20 YEARS AGO TODAY

posted by Mark Madden - 

“That ’70s Show” premiered 20 years ago today.

I watch four episodes on the Laff channel just about every night, and occasionally view the show on other outlets, too.

I watch during my radio show with the sound down. I know the dialogue by heart.

It’s not the best sitcom ever. But it’s excellent, and my favorite.

If you grew up in the ‘70s, you can put yourself in that basement, and in the circle. You had the same concerns and faced the same decisions. You just weren’t as funny, or as good-looking.

Nostalgia is present, but isn't overwhelming. The writing is brilliant. One-liners exploded like shrapnel, as only teenage kids who are close can exchange them.

Guest stars are plentiful. Big names, too. Mary Tyler Moore played a recurring role in Season 8, her final run on TV.

Others who made repeat appearances include: Shannon Elizabeth, Jim Gaffigan, Alyson Hannigan, Robert Hays, Tom Poston, Brooke Shields, Jessica Simpson, Betty White and Luke Wilson.

Among those making single shots: Alice Cooper, Lindsay Lohan, The Rock and Bruce Willis.

But the cast made the show: Tommy Chong, Topher Grace, Lisa Robin Kelly, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, Tanya Roberts, Debra Jo Rupp, Kurtwood Smith, Don Stark and Wilmer Valderrama had amazing chemistry to go along with considerable talent.

Kunis and Kutcher are married now, with two children.

I feel real good that Jackie and Kelso ended up together. It’s a bit surprising, since Jackie would run across the beach into her own arms if she could. But, as Kelso said, “I’m like ketchup. I go good on everything.”

Here are some highlights:

*A retrospective of Hyde talking about a car that runs on water. That routine debuted on the first show and was reprised many times, including on the finale. (Masterson also did a snatch of it on my show.)

*Kelso uses his powers of logic to draw a startling conclusion. Kelso is TV’s best idiot ever.

*For a brief moment, Kelso and Fez think that Eric had sex with Donna’s mom. Valderrama calls this the show’s funniest moment.

*Red Forman wishes he was an octopus: Lots of feet, for lots of asses.

Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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