Exit Interview: Bob Saget
Like Mark Hamill, Mr. T and Monica Lewinsky, Abington High grad Bob Saget has had a career defined largely by one role — Danny Tanner, the cardigan-clad dad on the hugely popular Full House and father figure to two would-be media moguls. But the real kick in the pants is that before the sitcom made him famous, Saget was a comedian. A dirty, perverted one, as Exit Interview learned firsthand. This month, you can see the 49-year-old’s true blue humor in The Aristocrats, a documentary about the evolution of one very foul joke. And if you see ol’ Sags himself, don’t ask about the Olsen Twins. Really. You do not want to make Bob Saget angry.
Exit Interview: We should start by saying you’re nothing like the character that made you famous.
Bob Saget: No, that’s a character. People do that. I played a dust-busting guy with a bouffant hairdo—even my 12-year-old wonders if he’s gay. It’s so funny that my stand-up is the antithesis of that.
EI: And unlike your role in the stoner film Half Baked …
BS: I do not suck dick for coke—that’s the actual wording that college kids yell at me.
EI: Do you look for roles that play against your Full House image?
BS: No. Twenty years ago, I’d go on talk shows and do dick jokes. So now it’s more of a mission statement—not that I’m dirty, but that I’m funny. But it takes 15 seconds for people to say, “Oh, he’s funny as shit.”
EI: When did your humor get raunchy?
BS: Everything I wrote was either raunchy or sexual. The first time I did stand-up, I was 17. I made this movie called Beach Blanket Blintzes, about people who got turned into sour cream by these blintzes. It was a piece of shit, but I did 15 minutes of ad-libbing before I showed it at McKinley Elementary and got some good laughs. The first jokes I wrote were, “I never went to camp as a kid because my mom thought I’d get embarrassed undressing in front of little boys. But I’ve changed, because I kinda like it now.” And I’d say, “That’s not true. I like it a lot.” I worked at Stephen Starr’s club, Stars. I did a lot of stand-up in Philly during my college years.
EI: America’s Funniest Home Videos is arguably the first reality TV show. Will you shoulder the blame for your progeny, like Temptation Island and Who Wants to Marry My Dad?
BS: I get really upset with reality TV. Everything’s negative. You’re the weakest link, don’t come back and sing next week, you have no discernible talent. I like Pimp My Ride. They take a car that looks like shit, spend 20 grand on it, and this kid suddenly has decent wheels.
EI: Even if he’s just going to drive it to school, get it stripped, and get his ass kicked.
BS: I don’t think they go to school. They just live in that car.
EI: Did you ever imagine the Olsen Twins would have enough money to hire you and Stamos to clean their pool for life?
BS: Look at the jokes you’ve written.
EI: You don’t like my material?
BS: They don’t have a pool in New York. No, I never expected. It’s funny, some radio reporter said something to me like [puts on weaselly reporter voice, which some might say is redundant], “Hey, how about those Olsen Twins,” and I said, “Dude, before you make your next step, they just bought your station.” I told Mary-Kate that, and that’s her favorite new line. They’re like daughters to me.
EI: As the Olsens’ father figure, what was more disturbing: their “homeless chic” wardrobe, or the “Countdown to Legality” web page that awaited their 18th birthday?
BS: You’re, like, criticizing my kids right now. That’s off-limits. Your joke doesn’t work with someone who cares about them.
EI: But you …
BS: If you had a kid, and I said, “How do you like it when your kid wears that stupid-ass thing,” you’re going to go, “Wait, that’s my kid. I don’t want to joke about that.” That’s what I’m telling you. I don’t like to joke about that.
EI: But that’s more of a comment about their fashion statements than a personal attack.
BS: Oh, okay. Good save.
EI: I mean, really, isn’t it?
BS: I don’t look at the tabloids. Ashley’s always been more — I hate talking about this stuff, it’s really lameass — but she’s always been more stylish in a conservative way. What was the other part?
EI: The countdown on the Internet.
BS: I did see that. They saw everything.
EI: Did they find that funny at all?
BS: It made sense that people would joke about it. But on Saturday Night Live, somebody yelled, “Go eat a sandwich.” People can be really cruel. I didn’t mean to get defensive on your ass. I apologize. These girls love me and I love them, so when people do jokes about them, I get really pissed off.
EI: That pretty much kills my last Olsen question, which was going to be, um, if you agree that Ashley is now the hot one.
BS: If you want to look at it that way — and I can talk about this because I have three daughters of my own — it really all depends. Everyone has their own tastes. It’s like the old Mary Ann vs. Ginger. Betty or Wilma.
EI: Let’s get to The Aristocrats, which is about how this joke defines you as a comic. What does it say about you that your version is said to be the funniest and dirtiest?
BS: I’m funny and dirty. The joke is incest and bodily functions. I told it and apologized profusely. I still feel bad I got defensive about those Olsens. If the situations were reversed, you’d do the same thing. If your little sister was a well-known ho …
EI: If I had one, it’s quite possible that would be the case.
BS: Oh, you don’t have a little sister?
BS: Oh crap. I was hoping for the digits.