Thirty Years After Full House, Bob Saget Still Balances the Wholesome and the Blue | Arts

Thirty Years After Full House, Bob Saget Still Balances the Wholesome and the Blue

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Bob Saget
Thursday, Nov. 30, 8 p.m., $27–$68
Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh


Thirty years ago, comedian Bob Saget took on a role that he’s still known for, the literally squeaky-clean single father Danny Tanner on the family sitcom Full House. At age sixty-one, Saget, who comes to Raleigh courtesy of Bob Nocek presents tomorrow, is still busier than most comedians half his age—and he's able to balance his family-friendly work with the decidedly less gentle stand-up that started his career.

Saget is having a particularly hectic week when I speak to him on a phone call from New York City. He’s recently gotten engaged while embarking on a new stand-up tour. He's finishing post-production on Benjamin, a low-budget dark comedy he directed and costars in. And he's promoting his new stand-up special, Zero to Sixty, which Comedy Dynamics is simultaneously launching across many on-demand platforms.

“My joke is, with two clicks, you can buy the special and the lotion to watch it with,” Saget says, giving an indication that it’s not exactly Full House fare. It’s appropriate that his 2014 autobiography was titled Dirty Daddy.

In fairness, Saget’s stand-up isn’t exactly Andrew Dice Clay. It’s just a shade bluer than those who know him from his days of corralling the Olsen twins and hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos would expect. “The audience has seen me in so many things now that no one’s surprised by my stand-up act,” Saget says. “I always get, Hey, do you think they think they’re going to get the guy from Full House? Who would pay to see a guy Windex and mop? It’s the kind of jokes that would be appropriate for a seventeen-year-old. I get a wide audience—people bring their moms to my shows. I always say my audience is eighteen-to-death."

Saget, who’s been doing stand-up since he was seventeen, says he “loves the diversity I get to have” in his work. He occasionally reprises his role as Danny Tanner on Netflix revival Fuller House, and his voice can be heard on countless reruns of How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom he narrated for nine seasons. In January, he plans to have finished Benjamin, the first live-action film he’s directed since the 1998 comedy Dirty Work with Norm MacDonald (or second, if you count the dubbed bird-film parody Farce of the Penguins from 2007).

“It took about a decade to get funded, and then we shot it in fifteen days,” says Saget of Benjamin, in which his character gets involved in a Facebook-invite intervention for a teenage son he thinks is on crystal meth. “If you want to get something made, it’s a lot of holding on to the tiger’s tail, as they say.”

Saget has bounced between television, film, stage work on Broadway, writing songs, and more, but he always keeps a foot in the world of stand-up.

“I’ve always enjoyed feeling like an eleven-year-old boy who didn’t grow up, but got some therapy and can share it with the audience,” Saget says. “Stand-up is its own animal—it’s just you and the people. You get to interact with the audience, to come up with all these below-the-belt jokes that make people laugh and upset people on airplanes.”

Doing stand-up is particularly cathartic for Saget in the midst of the “nightmare” that has been 2017. “It brings me joy, because right now people really need stand-up,” Saget says. “It’s a hard world, and people are just hurting everywhere. So, the privilege of getting to come to Raleigh to perform is not something I take lightly.”

Well, maybe a little lightly: “I’ve got a new song that closes my act called ‘We’ve Got to Be Kind to Each Other,'" Saget says. "It’s kind of an R-rated ‘We Are the World.’”


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