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Thursday, 28 February, 2008 4:23 PM
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Bob Saget to Perform on April 19 at the Michigan Theatre
DETROIT -- Hollywood actor, filmmaker and comedian Bob Saget will perform at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theatre on April 19. I spoke with Mr. Saget on the phone for a 20-minute long one-on-one interview. We discussed everything from "Full House" to "America's Funniest Home Videos" to "1 vs. 100" and "How I Met Your Mother." Saget has had roles in all of those shows.
Saget was born in Philadelphia and moved to Lexington, Virginia at the age of two. He attended Rockbridge County High School then moved back to Philadelphia where he graduated from Abington Senior High School. His first intention was to become a doctor. Then, he changed his mind for a career in film.
"I actually went to Temple University in Philly for six months," said Saget. "I was Pre-Med and then realized I was going to fail. Biology and all of the sciences and math were not my strongest suit. So I took off my suit and I went to film school and started taking all the film courses there. I did pretty well and took documentary courses and actually won the Student Academy Award when I was 21 years old and flew to L.A. and then started doing stand-up more full time which I've been doing since I was about 17."
He played the character of Danny Tanner on Full House from 1987 to 1995.
"It was interesting. I just had had my first child with my wife which was convenient. I had a show in New York called the Morning Program in 1986 I got the job. I was fired after five months and conveniently they had wanted me for the pilot of Full House. After I had got fired from the show, which was also a good career start for me, I got the Full House job and I was really excited.
"I was in a primetime sitcom and had just been fired and had a new baby and got to work with my good friend Dave Coulier who is of course from Detroit. I met him at a place called the Delta Lady when he was 17 and I was 22. John Stamos and I, we're all like brothers. It was a very fun experience. It was kinda weird cause I was in a reverend comedian and here I was playing this clean-cut dust-busting straight man even though I didn't look that straight cause I was wearing cardigan sweaters and living in San Francisco with two men."
Saget performed on both Full House and on America's Funniest Home Videos (as host) simultaneously from 1989 to 1995.
"It's one of those jokes where people make you the butt of their jokes," he said. "When I was on the show before Full House, I showed my wedding videos on this Morning Program then showed it on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The producers of America's Funniest Home Videos and some ABC executives saw that tape and thought I would be great to narrate people's videos. It was just a special. They sent me a 20-minute reel of the original pilot of AFV and I thought it was some of the funniest real footage like the beginning of YouTube. It was a blooper show.
"I had been on Full House for a year and they thought 'Ok. We'll do this cross-pollination of an ABC star on another show' which became something networks do a lot of the time. Drew Carey, they've done it with a bunch of people both sitcom that go into game and reality. It took off. It beat a rerun of 60 Minutes and they picked it up. Then, it lasted for almost a year. It was crazy. I was very, very lucky person."
He is currently narrating How I Met Your Mother on CBS. Saget started doing that show on September 19, 2005.
"It's really a great show. Now that the Writers Strike is over, thank goodness all the writers are going back that are able to. The people on the show are so talented. The lead guy, Josh Radnor, you know I get to be his voice projected into the future. I just think it's a really great show. It's kind of a love letter to romantic situations.
"I've also known a lot of the cast for a really long time. Alyson Hannigan, who was actually a babysitter when she was 15 years old. I put her in the HBO special that I did when she was 16. Neil Patrick Harris I know from the old ABC days. It's a very nice thing to be a part of."
Saget is also hosting the popular game show 1 vs. 100 on NBC. He started doing that show on October 13, 2006. I asked him what he enjoys about it the most.
"I think the fact that we had a live monkey on it. He guessed an answer correctly. And then he guessed wrong and they removed him. If you guess wrong, you're out. I like the show. I think it's well done for those kind of shows. The reason I did it in the first place is I love being able to do like my stand-up because I'll be doing the MIchigan Theatre on April 19th. I get to kinda be myself on this show -- not in a raunchy way but I like entertaining families too.
"I was watching Millionaire when that was on with Regis. We'd all sit around and watch the show together. It's something that I have fun doing. I like what that show is. It's fun to do."
Next, I asked Saget how hosting 1 vs. 100 is different from hosting America's Funniest Home Videos.
"It's a lot different cause America's Funniest Home Videos was completely scripted. I would do some ad-libbing once in a while. For me, I'm just a completely different person. I'm the same guy obviously, but I've changed a lot. I get older being around for a while understanding what I do and the purpose of what I like to do which is entertain people.
"AFV when I did it is well-done now. Tom Bergeron is a really nice guy. It's going to run for a long time. It's like Candid Camera. When I did it, we would write 55 pages a week and I would do the voiceovers. It was a very heavily scripted show where as 1 vs. 100 there is no script. The questions are written and I don't know the answers. I don't know too much. I just kind of go through and wing it. A lot of the stuff gets removed cause you gotta keep the game going. I say a lot of quirky things and some of it makes the air which has a PG rating which gets me very excited."
He performed in a HBO comedy special called That Ain't Right and it went to DVD on August 28, 2007. I asked him to tell us more about that show.
"Yeah...That thing was many years of stand-up. It was kind of just something of a mission statement I guess. A few minutes of it is I'm not that guy from those shows but I am that guy. But it really is about my silly sense of humor. My aunt saw the special and went 'boy it's very blue. We don't really love that as much as seeing you live.' But when she saw me live, it was the same show pretty much. Most of the same material, the same tone. I think you need to watch that special eating meat and drinking booze. I think that's the best way to see me.
"People need to eat some meat and drink some booze before they come to see me April 19th."
In 2006, Saget performed in a rap song and music video with Jamie Kennedy called "Rollin' with Saget." I asked him what that was like.
"Jamie is a really good guy and a friend. Stu Stone was his partner on Blowin' Up, which was this MTV thing. One night, Jamie and I were doing stand-up together. I also had been on his show, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment. We'd just gone out one night and done stand-up said let's get a drink. It's like two in the morning in L.A. and couldn't find anywhere to go. The pubs were closed down. I knocked on the door of a bar and they said 'Oh yea, Bob you can come in.' They locked us in and gave us some free drinks.
"Jamie and Stu looked at me and said there's nothing like 'Rollin with Saget.' I'm like, yeah right. Then, the next day they started filming and wrote a song about it. MTV spent a ton of dough and ended up having George Lucas drop by the set. Coincidentally, John Stamos was in it. It was actually a very funny thing to do. I'm kind of proud of it cause they did it, I just kinda showed up."
Saget is excited about performing at the Michigan Theatre on April 19 in Ann Arbor.
"Well, I guess you could say it will be similar in some tone to the HBO special. Some of the music will be the same. And then I have a couple of new songs which I'm really excited about. I've got some new material I've been working on for a while now to spice it up. I thought I was going to try to clean the show up but apparently what's been coming out of me is just kinda bent. It's not R-rated, but it's definitely a little bit odd.
"It's based on what a friend of mine said to me. He actually is hosts a public radio show in Santa Fe. He said to me 'you know, you need to think about it when you say something kinda weird, quirky and you talk about the crazy things people do cause people are kinda nutty. Anything you mention, someone's out there doing it.' That's disturbing. That's 12 minutes of material right there."
His caricature was unveiled at Sardi's Restaurant on Broadway in New York City on January 4. 2008.
"It was really quite an honor. I did this wonderful Broadway show called The Drowsy Chaperone, which was written by Bob Martin. It's a show that I was the lead in it, a character called Man in Chair which my mother thought that I was not a big part cause I didn't have a name but it was the narrator of the show. Quite a large part I had to learn it in two weeks and was on Broadway for a few months.
"Being honored in Sardi's with a portrait is one of those things that a lot of Broadway people dream of and here I was. It was an honor. The cast of The Drowsy Chaperone was the most talented people on Broadway. I did an off Broadway show three years ago. The whole experience was something I would love to be a part of again."
BOB SAGET ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS:
AmericaJR.com visitors had the chance to send in their questions for Bob Saget via e-mail. Here is his answers to your questions...
Question: Out of all your characters that you played -- which represents you best? --Angela Gallegos (Detroit, Mich.)
Answer: "Hmm...I've yet to play the character that represents me the best. Lots of the things I've done over the past five years have been nothing like me. I'm almost like Danny Tanner when I break a glass. I've yet to come upon...Well, I did a cameo of myself on Entourage. If that's how I live during the day, they'd probably have to arrest me. I think it's yet to be unveiled which I'm excited about doing, developing some other shows. Perhaps, definitely a scripted piece. I think more like my own character or whatever that is."
Q: What is the most embarrassing moment in your acting career? --Tarring Lim (Warren, Mich.)
A: "Most embarrassing moment would probably be on Full House. I was in a Dino the Dinosaur outfit. I guess the most embarrassing moment was my kids. When I did the show, two of my children weren't even born yet. I walked into one of my daughter's bedrooms a few years ago and it was on Nick at Nite. She said, 'Daddy, look, you're in a dinosaur outfit.' I literally felt like Barney had fallen down a flight of stars. I was damaged from it. I guess it was cute but I literally don't remember doing it."
Q: Do you still keep in touch with the legendary Full House cast? --Nicole Vowell (Livonia, Mich.)
A: "Absolutely! In fact, when I was on Broadway a couple of months ago, everybody came. Jodie Sweetin was there, Ashley and Mary Kate, came to the show a couple times. Stamos went to it like three times. Dave was going to and so was Candace. And so was Scott Weinger and Andrea Barber. The show, because of the Theatre Strike, took a bit of a hit and we ended up on Broadway closing at the end of December. It lives on because it's a very successful story. We completely see each other to the point where this Saturday, we'll be doing a thing with John and Dave and singing Beach Boys songs kind of for charity. It's for a wonderful cause. We truly stay in contact quite a bit."
Q: How often do you come to Metro Detroit? What do you think about it? --Carlos Hull (Westland, Mich.)
A: "I love Detroit. I've spent a great deal of time there over the years. I used to work Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle all the time and every reincarnation it ever had. Since I was about 22 years old, I've been coming to Detroit. My dad was actually from there. It was one of my home places. Used to always, couple times of the year, come into town. It means a lot to me to come in and do the Michigan Theatre. Last time I was in Detroit, it was a great experience."
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