Bob Saget, In His Own Words
The comedian and TV star spoke with me about his life and career in 2017. Saget died Jan. 9, 2022. He was 65.
Robert Lane Saget, known around the world as comedian and TV star Bob Saget, died Sunday after the first weekend of his 2022 stand-up comedy tour. He was 65.
Authorities summoned to his hotel room in Orlando, Fla., where he was declared dead, found “no signs of foul play or drug use in this case.”
Saget, born May 17, 1956, in Philadelphia, split time growing up between Los Angeles and Philly, before attending Temple University, where his student short film, Through Adam’s Eyes, won an “honor of merit” from the Student Academy Awards in 1978, the year he graduated. But his bigger credits came through sitcoms: playing TV dad Danny Tanner on ABC’s Full House from 1987-1995, hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos from 1989-1997, Raising Dad on The WB for one season (2000-01, where his TV daughters were Kat Dennings and Brie Larson), voicing the narration of older Ted Mosby on CBS’s How I Met Your Mother from 2005-2014, then reprising Danny Tanner for Netflix’s Fuller House from 2016-2020. Saget also directed a TV movie, For Hope (1996), inspired by his sister, who had died from scleroderma, and the films Dirty Work, Farce of the Penguins, and Benjamin.
He hosted the game show 1 vs. 100 on NBC from 2006-2008, hosted a reality show Strange Days for A&E in 2010, competed more recently on The Masked Singer in 2020 as The Squiggly Monster.
He wrote a memoir, “Dirty Daddy,” in 2014.
And as a stand-up, he released three hour specials: That Ain’t Right for HBO in 2007; That’s What I’m Talking About for Showtime in 2013, which earned a Grammy nomination; and Zero to Sixty, released in 2017 via Comedy Dynamics.
“I was a documentary filmmaker when I was young. I won the student equivalent of the Oscar. It's the same thing as a regular Oscar, but the student Oscar has acne. That's a 30-year-old joke. It hasn't aged well. I don't know why I felt like I needed to convey that.” — Saget, talking to me in 2010
But Saget already was performing stand-up and improv while in college (improv at the University of Pennsylvania, and stand-up professionally in clubs). In my 2010 interview with Saget, he also told me: “When I started at Catch A Rising Star when I was 17 years old, Nathan Lane, Stack and Lane was a comedy duo. I remember watching him and liking him, what he does. This is a guy who clearly could have chosen a stand-up career.”
I was lucky enough to interview Saget multiple times, and when he sat down with me in 2017 to promote what would be his final stand-up special, he was kind and generous and gracious in talking at length about his life and career. So I’ll let Bob Saget tell you about himself in his own words, editing myself out of this transcript as much as possible.
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From my conversation with Bob Saget in November 2017…we pick it up after some small talk, which references Matthew Broderick’s early roles in WarGames and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, prompting me to ask if he had auditioned for either of them…
Bob Saget: I didn’t have an acting career. While that movie was being shot, I was in acting school. So while he was younger and learning to act and be the amazing actor that he is I was doing five years of teaching myself, with the help of a good teacher named Darryl Hickman, how to act. So I thought I just wanted to direct — just porn…”
Well, before before we get into your illustrious career: Last Things First, I want to congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials. (Saget would marry Kelly Rizzo in 2018)
Thank you. I have nuptials. I have two of them. Very excited about them, I keep them warm in the winter…I have a fiancee which is better than betrothed. Because betroth sounds like a horse but it’s betrothed.
So because of the atmosphere we're in, I want to give you the chance: Is there anything she does not know about you that you need to admit to?
That's interesting. I'm gonna let her read it. I'm gonna wait ‘til it just comes out. She didn’t ask me, and I said probably. I did a book, “Dirty Daddy.” And in the book, there’s a chapter, ‘Things I shouldn't have done and relationships I'd rather not talk about.’ And so that kind of says it right there in general terms without mentioning names. even in my new special Zero To Sixty — not that I ever say that out loud — the title of my new special — it is available in places that are it's a long list, but Amazon iTunes Google Play is kind of what they're saying. It's literally in every on demand service in the world that gets it, which is, it's like 100 places so…
You do make a revelation, confession of sorts.
I do in it. Thank you. I do.
Although it turns out, spoiler alert, it turns out not as bad as people might think.
No, they think I'm the guy that did something wrong. And I'm the kind of person, and I’m going to really spoiler alert: Rather than give someone a roofie, my whole life, I would take it myself, and just knock myself out so I'd have to be part of it. Because I was raised by a dad that treated women with dignity, because my mother insisted on i. And I think that was very healthy. And then I have three daughters, and I have a fiancee, finally, that is a good one.
That only took you another 20 years!
Twenty years. I would have girlfriends, nice ones. A couple of them were nice. A couple of them I had to put down. See, that's the kind of joke that people would take out of context. And they would go, ‘Oh my God, how’d you do it?! You know, did you go into their office or their plants?’ You know, but I have to joke about it a little bit, but I don't joke about it. I do it subversively. I don't want to. In the special there's a Cosby reference. It's simply about how to treat women. I'm making fun of it. Whereas in 2007 when I did ‘That Ain’t Right,’ everything had a misogynistic kind of — you can't do those. That's over. That's all over. You know. Pedophilic jokes, within reason, are over.
That’s just for senators.
That was my first joke. You know everything about me. How did you know that?
I watched the special.
Yeah, but did you know that joke that I did when I started? Or do you just do a psychic thing? OK. Let me tell you: My first joke. Fifth joke. I was 17 years old. There was a senator who had done stuff with a young boy, not unlike what we're going through today. And the boy came out and talked about it. And the kid was like 14 or something. And my joke was this. I was 17 or 18 when I wrote the joke.
“My mother never let me go to camp because she thought I’d get embarrassed undressing in front of little boys. But I've changed a lot because I kind of like now. That's not true. I like it a lot. That's not true. I'm not a senator.”
And that was the punchline. So it was a three parter. And you, I don’t know how you did that. So we are obviously linked symbolically. Symbiotically.
Was that always kind of your preferred style? To have jokes that have multiple tags?
Yes. And also things that would just riff, and then I would have jokes, but then they would real jokes. And then people wouldn't believe they were jokes, they would think I was just talking stream of consciousness.
That's what I remember even when you first started on America's Funniest Home Videos.
Yes, yeah. And that was scripted. I was reading prompter.
But it would feel like…
Well, that’s a giant compliment. I was going off of prompter quite a bit. But it was really written. It was written by myself and Todd Thicke, Alan Thicke’s brother, the late Alan Thicke, and Robert Arnott. Two Canadians. I always said the jokes were 18% less funny. But it's impossible to do a clip show. And you'll never hear ‘And the winner is,’ although Tom Bergeron won (an Emmy), because they opened up a reality show category, but we weren't in one. Because we were the first one… You want to see people get hit in the nads? Come to Bob…I had a niche. We got kicked right between the niches. But yep, waiting for YouTube. Pre-everything. I barely had a phone with a curly cord on it. But it was really cool. Because, you know, at first I was cynical and like oh, don't do a family show. But I wanted that job. I wanted to be on Full House. So it was the producers of Happy Days. And I knew Jeff Franklin from Laverne and Shirley and I was the warm up for Bosom Buddies. So I’d been around all these people.
Full House, though, that was the same year that you actually started out on morning television (CBS The Morning Program).
Later. This is eight years later, after all the struggling of doing warm-ups, going on the road and struggling, and being a guitar act. And now I just do music that's funny cuz I want to do it. I don't do it because I have no stand-up. I've been doing at 90 minute shows. I've just been loving doing it. I need it. I need it, and they need it because they want to enjoy themselves.
Going back through my previous interviews, I recalled you played the guitar at Carnegie Hall when you were young.
I did! I was 23 and my managers got me that gig. My best friend who passed away this year, Brad Grey.
Weren’t you his first client?
I was and also Harvey Weinstein got me the gig, because Brad worked for Harvey, who was a rock promoter in Buffalo. And it's just bizarre how life changes on some people. It's just insane. And they got me to speak openly for Gino Vannelli at Carnegie Hall (“I Just Wanna Stop”). And he did. It was the best room I ever played. Because you don't even need a mic. I mean it, just the way it's made. And I called my parents. I’m at Carnegie Hall! And they were like, ‘That's nice.’ It wasn't like, ‘How do you get there? Practice.’
But I won a radio contest at 17. That was a big deal for my family. It was WMMR radio, the popular alternative Philly station. I won $500 and a chance to play there, opening for somebody. But then Stephen Starr, the restauranteur, wonderful friend of mine, who owns Morimoto and Buddakan in Philly, also as well, had a club called sSars and I used to open for Frank Stallone and Valentine and Richard Belzer and Rich Hall. And I was just getting started, and then I was 18-19 I was at University of Pennsylvania doing improv, but going to Temple University, going to film school so I always did five things. None of them well. But I did five of them and I just kept trying to learn as much as I could — I worked on The Mike Douglas Show as an intern, not Michael Douglas, not the one who had that problem with his throat. Because of his wife, apparently.
Mike Douglas, the poor man’s Merv Griffin?
That he was. And Merv Griffin, I was on 13 times. The show. And Mike Douglas was on the road with Kay Kyser which is a band that no Millennial will know…
But Mike Douglas used to sing a song, “The Man In My Little Girl’s Life.” He sang every show but he never had a hit. And they would film it and they would do dissolves in between. Just like old-school television. And I remember the lyric ‘Daddy there’s a boy outside his name is Chuck,’ or whatever. We don't want to go there but…
Did you ever share the stage on The Mike Douglas show with anyone crazy?
I never shared stage. One time they planted me in the audience. I was 18 and he said, ‘Did anybody do impressions?’ And I said ‘I do Bob Dylan.’ And I did the worst Bob Dylan that could possibly be done. I put a headband on and I played a tuning pitch pipe. And so I would … ‘she looks just like a woman’ .. all I remember is the end. ‘But she smells like a little dog.’ Just terrible, terrible! And then the song I won the radio contest that WMMR was called ‘Bondage.’ So I was 17. So you know this journey is not difficult to figure out.
What did Brad Grey see in you?
It was kind of an instant thing. He was 20. I was 21 or 22. He was a runner at the time working for the rock promoting company, and then he wanted to go into management. He had gone to University of Buffalo, and he brought Billy Joel in and started bringing in acts, as the kids that are in charge of these event things do, and then he booked me for this thing. It was kind of like The Roxy in LA or kind of like The Bottom Line here. It was called Stage One. I saw Blondie there the night before and then I performed the night after. I was on The Comedy Store college tour. And I did a lot of parodies. And I used to sing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, turn a valve, and water poured out of my guitar, and I got electrocuted twice. So it was not a smart move.
The Comedy Store had a college tour?
Mitzi (Shore) put some people on it, so it would make a little bit of money and she did it with a gentleman who passed away, Murray Becker. A lot of good stories. Beautiful happy stories, happy times. Just nothing but nightmares. Cafeterias at noon.
What was Harvey Weinstein like as a Buffalo rock promoter?
He was just like every other rock promoter, and like a lot of producers. Just a guy that got stuff done. I just didn't know he would get stuff done all over people. It's really not funny to make jokes about it. That’s the problem, because I get into a high-speed mode, that gets me to kind of make humor out of it and make light of it. And there's nothing humorous or funny about it. It is a tragic time we’re in. It affects us all incredibly deeply. And I hate to say this, but it's about time people are being called out. And I have a couple friends that are being called out. And one of them, I won't say who because it's not as noticeable, is incorrectly being called out. He's an innocent man. And I hope someone apologizes soon. But all the ones that everybody assumes, did, from what my best knowledge is. I think it's gonna put a monitor on things, and I think we desperately need it, especially in this world where a bunch of people are walking around because they're powerful, or because they're famous. Because fame is a bunch of crap. You know? It's just, people's goal, if they want to be famous, they’re a fool. Their goal should be do something good. Make art. Write something good. Act well. Build a good building, you know. Design good clothes. if you want to be famous, if you want to get wealthy and famous. But to want to be famous means you don't know who you are, and you want everybody to know you and treat you like you’re royalty, which means you're nuts. So every fame I have is just because, I walk down the street and people are just nice. ‘I love you on Entourage!’ ‘Dirty Works is my favorite movie’ ‘When do you do stand up?’ you know, and they know what's going on. It's like I'm their friend. Jack Nicholson once said it's like being the mayor. He said, it's just like being the mayor, ‘Hi, Jack,’ and he goes, ‘Hey, how you doing'?’ You just act like you know people.
Is that what you dreamed your adult life would be like when you were young?
No! I had no clue. But what happened to me. The reason I'm in a good place besides the fact that I have a wonderful woman in my life. Three amazing daughters. My mother passed away. That's great — I'm just kidding. Actually loved her a lot and I talked about her in the special, which is kind of cool. But long as I plug the special her death meant something. This is called facetiousness and sarcasm, people. I am not meaning this fully. But I think what you want, and this has been told me by people that are very well known, that I've met over the years that I looked up to, is you want to, especially if you're comedian or an actor, Edward James Olmos actually told this to me. It's his theory. It was in my book ‘Dirty Daddy.’ I just plug every six seconds.
It’s good that you wrote this stuff down, though.
I did. I do, and then I spout it out again. Because it serves a purpose. Because they might want to buy the book. Or the audio tape. Seven hours of me talking. Who wouldn't want that after this?
It is because that's the story of How I Met Your Mother. That's why they wanted me for nine years because I'm relaxing. Like taking relaxant. Now that's a drug for scleroderma. I'm really Up With People right now… I lost my sister to this disease in 1994. And in 1996, I did a television movie called For Hope about it. I directed it, and my friend Brad Grey produced it. And I'm very very proud of it. Dana Delany started it, and my sister got this disease. Nobody knew what it was. And she was misdiagnosed. And it affects mostly women. Huge African population all over the world. A lot of people in the prime of their lives, whether childbearing years or just healthy people, and some people were losing their lives at a rapid rate and we raised $45 million (as of 2017) that we have given directly to research. It's so rewarding and I meet people. The disease has a face. You can tell when people have the disease and I've lost many friends to it, in addition, who’ve passed away. Of course my sister. A lot of people that I know are involved. Queen Latifah’s mother has it. Regina Hall’s mom has it. And they're talking about it. They're they're not hiding, otherwise I wouldn't say their names, but they're champions for the work. We've funded Johns Hopkins and UCSF and Stanford…we do three benefits a year now. We do actually four places. We do Las Vegas, San Francisco, LA we just raised $1.4 million with our benefit. And Jimmy Kimmel did the auction. It's just a name-dropping frenzy of comedians that care.
The first year I saw you do it Robin Williams performed.
Robin did it seven times. Now there's a guy that shouldn't be gone. And that's another disease that affected him, and a flipping of medicines and other complications and he was beautiful. He was just beautiful.
What do we do as people in the comedy community, who have influence or power, privilege? What we do to protect each other? Whether it’s mental illness…
Or the devils. Depression.
Because there’s not a union for comedians? There’s SAG-AFTRA, but…
There's a union in the real word of union. There's an odd thing, where we, different groups of us support each other. I pretty much support everybody that’s funny, or someone that's poignant. Or someone, I mean I love George Carlin, in some ways he was prophetic in the way he did things, I mean, he was kind of an Obi Wan Kenobi. If you watch The Aristocrats, it's like, ‘don't tell this joke anywhere.’ I was supposed to have lunch with him, and it was scheduled before he passed away. So that was in my book: Don't schedule lunch with me. But how do we band together? And it just happens. I mean, comedians are all outsiders, like a lot of people. Writers, like what you do.
There's something that a comedian has, which is, they've always been an outsider. So a lot of people can relate to that, because whether they were the most popular bully in school, they did that for a reason. And they would get people to like them by banding together, and that was their band of brothers. Ours is: Can you feel this injustice? And I am turning to my comedian friends for my news. I don't want the news. I'll watch certain people that I look up to that a lot of us look up to. I won't watch the garbage people that are lying, all amped up and we know where they are. And just rant and rant, and they're lying, and they're making stuff up. Oh, it's terrible. And then fake news. You know? It's not completely wrong, because the other news exists, and even sometimes, when all this stuff happens…
We’re good about, as comedians, as people in comedy, we're good at speaking this truth to power. But how do we speak this truth to each other?
That’s happening…that’s one of the blessings of the viral world. You're able to get off Twitter. You can, but if you're going to be a comedian, you're going to have a problem. You cannot read the news, if you want. If you're going to talk about your kids, or you're going to talk about life. I can't do it. I mean, I sing a song called ‘We’ve Got to be Kind to Each Other’ at the end of my special. It ends, ‘I can't watch the news because every time I do, I don't know what's real or fake. But I know what love is and hate’s a mistake.’ So it’s serious. And what's happening is a lot of comedians, there's jokes in it too, about my wiener, so that's fine. So don't worry. But the problem is, or the solution, is a lot of comedians are just incredibly serious right now. And they they hate the injustice. People like Judd Apatow, Patton Oswalt, Mark Maron…Comedians are family to me. We don't have to see each other to love each other. There's a certain respect that comes, and when I get to go out and promote this special, for example, I get to say where I'm at right now as a person. So you ask and I get to answer and I fall into the place of humanity and life, and what the hell are we doing? And the people that won't even answer a question need to be stopped. We need to change the way we're doing things. But people call that liberal or democrat and I don't even understand that. I don't understand conservative/liberal. I don't understand, that's how dumb I am. Republican Democrat, we're all human beings. There's not that many ways to carve an apple here. You know, animals are being killed, plants are being killed. Harvey Weinstein's killing a lot of plants. Kind of threw that in. Sorry.
How do you balance the different sides of your personality? There's at least three that I see.. .
I see five or six.
Well the three main ones are: There's the goofy TV dad…
Which he’s not anymore, if you watch the show, Fuller House. At the end of December, I'm in two of the episodes — they’re the best. But he’s a little more cynical, a bit of a curmudgeon. But that guy died years ago.
Although the show lives on and on — then there's the Bob Saget you see in comedy clubs, which is completely different from Full House.
More theaters, I’d like to say!
But there’s the Bob Saget you see onstage performing stand-up who is raunchy and unfiltered.
But I'm not! Not as raunchy in the newer special, I don't think.
But for years, there was that real contrast.
Yes. And that because of the family stuff, so, you do 10 years or something and people think that's all you do.
And then there's this third one who does the scleroderma, who does the other fundraisers, who's talking to me right now who's very compassionate and caring.
Well, he's through all of them. I mean, the reason I was able to play Danny Tanner on Full House, is I went to Jeff Franklin, I said I want to hug people a lot. I want to love my kids. So I was the Richie Cunningham of the show. I was the truth moniker. Oh, we just did a thing, I can’t give it away, but John (Stamos) was The Fonz, and Dave (Coulier) was Ralph or Potsie or whatever. Probably a combo. And Ashley and Mary-Kate (Olsen) were Tom Bosley, i think. They were the voice of reason. I don't know. We go to commercial. Oh, nuts. There was compassion in all of it. Even in, you know, I can’t say Entourage cameos, because that's a little foul. Aristocrats was about a family, so it was family comedy. But you know, in my stand-up, I get to be myself. And that's what I was going to say 12 minutes ago, which is a great edit point for you, which is, if you can get in here. I Just don't shut up because I'm razzed, and excited about it. But you know, people get a sense of who you are. And that's what Edward James Olmos said to me. He said, once the people know who you are, then they come to see you and then they want to see whatever you're doing, whether you're acting or writing or something that means something to them, because they trust you. And people now know. It's not like are people surprised that you were on Full House 20 years ago? No. That was 20 years ago. And even on the new show. I don't act like that. So I'm 61. I was 30. Why do you look different? Because I'm 61, and I was 30.
Was that a deliberate choice to perform the special in Williamsburg where the audience is all people who grew up with you as Full House?
Well, all my audiences are. I mean, every single one I've done, my audience is really between 18 and 45….because when they're 45, that means they were 15 when they watched Full House, so everybody knows the damn show all over the world. And everybody sees it. And with the Netflix reboot, everybody sees it…But the truth is that once people know you, and they understand that you're playing a character, and they're not lame enough to think that Danny Tanner is who a person is that a guy on a sitcom, you know that a robot girl on Small Wonder that's her. You know, you got to realize that these are actors, and they're on a sitcom made for kids.
Where is the girl from Small Wonder now?
I don't know but someone wants her right now, and they’re a producer and they should be arrested. But they get it and when I do my stand up, especially in this special I think it's a little bit of a coming of age for me. Literally and it happened accidentally to even do it. I was on a plane on a Thursday coming to New York to do some gigs and some TV. And Brian Volk-Weiss, the head of Comedy Dynamics, emailed me and said we have a spot on Tuesday. We have three comedians we’re shooting during four different nights. One of them dropped out. Do you want to play? I said where, he said the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I went done but I need the set designer to go by my specs and he says you're an exec producer, you're completely involved and they did everything honorably because they had done my last special. That's What I'm Talking About. And I got Grammy nominated. Kathy Griffin won but I always say I like him. She likes that joke. I don't think so. But I do like Kathy. Anyway, but it just fell into place and I've been rolling this set for like three years trying to do new stuff and it was stories and some jokes and then my mom and other things and had some stories with name dropping about famous people I know and I went, wait a minute, what are you doing? How old are you? Are you gonna go back now? And what's your next special? and I'm feeling with what's going on in the world that it's gonna be a lot of serious stuff like everybody's doing and then jokes to lighten it, and then back out of the jokes because it's a serious topic. That's where I feel I'm headed. And after people see this special, you do some of the stuff from it, maybe, but you really got to have new hour, is kind of what you need. But I have so many songs from so much performing over the years. That's different because you can do the music and there’s sing alongs and I want them to participate. When I sing about what my dog did to me on an HBO special. The audience wants to sing, so I let them have their way.
Do you feel like a pioneer of sorts in the fact that?
You mean like an old man a covered wagon?
Yeah. The fact that this special is just going out to everywhere. It used to be you made a special for HBO, or you made a special for Comedy Central, but your special is just going everywhere.
It’s an interesting thing. No, it's going everywhere. It's on demand, and it says explicit and it’s R rated but somebody said ‘It's so dirty, because you mentioned getting a hemorrhoid and it freezes and then a squirrel comes over and…
Don’t say what happens with the squirrel.
I won't, but I will say this. I was watching The Simpsons for the Halloween episode and Homer ate himself. He cannibalized himself, and that upset me. I love the show it’s The Simpsons, for God's sakes, but that to me was more upsetting than my bit. But because they're deified, you know, and it was funny and clever, but I don't know if self-cannibalism is up there with the squirrel. As far as I’m concerned. But I'm really happy that it's going out the way it's going out. And they're promoting it, very lovely some billboards. It’s going out on buses and bus stops. You know what happens on bus stops on the bench? Great stuff. They’re sitting on you, they’re sitting on your head. But then the other joke I used to have which I've never done anywhere, I don't know why, is you know, you're doing well and you're on a bus, but you also know you're doing not well when you're on a bus. Although I took a cab with real people yesterday, because I came into LaGuardia from Toronto, so I didn't know that LaGuardia you can't pull a limo up to. I don't know. I don't take limos. I couldn't take a town car to get to my hotel. And then a guy said if you pay this amount of money, we'll get you a cab and you'll cut the line. Thank you. I will do that. And I wasn't shy about it. I just ran and felt bad. But I ran. And I was with another couple…. And they were nice. I met people. I never meet people…I sat up front…I was Tweeting and stuff and Instagramming because my special is being multi-platformed. And this young couple. The guy was so nice. His favorite movie is Dirty Work, which I directed…It was unbelievably convenient….it was synchronous, meant to be, a good moment.And she teaches third grade there. They love each other. They're married, at least they faked it, and they're gonna come to my show. They're gonna hit up my publicist….Anyway, they were lovely. That's my contact with other people because normally it's like, ‘Take a selfie with me!’ I’m getting open heart surgery. Can you wait? Just finish your surgery. It's a good really good time for me to be promoting something that I think, I'm hoping and trusting that it's entertaining for people. And that it has a couple things that dig in, and then some other things that are just silly.
Well, you're an entertaining guy.
I want to be and I just directed this movie that comes out I think in May I'm not sure when. It’s called Benjamin and I'm in it with some incredibly talented people. Rob Corddry and Kevin Pollak and, and Mary Lynn Rajskub. She plays my girlfriend, who we think my 15 year old boy, played by Max Burkholder is on crystal meth. So she posts on Facebook an intervention. And that's not where you post an intervention. And Rob Corddry is a family gynecologist who leads the intervention. So that's not a good idea. And it’s got Cheri Oteri and Dave Foley and a lot of people you like… Cheri’s hilarious, and it's just something I'm proud of and I've been working really hard on that. So when I finished working on the special, now I'm doing the promotion which will be couple weeks of that and longer because these things do have a life especially when it's on every medium in the world. And then I will get to work on finishing. Right now, I'm finishing Benjamin, doing the color correction and mixing I know your audiences are very into that.
Especially if you make it a Kickstarter.
Yeah, I couldn't do that…But I went about it in a way where I'm perceived as a guy that has some cash. And I'm not asking people for money. It's ridiculous. And some people said ‘Just do a Kickstarter.’ I can't do that. You want to make it, you can do it, go with it God, make it without me. But I can't do that to people, and ask them for money, although I'm going to ask them to pay to see it. But that's what you pay for entertainment. And it's not the cost of a stand-up ticket. It’s a really interesting movie. It’s a dark comedy, so I'm proud.
It seems right up you’re alley.
I was bowling when I shot it.
2017 is 30 years from when Full House. But like I mentioned earlier that year started with you on the CBS Morning News show. When you were doing that…
They fired me.
That whole show failed.
Yeah, I left after five months and it lasted four more months.
But when you start the year doing that show could you imagine any of this happening after that?
I thought as I always have thought — I don't think it anymore, because the public has proven to me that we have a relationship — even when I did the special, no girlfriend, no children, none of my family, no friends. I don't want anybody there. I have my business friends, you know, my publicist, my manager, whoever is there. And that's. It's an intimate thing, the comedian and the audience, and I felt secure about how they felt about me. They're chanting my name at the end of the show. So that made me cry like a little Fruity Pebbles.
I'm not familiar with people calling you Bobby.
Bobby, because my mother called me Bobby, so they were actually hitting me in my solar plexus, with what my deceased mother called me. She’d go Bobby? Bobby! She used to wake me up like that. We used to live in a very small house in Norfolk, Virginia. But we had an upstairs and a balcony. And she’d go ‘Bobby! Wake up Bobby.’ It was like a ghost from Psycho. It was like Anthony Perkins’s mom calling him. I miss her a lot. So it's a cathartic thing. I know that she would be very happy about a lot of things. One is my fiancee, my betrothed. And my kids and the show, you know. I tend to put people ahead of show business, but not if it's going to help show business. I don’t mind plugging that I'm engaged, if it helps sell the special. That's the kind of guy I am. I care about you know, the show first. And then whatever else follows, if that's part of your life, that's fine…
(after some small talk about other comedians I’ve interviewed and the brief period in which Dane Cook and Dave Chappelle sparred over who could have the longest stand-up set on record, I asked…)
Are you competitive?
I don't feel competitive with anybody but myself. I want my bar to get better. Because the bar I go to sucks. They don't put anything in their drinks, but I really — this special gave me. After I wrote the book, it changed me. And I'm just transitioning right now. Yeah, I know. It's not helpful. It's so topical, but and relevant to my special, but let’s not bring that up…
In my 60s, I’m probably going to do another one, because there is something you get out of stand-up and if I have a new hour, I might as well do it. Because I love it. And I also want to direct some really good movies, which is really hard to do. And to do that you need a budget, which I haven't really had one for a while. So it'll be really nice. We are, I am very fortunate that I got to make this movie. And that it was such a good script. And it just really it was shot for nothing almost. I mean, it wasn't Kickstarter, but we had a very low budget. Same executive producer, Jeff Sackman, did my penguin movie, my stoner movie. And he also exec-produced The Aristocrats, so his affinity for comedy and for me is appreciated. So he's been a real big supporter and people that haven't been supporters, you know who they are.
You can listen to our entire, unedited conversation here:
Rest in peace, Bob.