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Tommy Chong Saw That '70s Show As A Teaching Experience For The Youth

Though its title might lead one to believe that it's more concerned about being a period piece than anything else, "That '70s Show" isn't the most concerned with its setting. Rather, at its core, it's about friendships, specifically the ones you build during the waning days of your youth before heading off into adulthood. The show puts the spotlight on a crew of kids from Point Place, Wisconsin, who get up to all kinds of mischief that often sends the far more adjusted adults in their lives into irritated frenzies. Nevertheless, they never really change.

While the likes of Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) and Bob Pinciotti (Don Stark) have largely accepted their place in the world as parents and authority figures, not every adult on "That '70s Show" is in their camp. Take, for instance, the free-spirited and easy-going Leo Chingkwake (Tommy Chong), who pops up every now and again throughout the series. Many would consider him irresponsible or even lazy, but those assessments wouldn't quite be fair. Leo could drop some wisdom at a moment's notice, giving the "That '70s Show" crew some much-needed guidance.

Just as Leo could act as an educator to the Point Place crew, in Tommy Chong's eyes, "That '70s Show" served as a teaching experience for the youngsters that chose to watch it.

Chong thinks That '70s Show had a lot to offer young viewers

As Tommy Chong explained to Movie Web, "That '70s Show" had a lot to offer those that were growing up as it aired. "All the cast became teachers; they were teaching people in America, and personally, I think that is a show that has that attitude of teaching," he said, explaining that the series' exploration of topics like puberty and friend groups made it a strong teaching tool for kids entering their teenage years. Chong even predicts that a "That 2000s Show" could come along down the road to keep this trend going as the "That '70s Show" sequel, the nostalgic "That '90s Show," has.

Speaking of "That '90s Show," Chong has noted that the Netflix series has its own educational side behind the scenes as well. During a chat with The Mary Sue, he highlighted the importance of the program's writers and what they can offer the younger on-screen talent who have limited experience on high-profile television projects. "It's the writers, it's the writers that are just like, when you go to school, it's the teachers. It's the teachers that, and whether or not the kids grab it or not, that's up to them. But it's the teachers that set the tone and the pace, and it gives you the product," Chong said.

"That '70s Show" and "That '90s Show" may be light-hearted sitcoms with fun characters and entertaining stories, but like any piece of media, there's more to them than meets the eye. If you ask Tommy Chong, there's something educational about them that makes them especially worthwhile watches for the youth.