The name Bob Saget means many things to different people, some may know him as the sensible, caring dad from the intensely popular 80's TV show Full House, or you might have seen him as the sleazy neighbour of Vincent Chase in Entourage. If you don't know his face, you've certainly heard his voice, as Saget narrated the recently wrapped up 'How I Met Your Mother' series too. In short, he has had a fairly jam-packed career, of which he has now penned into a pretty hilarious first book 'Dirty Daddy - The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian'. Saget chatted exclusively to entertainment.ie recently about the book, and his rather diverse career path that got him to where he is now.
If it's the Full House version of Saget you know, you may be surprised to hear that his character of Danny Tanner couldn't be further from the real Bob Saget, who's career before that, and indeed since, was built on irreverent standup routines and one-liners that would have Danny Tanner squirming in his chair.
Saget began carving out his career path on the LA comedy circuit, although the original plan he says was to become a doctor. So what changed his mind? "I was in a chemistry class and I just did not know what they were talking about, I was going to wind up a pre-med student with F's in everything, there was no way I would have got through med school. I just loved Film Noir and I went over to the film department of my college, and dropped out of all the science classes, and changed my major." So there began his journey into the arts, and it would be comedy and acting that would emerge as his real passions, lucky for us, but probably more so for the patients of America!
His particular comedic style was pretty much ingrained in him as a youngster, and describes growing up in his family as "survival of the wittiest". He attributes a great deal of his sense of humour to his late dad, and oddly the personal tragedies that seemed to be around every corner growing up. (Saget lost two sisters at a young age). He says in the book; 'What my family went through - all the tragedy and all the pain, both before and after I was born - is what created and fostered that crucial comedy/survival gene'.
After ten years on the standup scene Saget was offered a gig on the CBS's morning show, although he told entertainment.ie he didn't last long as they considered his style 'too hot' for that time of day. It was then though that he found himself back in LA doing a screen test for a little family show that would be called Full House. The part of Danny Tanner was actually written with Saget in mind, but due to his CBS commitments he couldn't initially agree to take it, so a different actor filmed the pilot. So who could have been the original Danny Tanner? Well, Bob didn't want to say as he didn't think it would do him any favours."I always feel bad, I never knew him, but I hear he's doing well." It's public knowledge though that it was John Posey - he pops up in crime shows and flicks from time to time, so yeah, fair to say, he's doing alright, no Bob Saget mind.
Over the course of its eight year run, Full House skyrocketed its cast to fame, and was the show that's responsible for bring the Olsen Twins into our lives. Due to child labour laws they both played the role of toddler Michelle Tanner, and whatever you might think of those ladies these days, there was, nor ever has been a cuter kid TV kid than Michelle Tanner.
The wacky TV family with its widower dad and two live-in uncles are still pretty tight nowadays, even when we spoke to Saget he told us that he was planning on meeting up with Mary Kate and Ashley in New York soon, and that himself and John Stamos (Jesse) would be attending Dave Coulier's (Joey) wedding this summer.
However, despite this happy family vibe they all seem to have, and as much as Saget clearly does love this cast as much as his own family, he admits in the book he did struggle in the role of clean cut Danny Tanner. In fairness, there are only so many times you can give the sensible heartwarming dad monologue without wanting to pull you hair out OR... sniff some whipped cream aerosols as the case may be.
Yep! Danny Tanner would have been ASHAMED - the three lads were waiting backstage for a kids birthday party to be filmed that was taking far longer than they expected. So they decided they'd come up with their own way of passing the time. Honestly, Danny, Joey and Jesse, who'd have thunk it? Saget said; "They found out at the time, the prop guy noticed how all the air was let out, and then saw the three of us laughing. But it's not a good thing, it can cause brain damage, and I THINK we've proved that." he joked.
The three men reunited recently for a Superbowl ad, but other than that, Saget said no official reunion was on the cards. "No I don't see it happening" he said, "No one has time to do anything, Janice has been on 'Dancing with the Stars', John's working on other projects, and Dave's been on the road, and I'm about to start the book tour". Well, nice to know they are all keeping busy!
As we mentioned earlier, Saget is of course the familiar voice of future Ted Mosby on the long running 'How I Met Your Mother' series, whose finale recently caused quite the reaction, so what did Bob think of it? "I'm fine with it, those artists who made that show, Carter Bays and Craig Thomas, they can do anything that they want with it, and they did a bullet point love-list of all the things they wanted to get said and did a fantasy ending of what they felt." He went on to say; "I had been going through a time when that show was being written, that last episode, where I was losing my mother. I went to the reading with my daughter, so I knew the whole thing months before. And I cried with everybody, it was a beautiful reading. It felt different of course to what was on the air because it always does. The cast love each other so much and THAT'S the feeling that was around." N'aww.
And how did he feel about not being the person sitting there when the camera finally turned around? Grand it seems; "I totally understood as a narrator why Ted was finally telling his kids the story, because it really did make sense. They had planned to do this for nine years, and decided to stick with their plan. I watched it, and I didn't have any trouble with it. I mean what are you going to do? CGI a character into a narrator that in many countries if it's not English, it's not even my voice, so why would they be turning him into me? It's not a sci-fi, it was all done out of love."
While his time on How I Met Your Mother has obviously wrapped up, his other most recent famous TV role will see him hitting the silver screen soon, as he confirmed to entertainment.ie that he would have a part in the upcoming Entourage movie; "Yeah I have a little appearance in that." One which he had just recently finished filming too; "It was fun, and nobody got hurt, and I said something very irreverent, which is normal." Bob plays a very much exaggerated (we hope) version of himself on the show as Vincent's obnoxious ladies man neighbour.
So what's next for this comedian turned TV actor turned movie star? "After the tour, there's a couple different things I'm figuring out what to do; one would be a television show, and that's in development stages and way early to talk about, the other is a movie I've been attached to as an actor and a director so that's what I'm actually putting my energy into, and that's the next few months. And then a vacation so I don't start shaking in the middle of the street."
Perhaps he should come to Ireland? Well the actor has never been here but told us 'I want to go there so bad'. He's long been sold on the place, and just has to get over here already really. We think he'd fit right in too, for a guy who's spent a good thirty years in showbiz, there's not a single notion about him, a sound man it has to be said. His book, which follows an entertaining almost stream-of-consciousness approach, will have you cracking up too, although be aware, this is NOT Danny Tanner you are dealing with, which will be pretty clear with the 200 or so testicle jokes in the first chapter. What can we say? The man knows a good testicle joke.
His book 'Dirty Daddy - The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian' is out now.