Bob Saget: Not So Clean-Cut

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Forget everything that you think you know about comedian and actor Bob Saget.

This includes the fact that Saget starred on more than 190 episodes of the popular television series Full House and hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos for eight years from 1989 to 1997.

While those two jobs are a big part of the reason why he is so well known these days, Bob hasn’t exactly been resting on his duff over the 17 years since leaving America’s Funniest Home Videos.

From directing the MGM cult favourite film Dirty Work to directing and producing the ABC television movie For Hope, Bob has spent almost as much time behind the camera as he has in front of it. And there’s been plenty of time in front of the camera.

In 2006, the entertainer became the host of the NBC quiz show 1 vs. 100. A year later, Bob launched his acclaimed HBO special That Ain’t Right. That same year saw the release of the wildly successful DVD Farce of the Penguins, an R-rated comedy-documentary-love story that he voiced-over, wrote, directed and produced.

Although his sitcom Surviving Suburbia was short-lived on ABC, he also made numerous cameo appearances on the hit seriesEntourage and starred in a comedy-documentary series, Strange Days with Bob Saget, on the A&E network.

Bob’s latest ventures continue to earn the comedian acclaim: His newest one-hour stand-up comedy special That’s What I’m Talkin’ About, filmed at The Moore Theatre in Seattle, has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album. Bob will find out this coming Sunday (the day following his appearance at Casino New Brunswick) whether or not he will be able to call himself a Grammy Award-winning comedian.

Receiving a Grammy nomination is a distinct honour for any artist and is one that absolutely caught the comedian off guard.

“As cliché as it is to say, it is an honour to be nominated, it really is,” Bob says from his California home. “Everybody in the category is so great. I’m being very realistic about the possibility of walking away with the prize.”

After moving around a fair amount while growing up, it was around the time that Bob was 17 years old that he decided to try his hand at comedy. He would take to the stage with a guitar, “singing songs about bondage” while also rigging the guitar to pour water out while he sang “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”

He relocated to New York City, working at the Improv before deciding to move to Los Angeles at age 21. He landed a number of guest roles on both the big and little screens and was even reportedly fired from a television show.

Bob’s luck wasn’t all bad, however. It was in 1987 that Full House came calling. Two years later, Bob found himself hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos. The two primetime television shows helped to make him a household name.

Interestingly, Bob’s modern-day stand-up routine that he brings to the Casino New Brunswick stage this Friday night would probably make Danny Tanner (the wholesome character Bob played on Full House) endlessly blush. His raucous comedic style tends to lean towards the vulgar as he embraces the darker side of life.

“It is interesting that both Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos were so successful, not only in the United States but in a number of different places around the world. I can be nothing but thankful for the success that both shows had,” Bob says.

“At the end of the day, you can’t blame people for associating me with the person they got to know via those two shows. I think it is very much the same if you see an actor portray goody-two-shoes in one movie and then portray a cold-blooded killer in their next movie. With my stand-up work, it is definitely a bit of a shift to change some people’s perceptions of what they know of me.”

In addition to looking forward to his first tour of Australia later this year, Bob’s book Dirty Daddy – The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian is due to hit store shelves in April.

Rather than opting to write a straightforward autobiography, Bob says that his only goal for writing the book was to be as honest as he could be.

“The book is a bit of a mix: It is part memoirs, part flat-out comedy book. It is like a very long monologue in a lot of ways,” he laughs. “Over the course of 300 pages, I discuss having lost two sisters, four uncles and my father but I also touch upon how death and comedy intersect as well.

“Of course there are stories from Full House and lot of stuff that just shouldn’t be printed at all. I’m very proud of it and can’t wait for people to check it out.”

“I am in a great place in my life right now. I have three amazing daughters that I look up to. I have many amazing friends. I am totally fulfilled in that respect. Creatively, I am very excited about this year and years that will follow.”