As part of the Heartland Tour
2012, Kurtwood Smith—better known as Red Forman from That 70s Show—has been
travelling all over the state.
Wednesday, Smith made a stop at the sundial by the Noel Fine Arts Center to
speak to a group of pointers. His main point was to motivate students to
register to vote in the November election. Smith began his speech with a short
anecdote. He mentioned how lucky he was to have the opportunity to act as Red
on That 70s Show for so many years, and explained how he found his voice.
New Lisbon native said that his father was a man’s man, and recalls how he
learned to swim.
dad took me down to the dam. There were no public pools in New Lisbon, so
everyone swam in the dam,” he said.
a while of floundering around, Smith said, his father pulled him out and took
remember my father telling my mother ‘I can’t teach him to swim, he’s got a
lead ass.’ And that’s were the voice of the character really came from,” he
said. “Red Forman definitely has his roots in his Wisconsin.”
serious, he urged the students to register to vote, and to tell their friends
to do so as well. He related his story about finding his character’s voice to
students finding their own as voters.
guys are the voice of this campaign,” Smith said. “Tell your friends to vote.
Your fellow students will listen to you.”
he made his point, Smith started talking with students, taking pictures and
Allar, a student who came to meet Smith, said he had heard about the event via
Facebook. He brought with him the first season of That 70s Show on DVD for
Smith to autograph. Allar also said he would try to avoid making bad jokes.
heard people joking about having him put his foot up Romney’s ass, but I don’t
think I’m going to make any lame jokes,” Allar said.
asked if Red was his favorite character, Allar said he was definitely in the
is one of my favorite characters. He is pretty funny, though,” he said.
Johnson, another student in the crowd, said he also heard about Smith’s visit
from Facebook. Johnson told Smith where he was from, and took a picture with
do love Kelso, but you can’t pick a favorite character from that show,” Johnson
said. He also said he regretted not bringing his own DVD collection for Smith
to sign. “I have every season,” he said.
from the College Democrats helped to organize this event. They advertised with
some chalk writing on sidewalks across campus, sent emails to students and made
posts to Facebook, the last of which proved to be most effective.
he was leaving, Smith said the most critical thing this election season is to
get people out to the polls to vote.
“What I really want to do is make sure that college
kids and their friends vote,” he said.