Bob Saget wants you to know that he’s not Danny Tanner. And he’s definitely not the nerdy host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” either.
“Those were just jobs,” he said in an interview with The Hatchet. “I was known as a family guy because that was the image people created.” He said his standup “has always been R-rated.” The audiences that grew up watching him on the hit family show “Full House” were just too young to know it.
Those kids are college students now, and Saget is trying to win them back. This time he’s positioning himself as more of a dirty uncle than a father-figure. He had something of a breakthrough with a cameo in 1998’s “Half Baked” (his line: “I used to suck dick for coke.”) But he knows one movie isn’t enough to kill the dorky image.
“‘Full House’ ran for eight years, ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ ran for eight years,” he said. “A movie is just out for a few months.” Even so, his showboat performance in “The Aristocrats,” one of the filthiest in an all-out blue comedy competition, might finally change people’s perceptions about Bob Saget.
Saget doesn’t resent the years he spent at ABC – “What am I going to say? You gave me millions of dollars, you bastards?” But he’s more comfortable with less clean-cut comedy.
“There’s no way to be funny on those video shows,” he says defensively. But his pathetic past work only helps him now. If he hadn’t spent years introducing clips of cute animal tricks with awkward puns, it wouldn’t be so funny to hear him talk about doing crystal meth with his dog now. Seriously, Saget said he “can’t do any drugs, I’m 49 now,” and that he’s “never done anything for coke.” But he has some advice for GW students that go to his show: “College audiences, some of them are so stoned, they can’t even sit upright the whole time. Pot tends to sedate people too much. But if they do too many stimulants that they need again in 15 minutes, they’ll miss a lot, cause there’s no speakers in the bathroom. Do what you need to do, but within reason.”
He says standup is his real passion, but the show at Lisner will be one of his last for a while. He’s taking time off the stage to work on a show for HBO, in which he’ll play a gynecologist with a teenage son, and for a movie he’s writing and directing called “The Farce of the Penguins,” where “the penguins all have sex with each other.”
The performance won’t be as obscene as “The Aristocrats,” he said. “I’m not that dirty. I’ll drop the F-bomb a bunch. I’ve got a lot of penis jokes. And I’ve got a lot of jokes about relationships, about my daughters.”
Saget has three daughters, aged 12, 16 and 18 (he and his wife divorced eight years ago). Only the oldest was allowed to see “The Aristocrats.”
“The other two I wouldn’t allow,” he said. “That’s not the best movie for a family, considering it’s about a family. I’m glad I did it, but I was a little scared because I knew some people would be offended by it. It’s the only thing I’ve done where I knew people walked out of it.”
Saget interrupted the interview to talk to his 16-year-old and came back and said, “I feel bad, my daughter is sick and I’m not helping her. I just keep telling her, stop getting pregnant. I shouldn’t have given her all that booze this morning.”
So is the real Bob Saget a serious single parent, like Danny Tanner, or a gross-out oddball? Saget himself has trouble sorting it out. “I’m kind of schizophrenic, literally,” he said. “One minute I’m talking to my daughter, then the next minute she’ll walk away and some young girl will come over and start hitting on me, and I get very confused. I’m like a dog that doesn’t know what’s happening. This is the problem I have. One minute I want to parent, and the next minute I want to say, ‘Who’s your daddy?’ Very confused, very confused.”
Bob Saget will perform at GW’s Lisner Auditorium Tuesday, Nov. 15 with Big Al Goodwin and Justin Schlegel, with the band Bicycle Thieves opening. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $30 for the public and $24 for GW students.