Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Meet the Mother of All Daddies

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Meet the Mother of All Daddies

Article excerpt

In the 1980s and '90s, he played clean-freak widowed dad Danny Tanner on "Full House." And for the past nine seasons he's been the voice of the narrator-father-from-the-future who's been gradually unspooling for his children the story of "How I Met Your Mother." The CBS sitcom has its hourlong series finale Monday night.

But as Bob Saget's new book makes clear -- the title is "Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian" -- in his non-sitcom life, Saget has long pursued a not-too-clean kind of comedy. A raunchier brand that continues to make him a popular stand- up comic with today's college students, some of whom had not even been born when "Full House" signed off in 1995.

"What's interesting now is that it's more like 'You know, he used to be the dad on the thing? He was clean,' '' says Saget, 57, who will come to Bookends in Ridgewood on April 7 to sign his new book. "And, now, I guess I've done what damage I needed to do. ... I don't want to curse. I don't want to hurt anyone. And yet, the audience that shows up when I perform live is kind of 'Come on, Bob, what are you doing? Don't go back to being a big [expletive].' "

"Dirty Daddy" is about a lot more than Saget's opposite-ended comedy career, though. Written in an almost manic style, and by turns absurdist, sophomoric and touching, it's also about how humor - - often the dark variety -- has been both a saving grace and an "auto response" for this guy, who lost a number of relatives when they were way too young.

"It really is the kind of comedy, the gallows humor, that you would do at a horrific situation. The jokes that everyone says are too soon to do -- those are the ones that, in my life, have come out of shock," Saget says. "I couldn't survive without that tone."

The hardest chapter for him to write, he says, was the one about losing his older sisters. Andi died at age 34 of a brain aneurysm, and Gay succumbed at 47 to scleroderma, an auto-immune disease for which he raised many research dollars.

Another difficult chapter was about the harrowing birth of Saget's first daughter. He and wife Sherri had two more girls before divorcing in 1997, after 15 years of marriage.

"We were always, even in separation, better than most of my friends that went through [divorce]. But the ending of a relationship in that certain way is difficult, no matter who, no matter how many years," says Saget.

The parts of the book Saget most enjoyed writing, he says, were the "comic riffs" he got to go on, as well as "the stuff that sells books, according to what I hear from people, which is, 'Well, what was really going on behind the scenes of 'Full House'?"

Saget, as one example, describes the day when twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen -- who played little Michelle -- were in school and the producers gave him a 4-foot-tall rubber doll to stand in for the Michelle character during camera run-throughs. …

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