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That ‘70s Show Star Didn't Realise Show Was Set In The 1970s

That ’70s Show star Debra Jo Rupp reveals her shock when she first arrived at the set of the now iconic sitcom. That ’70s Show first premiered in 1998 on Fox and aired eight full seasons on the network. Set in 1976, the pilot episode welcomed Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith as the parents of Topher Grace’s Eric Forman. The show also starred Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderrama, and Don Stark. Many of those actors returned for the new spinoff series, That ’90s Show, with season 1 now available on Netflix.

In a sit-down interview with Entertainment Weekly, That ’70s Show star Debra Jo Rupp revealed that she was shocked that the show took place in the 1970s. Rupp, who will appear in Agatha: Coven of Chaos, said that she didn’t know the series was set in the 1970s until she showed up on set and saw all the vintage appliances scattered throughout the Forman family’s home.

Kurtwood Smith, who plays Kitty’s husband, Red, in the show, teased her, saying that it’s in the show’s title, but Rupp clarified that the series was originally called The Kids Are Alright, so she had no idea. Check out her full comments on the mishap below.

Related: Everything We Know About That ’90s Show Season 2

Kitty and Red’s return in That ’90s Show is integral to its success. Whether it’s The Brady Bunch, Malcolm in the Middle, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or any other family-based sitcom, one of the most important aspects for a show to get right is the parents. In most coming-of-age sitcoms, the focus is on a teenage kid trying to navigate some of the formative moments and years of their life. That ’70s Show is no different, with Eric Forman being the main character throughout much of the show’s run and his friends also playing an integral role. The Forman house is the hangout spot for the young friend group, which means Kitty and Red Forman are key linchpins throughout all eight seasons.

Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith are two very different actors. Rupp was a veteran of comedic acting by the time she took on the unforgettable role of Kitty Forman, so she was a natural fit as the giddy yet quietly sad That ’70s Show mother character. Smith didn’t have that same level of comedic experience, though. Before That ’70s Show, Smith was known for his roles in action films, such as RoboCop and Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country. While his lack of experience in comedic roles made him nervous during his first few times on set (as he mentions in the same video), his stern demeanor and comfort in being the “bad guy” actually make Smith a great fit for the role, especially when opposite Rupp’s Kitty.

The two accomplished actors struck a resonant balance of fun-loving and downright cruel parental dynamic that played well for the original show. Kurtwood Smith’s natural comedic timing only added to his constant barrage of disciplinary action against Eric and the whole gang. Red’s classic “Dumb*ss” insult is still one of the most memorable recurring lines in TV history. Most importantly, both actors did a wonderful job of showing genuine care for their son and his friends beneath the layers of comedy and stern discipline. All of those things contribute to Debra Jo Rupp and Kurtwood Smith’s iconic sitcom parent roles in That ’70s Show.

More: That ’90s Show Season 1 Ending – What’s Next For Every Character

Source: Entertainment Weekly

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