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Remember in ‘That ’70s Show’ When Red and Kitty Get High? They Shot That Scene ‘a Bazillion Times’



That ’70s Show introduced audiences to the wonderfully groovy Point Place, Wisconsin crew and their stoner antics. The period comedy chronicles Eric Forman and his marijuana-loving friends’ growing pains, adolescent difficulties, and romantic relationships throughout the 1970s. But the show also showcased his parents. A scene from one of the show’s best episodes features Red and Kitty Forman, played by Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, unwittingly getting high. In a recent interview, the actors revealed that they had to film that scene “a bazillion times.”

One of the best ‘That ’70s Show’ episodes features Red and Kitty accidentally getting high

The episode “Garage Sale,” is often considered one of the best of That ’70s Show, as per MovieWeb. In it, the Formans need money because Red’s hours at the plant have been cut back significantly. At Eric’s request, Hyde bakes a batch of “special brownies” for the garage sale. But they’re quickly devoured by his folks, as well as Donna’s parents, Bob and Midge. This leads to Eric’s dad selling his cherished Vista Cruiser by accident.

Kurtwood Smith excels as the stoned-out-of-his-mind Red in the hilarious episode depicting the Point Place parents high as a kite. Eric and Hyde flip the usual script, scolding Red and Kitty the way they usually do to the kids. Watching the Formans and Pinciottis inebriated is a wild ride for viewers, making the episode a fan favorite.

The scene in ‘That ’70s Show’ where Red and Kitty get high was filmed ‘a bazillion times’

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smith and Rupp looked back at their scenes as Red and Kitty on That ’70s Show. In the interview, Jo Rupp revealed that the scene where their characters got high was filmed multiple times because Tanya Roberts, who played Midge on the show, kept forgetting her lines. 


The actor said, “When we filmed those, this camera was sitting right in the middle of us. At the time that this was filmed, you couldn’t miss a line because they couldn’t edit it. So if anybody messed up their line, you had to start all over again… Every time it got to Midge, you held your breath that she would remember… I can’t tell you how many times we started over in this scene. Like a bazillion times.”

‘That 70’s Show’ used the circle to get around censors

Kurtwood Smith (L) and Debra Jo Rupp attend the Los Angeles special screening reception for Netflix’s new series “That ’90s Show” at TUDUM Theater on January 12, 2023 in Hollywood, California. | Monica Schipper/Getty Images

The marijuana use in That ’70s Show was meant to be emblematic of the times. The series first two seasons were the most realistic and least alarmist representation of recreational marijuana use that television networks in the late 1990s and early 2000s would permit. The close-knit group of Wisconsin teenagers depicted on the show regularly used pot, but were never shown actually smoking, thanks to the filming trick lovingly referred to as “The Circle.”

The crew used a machine to constantly pump in special effects smoke to create the illusion of a haze floating around. A number of the show’s actors were also heavy cigarette smokers at the time, so they, helped, too. While filming those particular sequences, they would keep their lit cigarettes tucked under the table for a maximum smoke effect. Then they had the camera in the middle, to film 360 degrees around.

Smoking weed wasn’t the only thing That 70s Show used this filming technique for, however. It was regularly used when Eric would have dinner with his parents. Additionally, it was occasionally employed when adult characters consumed alcohol. The filming technique proved so effective that it became standard operating procedure for the show.

Source: Cheat Sheet


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