Caustic comedienne Margaret Smith's memories of the Reagan era are a little foggy — or perhaps smoky would be a better word to describe them. "I had a Volkswagen, and I drove it until the back seat caught on fire," she says, adding with a chuckle: "This was before bottled water."
However badly burned the standout stand-up was by the greed decade, she fits right into the cast of That '80s Show, Fox's retro Wednesday-night sitcom (airing at 8 pm/ET). In fact, from the time that the series was conceived, it was almost a foregone conclusion that she would play the most tubular record-store proprietress since Annie Potts in Pretty in Pink. Heck, the character was even named after Smith. "I had some compromising pictures of a couple of the producers," she explains, tongue in cheek. "That's how I got the role."
Of course, boss Linda Wallem remembers the casting process just a little bit differently. "We always had Margaret's voice in our head," she insists. "When we told [her] that [she] got the part, [she] went, 'Well, if I can't get a job playing myself, what the hell am I doing in this town?'"
Now that Smith is doing the time warp, what do the '80s hold in store for her? What's left?! "My character slept with everyone but Elvis," she cracks.Nonetheless, Wallem promises that she and her fellow execs are "playing with some ideas. I'd love for Hall & Oates to be stalking Margaret — or maybe just Oates."