This is part of (and a different version of) an interview with Bob Saget (Full House, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Half Baked and a ton of other movies and HBO specials) that will appear in print across our great communist country. Read the interview in its entirety on Thursday, October 29 in the Sacramento News & Review.
Bob Saget’s phone call came about an hour late, but he was very apologetic. His excuse had to do with John Stamos, a Broadway staging of Bye Bye Birdie and an unfortunate mishap. Don Rickles heckled from the crowd. The story ended with Saget, the hero, coming to the rescue, armed only with his with love of Stamos and his sharp wit. He injured himself in the process of saving Uncle Jessie from a bombed stage performance and had to get fluid drained from his knee. It sounded like the plot of a weird porno movie. Or a Freudian nightmare. But it was all true. Saget, just back from the doctor’s office, was feeling calm, rejuvenated and overwhelmingly heterosexual.
How’s it going?
I’ve been doing yoga. You ever done that?
I’ve wanted to, but I can’t seem to get myself on the floor.
One of the things I luxuriate myself on—that’s not even a word—is one-on-one yoga. And it’s kind of cool because—well, no matter how you look at it—it’s fruity.
Yeah, it is.
I think watching me do yoga in a class would be better than watching my stand-up. It’s so sad—I’m angular and six feet tall. But I can do the thing where you balance your knees on your elbows and stuff. I’m vulnerable because I’ve been doing so much yoga.
And then I was at Bye Bye Birdie watching my dear friend John Stamos, but there was a gap in the show. One of the pieces of scenery didn’t [work] and they had to shut the curtain down. Don Rickles was very funny, heckling. I got on stage but [I fell because] there were no steps. Some article quoted me as saying, “I think I hurt my leg really badly.”
And you did. It was a heroic act.
It was so heroic. There’s something, you know, about coming to the rescue in theater … [Stamos] said, “No matter what you do, you’re the proudest gay man of all because you’re on Broadway.” You’re on Broadway and you’re automatically gay.
Especially if you’re saved by a guy who does yoga.
Especially if you get saved by a guy who was Danny Tanner.
I did The Drowsy Chaperone a couple years ago on Broadway and there was one time the curtain went up, the lights were down and one of my mics (inside my pants) went out. The curtain goes up. It’s in the dark, but somebody left the light on so they could see some man with his hand down my pants before the show began. I’m like, “Close the curtain!” And then the show started. Fortunately, it was kind of a foolproof monologue where I was able to say (because the first line of the show is), “I hate theater.” And the guy explains why he hates theater. One reason was technical mishaps.
So far everything you’ve told me makes you the gayest man on Earth.
It is. There’s nothing I can do. And yet I find it very hard just showing up as incredibly hetero as I am. Lately someone will say something like, “Any rumors that you played a gay guy on Full House have been dispelled by what you’re like on stage, dude.” I don’t know if it’s a compliment: “Hey man, you’re not gay.” What does that mean?
So you’re single. Are you schmoozing or what?
You mean with girls?
I, uh, have an interesting life because I have three daughters and I put my kids first … and I have so many jokes that I could say that are not suitable for your newspaper. But it would be nice to date somebody. I’ve been divorced a long time. I don’t think there are a lot of people who understand me or want to tolerate me. I’m pretty easy to get along with. That’s what the doctor said today when he was sucking the fluid out of my knee. He did it with his mouth. Is that a good doctor? I don’t think that was right. My urologist did the same thing. Now how dirty are jokes like that? They’re meaningless. Who does a joke like that hurt?
Are you out on the road right now?
Yeah, I’ve been out. I’ve been “out”? Everything’s back to the gay. I’ve done what I call a “tour” and my friends go, “Oh, Bob’s on tour!” It really is for me. Last week I was in San Francisco at the Warfield on Friday night. That was one of the most fun shows I’ve had, maybe ever. A week before I was in Phoenix and it was so funny I stood on the stage and it was a theater in the round and I took a giant wiff and went, “Ah, skunk weed!” I got the cheapest waft of smoke I’d ever had in my life. But I can only be on contact high now. I can’t partake because … of my knee.
Weed is gay, anyway. And you’re heterosexual.
And I really am … I’m really into a performance mode right now. When I’m in New York or L.A. I’ll go up at the Laugh Factory, the Comedy Store, the Improv and I’ll do stuff without it being announced—just when I feel like doing it. It’s really fun because I’m in a place because I’ve been doing it so long where I’ll be out for dinner and I’ll go, “God, I just had some wine and I never drink” and then I’ll go perform, like I’ve gotta try all these things we just talked about. Thank God for that kid in that aluminum jiffy pop thing that went flying around. I am so happy when that stuff happens because everything else is just … they’re digging up bodies of people. I’d rather have no bodies and floating invisible coffins going around with nothing in them.
So you like stupid funny shit?
Just funny shit. And people are always like, “You’re so dirty” and it’s like, I’m really not. I probably drop the f-bomb too much, but otherwise it’s just silly. It’s silly, dirty and I try to mix it in with things I think about, which is my kids and relationships and things that don’t really segue from the other material too well.
Do you have any sacred topics that you don’t touch?
Well, people yell out “The Aristocrats” and I’ve tried to tell it on stage just to please the people, but it really loses 85 percent of the room. What’s funny about the joke is, number one, it has a meaningless clean ending. And the other thing is a lot of people don’t know it. So there’s no one that needs to hear it for the first time with a couple thousand people sitting around.
I didn’t even get it the first time I heard it. When I saw the movie I was like, “What are they talking about?”
I guess it was 25 years ago and I was stanidng in front of the Improv, and Dom Herrera was on the street and he goes, “Hey Saget, you gonna go on?” and I said yes. And he goes, “You heard the Aristocrats, right?” And I’m like, “What do you mean?” And he’s like “You never heard it?!” He got so excited because it’s like getting the dog high, you know what I mean? And he told me. And I’m like, “I like getting there but I don’t really like the punch line.” Getting there is why it’s funny. It’s about how desperate people are to get into show business. That’s the joke. That’s what’s so funny. Everybody’s always wanted to be in show business, whether they admit it or not. That’s why they judge you and say they hate it—they hate that movie, they hate that guy. And meanwhile they’ve spent 10 years trying to get their movie made. It’s a hard business, and that’s how low a family were to go to be a success. It would be like The Sound of Music if the Von Trapp family had done that to escape during the war. I think if a family does that on stage in front of the Germans you just get shot, don’t you? You can’t do that.
Was there ever a point in your life when you were like, “I’m Danny Tanner and I’m fucked”?
No. Because I didn’t start like that. I started doing stand-up when I was 17 … And then I got Full House and I was excited as hell to get a prime-time sitcom. And then I had another year of [America’s Funniest Home Videos] and those are two things that don’t even happen in a lifetime. Full House was made for 12 year old girls, you know? I get body builders that come in and go, “Yo, you raised me, dude.” And I’m like, “Oh my God, a guy in a cardigan sweater who would talk to his daughter and then the organ would play [raised you].”
Catch Bob Saget’s stand-up act America’s Favorite Dad is About to Burst Your Bubble at the Crest on Friday, November 6 at 8 p.m.; 1013 K Street; $35-$45.