Fez (That '70s Show)
|First appearance||"That '70s Pilot"
|Last appearance||"That '70s Finale"
|Created by||Mark Brazill|
|Portrayed by||Wilmer Valderrama|
|Nickname(s)||The Foreign Kid, The Foreigner, Julie, Boy With The Accent, Cocoa Puff, Ali Baba, Hadji, Pele, Tarzan, Sabu, Anwar, Tonto, Desi, Captain Pooface, Chocolate Milk, Fezzy, Tutankhamen, Johnny Table, Anlar|
|Occupation||High school student
Foto Hut clerk
New Wave Musician (In the '80s)
Rebecca Erdman (Host Mother)
Matthew Erdman (Host Father)
|Spouse(s)||Laurie Forman (ex-wife)|
|Significant other(s)||Marsha Sullivan (ex-girlfriend)
Big Rhonda (ex-girlfriend)
Jackie Burkhart (girlfriend)
|Nationality||Unknown/U.S. citizen by season 6|
Fez (born August 4, 1960) is a fictional character and one of the four male leads on the Fox Network's That '70s Show, portrayed by Wilmer Valderrama. He was the foreign exchange student in a group of six local teenagers. Though the character's name is commonly known as Fez, it was fabricated as an acronym for foreign exchange student - F.E.S.
Fez was born on August 4th, 1960. The series' official web site describes the phonetic spelling for Fez's name (as opposed to "FES") as "poetic license". Fez's friends know his real name but consider it unpronounceable. Red usually calls him "the foreign kid," or by a random foreign name (e.g. Hadji, Tonto, Anwar, Sabu, Mohammed Ali, Ali Baba, Pelé, Ahmad, Stalin, Tutankhamon, etc.), which Fez doesn't mind, except for being called Tarzan because Tarzan is a white man. Eric's grandmother calls him "Desi."
A flashback episode shows when Fez first meets the others. They rescue him from a janitor's closet where several bullies had hung him on a coat hook. The bullies had asked him if he wanted to hang out; he tells the gang he "shouldn't have said yes." Moments later he states his real name, which is drowned out by a long, ringing school bell (what Valderrama was actually saying was the first names of the main actors who appear in the show). The only known fact about his name is, as he states in the episode "Killer Queen", the first five K's of his last name are silent.
Valderrama has stated that he fabricated the accent he used on the show, so that no one could try to identify which country his character is from, a mystery that show creators deliberately kept a secret.
Fez's secret country of origin is one of the longest running gags on the show. Through all eight seasons, Fez's nationality remains a mystery, even to his closest friends, and the continual hints and clues Fez drops about his country only leave them more confused. In the episode "Eric's Birthday," Kitty, fantasizing about Eric's friends causing trouble, imagines Fez saying, "in my home country of...wherever it is I'm from; I can never tell..." Much is revealed in the episode "Love of My Life," where one of Fez's compatriots (played by Justin Long) comes for a visit. In the first teaser, when his friend suggests that he goes home, he says "Yes, I will go to Brazil...and then catch a flight home." In the final teaser, when Hyde finally asks them, "Where the hell are you guys from?" his friend says that the name depends on whether you ask the British or the Dutch. But the British won't say it, Fez explains, because they hate the island, and no one understands a word the Dutch say. The friend has a heavy English accent; Fez's explanation to this is that his friend is from the west side of the island. In the episode "That '70s Musical," Fez explains to the Foremans, "The British have always hated my people." Then he turns and shouts to his British music teacher, Mr. Wilkinson, "We won the war, buddy. Get over it!" In scene from Season 1 Episode 6 "The Keg", the compatriots stumble across a keg in their attempt to cut class for the day. Once Eric returns home with the keg, Hyde proclaims "When God gives you a Keg you gotta..." Fez then completes the sentence with "Kill a virgin" which was a common practice with the Inca cultures in Peru and is only a short plane ride away from Brazil.
Fez is often assumed to be of Hispanic or Latino descent (much like his actor) ; it is never revealed if this is so, though earlier episodes, such as "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," imply he can speak Spanish or Portuguese. In "Ramble on," during a job interview at the DMV, Fez claims he can speak Dutch. In "The Immigrant Song," Fez retells his catch phrase ("I said good day!") in his native tongue, which sounds like gibberish.
- "Wilmer Valderrama". That70sShow.com. Carsey-Werner LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Barlow, Helen (2007-01-03). "Charmer out of the '70s". Herald Sun (Melbourne). Retrieved 17 April 2009.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". That70sShow.com. Carsey-Werner LLC. 2004. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Mastro, Dana. and Morawitz, Elizabeth. Latino Representation on Primetime Television: A Content Analysis, Section Stereotypes of Latinos, pp. 7.
- Thanu Yakupitiyage Battling or Creating Stereotypes in ‘Aliens in America’?, October 19, 2007, Racewire.
- Ben Megargel Reality spin-off falls into familiar traps, The Michigan Daily, February 6, 2007.
- Fez (That '70s Show) at the Internet Movie Database