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A Star is Born

5 Stars Who Got Their Start on That ’70s Show

Catch back-to-back That '70s Show episodes tonight starting at 6P.

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When That ’70s Show premiered back in 1998, the most famous cast member was probably Kurtwood Smith, who’d earned some notoriety for trying to kill Robocop. The teens responsible with carrying the series were largely unknown. Of course, they wouldn’t remain that way for long. The show would become a hit, and the cast would become big stars. Even today, names like Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are more famous for their tabloid exploits and award nominations than their sitcom roots. But the casting department that struck gold pulling together this ensemble didn’t quit after the pilot. For eight seasons, That ’70s Show managed to cast future stars in small roles. Here are a few of our favorite celebrities who got their start back in the ’70s.

5. Reid Scott

Carsey-Werner Productions

Reid Scott may be best known as the narcissistic, career-obsessed Deputy Assistant to the Vice President on the Emmy winning HBO sitcom Veep, but That ’70s Show was actually his first gig on TV. He guest starred on the season 5 episode “Over the Hills and Far Away” as Eric’s competition for college girls. As you can imagine Eric lost that particular battle.


4. Jim Rash

Carsey-Werner Productions

Jim Rash may be an Academy Award-winning screenwriter (and the scene-stealing standout of the cult comedy Community), but he was still a journeyman actor and member of the Groundlings comedy troupe when he booked a recurring role on That ’70s Show as the flamboyant landlord of Fez and Kelso’s apartment building. Fenton and Fez were mortal enemies, and while their hatred was never explained on the show, one popular theory was that they shared a tryst gone bad, meaning Dean Pelton wasn’t Rash’s first character with fluid sexuality.


3. Erika Christensen

Carsey-Werner Productions

Erika Christensen was still a child actress in search of a grown-up part when she booked a guest star spot on That ’70s Show back in 2001. She played a charming Pricemart cashier who Red wants to set up with Eric, until she starts coming on to him. After a childhood spent playing precocious kids on shows like Touched by an Angel, and a Leave It To Beaver reboot, this would be her coming out as a grown woman, leading to parts like Julia Braverman-Graham on the long running NBC drama Parenthood.


2. Jimmy Pardo

Carsey-Werner Productions

While not a household name, Jimmy Pardo has carved out a niche as Conan O’Brien’s in-house comedian, warming up the crowd and popping up on the show in a variety of ways. He’s also the host of the popular podcast Never Not Funny, which has hosted everyone from “Weird Al” Yankovic to Jon Hamm. But early in his career, he got a break playing Stan, the sexiest radio station manager who fires Donna for not doing an ad in a bikini. Unfortunately, his role would be overshadowed by another guest star on the episode, Eliza Dushku, playing radio station assistant “Sizzling Sarah.” Maybe if he’d been willing to appear in that bikini himself, it would have made more of an impression.


1. Amy Adams

Carsey-Werner Productions

Amy Adams, Oscar nominee and modern day Lois Lane, only had a couple of parts to her name when she popped up in the season 2 episode “Burning Down the House,” as an unwanted guest at a party gone out of control. She would soon run through a litany of guest starring roles, on everything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to West Wing, before getting her big break in the indie hit Junebug.

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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