"California Dreamin'" was the name of a popular song recorded by both The Mamas and the Papas (in 1965) and America (in 1978), here referring to new female Sweathog Bambi Forster (Susan Lanier), a transfer from the West coast, who insists that her friends call her Sunshine (Washington: "let the sunshine in, darlin'!"). All of the Sweathogs are instantly infatuated with the blonde stunner, who flatters each of them in turn, then makes a few moves on Kotter after class. Julie wants to know what her husband has to say about some girl called Sunshine who called four times to ask if he could go skinny dipping with her: (his response: "can I go?"). 'Magic' Juan tries out his 'Bambi' chant, Horshack's aura results in an impersonation of a Hollywood producer ("hello little girl, wanna make a movie?"), Washington walks in as Harry Belafonte ("I don't care what the white man say, Santa Claus was a black man!"), and Barbarino debuts his soon to be famous Beach Boys-type rap of his last name, complete with gigantic comb (to the appreciative screams of the female audience): "Ba Ba Ba, Ba Ba-Barino!" Everything adds up to one of the seminal moments in the entire series, though Susan Lanier, future star of the Wes Craven cult classic "The Hills Have Eyes," only made one return appearance as Bambi, in "Father Vinnie." This episode marked the debut of Julie's glasses.
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