Fez (That '70s Show)
|That '70s Show character|
|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, Mushmouth, Muhammad Ali, Prince Edwardo, Ferrari (Fez Ferrari)|
|Occupation||High school student
Foto Hut clerk
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||Latin American/country unknown|
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.
Fez was born on August 4, 1960. His real name is deemed unpronounceable by his friends, so they call him "Fez" (short for Foreign Exchange Student). The series' official web site explains the spelling "Fez" (as opposed to "Fes") as "poetic license". Red usually calls him "the foreign kid", or by a random foreign (or Native American) name through various backgrounds (e.g. Hadji, Tonto, Anwar, Sabu, Muhammad Ali, Ali Baba, Pelé, Ahmad, Tutankhamun, etc.), which Fez does not mind, with one exception: he hates 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 have hung him on a coat hook. The bullies had asked him if he wanted to hang out; he tells the group 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), after which Hyde (hearing the name) says "OK... I'm not going to remember that." 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. His name has no consonants, only vowels.
Valderrama has stated that he fabricated the accent he used on the show so that no one could identify which country his character is from, a mystery the 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 suggest 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. Fez explains, "the British won't say it, 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.
Fez is often assumed to be of Hispanic or Latino descent; it is never revealed if this is so, though earlier episodes, such as "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", imply he can speak Spanish. In "Eric's Burger Job", during a job interview at Fatso Burger, 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. He also shows good dancing skills, especially in Latin music; in the episode "That Disco Episode" he gets excited because Merengue music (usually Caribbean and Central and South American) is playing and he goes to the dance floor with Jackie.
- "Wilmer Valderrama". That70sShow.com. Carsey-Werner LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". That70sShow.com. Carsey-Werner LLC. 2004. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
- Barlow, Helen (2007-01-03). "Charmer out of the '70s". Herald Sun. Melbourne. Retrieved 17 April 2009.
- "That 70s Show and the Imaginary Fez". Overthinking It. May 4, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
- 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 at the Internet Movie Database