An interview with Bob Saget, the comedian and actor best known for "Full House" and "American's Funniest Home Videos," who performs at Seattle's Moore Theatre Thursday, July 19, 2012.
Forget what you know about Bob Saget, because it’s all wrong.
He’s nothing like the squeaky-clean character Danny Tanner, from “Full House,” or the family-friendly host cracking bad jokes on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Saget is dark. His stand-up comedy could make Eddie Murphy blush.
Saget’s G-rated persona was laid to rest with his scene-stealing appearance in “The Aristocrats,” a documentary film about the filthiest joke ever told. Saget’s version is by far the most vulgar and obscene in the film.
In his first stand-up special, “That Ain’t Right,” Saget explained that the language in his live act is a bit of a reaction to the clean-cut material he’s best known for.
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The comic spoke on the phone recently about his new special, which he will film live at his Thursday show at the Moore Theatre.
“It is shock value,” he admitted, then joked, “I did so much family television that I have Tourette’s now.”
Saget said he was initially hesitant to do “The Aristocrats,” fearing it would ruin his career, but was persuaded by producers Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza.
After seeing the film, he realized “the fun, dark audience was where I’ve always wanted to be.”
Onstage, Saget is a razor-sharp comedian who delivers stream-of-conscious observations at a speed-of-light pace.
“I went to a piano recital and Steven Spielberg was there,” he says in “That Ain’t Right.” “Let me pick that name up! Actually, name dropping is b.s. Quentin Tarantino told me that.”
Saget has a reason for choosing Seattle for his film special’s location.
“I’ve played the Moore before,” he said. “I love that theater and I love Seattle audiences because they are smart. I prefer people who are stoned more than drunk. It’s not as rowdy of an audience, which is wonderful.”
Audiences can expect road-tested material, with a lot of off-the-cuff observations, though his act is “not as blue as the last special, because the world has become more blue,” he explained.
Saget likes to start conversations in his show, but audience members should be wary, as he’s been known to spend large chunks of his act berating them mercilessly or incorporating them as punch lines in his longer bits.
Saget’s act also features a musical section where he plays guitar and sings “inappropriate love songs” with titles such as “The Girl from Driftwood Nursing Home” and a few others too obscene for this paper to print.
As cringe-inducing as some of his material can be, Saget does have limits.
“I don’t do hurtful stuff,” he said. “I’ll make fun of people in a way like Don Rickles does, but it’s not done in a hateful way.”
Saget also avoids religion.
“I can’t get away with that,” he said. “I’m not Bill Maher. Religion and politics. I keep where it’s safe — below my belt.”
The contradiction between Saget’s popular persona and who he really is makes him a compelling figure. The brilliance of the act is the way he’s able to walk the line between squeaky clean and outrageously dirty. And the reason it works is that he’s a seasoned comedian. Lesser talents would never get away what he does.
Jeff Albertson: 206-464-2304 or firstname.lastname@example.org