40 "That '90s Show" Facts, Including An Unscripted Moment Between Topher Grace And Laura Prepon, And More

�� There are MASSIVE spoilers ahead for That '90s Show Season 1! ��

🚨 There are MASSIVE spoilers ahead for That '90s Show Season 1! 🚨

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1.First, That '70s Show creators Bonnie and Terry Turner initially turned down doing a spinoff at Netflix. However, during the pandemic, they loved the thought of "wanting to go home," and that's where the idea for setting That '90s Show back in the Formans' house came from.

Cast of That '70s Show, sitting on or around a couch

"We thought about it and said no," Bonnie began. "Then we thought, as the pandemic wore on, that the way to do it would be to bring it back to Point Place, Wisconsin, and do it in Red and Kitty's house. During the pandemic, there was that sense of wanting to go home. You want to be somewhere safe. [We] thought about it, and Netflix liked the idea."

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2.Gregg Mettler, who wrote for the original series, was then brought on as showrunner and co-creator of That '90s Show, alongside Bonnie, Terry, and their daughter, Lindsay Turner.

Kitty and Red Forman looking at each other

"I was working on another show, and I got an email from my reps, and it said, 'Would you like to meet with the Turners about revisiting That '70s Show, set in the '90s?'" Gregg recalled. "My mind was absolutely blown. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to return to Point Place, to these characters, to those sets, ever again. Of course I wanted to meet with them, and I had no inkling of what they had in mind, how far along things were, or anything. But we had this joyous reunion over Zoom. I hadn't seen Bonnie and Terry in a really long time. We just got back to knowing each other again and catching up. My heart when I worked on '70s Show was always in that house with Red and Kitty. So centering the show on them just really resonated with me."

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3.Gregg was the one who actually came up with the idea to have That '90s Show set over the summer and have it center on Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti's daughter, Leia, staying with Red and Kitty.

Kitty welcoming Leia

"[Gregg] brought this very interesting thing to the show, which was, every season — if there is more than one — would take place during the summer, from July Fourth to Labor Day, and then Leia goes back to Chicago. I thought about it, and I don't remember seeing that ever in a television show," Terry said. "This was interesting because the next summer comes along, and people who are 16, 17, or 18 years old can change radically in nine months."

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4.In fact, the idea came from Gregg not wanting the series to start because of a tragedy. He knew he didn't want someone from That '70s Show to have died, or for their life not to have worked out, and that's why we'd be back in Point Place.

Cast members of That '90s Show outside a garage

Gregg explained, "I wanted this show to begin in a positive way. I thought about how do we get Red and Kitty's granddaughter to spend a lot of time there without it being negative, because we've seen that story of, like, a kid gets dropped off because something bad has happened. I suddenly thought about this friend I have who would spend their summers at a lake in Wisconsin. The summer idea started hitting me, and once I had that, it created this nice bite-sized season of 10 episodes. It gives it a framing device of arrival and departure, and it has that summer camp feel to it."

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5.Setting That '90s Show over a summer vacation also gave the creators and writers a chance to invite original cast members back without them having to be in every single episode.

Donna and Leia sitting on a bed

"Of course, I wanted them to fit into it as much as they can," Gregg began. "But I started thinking, Look, they're all busy. They have these incredible careers and lives of their own. I wasn't able to rely on them being involved consistently, outside of Kurtwood [Smith] and Debra Jo [Rupp]. So I love this idea of the summer of 1995 ends, then the next season is the summer of 1996. There wasn't this pressure on the show to keep legacy cast members' arcs going. They could show up for an episode. We could jump in time and see them again. I really fell in love with that idea."

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6.Debra Jo and Kurtwood immediately said yes to returning after hearing the initial pitch for the spinoff series. Both of them brought their own ideas as to how Kitty and Red Forman have changed in the 15 years since we last saw them.

Red and Kitty sitting at a kitchen table

"When we were on the Zoom call with them, they were like, 'Oh, and you know, Kitty and Red, they've gone quiet in the house and everything's gotten silent. They both feel different ways about this. And when all the kids come back, how do they react to that?'" Lindsay explained. "It was fun figuring out with them how Kitty and Red react to all these kids coming back. They were full of questions and ideas. It was so easy. They knew exactly who the characters were." Gregg added, "They're such pros. Absolutely dazzling at what they do. The comfort and the ease with which they just get those characters and give them nuance and give them heart and emotion is so amazing. As a writer, you are always hoping to work with people who elevate the words and bring subtlety to the words. That's what they do. They are absolutely incredibly talented and a pure joy."

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7.One of the most emotional days of filming involved watching Debra Jo and Kurtwood step onto the re-created sets for the first time.

Red and Kitty smiling in the kitchen

"Debra Jo, I believe, was in tears. Kurtwood was just looking around stunned," Gregg recalled. "I think we all felt like that to a certain extent when we got on the stage with those sets." Lindsay added, "When they came back to the home set, it was exactly like they had never left. They just walked right back in."

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8.In fact, Bonnie said she was "brought to tears" several times while filming That '90s Show — namely, when she first saw the set, when Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis filmed their scene together, and when Topher Grace and Laura Prepon did the same.

Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti sitting on a car hood

She added, "The original show was a very special set. It was very happy and playful and loving. The writers on the original show were that way too. The new show is that way too."

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9.The moment when Eric and Donna push each other's head while sitting on the hood of the car in the Formans' driveway, which is reminiscent of a scene in the That '70s Show pilot, was unscripted.

The similar scenes from That '90s Show and That '70s Show, where Eric pushes Donna's head

Terry added, "[Topher and Laura] did it without even thinking. It was fun to watch people come back from the original cast and drop so easily into the characters. They just put them on like an old shirt."

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10.Once Ashton and Mila agreeded to come back for an episode, the writers knew they had to write in a "Damn, Jackie" for Kelso. Their scene was one of the "easiest" to write for Gregg.

Jackie saying "Michael, let's go!" and Kelso saying, "Damn, Jackie! Will you just give me a minute to enjoy this?!"

"That scene, I wrote all at once. Just spilled out of my fingers. I wanted Ashton to say, 'Damn, Jackie,' so bad," Gregg said. Meanwhile, Terry added, "God, I loved it. When Ashton and Mila came in together in that scene, I thought that was really the icing on the cherry on the sundae of this show."

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11.Prior to filming Episode 1, Ashton was sending Gregg videos of himself running around the house in Kelso's wardrobe and yelling, "Damn, Jackie."

Mila and Ashton at a sports event

"I guess Ashton had kept all the old Kelso wardrobe. He was texting me pictures of him in Kelso's old winter jacket. Then Ashton was sending me videos of him playfully annoying Mila by running around their house going, 'Damn, Jackie,'" Gregg explained. "They were just very excited to return to a place that was so special for them."

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12.While filming Episode 1, Ashton studied his lines on the couch in the Formans' basement, just like he did while filming That '70s Show. He fell asleep, and when he woke up, he said it was the "strangest feeling" to see Mila dressed as Jackie standing over him.

Jackie and Michael (in underwear) in That '70s Show on a couch

"He said, 'When I woke up, it was Mila standing over me, and I opened my eyes. I looked around and I was in the Forman basement with my wife staring up at the [lighting] grid, dressed as Jackie. It was the strangest feeling I've ever had. I literally didn't know [what year] I was [in] for a minute,'" Bonnie recalled.

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13.Wilmer Valderrama hadn't done his iconic Fez voice since That '70s Show ended. The first time he did it again was for Bonnie and Terry, when they called to ask if he'd guest-star on That '90s Show.

Fez lying on the hood of a car

Bonnie recalled, "When we called Wilmer to see if he would come back and do Fez, and if he had any interest, he said, 'When do you want me?' And then he said, 'I haven't done the voice since That '70s Show. I don't make that sound. People ask me to do it and I won't do it. I love Fez. Fez is dear to me.' And I told him I understood that and it meant a lot that he wanted to come back and do it. Then Wilmer said, 'Yes, Mrs. Bonnie,' in the Fez voice. We died laughing."

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14.A lot of thought went into how the Formans' house has changed since That '70s Show ended. For starters, the couch that used to be in the living room is now in the basement.

Contrasting settings for the couch in the two series

Lindsay explained, "[Kitty and Red] have spruced the house up a little more. They've taken living room furniture and put it in the basement and re-wallpapered the kitchen, which were all conversations that we had with the set designer. That was also part of the fun of reinhabiting the world, was getting to have that conversation about what had Red and Kitty done to the house." Terry added, "One of the things we wanted people to feel about the show is, it's like coming home. It's coming [back] again to somewhere you love, and the set does it in the same way when I'd go home to my parents' house. My mother had re-wallpapered the kitchen and maybe changed out the carpet in the living room. Do just minor things, but it was always the same house, and you had no doubt where you were. It's a comfortable feeling."

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15.Also, in That '70s Show, Kitty had decorated the house with owls, so you'll notice that they're hidden on the bookcase in the living room in That '90s Show.

The owl on a piece of furniture in That '90s Show and on a small wall shelf in That '70s Show

"Debra Jo would stand and talk to the audience in between takes, saying, 'Kitty's moved on from owls. She's done fruit in her kitchen. But, don't worry, owls are still in the house.' And they are, they're in the bookcase in the living room," Lindsay began. "Every original cast member who came back, they all walked through the Formans' home set — the basement, the driveway, the water tower — and it was surreal for each one of them because it was like coming home. It was so powerful."

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16.Some of the furniture from the original That '70s Show set was actually in Ashton and Mila's basement at their house. They brought back some of it for That '90s Show.

Kelso and Jackie smiling at each other

"He had the original chair and the footstool from the basement. Some cushions," Terry explained.

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17.Casting director Marc Hirschfeld, who cast the original That '70s Show, was brought back to cast That '90s Show. His talent "for finding people who are unsuspecting" and "natural actors" was one of the reasons he was brought back. Plus, it added to the "magic" of having the original casting director find the new generation.

Young kids from That '90s Show holding up red cups

"He goes far and wide [while casting]," Bonnie said. "He casts a very wide net to bring good people. It took us a while, like it did the first time." Gregg added, "We had signs and electronic flyers up in all of these performing arts high schools around the country. You're really just looking for chills when you watch somebody. You're looking for that emotion and that connection."

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18.When the original That '70s Show cast was on set, they took the time to chat with the new cast and give them advice. They talked about what their lives were like both on- and offscreen while filming the original series.

Young people sitting on a couch

Lindsay said, "There was this real collaboration between the older generation and the newer generation. On set, it felt like it really turned the page into this sequel. That's what showed up on camera, too. The kids would watch [Wilmer] do [the Fez voice], and they would talk to him about it and want to know more." Gregg added, "Every time somebody was on set, they were always surrounded by our new cast."

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19.The creators saw "a lot of people" for the role of Leia Forman, until finally Callie Haverda popped up in an audition and they got "chills."

Leia and Eric sitting on a couch

Gregg explained, "One day, here comes Callie Haverda on my screen, and your head tilts to the side and you just go, Man, I am getting the chills right now." Lindsay added, "Callie, naturally, had a lot of those mannerisms of Eric Forman. It was so easy to spot that Callie was the right combo of Eric and Donna."

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20.Mace Coronel didn't originally know he was auditioning to play Jackie and Kelso's son, Jay. As soon as the creators saw his first taped audition, they couldn't help but notice the strong resemblance he has to Ashton and Mila.

Kelso and Jay laughing

"First, I'm going, Oh my god, he looks like he could be their kid! He looked like Ashton," Gregg recalled. And Lindsay added, "It was crazy to find Mace, who seemed like such a combination of Jackie and Michael, and you went, 'Oh my god, it's a Kelso.'"

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21.Before Mace's chemistry read with Callie, Gregg finally told him he was auditioning to play Jackie and Kelso's son. Once he knew, Gregg said, Mace really leaned into it and began to embody Ashton's Kelso.

Jay and Leia in a video store

"I asked casting if I could give him a call at his school's lunchtime and just slip the information to him that he was playing Ashton's son," Gregg began. "He did not know before then. It was confidential. Then, in his chemistry read, he did this thing where he dropped a VHS case and then picked it up real quick and popped back into frame. It was so Ashton as Kelso."

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22.The writers decided to pair up Leia and Jay in Season 1 because the idea of a Forman and a Kelso dating was "too good to resist."

Jay and Leia sitting on a car trunk and looking up

Lindsay explained, "I mean, Jay is so pretty. I think it's very teenage-girl brain to look at him and go, 'Hot,' which is also what makes Leia's turn towards Nate [in Episode 10] kind of cool because it's that maturity you gain as you get older. Leia realizes looks aren't everything, and maybe she wants somebody she can talk to."

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23.Sam Morelos, who stars as Nikki, was attending a performing arts high school when she auditioned for the role. In fact, she did her callback in between classes and was struggling to find a Wi-Fi signal so she could sign into the Zoom call.

Nikki and Leia under an umbrella

"She had propped her iPad up on the floor and moved her couch out of the way and read with a friend from performing arts school," Lindsay recalled of Sam's initial audition. "We watched the audition and went, 'Her! Her!'"

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24.Reyn Doi, who plays Ozzie, was the first person they cast for That '90s Show. Previously, Reyn appeared in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, which is where some of the producers knew him from.

Ozzie sitting on a couch and holding a phone to his face

"He came across the screen and he's just being Reyn," Gregg said. "This unbelievable comedic timing. Interesting. A lot of heart. Everything. He checked all the boxes."

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25.The idea for Ozzie to come out as gay to Kitty came from the writers' knowledge that Kitty would "embrace the '90s" and all of the changes that come with it.

Ozzie and Kitty on a couch, and Ozzie asks her if she's OK with him being gay, and she says "Well, of course I am — oh, sweet boy, get in here" and they hug

"[The] Ozzie-coming-out-to-Kitty storyline was exciting because it felt like her opportunity to be part of something that was very much part of the time," Lindsay said.

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26.Maxwell Acee Donovan, who plays Nate, reminded the Turners a lot of Ashton when he was cast on That '70s Show. Both Max and Ashton were able to really grow comedically over the course of Season 1.

Jay and Nate sitting on a couch

"As Max got later and later in shooting the season, he would start playing all the way to the whistle. He would just keep going until he heard 'cut.' It was so cool to watch him go and flex his comedy muscles," Lindsay recalled. "It was reminiscent of Ashton. The old cast did the same thing when they were young, which was amazing to watch." Terry added, "Watching Max doing things, like playing moments of sincerity that are funny and yet really kind of touching, was similar to Ashton too. He's this big guy, and he's just such a sweetheart. In other people's hands, certain lines that Max does might come off wrong or a little too maudlin, but he does it so sincere."

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27.Almost all of the original That '70s Show cast members who returned brought back props they had taken when the original series wrapped. First, Debra Jo had the memorable glass grapes that sat on Kitty's table as well as pictures from the original set, including one with Betty White and Tom Poston, who played Kitty's parents.

The photo of Tom and Betty on a shelf in That '90s Show and the two in a scene from That '70s Show with Debra

"Debra Jo had old photographs from the original set of the Formans' with Tom Poston and Betty White. One of the set decorators copied the photographs and put them in the living room," Lindsay recalled.

Netflix / Fox / Everett Collection

28.Wilmer had Eric's Vista Cruiser, which he brought back alongside some of Fez's That '70s Show wardrobe.

A car in a garage

"They all have very strong emotional connection to That '70s Show. I think that was one of the most joyous things about this, was just going back with them," Gregg said.

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29.When creating the new generation of teenagers for That '90s Show, Gregg was "hyperaware" that they'd be compared with the original teens. Ultimately, they created characters who were different enough but had similar mannerisms because "times change, but kids don't."

The teens sitting in a living room

Gregg explained, "I really approached it as just creating interesting characters. Some of them are based on people that I know. I have two teenagers. I've seen their friends. Also, for some characters, it was about looking at what would make conflict and chemistry." Lindsay added, "It was fun for me because I went to high school in the '90s. So it was fun to look back on the kids I went to high school with and go, 'Oh, I remember these people. I remember the goofball. I remember the riot girl.'"

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30.Writing the show from a "female protagonist's point of view this time" was important to the That '90s Show creators. It allowed them to explore different storylines they didn't get to when Eric was the lead character. In fact, the series had a "female-heavy" writers room this time around.

Leia sitting on a couch

"My daughter was 15 when I started writing, and she was a major factor in me deciding that Eric and Donna have a daughter," Gregg said. "I was determined to work with the funniest female writers I could find to make these characters feel as authentic as possible. Chrissy [Pietrosh] and Jessica [Goldstein] are two of the most important writers we could have. I really wanted them so we could nail the female perspective. It was very important."

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31.In fact, one of the things that having a female protagonist allowed was exploring female friendships, namely with Leia and Gwen Runck (played by Ashley Aufderheide). While Jackie and Donna were important to That '70s Show, Leia and Gwen are the "heart of the show" this time around.

Leia and Gwen

"Leia and Gwen are more '90s than Jackie and Donna ever were because they're in that period that happened in the '90s for women, which is, they give each other confidence," Bonnie added. "Like, Gwen looks at Leia and calls her a nerd, and they aren't afraid to support and talk up each other's strengths and weaknesses."

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32.One of Terry's favorite scenes that really illustrates Leia and Gwen's friendship is in the Season 1 finale, when they talk about Leia's almost-kiss with Nate.

Gwen and Leia sitting together

"When they're on the water tower in the last episode, and Leia and Nate have had this strange realization that they're more alike than they thought, and Gwen says, 'Look at you, when you first got here, you'd never kissed a guy. You'd never had a beer. And now you're an agent of chaos. Look how far you've come.' It's a great moment for the two of them," he said.

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33.Laura actually directed the final two episodes of That '90s Show Season 1, and it was "magical" having her on the other side of the camera this time around.

Leia and Donna sitting at a table and smiling

"I knew she had directed on Orange Is the New Black, and I knew that was part of what she loves to do now. We discussed it amongst ourselves, all the producers, about how wonderful it would be if she could come back and direct a few. We knew it would mean a lot to the young cast," Gregg explained. "When Laura was acting on the show, before she came back to direct, she said, 'Mettler, getting back in those sets. You have such muscle memory as a performer, you literally know how many steps it takes to hit your mark at the kitchen counter. Your body just does it. You don't even have to think about it.' From a directing point of view, I think she just came in very prepared. She had ideas that I think echoed the blocking and movement from the old show. You start to feel that in those episodes Laura directed. She was just absolutely amazing and so professional. She's so talented at directing."

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34.One of the best parts about That '90s Show was watching Debra Jo and Kurtwood hang out with the new generation of teenagers. In particular, Terry recalled watching Debra Jo, Reyn, Ashley, and Callie hanging out in the kitchen between takes and Debra Jo being "mesmerized" by them.

The cast of That '90s Show standing together and smiling

"They were teaching Debra Jo how to shake someone's hand, pull away, and, like, snap," he said. "It's been quite lovely watching Debra Jo and Kurtwood with this new cast."

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35.Bonnie's favorite That '70s Show Easter egg is the faded pot leaf on the water tower. She loves that the water tower was able to become a central set on this show, too.

The teens standing at the water tower in both shows

She added, "I love the water tower. It reminds me very much of me as a kid in Ohio. I was so happy to see the water tower with the pot leaf still on it, but it's fading. And it still says, 'Jackie and Kelso' on it."

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36.Meanwhile, Lindsay loves that the Green Bay Packers helmet and the Candy Land board game are still in the Formans' basement in That '90s Show.

The helmet circled in both shows

"I'm a huge fan of the Green Bay Packers football helmet. It always made me howl whenever they would put each other in the helmet in the old show," Lindsay explained. "I just love that it sits there. Bright yellow and right there. The other thing I love is Candy Land and the kids find the stash in the Candy Land game. Eric just went to Africa and forgot about it. He left it there."

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37.Gregg has a very sentimental Easter egg he hid in That '90s Show. He placed a photo of That '70s Show writer Rob DesHotel, who died in 2018, in the basement because he "loved writing scenes down in that basement set with those kids in the 360s."

A scene of the kids in the basement

"I'll tell you one that I've been sort of keeping to myself because it's very personal, but I would love if people knew," Gregg began. "One of my friends, who was a writer on That '70s Show with me, Rob DesHotel, he passed away a couple of years ago. He loved That '70s Show. He loved the experience of working on it. I was really close with him until he passed away. So there's a hidden picture of Rob on the set. I'll get choked up if I think about it too much. Whenever I was in that basement set, I was thinking about Rob, so I made sure he was there."

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38.Costume designer Melina Root, key hairstylist Cindy Costello, and more worked on That '70s Show and returned to work on That '90s Show.

Jay kissing Leia's cheek

Bonnie said, "The costume designer, the costume manager, the hair coordinator, the key hair, the set dec. They all came back."

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39.While filming one of the classic Forman basement 360-degree shots, the young cast started singing "Careless Whisper" by George Michael in between takes.

Nate with his arm around Nikki

"They were doing the camera blocking, so the camera was just panning around and they were all singing," Lindsay recalled. "They got around to Sam Morelos, who has a wonderful singing voice, and she started doing an Elvis impression. It was Elvis singing George Michael. It was incredible."

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40.And finally, the That '70s Show actor the new cast was most excited to meet was Tommy Chong, who plays Leo. In fact, when he first arrived, they all went to set and took pictures with him.

Leo in the forest with Jay and Leia

Terry hilariously said, "The new cast was acting as if they were meeting the Beatles, but it was Tommy Chong."

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Be sure to watch That '90s Show, which is streaming now on Netflix.

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