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Don Stark Had A Powerful Realization While Filming That '70s Show Pilot

On all eight seasons of "That '70s Show," Don Stark portrayed Bob Pinciotti, the father of Donna (Laura Prepon). Bob is also friends with Eric Foreman's (Topher Grace) father, Red (Kurtwood Smith), going on fishing trips and spending time with him, although Red secretly dislikes Bob for most of the series. This dramatic irony, where the audience knows Red actually can't stand Bob, but Bob continues to come around, blissfully unaware, creates a running comedic effect throughout the show. Bob adds further humor through his odd quirks, such as being obsessed with the banjo and constantly embarrassing Donna. Overall, Bob may have been the most annoying character on "That '70s Show," but in an entertaining way.

As a major character throughout all eight seasons, Bob was also on the pilot episode of "That '70s Show." According to Variety, a great many television pilots actually never become full-fledged series. Understandably, this often makes the process of filming a pilot a nerve-racking and uncertain experience. Whether or not Don Stark felt this way while portraying Bob in the pilot of "That '70s Show," he certainly had a powerful realization while filming.

Don Stark knew That '70s Show was relatable right away

In a 2017 interview with Fan Fest, Don Stark discussed a realization he had while filming the pilot of "That '70s Show" in the spring of 1998. He said, "You know, the first thing I realized when we were shooting it was the audience had an immediate reaction. The way that it was written, and the characters that they had in it." Stark continued, "Some shows need time for you to know who is who and recognize what characters are what. Here, it was clear in the pilot already; you didn't need any other information. You knew each one of these people. Either you were them, they were friends of yours, they were parents that you knew, you knew every single person."

Stark seems to have accurately predicted the show's success and analyzed the reasons for it. They began filming subsequent episodes of the show in the summer of 1998, so the pilot was definitely persuasive. It seems that this is because it did not waste any time but got straight to the meat of who the characters were and what they were interested in. With shows being judged just on the pilot, and so many pilots being rejected, there is not much time to waste. Furthermore, Stark seems to say that the characters are so relatable that they feel actually familiar to viewers, making the show easy to watch, entertaining, and comforting.