That ’90s Show, the new Netflix reboot of That ’70s Show, revives some favorite legacy characters — like Ashton Kutcher’s Michael Kelso. He appears, all grown up as the father of Jay Kelso: a teen womanizer for the next generation played by Mace Coronel. But what about Michael’s brother, Casey Kelso? Remember him? Luke Wilson guest starred as the character throughout That ’70s Show.
The Kelso Family
That ’70s Show made Ashton Kutcher a superstar. As the dumb hottie Michael Kelso, Kutcher radiated boyish charm… which ran in the (fictional) family.
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According to dialogue throughout That ’70s Show, the rest of that family includes five brothers and a younger sister. However, only one other Kelso brother is ever seen on screen: Casey Kelso, played by none other than Luke Wilson.
The actor Francis Guinan appears in one episode, “Career Day” as the Kelso patriarch John Kelso. Michael is confused about his dad’s job as a “senior executive statistical analysis technician” and tells everyone he is a farmer instead.
The women of the Kelso family are never shown. Although, based on comments from Hyde and Jackie, they are ugly with whiskers.
Now, That ’90s Show has furthered the Kelso clan lore with the addition of Jay Kelso, son of Jackie and Michael. Throughout the show’s first season, he pursues Leia Forman, the daughter of Donna Pinciotti and Eric Forman. Jay also has a forgotten half-sister through his father: Betsy Kelso.
Betsy was born during the events of That ’70s Show, the product of a fling between Michael and Point Place librarian Brooke Rockwell. When Kutcher left the show at the start of season eight, the character was written off: Michael moved to Chicago to help care for Betsy.
Luke Wilson as Casey Kelso
Luke Wilson first appears as Casey Kelso in the fifth season of That ’70s Show, aptly titled: “Donna Dates a Kelso.” Jackie sets the two of them up in the wake of Donna and Eric’s breakup. Although Casey has a shady reputation, Donna is smitten once he picks her up for the date. Seeing Luke Wilson, leaning all cool against his Trans Am, it’s easy to see why — cue the dreamy music.
Wilson was already a star by the time he joined the cast of That ’70s Show in 2005. Finding fast indie fame alongside his brother and friend Wes Anderson during the late ’90s, Wilson became a bona fide A-lister in 2001 when he starred as the law school love interest in Legally Blonde. But like Casey Kelso, Wilson showcases a more comedic side. He totally nails the whole suave slacker thing.
“Wow Pinciatti, you really grew into those legs,” are the first words Casey says on screen. Like his brother, Casey is a ladies’ man. But he’s a lot smoother than Michael. Having spent a tour in the army, he’s older and more confident than the rest of the Point Place gang. Mainly due to his life philosophy: “When things are tough, turn up the music and crack open another beer.”
Unsurprisingly, Casey proves to be a bad influence on Donna. She starts cutting school and eventually, an intervention is staged. And while Casey acted like he loved Donna, he quickly cuts out. It’s suddenly clear that Casey says whatever he needs to get whatever he wants. However, that’s not the end for this manipulative character. He appears sporadically throughout the next two seasons of That ’70s Show, appearing finally as Eric’s summer school gym teacher.
From ‘That ’70s Show’ to ‘That ’90s Show’
That ’90s Show, which premiered recently on Netflix, further extends the Kelso lore with the addition of Jay Kelso: Michael and Jackie’s teenage son. His parents also make a surprise appearance in the first episode, revealing that they are re-marrying… for the second time. Later in the season, it’s revealed that Jackie left Fez — who now runs a hair salon — for her ex following the events of the That ’70s Show.
After Jay and Leia break up in the season one finale of That ’90s Show, Donna opens up to her daughter about her own experience dating a Kelso. “It’s the hair,” she says knowingly.