Photo by Brian Friedman
Bob Saget performs comedy! We seen him! And you can too.
Even over the phone, Bob Saget sounds exactly as you remember from TV. Promoting his St. Louis appearance next week at Helium Comedy Club, he's the sentimental family man from Full House, the PG-rated narrator of egregious groin shots from America's Funniest Home Videos, the "I used to suck dick for coke" guy from Half Baked.
And yes, obviously, Saget still sounds like a dad. Our interview begins with Saget describing his "double banger" trailer on the Los Angeles set of Fuller House — the ongoing Netflix sequel to the late '80s/early '90s sitcom that helped catapult Saget's career — but after a few words he goes suddenly goes silent.
"Could you hold for one second? I have an exterminator on the phone."
Yes, we will hold for Bob Saget.
"So sorry about that," he says, returning a minute later. "But I have a funny story that goes along with it. I had given my daughters the extra car and they drove it up the coast, and they went to Yosemite and went to Tahoe. They took the lovely Prius and when they brought it back, and I got it serviced, a bunch of mice jumped out of it. There’s rats inside the car. And so then this morning there were mice in the garage. So I have to exterminate a car."
Daughters getting into hijinks? Unexpected challenges? A father left to clean up the mess and (undoubtedly) imparting important life lessons before bedtime? The story of Saget's vermin-infested Prius is straight out of a Full House
But Saget is no real-life Danny Tanner.
"It's a two-dimensional character," he says. That said, he acknowledges, "In my stand-up, I really am a parent. I am a dad. I am one of the few television dads left that you can trust in life."
At the same time, Saget is also in possession of one of the filthiest minds in show business. His brief appearance
in the 2005 documentary The Aristocrats
, which chronicles the history of a heinous improvisational joke, shocked audiences who had never imagined the wholesome Danny Tanner riffing, hilariously, about a monstrous family gangbang. The dichotomy opened more doors for Saget, including a role playing an exaggerated version of himself on HBO's Entourage.
But who is the real Saget? If such a thing exists for any of us, in Saget's case, it's the self that can be found in front of a mic in comedy clubs and venues across the country. Saget's routines dip in and out of anecdotes of his television career, being a father, raising a family and hanging out with John Stamos. Also, dick jokes, profanity and filth galore. He's not just the Dad who loves coffee and cleaning; he's also the Dad who looks an audience in the eyes while declaring his intent to insert energy-efficient light-bulbs into their assholes after the show.
"The standup almost makes me a whole person," he says. "The sides are still bipolar. One is, 'Honey, you've got to love other people and treat them good,’ and the next is, 'Hey fuck you, you just embarrassed me in front of Steven Spielberg.’"
His standup side, he suggest, really is his truest self.
"I am a free spirit, and I’m more comfortable on stage than anywhere else. When I pull the mic out of the stand, it's like pulling a sword out of a sheath," he says. But then he catches himself.
"That’s a bad example," he says. "When I perform, it's like taking a condom off."
Want to experience how rude Bob Saget really is? See him September 16 and 17 at Helium Comedy Club, 1151 St. Louis Galleria. $35. Ticket purchase is online only.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com