"I was doing Videos and Full House when that HBO special came out. I was caught in the middle. I was caught in a psychodrama of who am I? Because here I am releasing my comedy devils and at the same time I'm doing a show where I'm playing a character who is a morally wonderful man who loves his kids, but he's neurotic and he dust-busts and he wears cardigans."
– Bob Saget
Guy MacPherson: Is this the Bob Saget?
Bob Saget: Yeah, that's what I put before my name legally. I've changed it to The.
GM: You are three minutes early.
BS: I know. Is that bad? You want me to call back?
GM: No, I just want you to talk for three minutes on your own.
BS: While you get the thing hooked up?
GM: No, it's running. But I'm contractually not obligated to start asking questions until 10:30.
BS: (laughs) Well, how's your family?
GM: They're good. My son's at school; my wife's at work. How's yours?
BS: My three daughters are grown and my girlfriend and I are going to Chicago today. There's a thing called Chicago Ideas Week and I'm a keynote speaker. So that'll be fun.
GM: You got ideas?
BS: I don't. They're going to give them to me. (chuckles)
BS: I have no ideas. I just come up with the silliness that makes people laugh. It's actually going to be interesting. It'll be about comedy and about life and how we cope and how does everyone get through it.
GM: What have you learned from comedy over the years?
BS: I think the thing you learn the most, especially the older you get, is that the funniest stuff comes from the most truthful stuff. It can also be the most biting, when you look at certain types of comedians. When you look at the great George Carlin, that was kind of a prophetic way of doing standup. He was really an incredible philosopher, in a way. I'm far from that; I'm more of the entertainment variety. I'm not Carrot Top but I enjoy an audience. I look at them like I'm on a date or something. I've been in Vancouver for thirty years doing standup and directing TV movies and acted in TV movies up there. I just love it up there. And I haven't played the River Rock in a long time, in a few years, and I played the Hard Rock once, which I'm really looking forward to. Both of them. I opened the Vogue Theatre. So I've spent a lot of time there. I really do look forward to it. I've been having a wonderful time doing standup and touring. I have a new special that I'm working on. Once this silly election is over down here, I'll be filming it. But I really want to escape to Canada! (laughs) We're all talking about moving up there.
GM: You guys are all talk, though.
BS: Yeah, we are, we are. I mean, the Vietnam war got some teenagers up there, and rightfully so. But with this situation here, we'll see what happens but we all know how nice it is up there.
GM: What's your prediction?
BS: I don't have one. I really don't know. And I hate talking about it because it's so annoying. But for a couple of days, Trump has Ohio and they always say so goes Ohio, so goes the rest of the country?
BS: Yeah, that's what people have said. It's always been a saying down here.
GM: And he's leading in Ohio?
BS: Right now he is.
GM: I thought it was a no-brainer that he's going to lose badly.
BS: I don't know. I just don't know. People are surprising, you know that. I have friends that live in Canada – I have quite a few – and they all tell me, 'We've got plenty of dummies running.' They come out of the woodwork during election time.
GM: Trump was in showbiz. You must have come across him over the years.
BS: I think I met him. I actually don't recall, and you'd think I would. He's a businessman who became a celebrity through reality television. And that's a celebrity fame and I always look at celebrity fame as different than that fame that comes from someone that acts or writes or does standup comedy or is a great singer. You know, someone with real talent. But reality stars have become stars. But I don't have the same feelings, or hold them as high as people that actually have talent. I'm kind of a talent whore. I love people that are crazy talented. It's funny, I went yesterday to see a violinist, Joshua Bell, who is so wonderful. We saw him at the Disney Hall here and I hung out with my friend John Mayer, who's just an incredible talent. And I know a bunch of people that are famous that are artists – a couple painters, I know writers. That's talent, you know? Celebrity usually doesn't denote talent. I guess I have a certain celebrity quality because of the Full House thing. My standup also adds to the celebrity because now people know me as much for that, even though Full House raised them. Once they hit their thirties, they went, 'Oh, let's go see this filthy bastard live.' I'm not that blue anymore, I don't think.
GM: I was going to ask. I remember you from your 'crack o' my butt' days.
BS: That's so nice. Thank you.
GM: To the videos show. I skipped the Full House era.
BS: The 'crack o' my butt' was in a special that I did while both shows were on the air so I was doing Videos and Full House when that HBO special came out. I was caught in the middle. I was caught in a psychodrama of who am I? Because here I am releasing my comedy devils and at the same time I'm doing a show where I'm playing a character who is a morally wonderful man who loves his kids, but he's neurotic and he dust-busts and he wears cardigans. And we're doing it again. It's the number one show on Netflix. (laughs)
GM: What is that status of that? How many have you done?
BS: We did thirteen. We just did another thirteen. I'm only in three. John (Stamos), Dave (Coulier), Lori (Loughlin) and myself, they call the 'legacy cast'. It's like Sigourney Weaver opens up a chamber and we all climb out of it after a thousand years and all of a sudden we're on the set. We each did three in the new run. And that comes out on December 9. We're actually going to Japan right before that because it's also the number one show in Japan.
GM: In the first thirteen, how many did you do?
BS: I did a Broadway play in November, December, January last year so I only did two of them in the first season.
GM: What was the Broadway play?
BS: It was called Hand to`God, a fantastic play by Robert Askins. It was an amazing thing to do.
GM: Was it a comedy?
BS: A dark comedy. Very very dark comedy. I love theatre. I played a Lutheran pastor in it. It was an amazing experience. I did it for a couple months. I'd done Broadway before. I did The Drowsy Chaperone, which originated in Toronto, from the great Bob Martin, who I love. He's a dear friend. And I did another play by Paul Weitz called Privilege. I love it because there's nothing like anything else. Every time I've ever done it, I've played severe characters that are nothing like Danny Tanner or my standup. They're just a whole different thing. But my standup is a special thing. I always call it my hard drive; it's always there. And it changes over the years and it's changing again. I've got a ton of new material so I want to do a special after our election is over down here.
GM: Do you still have the Tourettes?
BS: I mention it sometimes because audiences yell things at me because they know me. So it's a familiar celebrity adoring. The Tourettes guy is something that just happened because it's on the web. There are so many things that are very strange.
GM: I don't know what you're talking about with the Tourettes guy. I was just meaning your cursing.
BS: No, it all comes from just normal conversation now. I'm more conversational, I think, than I've ever been because I'm older and I talk about even the loss of my mother. So it's not as blatantly non sequiturs all over the place. There's a guy on the web who's had half a billion hits. He's called Tourettes Guy and what he does instead of cursing he uses my name as a curse word. It's all over the internet. So someone said he passed away and I'm like, 'Well that's okay.' (laughs) But he was doing it to be funny. I think he had something wrong with him but not much. He was a very funny guy, actually. He did some funny stuff. I don't know him. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him but he just yells out 'Bob Saget!' and he hits his thumb with a hammer. You know, things like that.
GM: Your standup from around ten years ago was very stream of consciousness.
BS: Yeah, and it still is. What it is for me when I play both of these theatres, the River Rock and the Hard Rock, it'll be different both nights even though it's the night after because I don't know what I'm going to start with, I know kind of the themes of what I'm going to say, and I have a thousand jokes that I'm rolling that I'm trying to piece together and remember and get out and stories, which I didn't used to have as many stories. I'm more story oriented than I used to be. And then half the show is music. I have a lot of comedy songs that I do and that the audience sings along to even if they don't know them because they're so stupid and easy that people learn them quickly. And actually two years ago I was nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album and half of it was music. I do love doing my comedy songs. I'll walk out on stage and start doing standup and someone will yell, 'Do your music!' I'm like, 'Dude, let me do the show. Don't manage me.' (laughs)
GM: So now you're a Grammy-nominated musician.
BS: And a New York Times best-selling author.
GM: You told me in another interview a while ago...
BS: We talked a long time ago?
GM: We talked ten years ago and we talked two years ago.
BS: Two years ago? What was I promoting two years ago?
GM: You were going to Pemberton.
BS: Oh, God, I recall now. Holy crap, I'm sorry.
GM: That's okay. But you said then, 'As I turn sixty, I don't want to see some neurotic hyper guy on stage.'
BS: Yeah. I have slowed down. I am not neurotic and hyper. That is accurate. Wow. I got my wish! I come out very casual. I look at the audience as a friend. Pemberton was a great experience for me. I just adored it. I had a wonderful set. That's another thing about why I've played Canada for thirty years, they're so kind and so nice. Maybe they're not in some places but everywhere I've ever played they've been. You play some places in the U.S. and people are screaming the whole time. Even in the theatre they can be insane.
GM: Don't jinx yourself because it can happen here, too.
BS: It can, right? They're on stuff: 'Tonight here at the Meth Capital of the World, Bob Saget!' It exists around California.
GM: When you were in college, you did a Bob Dylan impression. Now that he's won the Nobel Prize, are you going to bring that back?
BS: Yeah, as soon as I win the Nobel Prize. (laughs) I can't believe he's winning the Nobel Prize and I'm happy for him. That's actually a pretty amazing thing. It's unusual. It could go to other people, too. I dunno, it could go to Springsteen. There are people that it could go to who've brought the most peace on the Earth.
GM: It's an odd concept.
BS: It is. You would go John Lennon, maybe. U2, you know, who has brought the world together with their music, who has crossed all boundaries. I mean, I love Bob Dylan and I love his music but it's a retro kind of award. It's almost like he should have gotten it twenty, thirty years ago. But it's pretty cool. I mean, it gives chances to someone from American Idol to win.
GM: I read Norm Macdonald's book. Have you read it?
BS: No. I've read some of it. I have it. It's on my iPad. I've of course skipped all the sections I'm mentioned. I just saw Norm three weeks ago. We were both in St. Louis and we had dinner and we had fun. I knew about the book. I hear the audio of it is insanely great.
GM: Oh really?
BS: Yeah, that's what people are saying. The audio book of Norm Macdonald's book is the funniest thing you'll ever hear because he talks in that cadence – there is only one Norm Macdonald. And I'm close with him because, as we've talked about, I directed Dirty Work.
GM: That's right, and he writes about that in the book.
BS: Yeah, he does and he actually said something nice about me, which I can only think means... It was Opposite Day for so many other people because he worships Don Rickles and he was taking jabs at him in the book, but it's all out of being sarcastic and you know sometimes people don't read that understanding that it's sarcasm and he's actually saying the opposite, rather than saying, 'I revere the man.' And he did that a lot throughout the book. But he treated me really nicely and I'm like, 'Oh no, does he hate me?!' But we're really friends. I mean, when he did my roast years ago, Norm was like, 'Saget, I can't make fun of ya. You're my friend.' I'm like, 'Well, do something. You gotta curse.' 'I'm gonna read jokes from a joke book in the '40s.' I said, 'Well, Norm, you're going to purposely do an Andy Kaufman on everybody.' 'Well, I don't know what else to do.' So he did that and he started to tank and then he started to curse a little and then he was fine. But he's one of the funniest people alive, I think.
GM: It's that cadence that is funny and when he's reading those old jokes he makes them his own.
BS: He does. He goes, 'You have a face like a flower... Cauliflower!' Nobody laughs. Then he goes, 'I'm saying you got a fuckin' dog face!' And that got a laugh. If you'd seen me on that thing, I'm like cheering him on, like, 'Yeah, curse, Norm. It's a roast on Comedy Central. You gotta curse.' He's just an unusual cat and I've been friends with him a very long time. In fact, I'm the first comedian he ever saw in Ottawa, Canada.
GM: Yeah, I remember hearing that.
BS: Yeah, you know everything. I don't know, you could just look up the old interviews except for the fact that I'm growing a little bit.
GM: Here's what I'm thinking: His book, which is part memoir part fanciful novel, should be a movie and Bob Saget should direct it.
BS: That would be a delight.
GM: Wouldn't that be great? It's got everything. He goes seal hunting with a sick kid...
BS: And he's got this guy, Adam, um...
BS: Eget, who runs the Comedy Store and was on his podcast for a while and he does stuff with Norm and he makes him the culprit of everything. It just makes no sense! He's decided, 'I'm gonna make Adam Eget the bad guy.' It was all due to Adam Eget!
GM: And he never just says Adam. It's always his full name.
BS: Yeah. He's hilarious is what he is. It was so funny to be with him in St. Louis. And we said, 'Let's do a sequel to Dirty Work. We'll call it Keep Artie Alive!' (laughs) But we talked about doing a sequel to Dirty Work. I don't know how we would do it. I mean, we've got Don Rickles, who's my friend and he's still around. I don't know if he would do it after the book (laughs).
GM: You don't need to do the sequel to Dirty Work because Rickles is in the memoir, too. So you can direct it and Norm and Rickles will be in it.
BS: It is something very very interesting. It's a hard shoot, when you think about it, because there's so many different settings in it.
GM: You'd need a young Norm and all the places he goes to.
BS: I don't know who would be. We had a young Norm in the beginning of the movie and we had a medium Norm in the beginning of Dirty Work and none of them can quite talk like that. Almost a newscaster, because his brother is a newscaster.
GM: Yes, I know. A very well known one in Canada.
BS: He's had a complex life, Norm. It's not a normal existence. He's quite wonderful.
GM: You could get his son as the young Norm.
BS: His son's so good. His son looks like him.
GM: So there you go, the young Norm in the movie directed by Bob Saget.
BS: I'm glad we figured that out! It's interesting, I'm supposed to go to Japan the beginning of December for Fuller House. It's so funny to still be able to play that character in the middle of doing all my irreverent stuff.
GM: Have you changed the character? Has the character grown?
BS: The character has grown. He's a bit more mature. There's an episode about his midlife crisis. And my daughter's like, 'Midlife crisis? Okay, two-thirdslife crisis." But yeah, he definitely has grown but there's only so much Danny Tanner can grow on a show that's really about the same tone as the old show. But he's definitely not the same Danny Tanner. He grew up. And he wears glasses. (laughs)
GM: So he's completely different.
BS: They're Danny Tanner glasses. They're specifically for the show. I don't use them in my life. I develop a character; I must have separate glasses.
GM: (laughs) And do you get into the old frame of mind when you go to play him?
BS: It is that frame of mind. It's those relationships. You love your kids the same way, you love your friends the same way. It literally is hilarious that we are the same characters. The writing exactly... I know Danny wouldn't say that, Jessie wouldn't say that, Joey wouldn't say that. Dave is frozen in time. Dave still has this fucking woodchuck and I just want to set it on fire. (laughs)
GM: It's interesting. After it ended, you tried to get as far away from it as you could. I guess time heals all wounds, if it was a wound, and you guys can come back and embrace it.
BS: Even throughout it, I was dealing with the devils of playing Goodie Two-Shoes and people perceiving me as one, but I still loved doing the show; I just wanted to be able to have other sides to me rather than people going, 'Oh my God, you're Danny Tanner!' Once you play a certain character, that's who people think you are but if you have a movie career where you play a murderer in one and you're joyful in another, then people see it differently. There's a new thing I'm writing right now, developing a series for cable and it's for adults, and it's more like my own personality, which is a pleasure to be able to grow to that, which is fun. It incorporates a little bit of my standup character but more like what I'm like as a person. There's elements more of me in the Danny Tanner of it all. On Broadway I was playing a Lutheran pastor so that's not anything like me and I wasn't like me at all but you incorporate parts of your personality into every role you do. There's nothing you can do about that because you draw from things that are somehow part of you. But this is a very good decade for me because I'm mature and I don't have to wear Spanx, so that's good.
GM: I forgot what I was going to say.
BS: About how great I was?
GM: Something like that. Oh, the show that you're developing! You were telling me about one two years ago. Is that the same one? It was an HBO thing.
BS: That thing was a different thing with different people.
GM: You were a gynecologist.
BS: Yeah, and that was the one that almost went. I won't tell you what this is but I am in the medical field. But I can't tell you about it because I won't jinx it. The gynecologist thing had to go away because they changed executives. They fired the executive that was in charge and they wanted me then to be a dermatologist and that kinda takes away from the gynecological beauty of life.
GM: Well good luck with this one.
BS: You can't turn a man from a gynecologist into a dermatologist.
GM: No, that's just wrong.
BS: No. Terrible. You don't have stirrups, you know? You just have tweezers.
GM: If a dermatologist did have stirrups, that would be awkward.
BS: I'd be fine with that.
GM: (laughs) You could say, Okay, fine, I'll be a dermatologist but I keep the stirrups and only female clients.
BS: Yeah, exactly. But this is a different thing with a couple of wonderful edgy people that are close friends of mine that are writing something that I'm writing also. And I've got a movie I'm directing and acting in. We're ready to go into prep on that, so that'll keep me busy into 2017. I'm real busy. And then I'll do a special in the beginning of the new year. I don't know where I'll shoot it. I might do it in San Francisco or Chicago or somewhere.
GM: Do it at the River Rock.
BS: I would. That's where they shot some of Don's thing. That's so amazing what Don Rickles did. They made that movie about him that was on HBO, that documentary on him, Mr. Warmth. A lot of it was shot there. Howard was an old friend of his. I love the River Rock. I'm actually taking my girlfriend up with me for this trip to Vancouver because she's never been there. We'll stay for a couple of extra days because I want to be there.
GM: How long have you been with her?
BS: Five months. And that's not her age, which is good.
GM: Oh that's great.
BS: Yeah, that's great that she's not five months!
GM: It's great you're going to bring her up here and show her around.
BS: Yeah, it's frickin' gorgeous up there.
GM: It'll be November.
BS: Yeah. It'll be cold. Well, maybe we won't go. (laughs)
GM: Well, you gotta get to Chicago today.
BS: Yeah, I'm going there now in a couple hours and then I'm back on Saturday. I've got a big week in Chicago.
GM: Thanks for talking again. Nice talking with you.
BS: If you want to come to the show, I can set it up, if you want to. And then come back after the show if you'd like, at either venue, whichever one you decide to go to.
GM: Thank you.
BS: Pleasure. It's good to talk to you again. It's really fun. Take care of yourself.