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Near tears, Jimmy Kimmel gives emotional on-air tribute to Bob Saget

Bob Saget, left, and Jimmy Kimmel attend 2017's

Bob Saget, left, and Jimmy Kimmel attend 2017's annual Scleroderma Foundation Benefit in Beverly Hills, Calif. Kimmel paid tribute to his late friend on Monday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Credit: Invision / AP / Chris Pizzello

Talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel paid emotional tribute Monday night to his friend and colleague Bob Saget, the "Full House" star and stand-up comic who died unexpectedly Sunday at age 65.

"Before we start the show, before the audience shows up, I want to say a few words about Bob Saget," said Kimmel in a prerecorded opening on the set of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" "If you saw any of the many thoughts from people who knew him personally, a word that came up a lot was the 'sweetest,' " he said, choking up for the first of several times. "Bob was the sweetest. He was the sweetest man. And the reason people wrote that is because it's true. It's the best word — if you had to pick one word to describe him, that was it: the sweetest."

Saget, Kimmel recalled, "always had a compliment. He would write sometimes just to tell me he loved me, and I know he did that for many people. He was so funny, and I'm not talking about 'Full House' or 'America's Funniest Home Videos' or stand-up comedy or movies — I mean funny for real, like when you walked into a party and you saw Bob and his wife Kelly in the corner, you'd go straight to them and stay for as long as you could because he had something funny to say about everything and nothing bad to say about anyone — never."

Kimmel spoke of the deaths of Saget's two sisters, one from a brain aneurysm and the other from scleroderma, a rare disease that causes hardening and abnormal growth of connective tissues, and said Saget would have appreciated nothing more than support for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, for which he was a board member and fundraiser.

Having just looked through emails from Saget, Kimmel said "some of them were just funny but some were very serious emails about life and the well-being of our children and how hard it is to appreciate one of those without the other…."

In one email exchange talking about their kids, Saget, Kimmel said, "wrote, 'One night soon let's go out and have some meat and some good damn drinks and talk about how lucky we are that we have them.' And we did do that many times." When Kimmel and his wife Molly McNearney's son Billy, now 4, had been hospitalized to correct a birth defect, "Bob checked in a lot," he said, adding, "He was very kind to everyone and he had no problem telling you that he loved you and what you meant to him."

Kimmel then ran a clip from his April 10, 2017, show, in which Saget and his friend and fellow "Full House" star John Stamos happily kibitzed together. Kimmel afterward concluded with a simple "We love you, Bob."

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