VANCOUVER – Something titillating occurs when the stand-up comedian who endeared himself to TV audiences in the 1990s as the wholesome patriarch on “Full House” tours the festival circuit after decades of freestyling his particular brand of silly-dirty humour.
“They do take whatever controlled substances as these events go, and that’s when my name from the past comes into play,” Bob Saget joked in a recent interview. “They go, ‘Oh my god, you’re Danny Tanner,’ and then I go, ‘Yes I am, please put your shirt down, Miss.’”
Saget, 58, has pushed his career forward with crass laughs in the years since he also played the host on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” But when pressed on the drugs issue in relation to his performance this Saturday at the Pemberton Music Festival, north of Vancouver, it’s his inner parent who responds.
“I don’t condone it, I don’t want to see anybody get hurt, I want everybody to have a good time,” said the real-life father of three, noting he just wants his audience to have the best time possible.
Saget will share the Laugh Camp stage at the festival’s relaunch with a gut-busting lineup of a dozen or so comedians that also includes Tom Green, Lisa Lampanelli and Norm Macdonald. Dozens of bands, including headliners Soundgarden and Kendrick Lamar will also perform this weekend.
Saget’s hour-long set will be a “best of” showcase, he said, where he’ll “scat” stories, rib the audience and perhaps make the crowd sing along with a tune he popularized at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Over the past year, Saget has toured across the United States, Australia and six Canadian provinces.
This time he is also promoting his memoir, released in April, called “Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.” The account, he said, is “about as honest as I’ve ever been with anything.”
It describes a life peppered with death: four siblings, three uncles, Saget’s father and, just before she had time to read the whole thing, his mother. Saget said he hopes the book underscores that no matter how bad life can get, comedy can be the salve.
“When there’s humour in that conversation,” Saget said, “it really does diffuse the moment. And it creates compassion, also, which can help a person feel like a person amidst some of the most horrific things that they go through.”
Saget intentionally sullied his image with roles in “Entourage” and “The Aristocrats” following the family friendly shows that made him a household name. He said the book wasn’t so much an attempt to reinvent himself yet again as it was a “heart” exercise that was his immature way of “getting my comeuppance.”
His three adult daughters and their mother, from whom he is divorced, all loved the recounting, he said.
“It was a little sketchy for (them) at first, because it was a shocker,” he added, noting they expressed joy at forgotten memories and wonder over life details they never knew.
“It was an outpouring for me, in my narcissistic writer’s bubble. It was an empathetic kindness that I hadn’t felt for a long time, because I laid myself out there.
“That was the nicest part about it. Even my ex-wife said, ‘Oh, I get you now. I understand that.’”
When asked whether Saget, a man who has sought success through contrasting faces, understands himself now, he didn’t joke.
“Oh, I definitely do,” he said. “I’m a silly comedian. I’m not a dirty comedian as much as I am a silly comedian. I laugh at stuff that a 10-year-old enjoys.”
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