Not such a hard word to you and me, but Bob Saget put a good deal of energy into learning it before tackling the press junket for his impending tour, launching at the Kelowna Community Theatre next Wednesday.
He researched the theatre too, suspicious that “community” word plunked in the middle of the title might lead to something hokey. Saget likes a good stage, somewhere people might dress up to go; not a place the crowds show up drunk and rowdy.
“I’m lucky. I pick everything I do. I work hard and I don’t do too many things that make me feel uncomfortable anymore,” said the famous TV-Dad whose dirty comedy shocked audiences more familiar with his clean-cut roles on Full House and as host of America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Saget says he sometimes finds himself getting defensive about the blue comedy he’s practiced since his teens—though he certainly doesn’t shy away from the potty mouth. Dedicating his last one-hour television special, a rip-roaring tour through his version of family humour, to his father, who passed away shortly before it was filmed, he says his family was always a little no-holds-barred. And as a result, he likes to keep his humour strictly below the belt, giving him a chance to play doctor after all, though he dropped out of pre-med for the artsy lot.
“We had a lot of death around us; and we got through it with a lot of gallows humour,” he explained, noting his father really lead the pack with the jokes.
His working influences include Rodney Dangerfield’s one-liners and Richard Pryor’s storytelling, with a little of the Don Rickles unusual timing thrown in the mix. The biggest thing that’s changed in his 30 years on stage, he claims, is that his brand of off colour jokes seem pretty mild when compared to standard TV fare these days.
“The world has gotten a lot dirtier than me,” he said, pointing to South Park and Family Guy as evidence.
Get past the cursing and sexual innuendo and his show really does have a softer, family appeal. “A dirty Bill Cosby,” as he describes it, he avoids politics like the plague and steers clear of religion because both make him too mad to remain funny. He tends to use his show material to work through some of the issues that come up in his own life—illness, death, the strains personal relationships with the people who know you the best impose.
Aside from the stand-up and acting, Saget has done his tour of duty as director, even shooting a film about scleroderma, the autoimmune disorder which took his sister’s life.
He’s hoping to get back into directing this year, he says, and will be filming his third one-hour comedy show in the early part of the year, after finishing this tour through Vancouver, Vancouver Island and down the coast to Vegas and Los Angeles.
There’s a stop in Nanaimo, incidentally, and listening to him tackle the Island city’s name is enough to make anyone bust a gut.
And if that doesn’t work, there will be the songs.
From “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” a little ditty about his TV Dad persona done to a Back Street Boys tune, to another about his dog, Saget makes it his business to keep the laughs rolling with a surgeon’s precision and an auctioneer’s speed.
“It’s like spiral art in my brain,” he said, providing a little on-the-spot demonstration.
If there’s one part of comedy that really excites him, it’s the unplanned spontaneous moments that weren’t supposed to happen, he says, noting he tries to remember each crowd.
“It’s a relationship that you have with your audience. It’s like going on dates. Some of them you just don’t forget,” he said.
Whether Kelowna stacks up against the Halifax pack who could not stop talking about how the Titanic had sunk of their shores remains to be seen.
Bob Saget will be at Kelowna Community Theatre Wednesday, Jan 18. at 7 p.m. Tickets are $56 and available through Select Your Tickets (www.selectyourtickets.com) or (250) 762-5050.