You probably knew him first as the endearingly dorky dad of three on “Full House,” or the chipper host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” — then had a jaw-drop moment when “The Aristocrats” came out and Bob Saget told the filthiest, raunchiest joke you every heard.
Nowadays, he’s somewhere in between. We chatted with Saget while he was prepping for a short comedy tour this week in New York and his hometown, Philadelphia.
I’m from Philly too. Philly crowds are the best, right?
They’re pretty high up there. You can’t be disingenuous with a Philadelphia audience. And it’s my hometown — every person you know from Philly looks at you and goes “Pat’s or Geno’s?” [rival cheesesteak stands] and stares into your eyes because they want to know the truth.
I can’t see your eyes since we’re on the phone — should I even bother asking which? You could be lying.
I’ve had good ones at Pat’s and at Geno’s. That sounds like I’m a total kiss up.
Do you think at this point everyone buying tickets to see you knows how raunchy your act can get?
I’m not even that raunchy. I’m so much less raunchy than everyone else who’s doing it — people are a lot filthier than me now. It started with an HBO special that no one saw, thank goodness, called “That Ain’t Right,” in 2007, and I must have said “fuck” 300 times. That’s the one that was definable as "oh my god, that’s not the dad from 'Full House!'" Which is just absurd because that’s a character I played on a TV show. I think people didn’t realize there was acting involved — which just makes no sense. I’m not the character.
Could we call that a testament to your acting skills?
Exactly. At this age, I’ve turned it into “What an amazing actor I am. It’s an homage to me.” [Laughs] But I’ve also grown, through many years, to understand that it’s a gift when something like that happens. To not draw any attention to it, to pretend I wasn’t on one of the most famous family sitcoms of all time, would just be ludicrous.
So what can we expect from the upcoming shows?
Well, it’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the past 35 years.
OK, so just sum that up for me: 35 years of your life.
I’m very positive these days. Everybody’s in a very negative zone and they’re into very critically putting things down and they’re into hurtful comedy. … My stuff may be a bit irreverent, but it was never meant to be hurtful. I don’t do a roast. ... I have different stories I want to share. Some of them are personal, some just — I have a 10-minute section on name dropping. In my book “Dirty Daddy,” I say “name dropping is not a good thing to do. Robert DeNiro told me that.” [Laughs] So I mix jokes with… well, analyzing your comedy, for anyone, is the kiss of death. Just show up.
Bob Saget is at the Best Buy Theater in New York City on April 16, the NYCB Theatre in Westbury, New York, on April 17, Theatre of the Living Arts in Philadelphia for two shows on April 18, and the Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on April 19.