If you thought you knew Bob Saget as the sensitive, wholesome father Danny Tanner on "Full House" or the affable host of "America's Funniest Home Videos," then you don't know Bob Saget. Read some of his autobiography, "Dirty Daddy," and you'll get a taste of this raw stand-up comedian who's not afraid to speak his mind.
On Friday, Long Islanders can hear Saget, 58, riff at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, where he'll make you realize he's even cooler than Uncle Jesse.
You have been doing stand-up comedy since the late '70s. What has been the metamorphosis of your act?
I used to talk very fast. I'd say stuff like, "I have the brain of a German shepherd and the body of a 16-year-old boy. They are both in my car and I want you to see them." It was just rapid speed, really quick. My act is more conversational now. I go all over the place sometimes, but I try to stay linear. I don't want people asking each other, "What is he talking about?"
What made you decide to go blue, which was different from your TV image?
I was like that before I was on TV. TV is a part I just acted. I really don't look at it as blue, but rather honest. There's nothing held back on stage. I just want to entertain people.
Did the TV image cause any conflict when people came to see you live?
A little bit. Right after "America's Funniest Home Videos" ended I started directing because I didn't want to be on camera much. I had my own "Birdman"/"Truman Show" thing going on. I'd walk through a store and people would say, "I loved your show! When are you coming back? What's your favorite video?" I'd be like, "Don't know . . . I just really want to buy this notebook." But it's all a gift and part of the job.
What is it about "Full House" that made it so special?
There was no show where a 3-year-old girl was the protagonist. She'd have an issue and everybody in the family tried to help her. That's the key to the show. It was the point of view of each character and what their story was. I had a couple of stories like, "He's hooked on coffee! What do we do with him?"
It seems like people adopted all of you as their family. Do you think it comforts them?
It really feels to me like "Happy Days" was when I was a kid. You had morals and messages like "Honey, I know you want to drink at the prom, but it can lead to no good." The thing that was the most touching for everybody on the show would be the people who would say, "My mother passed away and my dad and I would watch the show together." That meant a lot to us. Of course my answer was, "I'm not actually like that. I'm a lot less of a wuss." But they loved the guy that I played, and I helped make that guy.
Are you still in touch with the cast?
Yes, all of them -- every single one. John (Stamos) did a pilot the other day, and I went to the set and did a little cameo. We have great chemistry. There's no language that needs to be spoken when you know someone so well. No work is involved.
Do you think John Stamos will ever get married?
I don't know. I know he wants to, but you really need the right marsupial for that.
How do you view your role on "Entourage"?
I equate it to being the family dog. I've done several appearances on the show and a cameo in the movie. It's fun to do and a side of myself which I'm not like but capable of. I was more like that during my clean-cut acting years when I was single.
How did you become the narrator on "How I Met Your Mother"?
I did it because my friend Pam Fryman (producer/director) thought it would be wonderful. I said, "Why wouldn't you have Josh (Radnor, as lead character Ted Mosby) do it?" She said they needed a grizzlier delivery. I guess they wanted the sound of cigars and alcohol through his system for it to seem like it was 10 to 20 years later.
Your directorial debut, "Dirty Work," was a bomb at the box office in 1998 but then became a cult favorite. What's your reaction to that?
Passion is blind. I was directing my first feature, and I had all these talented people like Norm Macdonald, Artie Lange, Chevy Chase, Chris Farley, Jack Warden and Don Rickles. It's hard to make a movie, but it's also very fulfilling. I knew it was funny, but the way it was promoted . . . the billboards would say, "Opening Soon," which means they hadn't even reserved space.
Your book "Dirty Daddy" was deeply personal. Were you nervous putting it out?
At first, I was most nervous writing about was the birth of my first child and that her mom was OK with it because it was such a traumatic birth. The thing I liked about the reaction to the book was that people told me, "I like that you made it funny in the middle of a lot of terrible things." It's comedy mixed with tragedy, and I like that mix a lot. I even look at my stand-up like that. "That was a tragic two minutes, now watch this," then I flip it around. My stand-up is an ever-growing thing that lives on its own.
How do you feel your humor meshes with New Yorkers?
New York audiences have been some of my favorites. I started in New York as a 16-year-old kid on a train from Philly. I'd do the Improv and Catch a Rising Star. I've played Carnegie Hall opening for Gino Vannelli, I hosted "Saturday Night Live," I was on Broadway in "The Drowsy Chaperone," and I did an Off-Broadway play called "Privilege." Every experience I've had in New York has been fantastic. I haven't played Westbury in years, so I'm excited.
WHEN/WHERE 8 p.m., Friday, NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd.
INFO $39.50-$59.50, 800-745-3000, livenation.com
'FULL HOUSE' REFILL?
Due to the popularity of "Full House" on Netflix, the on-demand service is said to be planning a revival of the series with the working title "Fuller House." The plot is allegedly centered on the characters of D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) and Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) with the original male trio of Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) and Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier) rumored to play supporting roles.
"It's an incredibly flattering thing that the show stayed so popular that Netflix is interested apparently in bringing it back," says Saget. "When I worked on the show, I had no idea it would have such a legacy."
Although he claims to know "very little" about the future of the show, Saget notes "business people are discussing it."
Saget says, "Whatever incarnation the show goes onto from here -- I'd be really happy for any of my friends that were on the show as young people if they got to do a newer version for the fans who love it."