just classroom furniture in their final year (Charlie was more laid-back and dryly contemplative, and thus was doomed to have the kids hog his spotlight). Hell, even Ms. Meara (the assistant principal) got more regular screen-time than the students in the Billy season. Overall, “Head Of The Class” was a guilty pleasure, and at the very least, it was a billion times better than “Saved By The Bell” (not to mention “Welcome Back, Kotter”). Useless trivia: you can spot Howard Hesseman in the movies “This Is Spinal Tap” (as Duke Fame’s manager; he gives Ian Faith the cold shoulder) and “Clue” (as the FBI guy posing as a door-to-door evangelist: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand!”). If anyone is still reading this, I salute you. Consider yourself an honourary member of The Society For The Preservation Of The Memory Of Dennis Blunden.
    Despite the thirty year old 'teenagers' and the frequently outlandish plots, this was still an amusing show, primarily due to Howard Hessman. However, it took a big leap over the shark tank when he left and Billy Connelly replaced him. The guy has an accent so thick you need subtitles to understand him. What language was he speaking anyway, Gaelic? Apparently he's a big cheese in the UK but no one in the US ever heard of him. I remember the first time he walked out on stage, with an attitude of "Look at me, I'm such a big star, slumming in the colonies, aren't you yanks lucky to have me". I think he expected the studio audience to throw roses at his feet. Trouble was, there was nothing in his delivery or mannerisms to justify his ego.
    I had problems with the episode where Dennis is no longer fat. It was the first day of the new school year (and coincidently, the new season) and Dennis shows up in his trademark husky jacket. All of a sudden the class gives him crap about getting bigger over the summer. Than with as much fanfare as Siegfried and Roy do when they perform their "magic" off-stage, Dennis takes off his jacket. Lo and behold, he's slimmed down. And then the audience and cast wildly applauds. I had this feeling that there was a change in the air. I still can't put my finger completely on it, but everything worldly changed that day. There was a shift in the HOTC paradigm of which the repercussions have yet to be fully determined.
    Some of the cast members in this show do not look like clever students, especially the fat guy Dennis and Eric who, in his leather jacket, looks more like a reform school student than an honors student. On the whole, Head Of The Class was one of the best shows on tv as it focused on school and life. By the way, Bill Connolly who is Scottish is also British as Scotland is part of Britain. I notice that Americans like to use the word British to refer to the English people and their accent.
    Their main audience was composed of grade schoolers and when they started doing plays, their audience graduated to jr. high, so who wouldn't jump the shark for that type of improvement.
    This guy was nowhere near as witty as he thought he was. Simply not funny. Hesseman was smug, but had a self-deprecating manner that made him less awful.
    I agree with a previous poster. The day Dennis slimmed down was the DEATH KNELL for the show. Dennis was one of the better characters on the show, and when he lost weight, an essential part of that character was lost as well. As for the poster who said that "the fat kid" didn't look particularly clever, you're not particularly clever yourself, the guy who won the highest math award back in my high school was fat, too. A lot like Dennis, now that I think about it. By the way for the next couple weeks the show will be re-run on Nick At Nite at 4 AM! Set yer VCR's! Just now they had the one where Pinkard discovers he's of Irish peasant stock and Darlene discovers she's a descendent of Thomas Jefferson, which still struck me as actually quite an entertaining episode, even though I've seen it a billion times.
    I caught an episode when I couldn't sleep and it was awful. For crying out loud, who the hell could like this show? All the kids were either stereotypes or just plain forgettable and Howard Hesseman was just underused. No wonder I can't remember any episodes, the show just blew.
    People keep posting about the episode where Dennis lost a bunch of weight as the "Death Knell" of the show. Let's remember this was a real person who lost weight for his health and we shouldn't be saying he did a terrible thing. Besides, this didn't make Head of the Class jump; Dennis was still as funny as ever!
    The New Class was the shark-jumping point. I actually liked Billy Connelly but unfortunately he got stuck was the sucky class. The original small class was at least somewhat unique and different and each student had their own personality but then when it ballooned up and they added a bunch of boring, bland, forgettable new kids it was awful. Worst of all the new kids were supposed to be streetwise cool kids and yet somehow they still ended up being dull time-wasters. The dynamic of the class was completely thrown off and the writing got worse, like the episode were the new blonde-and-bland girl went in search of her birth mother. Everything in that episode was done so rapidly, every cliche about adopted children and their birth parents was thrown into 22 minutes that it was so unbelievable that it could happen at such a short quick amount of time...and yet still after that episode blonde-and-bland girl was still as uninteresting as ever.
    What the hell were they thinking when they brought TJ (Rain Pryor) onto the show? She was the very epitome of every black stereotype imaginable. And the overacting was just pathetic? And hard to watch. And for some reason, the studio audience decided that he performance was worthy of hoots and hollers every time she opened her mouth. As if they needed to be politically correct to cheer for the black character. But her character (and her acting) did more to hurt blacks on TV than it did to help them. Far more.
    This show never jumped, despite the inevitable cast changes. TV shows don't occur in a vacuum; actors get too old, move on to better things, etc. Writers do the best they can with these realities and HOTC was a great show for its time. Many posters hate the premise and the "stereotypes". However, this show was indicative of the late 80s, Cold War-in-decline optimism that a new era of understanding and civility was unfolding. Thus, the trip to Russia. The HOTC classroom was essentially a kind of future UN in training, and that's why you had the "stereotypes". The kids bickered about their differences, but in the end found common ground, generally got along, and were more tolerant for being exposed to people of different backgrounds. While it may seem naive and too forced in hindsight, the show was a light and small, but necessary, assurance, for a society unwinding from a decades long battle with a Red Scare that was considered a very real threat at the time. To judge the show using only our current perceptions is unfair and ignorant viewing. HOTC is a great piece of social and historical television.
    When some of the "old school" characters (cute Jawaharlal...yes, I can spell his name, and I like the way it rolls off my tongue, Jawaharlal..., cool Maria, and precocious Janice) were replaced by those "new class" rejects (liked TJ, though!)
    That damn annoying music video to the tune of Timbuk3's one hit..."the future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades"
    When the quiet, measured performance of one Jory Husain (Jawarharal) was phased out in order to make room for sheer exhilarating lunacy provided by Richard Pryor's mentally-challenged daughter, T.J....
    This show was the best thing to have ever happened to television. Howard Hessman is a hard man to replace, but I think Billy Connolly did a great job.
    It has to be the "little shop of horrors" episode! That episode is exactly like Peewee's Playhouse. I will never admit that I loved that show. Nobody will ever know how I loved seymor as played by the nerd on The head of the class. Or the Cool guy who gets lost in Europe and the teacher doesn't help him and then he has the greatest time. No one will ever know my secret!!!! Never!!! Yes I loved it!!! Every minute of the fat guy dressed as the plant!!!! every second of that episode!!!!! every second of that show!!!!!NEVER!!!!
    When this show began, all the students had their distinctive personalities. Yet somewhere along the way, they all acted exactly the same. Tough Eric became just a thinner version of wisecracking Dennis. Nerdy Arvid became as popular with girls as Eric. Shy Simone's love of poetry went right out the window as she became as outgoing as the perky Sarah. And Alex and Eric were so interchangeable they could just read off each other's dialogue and no one would notice. It didn't even matter when Howard Hesseman left, the shark had already consumed the entire cast by then...
    When Rain Pryor came on the show. I love her father's work, but she sucked.
    Day one - This show was crap. I'm looking at re-runs as I write. Welcome Back Kotter did it much better and that was pretty **** too. By the way -The smart Asian kid was Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "No time for love Doctor Jones!" Oh and to the person who said Billy Connolly was SCOTTISH! Not British - as much as most Scots hate being reminded, Scotland is part of Britain...even Mel Gibson couldn't stop that...
    Head of the Class was an OK show & somewhat likeable. Maria is pretty funny, Lori is a smuck, Alex is OK, Arvid makes me sick. That guy should be sent to San Quentin for his stupidity. Every time i see Arvid,I just want to strangle him. Darlene isn't much better, Simone is kind of cool, Jawarhalal (long on name, short on brains), T.J. makes me ill, Jasper Kwong (yawn), Eric is a bum, Dennis is very funny for a fat guy & smart too, Aristotle McKenzie (big whoop), & Janice is not only very smart, but very cute!! I also liked Mr.Moore. But If I see that stupid Arvid in my lifetime, I will give him an ass kicking that he surly needs. Other than that stupid Arvid, it was a good show.
    Well, the fifth season was when it jumped the shark. You take away from the dynamic by screwing with the make up of the characters. Each character played an integral part and by taking away 4, replacing them with all new people, and introducing someone totally foreign to the inner are guaranteeing a Jumping of the Shark. However, I'd say it was Johnny Fever's departure that really sealed the deal because the person most deserving of a fully nude spread on a dirty rag back during the first Bush's administration was Lara Piper (Viki Amory). So her inclusion to the fold couldn't possibly have been all that bad! Plus Maria and Jawarharal were among the more uninteresting and expendable. Janice was just plain creepy. Sure, it was funny that you have a 10-Year-Old in an honors class...but that wasn't funny anymore past the first episode. She morphed into annoying and then just creepy after a short amount of time. Having the limo driver from Die Hard, the Puerto Rican dude from NY Undercover, and the most bangable chick from the glory era of Guns N' Roses made stuff interesting. I know having "smart kids" linger about in high school for 5 years is BS, but I can't believe no one went further on the BS aspects of the show. For example, what's a WASP-y type dude (Alan) doing in a public high school. What's he doing in the city, period. Shouldn't he be in Connecticut or something? Plus how many WASP's are conservative? Wouldn't he be more at ease being the typical pompous liberal jerk off? Another thing, they had a pretty small classroom full with an unusually abundant size of white kids for a school in NYC. That doesn't strike anyone as odd? And that Ms Meara...what a little tramp. She was all flirty with Johnny Fever, then drops him like a bad habit and dives head first for Scrooge McDuck over there! Oh there are so many things...but I won't waste our time any further. Point is that Lara Piper needs to be in more Straight-2-Video releases that are shown on Cinemax at 2 in the morning, at least for my sake. If anyone knows where I might be able to purchase nude images of her (or better yet if she's plying her trade as a commercial sex worker and I might be able to purchase her)...let me know!!!
    Has anyone ever noticed that considering that the students were supposed to be honors students, they had an awful lot of "baggage" to deal with. This has been a staple of this show since the beginning, but when Mr. Moore started constantly calling students out into the hallway for what seemed like three or four times an episode, this show jumped the shark for me! This occurred, not coincidently, right about the time T.J. showed up! It was bad enough when the show introduced an "honors" student who could only speak in rhyme! But add in a class of ten students who were in serious need of consulting all the time, and the show became just about unwatchable during the third and fourth seasons, especially during the fourth when Hesseman seemed tired of the role and irritable all the time! But I agree with the previous posters who said that HOTC jumped back when Billy Connolly replaced Hesseman. Some of the funniest episodes of the series took place during that final season! At least the show finished close to the level that had not been seen since the first two seasons.
    When Billy Connolly replaced Howard Hesseman. Hesseman's role here did not allow him the full range for his comic talent that WKRP in Cincinnati did, but replacing the likeable, low- keyed Hesseman with that hyperthyroid ham Billy Connolly really did the show in.
    Never jumped. Billy Connolly was SCOTTISH. I don't know how the people currently living in Scotland take it, but we who are descendents of the Scottish here in America would rarely refer to ourselves as having a British heritage. Thet being said, I think Billy was much funnier than Mr. Moore in this show. However, it's even money betwixt Billy and Johnny Fever....maybe even Johnny Fever might win. If anyone likes Howard Hessman in the slightest, see Ruben and Ed. Walking a frozen cat thru the desert, and drinking what they drink, Oh Mahatma! Howard Hessman trivia....he was in one of the Billy Jack movies. Finally, was there ever a more annoying character than TJ (all do respect to the actor's real life dad). Dang, she, I surmise, was "trying" to act cool, but in doing so the complex and disrythmic twitching made me wonder if she was afflicted with the St. Vitis Dance.
    I loved the show, BUT... I felt they should have been graduating nearly every year, leaving Hesseman as the focus. They *could* have had him also teach other classes as contrast. Among other problems - even honors students don't take an *American history* course every year of their high school career. If they took *social sciences* every year [and not all of them would, like the Arvid and Dennis types], economics, pure civics/American Government, NY state history, and *world* history would have been in there. [I'm speaking without much knowledge of NY curriculum, but plenty of knowledge of California's]. As to the "baggage" - I was *in* honors and gifted classes, and believe me, smart kids often have *more* than their share. I can tell you who the "Arvid" etc. of my classes were. I'll admit to being the Janice, though I wasn't 6 years ahead of myself.
    This show jumped when Brian Gibson (the too cool one with the leather jacket) hosted the Nickelodeon Kids choice in 90 and I learned that he was Debbie "i am a pop singer at 16" Gibson's brother. I also loved Howard Hesseman, although in the first episodes he seemed like he wanted to jump back into Johnny fever and offer the kids a toke, but he grew into a believable teacher that me and my sister wanted to have. my mom let me skip my annoyingly early bedtime for this one! I grew up and turned 13 in 90 and realize I had been watching this show for four years and these "honour students were still there! And robin givens drove me nuts- i mean we knew she was old when the show started, hello married to mike tyson
    Many other posters seem to really just hate the show in general, but as a nine-year old TAG student I felt that by watching it I was seeing what my honors classes in high school would be like, and perhaps it soothed my subconscious to know that students would be tight-knit, capable of adult discussion, yet still maintain their individual identity. Perhaps if I were older (and wiser!) when the show was on, I would have thought differently. Nonetheless, I feel had a positive impact on me, despite its shortcomings, and even on the rare occasions it is aired today, I can't wait to watch it again. (Also, some of the younger actors on the show still do have careers in "the biz," just not necessarily as actors only.)
    This show jumped immediately after casting Robin Givens. It's public knowledge that the woman was even booed at her graduation from Sarah Lawrence College. Talk about unpopular! I never could tune in as a result.
    I don't know what that person was smoking that said that "Brian Gibson" is the brother of Debbie Gibson. He's not. First, Debbie didn't have any brothers and more importantly, the guy's name isn't even Gibson! His birth name was Brian Levine but his professional name is Brian Robbins. I have no problem about no one ever graduating on this series...who says the show was done in real time anyway? They graduate and the show ends. I do think that the musicals they did were a bit over the top so perhaps that'll be my vote...
    I could not believe in the shows premise after Robin Givens married Mike Tyson. A sweet, bookish overachiever marries an unintelligible, demonic, psychopath for his money. It kind of took the show's innocence away. Also, there was the fat kid! God he was fat! Oh my goodness, what a Fatass!!!
    HEAD OF THE CLASS was a smart and funny sitcom that definitely jumped the shark when they replaced Howard Hesseman with Billy Connolly. Howard Hesseman's laid-back style was a perfect counterpoint to the students but it just didn't work as well with the manic stylings of Billy Connolly. Once Connolly was in place, they seemed to begin recycling stories too as if no one would notice.
    Not a credible deception of a high school honors class. Most real high school teachers are not nearly as dedicated or effective as Mr. Moore. Half of them don't really try or are just not capable of doing the job. Most real high school honor students are not as friendly as those in the IHP class. Many see their classmates as competitors for getting into an Ivy League school. HOTC is fantasy, and as such more of a cartoon than Daria.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:37 AM   #7
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After Howard Hesseman left the show and was replace with Billy Connolly, I didn't like that character at all and the show was never the same. I've seen Billy Connolly in a few other things and do his stand up and get interviewed on late night TV talk shows and I really just don't like him. He's definitely not my kind of humor.

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Old 08-22-2014, 04:53 AM   #8
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I loved Billy in the role on the sitcom. I thought he was just perfect. There can only be one Howard Hessman but I do think the Billy Connolly was a great replacement. I very much enjoyed the last season as it is one of my favorites. The ratings were still good. So, to me, it never boned the fish.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marvo301
I agree. Billy Connolly never adequately filled Howard Hesseman's shoes!
The main gripe that I've heard about Billy Connolly when compared to Howard Hessman is that is that where as Howard Hessman actually "taught", Billy Connolly would just go off on tangents. In essence, the classroom scenes became little more than an excuse for Connolly to do perform standup comedy w/ the students as his "audience" (expected to laugh at him).
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:20 AM   #10
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That "other thoughts" section really has some offensive garbage stuffed into it. When you have an imbecile who hates a series, look out -- he just confirms that he's an imbecile (from another site) who admits to watching religiously, and then goes nuts tearing a show to pieces. Psycho.
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Old 12-25-2017, 02:57 PM   #11
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Never jumped! (Simone Foster being there the entire run definitely helped )
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