On Thursday, Aug. 18, Bob Saget performed a stand-up show at the Maryland Theatre. The show was a hoot, with Mike Young warming the stage up for Saget around 7:30 p.m. and then Saget starting a bit after him and going until 9:30 that night. Upon arrival, he and his Young asked what there was to do in Hagerstown. The answer was not much, and Saget used that info for when he went on stage.
Comedy was not Saget’s first choice, originally on the road to becoming a Doctor. “I was pre-med for six months at Temple University in Philly,” Saget mentions. “I lived at home. We [his family] had okay money, middle class. My dad worked really hard, as an executive of a meat company, and I guess everyone he loved is who influenced me. He loved Jack Benny, all the old radio comedians, and he loved Harold Lloyd, and together we loved the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges… my influences were people I watched as a teenager: Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, who became a friend of mine, along with Rodney Dangerfield. In later years, in film school, Woody Allen and different filmmakers influenced me. Richard Pryor was probably one of my biggest influences, he was so real and so honest in his stand-up.”
Saget definitely ranks up in comparison to his mentors, having done stand-up on and off since his early 20s. Of course, roles like his iconic character Danny Tanner on Full House and hosting stint on America’s Funniest Home Videos also kept the actor busy throughout the years. He also made appearances on different TV shows as himself, such as on the show “Louie,” or, when it came to the show “Entourage,” an exaggerated version of himself. Saget does not compare himself to those characters, however.
“I would never want to live my life as either of those characters, because they don’t have any dimension or self-awareness,” Saget says. “They’re not real, they don’t talk real. Although [with] the ‘Entourage’ me, I have had moments where I’ve acted like that, and I have had moments where I’ve gone crazy over cleaning the coffee machine [like Danny Tanner]. There are certain elements. But I like having more depth. I have three daughters, and it would probably be a nightmare to all of them if I was either of them [screen personas].”
Saget is on tour in order to prepare for a comedy special, which will air sometime after November’s Presidential election, because in Saget’s opinion, “It’s just too much of a pain to deal with. It’s too much stuff and too much anger and I don’t wanna cause a ruckus.”
He continues, “I’ve been doing it for so long; incorporating new stuff into what I’m doing but also giving people a familiar feeling of what they want to hear from me that they’ve seen in my specials. I just love the live aspect of performing, and making it like a town meeting; this really is a town meeting in Hagerstown.”
Starting next month, Saget will start production on a new fatherly role he has in a movie called “Jake,” which according to Saget, majorly differs from other roles he has done including his father-role as Danny Tanner on Full House.
“The character in the movie ‘Jake’ is a mess, a neurotic mess,” Saget says. “Full House is kind of a two-dimensional character, home-cooked television. The movie ‘Jake’ is a dark comedy about a boy whose family believes he’s on crystal meth so they have an intervention on him. I may draw upon elements of Danny Tanner, as a human being, but it’s nothing like him. The guy I’m playing in this movie, Ed, has huge, huge problems that Danny Tanner would never get into in the sitcom.”
As for the current “Full House” reboot, “Fuller House,” Saget expressed enthusiasm when talking about the show. His character is not as prominent as in the original, but Danny Tanner has made a few appearances. Following the week of his show at the Maryland Theatre, Saget was set to go star in another episode.
“It’s deemed the most popular show on all of Netflix,” Saget states. “Jeff Franklin and Bob Boyett, who produced the original show, are just doing an amazing job. They rebooted a show from almost thirty years ago and made it work. And six year olds are loving this one just as much as they loved the old one.”
When asked which of the stars in the main trio in the original he would rather live with, Saget did not hold back.
“Probably John Stamos, because Dave farts a lot. Dave does not stop farting, I don’t like the smell, it bothers me. Stamos and I have had moments where we have lived together, we’ve gone away on trips and had some stupid fun times together. And I love Dave; I’ve known Dave since he was 17, and I was 21/22, so I would probably live with John over Dave. And it’s not because of his looks, because they get on my nerves. It’s just the smell.”
And would he rather be stuck in an elevator with Kimmy Gibbler or a screaming infant?
“Kimmy Gibbler over a screaming baby; at least we could get ourselves out of there. You can’t expect a baby to climb on your shoulders and get out of there, but you can step on Kimmy’s head to get out.”
Although Saget is famous for all of his acting, directing, writing, and stand-up gigs, the fame of it all is not what he likes about it.
“I’m a regular person that has a lot of stuff in him that he wants to do to entertain people, and I’ll do it through different mediums,” Saget says. “I never wanted to be famous, or maybe I did when I was 20, but then I realized that it’s shallow and it’s nothing, and the only thing you can get out of it is that you can run for president of the United States. Reality television stars [for instance] have no acting ability, they have no writing ability, they have no anything, they just want to be rich and famous, and I think that’s a pointless, soulless, life to live.”
On an uplifting note, Saget offers this advice for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in comedy or show business:
“Come up with original stuff that you want to say. That’s a huge amount of work. You have to work on your material, work on your jokes, work on your stories. There are people that don’t have to write it down that just get out on stage and they’re a miracle. But the answer is, they have their own voice, and that’s what you have to do, is find out who you are, which is really hard to do when you’re 20 years old, because I found out who I am and it’s pretty scary.
But just let yourself be [as] honest as you can, because a lot of comedy comes from honesty, and if it can draw from your family’s experience, if it can draw from watching other comedians, don’t do other people’s material, that’s very important, if you want to be a comedian. But if you’re going to be an actor, study, study, study. Study really hard. I studied for five years and that was just to get some jobs and the best way to be an actor is to act, or do improv, or do musical stuff… there’s a million different avenues people can take.
You really gotta want it more than anything, because if you really want a career in it, it’s one of the hardest things you could possibly do, because everyone tells you no. If you go and audition for a movie, people tell you no. Once in a while you get one, but rarely.”
On a final, joking note, Saget added, “Follow your dreams and stay in school until you’re 60.”
Want to see Bob Saget live? Go to https://www.bobsaget.com/ for upcoming tour dates and further information.