Randy Pearson (born September 17, 1959) is a fictional character introduced during the eighth and final season of That '70s Show. He was played by Josh Meyers. He is hired by Steven Hyde to help run the record store, and also becomes a love interest for Donna Pinciotti..
The character was introduced primarily as a replacement for Eric Forman and Michael Kelso, as the actors who played them, Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher, chose to leave the series after the seventh season. The writers originally hired Josh Meyers to play Eric. The difference in appearance would have been explained by claiming he had returned home from Africa "a changed man". They eventually thought better of this idea, and the character Randy Pearson was created.
Randy's character seems to be a mixture of Eric and Kelso. He has Eric's sense of humor and, like Eric, is often the ringleader. On the other hand, he has Kelso's good looks and success with women. Despite (or maybe because of) this Randy was widely disliked by fans, and viewed as another sign of the series having worn out its time on television and having run out of ideas.
Randy plays a very minor role in the series finale episodes which are "Love of My Life" and "That '70s Finale". In the former he is only seen twice, and in the latter he has one scene with one line. He is seen one last time in a scene transition doing a weird dance and afterwards, he is never seen or mentioned again. He is the only character absent at the Formans' New Year's Eve party and the only teen not in the group's final '70s Circle. This may be due to the fact since the episode featured the return of Eric, it would probably get awkward.
Randy represented the turning point from the mindset of the 1970s to the mindset of the 1980s (enjoying music by Journey), still laid back but developing distinct yuppie tendencies.
Randy appears as a laid back, gentle and polite young man, old-fashioned when it comes to women, ladies man, good with tools (as when he helps Red to build a sewing table for Kitty), and full of ideas (such as telling clients in the record store that Leo is one of the Allman Brothers to boost sales). As the season progresses, however, some of his flaws surface, he reveals he dated a lot of women before Donna.
The main source of others' jokes about him is his long poofy hair, which he sometimes emphasizes by allowing them call him girl's names and making comparisons between his hair and hair of female stars. He also jokes with Donna about them being a couple with him behaving girly and her behaving manly, similar to her past relationship with Eric.
Randy is also into music, managing bands and being a part of one. He has a drum kit at his apartment, but he doesn't use it. He also owns a dog.
Randy sometimes mentions his grandmothers: one of them used to put money in his piggy bank when he was a child before her death (leading him to be disappointed about the amount of money once he breaks it) and the other one has polio and is in a wheelchair.
Other known facts about his family are: his parents are divorced, he has no sisters and a gay uncle.
Randy dates Donna for about half of the final season. At first, they insist they are "just friends", with Randy inviting Donna to his family's cabin to meet his band. It was right after this that Fez and Jackie are suspicious that Donna is cheating on Eric. It turns out Eric had broken up with Donna, and Randy was being the rebound guy. Donna becomes irritated that Randy is a "man slut" (he has apparently dated a lot of women). When Bob Pinciotti announces he is selling the house, Randy offers for Donna to live with him. At first she agrees, but is later weirded out and breaks up with him. He tries to win her back, but his attempts are futile, and they decide to be friends.
Apparently, Eric and Randy have never met: Randy comes around after Eric leaves for Africa, and is not around when Eric returns (at least, not on that particular day). However, Randy knows about Eric because the gang mentions him frequently.
Symbolism of the Character
Whether meant to or not, Randy represents the type of guys that Donna could get, through out the series every one tells Donna she could do better than Eric. Some even said Randy was too good for Donna. Randy is that type of guy and by the end of their relationship it was a sign that Donna only loves one man.
As mentioned above, Randy also represents a transition to the 1980s mindset, appropriately enough for the final season of a show about the 1970s.