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15 Vintage Facts About That '70s Show

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With an impressive group of future television and movie stars, That '70s Show graced the Fox airwaves for eight seasons (almost a full decade!) beginning in 1998. Here are some facts about how the Point Place, Wisconsin cheese was made.

1. TOPHER GRACE WAS DISCOVERED PERFORMING IN A HIGH SCHOOL PLAY.

Co-creators Bonnie and Terry Turner were the parents of a cast member of a high school production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Their attention gradually turned to the lead, Topher Grace. The Turners asked him to audition the following year for their new show.

2. ASHTON KUTCHER WAS A MODEL BEFORE AUDITIONING.

He got the part of Kelso after playing him “naive” at his audition, while everybody else played him as dumb. But Kutcher had never acted: "The first five episodes of That '70s Show, I was convinced I was going to be fired, because I was terrible," Kutcher told Rolling Stone.

3. MILA KUNIS LIED ABOUT HER AGE AT HER AUDITION.

The then-14-year-old reasoned that the producers wouldn't want to cast someone too young because of work hour restrictions for minors, so "I told them I was going to be 18," Kunis told People. "But I didn't tell them when I was going to be 18!"

4. KUNIS’ FIRST KISS WAS ON THE SHOW, WITH KUTCHER.

She enjoyed some other firsts on the show, not all of them with cast members she ended up marrying: Wilmer Valderrama taught her how to drive. Danny Masterson took her to her first club and bought her her first drink. He was also her prom date.

5. MASTERSON’S ROLE IN THE FACULTY WAS CUT SHORT SO HE COULD SHOOT THE PILOT.

All the actor was told about his character, Hyde, was that he is a “deep theorist stoner type.” Masterson figured out how to play his character “by episode four or five.”

6. KURTWOOD SMITH BASED RED FORMAN ON HIS STEPFATHER.

Smith's stepdad passed away shortly before the pilot was filmed. Smith also has the distinction of being the only regular cast member who was actually born in Wisconsin.

7. THE ORIGINAL TITLE FOR THE SHOW WAS TEENAGE WASTELAND.

The Who songwriter Pete Townshend refused to allow his lyric from “Baba O’Riley” to be appropriated for the show; the same went for the proposed title of The Kids Are Alright. After Feelin’ All Right was presented as the name of the program to advertisers, Bonnie Turner realized that no matter what they called it, everybody would just to refer to it as “that '70s show.”

8. THE CO-WRITER OF THE THEME SONG WAS PAID $70 EVERY TIME THE SHOW WAS ON TV.

Big Star singer Alex Chilton co-wrote “In the Street,” which was covered in season one by Todd Griffin before Cheap Trick’s version kicked things off starting in season two. With the name of the show in mind, Chilton found the dollar amount ironic.

9. LEO WAS WRITTEN WITH TOMMY CHONG IN MIND.

Chong claimed in 2003 that his stoner character Leo was starting to get written out more because of 9/11. After disappearing for a few seasons while serving a jail sentence for selling “drug paraphernalia,” Mickey “Leo” Chingkwake returned, and was credited as a series regular in the show’s eighth and final season.

10. WILL FORTE TURNED DOWN PERFORMING ON SNL TO CONTINUE WRITING ON THE SHOW.

Forte enjoyed the job security of his writing/producing gig on That '70s Show and feared failure on Saturday Night Live. One year later he changed his mind.

11. THE SMOKE IN THE "POT CIRCLE" SCENES WAS STRAWBERRY-SCENTED.

Laura Prepon, Kutcher, and Masterson hid their lit cigarettes below the table before those scenes so that they could partake in their habit in between takes.

12. LATER SEASONS HAD BAND-THEMED EPISODE TITLES.

Season five episodes all shared titles with Led Zeppelin tunes. For season six, The Who was honored. The Rolling Stones were represented in season seven. For season eight, it was Queen.

13. KEVIN MCDONALD GOT THE ROLE OF PASTOR DAVE BECAUSE OF HIS DOG AND TOPHER GRACE .

Grace drove by one day while The Kids in the Hall cast member was walking his dog and said he was a huge fan. It led to him playing Pastor Dave for six episodes before the character unceremoniously disappeared. McDonald believes the show forgot about him because co-creator Mark Brazill left to work on the failed spinoff That ‘80s Show.

14. THERE WAS A U.K. REMAKE CALLED DAYS LIKE THESE IN 1999.

It was the first time an American company (Carsey-Werner) produced both the American and British versions of the same show. Days Like These used the same scripts as That '70s Show, switching out American references with British ones, like David Bowie replacing a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders poster, and Prince Charles visiting instead of President Gerald Ford. Only 10 episodes were aired.

15. LAURIE FORMAN SUFFERED A TRAGIC END.

Lisa Robin Kelly was taken off the show halfway through season three, returning in the fifth season only to be replaced by actress Christina Moore. "I was guilty of a drinking problem,” Kelly said in 2012. “And I ran.” Kelly passed away on August 13, 2013, after entering a rehabilitation facility; the coroner ruled the cause as being from multiple drug intoxication.

Buy That '70s Show: The Complete Series on Amazon.

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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