“That 70’s Show:” Where Are They Now?

by Josh

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During the summer of 1998, Fox first aired That 70’s Show, a sitcom which seemingly found the perfect blend between comedic displays of teenage angst and “psychedelic” 70’s pop culture.

The plot is set in the fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin, spanning from May 17, 1976, to December 31, 1979. The show is based around the antics of one group of friends that consists of 4 guys: Eric Forman, Stephan Hyde, Michael Kelso and Fez, and two girls: Jackie Burkhart and Donna Pinciotti. This show was extremely successful and ran from 1998 to 2006, and served as a starting point for all six of the main actors’ careers.

But where are they all now? All of the characters have experienced different levels of success, and each  has gone on to act in other ventures. However, it seems as though only Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have really solidified themselves as famous actors.
Eric Forman, the series’ main character, is played by Topher Grace, and he actually left the show before its ending so that he could be featured as Eddie Brock in Spiderman 3.   His leaving the show in season 7 directly impacted its ratings and was a large factor for the show’s conclusion after season 8.

Danny Masterson, who wonderfully portrays Stephan Hyde, a scruffy orphaned rebel who keeps you guessing with his subtle humor and witty quips, was on the show for all eight seasons. After the show ended, he kept acting in smaller parts in various movies and TV shows. Now he is immersed in the music scene as D.J. Mom Jeans in Los Angeles.

Laura Prepron, better known as Donna Pinciotti, has not achieved the same amount of success and she did on this show but she has kept busy with a brief stint in modeling and a lead role in the show October Road and a variety of other smaller parts in sitcoms, such as How I Met Your Mother.

Wilmer Valderrama, aka Fez, was arguably the most beloved member of the cast. While on the show, he was nominated for 4 AlMA Awards for most outstanding actor in a comedy series. His most notable work after the ending of the show is being the host of Yo Mamma on MTV from 2006 to 2008.

Mila Kunis has made quite the name for herself after the ending of the show; she is currently the voice for Meg Griffin from Family Guy and has been in a number of successful movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Book of Eli, Black Swan, and, most recently, she had a lead role on the movie Ted. Interestingly, Kunis was only 14 during the first season of That 70’s Show, even though actors had to be 18 to even audition.  She lied about her age to get the role and once she came clean about her true age, the producers liked her portrayal of Jackie Burkhart so much that they decided to keep her on the cast.

Last, but certainly not least, is Aston Kutcher. During his time on the show he played the amazingly dim-witted Michael Kelso. Kutcher left the show early to pursue other things. Kutcher is the most successful cast member from an acting standpoint and has been able to do many great things after having such success on this show. He created, produced and hosted the hit MTV show, Punk’d, and has been in several popular movies including: Dude Where’s My Car?, Cheaper by the Dozen, Just Married, The Butterfly Effect , Valentine’s Day and No Strings Attached. He is also planning to star in the movie Jobs as Steve Jobs himself. Kutcher has not only found success on the big screen, but he also plays main character Walden Schmidt in Two and a Half Men.

If anything on this show is memorable it is the extremely catchy theme song “In the Street” by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell of the band, Big Star. However, Big Star’s version of the song was not used in the theme;  instead, the show used a cover by Todd Griffin, and only then for the first season. For the next 7 seasons it was the band Cheap Trick that performed the rendition that any true fan has come to love. That 70’s Show captured the hearts of millions over its tenure and despite being cancelled almost a decade ago, it is still  aired from time to time on television. Now with the innovation of Netflix and Hulu anyone has access to the full 200 episodes in eight seasons. Every time the show comes on I can’t help but sing the last line of the theme song “Where all alright was all alright, Hello Wisconsin!

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