If all you knew of Bob Saget was his work on the TV series “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” “Full House” and now “Fuller House” (20 years later), you’d think he was the most wholesome actor the world has ever known, even more goody-goody than Ron Howard (aka Richie Cunningham, to fans of “Happy Days”).
But Saget, to borrow a famous line from Elton John’s signature hit “Rocket Man,” is not the man they think he is at home. Oh, no, no, no.
Saget the “adult-oriented” stand-up comedian and entertainer harbors a much darker side, one that involves words that would result in “time-outs” or parent-teacher conferences for much of his TV-watching fans. Exhibit A: His participation in the 2005 film “The Aristocrats,” the infamous docu-comedy that invites stars to share the most shockingly profane joke they can ad-lib. Exhibit B: His New York Times best-selling book “Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.”
This side of Saget is also an aspect of his personality that continuously has audiences cracking up; in fact, his 2013 one-hour stand-up special, “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, just to give you an idea of the hilarity sure to ensue when Saget takes the stage Friday night at the new Lauderhill Performing Arts Center.
To properly prepare you for the show, here are nine reasons why we’re excited to see Bob Saget perform:
1. He’s excited to come back to Miami even though he endured a hurricane here, or at least a tropical storm.
“I was down there performing literally 20 years ago at some club, and the wind was so bad, and it was so stormy with pouring rain that I remember being onstage and saying that I saw a goat fly by from my hotel window, like in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or something. And they had to cancel the rest of the shows, and I had to drive to another city to get out. So this will be a different situation, I hope. I’m really looking forward to it, because I hear it’s a beautiful, brand-new place, which I’m excited about. I’m the first comedian going in.”
2. People who know him only from “Full House” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” won’t be mortified.
“I guess it’s because I’m getting older – I’m gonna be 60 in May – but my stand-up is not that out there. I guess some people go “Oh, he’s so ‘blue,’” but it’s not that shocking. My audience really does range from 18 to like 65, and I’ve been a stand-up for 40 years, and I make it as entertaining as I can possibly make it. Half the show is music – I write comedy songs, and some people know the songs and sing along, so it becomes an entertainment thing. I’m not up there trying to talk about religion or politics. So I think people could come in with no knowledge of anything I’ve ever done and have a good time. It’s not meant for 12-year-olds – I’m not doing puppet theater, you know – but my act is no more blue than “South Park” or “Family Guy.”
3. He inspires lust in every generation.
“‘You’re dirty!’ people will say to me. And then a woman will punch me and then ask me if I’m single. It’s very confusing when I could date the daughter, the grandmother, or the mom. And I just choose to run away.”
4. He’s proud of “Fuller House,” and didn’t have to think twice about returning to the show.
“No, from the very beginning, it was just a question of what the tone was gonna be. This is where I turn into “family guy waving a banner,” you know, but we wanted to maintain the dignity of what the show was. And it’s not a critic’s darling. It never was, and they never liked the original “Full House” – in fact, they hated it – but they stayed consistent [laughs]. But it’s meant for 12-year-old girls, and for people who have the nostalgia for loving the show in the first place. It’s two-dimensional family comedy with story lines that have morals to them, and you can watch them with the kids. And there is something in the formula, like there’s something in the water, where when kids are watching this new “Fuller House,” they are really into it. It is a huge hit for Netflix. It just hit on all the right cylinders, and I’m very happy that they kept the legacy without turning it into something weird, or have us go back and put wigs on, which I wouldn’t have done.”
5. He has genuine love for his fellow actors.
“[Going back] was kind of emotional for me. There were times in that first episode where I would look at the other actors and I was “verklempt.” It really did affect me. We never stopped being friends and never stopped being close, and always had nothing but love for each other. But it was wonderful.”
6. He misses and would welcome back the Olsen Twins.
“I’m very close to them. I see them whenever I’m in New York. They’ve gone on with their work, and love their work, having given up acting years ago. They were not present on the first season of “Fuller House,” but who knows? I don’t know if they’d wanna entertain the idea of coming out to play just a little bit – they’re gonna do whatever’s right for them, and I respect whatever they do, because I love them.”
7. He is the proud owner of a blazer made from the fabric of the couch from the original “Full House,” 25 years ago.
“They had extra fabric, and they made me happy with a sofa blazer, and I actually have it in my home. My daughter Stephanie did it, and it’s the most valuable object in my house, and it fits me, and it’s pretty hilarious.”
8. He wrote his book to address the theme of “death in comedy,” and how laughter has helped him cope.
“There have been so many, many deaths in my life. Since I was 9, somebody died every year. I’ve lost two sisters, and I’ve lost my parents, and so many relatives, so many uncles have all passed away at an early age, and friends. And humor helped me get through it, because I was raised that way by my parents. Throughout the sadness and dark chapters, I put – I don’t know how else you would say it – a “d— joke” on every page, just to get people out of it. But that’s just how I am – you bring someone in with something very solemn and then you do that to them. And the more honest I am, the more I end up mentioning something below the belt [laughs]. But it’s done in a way like a 9-year-old’s silly comedy – there will be a poop joke in a place where it’s like, ‘What!?’”
9. He wanted to be a doctor as a young man, to try to help people after experiencing so much tragedy.
“I used to watch doctor shows like ‘Marcus Welby,’ and I was pre-med for six months and then realized that this wasn’t gonna work. I would have killed people and I was very bad at science. Really bad – I was at Temple University in Philadelphia, and I just knew nothing.”
Bob Saget, with special guest Wil Shriner
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Lauderhill Performing A
rts Center, 3800 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill
Info: www.lpacfl.com; $45.52-$66.72