Standup comic Bob Saget may or may not have been joking when he told me, “People will always come up and say, ‘Your series was on TV for eight years. Are you the guy from ‘Cheers?’” Saget, now 57and at the Wibur Theatre Saturday June 21, was on a very successful series, but it was “Full House.” From 1987 to 1995, he played David Tanner, a neat and tidy broadcaster, a widower trying to raise three young girls. Dave Coulier and John Stamoshelped him out. The family-friendly sitcom made Saget a household name as a wholesome star. That reputation only grew from 1989 to 1997, when he hosted “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” “Both shows sucked to high heaven,” screeched Saget’s pal Gilbert Gottfried on a 2008 Comedy Central roast.
But Saget also had other roles, very much including a naughty Saget – you saw a version on “Entourage” – completely at odds with nice guy Saget. This is more where his heart should lie when he does his Wilbur gig.
JSInk: So, I’m watching “Entourage” last season and this egotistical jerk actor named Bob Saget storms into the agent’s office talking about snorting cocaine off a woman’s bare bum and asking if the agent would support him if he killed someone and wanted to chop up the body.
Saget: That was a bit much for him to do. It’s not the first time you put a stake in that nice-guy image. It’s been 20 years of re-flipping. I did an HBO special while “Full House” and the video show were on and I said some pretty crazy stuff. Inappropriate by standards of commercial shows. But hopefully everything I work on has more dimensions to it than, “Here I am, clean guy” and “Here I am, oh I’m dirty, ooh!”
Still, I suppose it’s a shocking contrast for people who only know the old network TV you.
It’s just that one show, though, and that’s the weird part. I chose to make this guy a dust-buster and neat freak and a hugger. It’s so funny, because in a career, it’s a blip. A long blip. But that show was made for 15-year-old girls. My standup stuff, it comes from me. I need to be more conscious of having it grow, rather than, “Here’s the categories – relationships, parents, children, penis.” That’s not good.
You said “just that one show” but there was “America’s Funniest Videos,” too.
I had “Full House” and they said we need a guy from a sitcom to host this blooper show we have. I did it. I wrote it with two other comedian guys. We had all those Mel Blanc cqvoices and I came on and did goofy jokes, basically saying, in my eyes, “Rescue me!” to whoever would listen.
In your standup act, you don’t have a prepared set?
The stuff doesn’t know where it’s going to start. There are stories that people have not heard before – I mean they’re not on HBO specials. The audience never knows what’s going to happen. I’m always revolving [material] and never weaving things the same way. A half-hour is music. I’ve been doing comedy and music since I started.
What’s the music like?
They’re not really parodies. They’re ballads. There’s a song about the woman I fell in love with who was much older than me called “The Girl From Driftwood Nursing Home.” A lot of love songs and they all end with something gone wrong – a lady’s going to turn out to be a man or something’s wrong with me. What’s the root of your comedy? I think my mom is responsible for most of it. She made our house function but was kind of repressive. Now, she’s 85 and she likes my standup. What I did once out of rebellion before is now something she’s a fan of. So I owe an obligation to myself to be clean and make more sense. Or not. We’ll see what happens. I’ll let Boston tell me.
Shows at 7. Tickets; $43-$29
266 Tremont St. 617-248-9700. www.wilburtheatre.org