That '70s Show

That ’70s Show: The True Story Behind Bruce Willis’ Cameo

Bruce Willis' That 70's Show cameo is one of the series' most memorable celebrity appearances, but how did he end up playing Playboy Club manager Vic?

The true story behind Bruce Willis’ That 70’s Show cameo remains as touching today as it was in 2005. First aired on FOX in August 1998, That 70’s Show went on to enjoy eight stellar seasons, with the series finale ending in November 2005. Across the course of this run, That 70’s Show saw a number of high profile celebrity cameos, including appearances from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Betty White, and the aforementioned Bruce Willis.

That 70’s Show season 8, episode 4, “Misfire,” sees Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) travel to Chicago to visit his daughter before getting waylaid at the Playboy Club. There, he meets Bruce Willis’ Vic, the chief of the Playboy Club’s security, who takes an unnervingly close interest in the girls who work there. Somewhat predictably, Kelso subsequently decides his dream job is emulating Vic as a bouncer at the Playboy Club, resulting in a hilarious interview with his new, slimy idol. In typical Kelso fashion, Michael then has a change of heart, returning to Point Place, Wisconsin, to close out the final season of That 70’s Show.

Yet, despite the premise for “Misfire,” the true story behind Bruce Willis’ That 70’s Show cameo is a decidedly pure one. Willis was reportedly asked by Ashton Kutcher to appear alongside him in the show, with the pair enjoying a close friendship at the time that still exists to this day. Willis agreed to the offer, with the Die Hard star donating his fee for the episode to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Kutcher and Willis’ friendship has been well documented, with the pair maintaining a close bond despite their somewhat awkward familial situation in 2005. Around the time of Willis’ appearance as Vic in That 70’s Show, Ashton Kutcher married Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore, with whom Willis has three daughters. This did little to sour the pair’s ties, however, with Willis subsequently remarking (via US Magazine) that he, Moore, Kutcher, and their children have “become like a tribe” in the years that followed.

Bruce Willis’ decision to donate his fee for “Misfire” in 2005 was a noble gesture born from the devastation Hurricane Katrina wrought upon the city of New Orleans. The Category 5 Atlantic hurricane caused over 1,800 fatalities and $125 billion in damage in late August 2005, making it one of the costliest cyclones on record both in terms of human and financial tolls. Katrina’s immediate and long-term impact was devastating, initially leaving 80% of the city flooded for weeks as many evacuation efforts proved fruitless.

Action star Bruce Willis, therefore, felt compelled to aid the hurricane’s survivors, giving his wage for the episode the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The American Red Cross responds to an average of 60,000 disasters each year from small house fires to multi-state natural calamities in order to provide each victim with clean water, safe shelter, and hot meals in their hour of need. Bruce Willis’ That 70’s Show character Vic may be far from honorable, but the true story of how his cameo came to pass is a far better indicator of his real nature.

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