By Felicia Naoum
With a New York Times Best Seller book called Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian, some may have a tough time understanding who Full House’s beloved father, Danny Tanner, really is. As he spent his career bouncing between actor and standup comedian, many have a perception that the ‘Mr. Clean’ image of Mr. Tanner isn’t well so clean after all – especially when he puts the script down and picks up the mic. But, I’m here to tell you that Bob Saget may not completely fit the public’s perception of himself. In our interview, I learned so much about him, andI’m proud to say that he is a man who speaks from the heart and is motivated by the heart.
When I asked Saget if comedians are going too far, he agrees – especially in the recent culture of a world that is swimming in allegations of mistreatment of humans. “It brings up things that are upsetting to us – all this abuse – horrible treatment towards women; all these jokes you can’t tell anymore.” As Saget looks back on his recent acts, he feels as though he would have done things differently. The comedian has come to a point where some things are just not funny anymore, especially when they are at the expense of others.
“I would change things I’ve done even six months ago with things that have happened. I don’t deal with that humor. I kind of stay away from it; I’ve been wanting to bring them [the audience] happiness.” Perhaps it’s a new Bob Saget – one that doesn’t want to trade pain for humor, but instead happiness for humor.
“Is it hard to differentiating yourself as the wholesome Full House dad compared to the stand-up comic?”
“That’s interesting because I never actually answered this question. I’m actually a wholesome father in my standup. A lot of my standup is how much smarter my daughters are than me,” says Saget.
And this man really loves his daughters – the ones on and off camera. In fact, the biggest compliment he ever received was from his real-life daughter. “Steve Harvey asked me ‘What’s the biggest compliment you’ve ever gotten in your standup?’”
The answer: when his 25-year-old daughter called him to tell him how much she loved his latest standup and how talented he is. To Bob Saget, that call was everything. Humble.
And even more humble, he ends every show with the song, ‘We Gotta Be Kind to Each Other.’
Saget credits the closing song to wanting to keep a light in the dark world if you will. “I try to bring a room together and make it a fun occurrence. I’m not coming out reciting anything. The whole point is to laugh, especially right now.”
Speaking of laughs, Saget brought about some chuckles when sharing fun details about life on the set of Fuller House. Saget shares that people are asking him why he appears to have aged while heartthrob John Stamos remains the young, thick-haired, baby-face ‘Uncle Jesse.’
“Well, when you sit across from him [John Stamos] at dinner – he’s not.”
Saget jokes, “On a bad day, I definitely look 60.”
Oh, how the years have passed in the Tanner house.
“I look in the mirror and go, ‘Oh no!’ I’m not getting a neck tuck!”
But that looker, Stamos AKA ‘Uncle Jesse’, says to him, “Why not?”
Perhaps it’s because Saget cares more about keeping things clean than tucked? I don’t know. But, I do know that YES, to answer everyone’s question, Bob Saget is like Danny Tanner – they are both clean freaks! “Jeff Franklin originally wrote him as a cleaner, but I wanted him to be a hugger and a clean freak.”
But what’s even cooler than Saget and Tanner keeping it tidy is how tight-knit the cast remains. They really are a family. It’s comforting to know that there is a realness that exists in Full House andFuller House – it’s not just an act for the cameras – it is indeed a family. “Those looks we gave each other came from a real place. It’s really a gift to have a show like this.”
“When I see Candace, when I see Jodie, when I see Andrea, I just hug them.” It’s as if Saget felt a responsibility to his television daughters to show them endless compassion. “A lot of people work together, and they’ve had it,” he says. “People don’t usually stay in contact with the kids on the show.” This statement is what got me – it was profound and meaningful: “When you spend eight years with someone, it invalidates their whole childhood if you don’t try to have a relationship.” Saget also shares that the cast tries to spend quality time together off camera. “We had a long text trail last week trying to plan a dinner,” he shares.
Speaking of daughters on the show, I asked about those famous blonde twins and why they are missing in the reboot – Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson who played ‘Michelle Tanner.’
“I’m friends with them and love them very much, and they just don’t want to act. People have to respect their decisions.” Saget adds, “Some people tend to get jealous when others are doing economically well.” Although it would be amazing if the twins returned, I understand where Saget is coming from. Everyone just wants to be respected where they are at. At the end of many days, I’ve learned that celebrities are just like everyone else – people. And all people just want to be happy, especially in a world full of constant unpleasant surprises.
Thankfully, we have shows like Full House and Fuller House that can take our mind off the unpleasantries, if only for a fleeting time.
Saget didn’t know Full House would take off as it did and certainly didn’t see it as returning to Fuller House. But he, like many others, are glad the show did take off then and now. “It’s just an escape from all this crap. We didn’t know it would be. It really does take people out of this pain that we are all going through in the world.”
To Saget, America’s favorite San Francisco Family plays what life would be like “without all the crap.”
“If there was no political insanity and no horribleness in abusing others, and you just had human nature…,” he adds. I think that perception of Full House would be it – all the good without the bad.
Speaking of the dark in the world, Bog Saget is deviating from the squeaky clean and wholesome father of Danny Tanner to a father who is faced with challenges that hit much deeper than Mr. Tanner’s ever did – Saget plays the father of a 15-year-old drug addict in the upcoming independent film Benjamin. Saget, who directed and stars in the film describes it as “Danny Tanner off the rails.” That’s all I’m going to say. Go see “Danny Tanner off the rails.” It will be a whole new dynamic.
Unfortunately, Danny Tanner can’t be all our dads, but he can certainly guide us with some fatherly advice. “Anybody that wants to be in showbiz to be famous, I think they are misguided, and that is not the reason to have a career when you’re entertaining people.”
Saget wants you to scratch beyond the surface. It’s about the story – not the fame. Saget references a few movies, one being the 2017 Fantasy/Thriller, The Shape of Water – “[the movies] deeply touch people – maybe the masses don’t see them – they are so special and do so much for me. That’s the motivation to tell the story and be good at what you do.”
Like most dads will tell you, there is no easy way. Take it from Saget. “Everyone wants an easy way out and a lottery. If you get good at it and get to make a lot of money, then boy are you lucky.”
Even Saget didn’t have an easy ride. He spent years being rejected. But even that didn’t stop him. All the rejection in the world led to his development as a successful actor and comedian. “I got rejected so much; 10 years of people telling, ‘No, you can’t…”
But, he can, and he did.
After all of the life inspiration, I wanted to know where Saget finds his comedic inspiration. “My dad has brought a lot to me, and he had a very sick sense of humor. That’s how we dealt with death in our family. It was a hard life for my family. My parents lost four children.”
Through all the pain, Saget admits that his sense of humor was a little off. “My comedy was always askew. There was always something wrong with me. I was always coming from some weird place. I always had a warped sense of humor.”
Whether he’s the lovable dad or the daring and inappropriate comedian, Saget is one remarkable human being. I expressed to him how much watching Full House as a kid was such a part of my childhood and the honor to talk to him was too huge. He was thankful. “What a great way to start my day,” he responds.
Interestingly enough, before he rose to fame, he stepped on Cleveland territory with David Coulier from Full House. “At 23, I was playing the Cleveland Comedy Club before Full House with David Coulier.”
Well, welcome back to the area, Bob Saget. We’re glad to have you February 10 at Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.