FLASHBACK: Bob Saget’s 2008 Tabernacle comedy show, 2014 MJCCA appearance

He possessed a squeaky clean image on TV but was super dirty in his stand-up routine

Bob Saget, who died suddenly Sunday at just age 65, was best known as an actor on “Full House” and his stint as host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” But he was also a stand-up comic and author. And unlike his squeaky clean image on TV, he could be surprisingly dirty on stage.

In 2008, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Rodney Ho attended Saget’s stand-up show at the Tabernacle and wrote a short item for the AJC Peach Buzz column. Here it is:

To most of Middle America, Bob Saget remains Danny Tanner, that goofy “Full House” dad, and host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

But as many of his biggest fans know, he’s a dirty, dirty man. So filthy he’d make Andrew Dice Clay blush. Buzz checked out his show at the Tabernacle on Friday night, and it’s 50 percent potty humor, 45 percent sex jokes and 5 percent usable material for this news-gathering operation.

“I don’t know if you can tell,” he cracked, “but I’m divorced!”

Yet Saget is so good-natured, so amiable, even the nastiest bestiality reference comes across as oddly sweet. He acts as if the obscenities coming out of his mouth even shock him.

“You’re going to go home and watch reruns of ‘Full House’ tonight and say to Danny, ‘Don’t pick up the kids! Don’t pick up the kids!’ "

And a tidbit about submissions for “Funniest Home Videos”: “People sent us porn! Porn! And I have all of it!”

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Bob Saget's memoir from 2014 "Dirty Daddy." He appeared at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta book festival to discuss his book that year.

Credit: PROMO PHOTO

Bob Saget's memoir from 2014 "Dirty Daddy." He appeared at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta book festival to discuss his book that year.

Credit: PROMO PHOTO

caption arrowCaption
Bob Saget's memoir from 2014 "Dirty Daddy." He appeared at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta book festival to discuss his book that year.

Credit: PROMO PHOTO

Credit: PROMO PHOTO

In 2014, Saget appeared at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta as part of its annual book festival to promote a book and gave Ho a few minutes on the phone:

Bob Saget is not really Danny Tanner, his fictional widowed daddy figure on the classic sitcom “Full House.” They both love to clean, but Saget’s sense of humor is far dirtier, based on the scatological words that come out of his mouth in his stand-up routine.

Saget himself embraces this dichotomous imagery in his memoir, appropriately named “Dirty Daddy,” which he’ll discuss Saturday at the Book Festival of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

“I don’t even look at myself as a dirty joke teller. I tell jokes,” he said. He tells his off-color stories (often focused on private parts and bodily fluids) in a pleasant, agreeable style that somehow makes the jokes seem less off-color. He embraces what he dubbed in his book “gallows humor” and “sick silliness,” a sense of humor cultivated by his father. He wrote that humor was a way to cover up pain from numerous family deaths.

Saget is not an “insult” comic in the vein of Jeffrey Ross or the late Joan Rivers. He prefers self-deprecation. In 2005, for instance, he played a jerk-ish version of himself on HBO’s “Entourage.” “Jack Benny once said the smartest thing to do is make fun of yourself first,” he said. “You don’t have to make fun of anybody else.”

His book was released in the spring, and he said sales have been building momentum. “It’s more like an independent film,” he said. “Word of mouth is good. People are really loving the book.”

He admits being a sensitive soul and doesn’t like to hear negativity, so he doesn’t read reviews or comments on Amazon, where his book received 3.5 stars out of five. The negatives mostly focused on how overly obsessed he was with his self-described “adolescent ramblings.”

“When people tell me that’s really dirty, it doesn’t change me, it doesn’t help me,” he said. At the same time, “I’m very, very fortunate with the sordid career I’ve had and continue to have.”

Could the real Bob Saget be friends with sweet Danny Tanner? “I have friends like him,” said Saget, who is 58. “Most of them at this age are not very happy.”

At the same time, he is very protective of the Olsen twins and the show itself. “I get very defensive when people trash them or ‘Full House,’” he said. He wasn’t thrilled that the 2008 Comedy Central roast featured so many Olsen twin jokes, some of which were edited out of the telecast, probably for redundancy.

He has done spoof bits with fellow “Full House” brethren John Stamos and Dave Coulier in a Super Bowl ad and a Jimmy Fallon sketch. And he is open to participating in a “Full House” revival. “I’d be a part of it,” he said. “I’d do Danny Tanner if he’d evolve into a new person and it was a movie.”

[ADDENDUM: Netflix ultimately aired five seasons of a “Full House” revival called “Fuller House” that aired from 2016 to 2020.]

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Saget used to do stand-up shows at the Punchline in the 1980s before “Full House” debuted. His 8-by-10 black-and-white photo hung at the original location for many years. I took a photo of it many years ago:

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A signed photo of Bob Saget at the Punchline. (Chris Hunt / AJC staff)

Credit: Chris Hunt

A signed photo of Bob Saget at the Punchline. (Chris Hunt / AJC staff)

Credit: Chris Hunt

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A signed photo of Bob Saget at the Punchline. (Chris Hunt / AJC staff)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

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