Fez (That '70s Show)
Fez is a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 and one of the four male leads on the Fox Network
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

's That '70s Show
That '70s Show
That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that centers on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in the fictional suburban town of Point Place, Wisconsin, from May 17, 1976, to December 31, 1979...

, portrayed by Wilmer Valderrama
Wilmer Valderrama
Wilmer Eduardo Valderrama is an American actor and television personality, known for the role of Fez in the sitcom That '70s Show, hosting the MTV series Yo Momma, and voicing the character of Manny in the children's show Handy Manny.-Early life:Valderrama was born in Miami, Florida the son of...

. He was the foreign exchange student in a group of six local teenagers.


The name "Fez" is short for "foreign exchange student," despite the difference in spelling, which the series' official web site describes as "poetic license". His friends know Fez' real name but consider it unpronounceable. Red
Red Forman
Reginald Albert "Red" Forman is a fictional character on the Fox sitcom That '70s Show, portrayed by Kurtwood Smith.-Biography and personality:Red is one of the classic archetypes of the "grumpy man"...

 usually calls him "the foreign kid," or by a random foreign name (e.g. Hadji, Anwar, Sabu, Ali Baba
Ali Baba
Ali Baba is a fictional character from medieval Arabic literature. He is described in the adventure tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves...

, Pelé
However, Pelé has always maintained that those are mistakes, that he was actually named Edson and that he was born on 23 October 1940.), best known by his nickname Pelé , is a retired Brazilian footballer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time...

, Ahmad
Ahmad or Ahmed are the principal transliterations of the Arabic given name, . The name comes from the Arabic triconsonantal root of Ḥ-M-D, meaning "highly praised", implying "one who constantly thanks God".-Etymology:...

, Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Tutankhamon, etc.), to which Fez doesn't mind, except being called Tarzan
Tarzan is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani "great apes"; he later experiences civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer...

 because Tarzan is a white man. Eric's grandmother calls him "Desi
Desi or Deshi refers to the people, cultures, and products of the Indian subcontinent and, increasingly, to the people, cultures, and products of their diaspora. Desi countries include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh...


A flashback episode shows when Fez first meets the others. They rescue him from a janitor's closet where several bullies had hung him on a coat hook. The bullies had asked him if he wanted to hang out; he tells the gang 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.) 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 birthday is August 4th as he states in the episode "Good Company ".

Fez's homeland

Fez's homeland is one of the longest running gag
Running gag
A running gag, or running joke, is a literary device that takes the form of an amusing joke or a comical reference and appears repeatedly throughout a work of literature or other form of storytelling....

s on the show. Much is revealed in the episode "Love of My Life," where one of Fez's compatriots (played by Justin Long
Justin Long
Justin Jacob Long is an American film and television actor. He is best known for his roles in the Hollywood films Galaxy Quest, Jeepers Creepers, Dodgeball, Live Free or Die Hard, He's Just Not That into You, Drag Me to Hell, and Youth in Revolt, and his personification of a Mac in Apple's "Get a...

) 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
Steven Hyde
Steven James Hyde III, known as Hyde by his friends, is a fictional character from the Fox sitcom That '70s Show, portrayed by Danny Masterson. He is Eric Forman's best friend and by the end of season one, his de facto adopted brother...

 finally asks them, "Where the hell are you guys from?", his friend says that the name depends on whether you ask the British
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 or the Dutch. However, Fez explains that 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. In his country, the water is bad so Fez doesn't shower daily.

Fez is often assumed to be of Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 or Latino
The demonyms Latino and Latina , are defined in English language dictionaries as:* "a person of Latin-American descent."* "A Latin American."* "A person of Hispanic, especially Latin-American, descent, often one living in the United States."...

 descent, he clearly speaks Spanish, as is seen in a reel between scenes where he is singing a Spanish song in a higher pitch than his voice is. He also speaks Spanish in an early episode when he first meets Eric's grandmother. In a job interview he claims he can speak Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

. In "The Immigrant Song," Fez retells his catch phrase ("I said good day!") in his native tongue, which sounds like gibberish.

External links

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