People who only know Bob Saget for playing clean-freak dad Danny Tanner on the sitcom "Full House" or as the charming host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" really have not experienced the man as he really sees himself.
I got that chance last Friday night in Las Vegas, catching his live comedy act as part of HBO's "Comedy Festival" just wrapping up. We went with friends who work with co-sponsor AEG (Anchutz Entertainment Group) and ended up in the front row. Fortunately, we were just far enough to the side that we didn't end up getting picked from the crowd for some of his material. I'm talking about a running joke that had to do with shaving a certain body part. Other than that close call, it was a good night, starting with Jamie Kennedy opening for his friend and a really funny bit about hitting turbulance on a plane bound for Tokyo. Maybe you've seen their hip-hop video on YouTube, "Rollin' with Saget." I'm not gonna lie to you -- I thought his contribution to "The Aristocrats" documentary about the dirtiest joke ever was just gross -- I mean the First Amendment certainly gives a comic the right to talk about whatever he wants, but it doesn't compel me to like it or to like him for doing it. I just wondered "Why?"
So I guess this means that Bob Saget's a complicated man, working on the dirty side of stand-up comedy, starring in the clean side of TV sit-comedy, telling jokes that would offend practically everybody, now developing an HBO series which will fuse the two worlds. The thing is -- with the exception of "The Aristocrats" joke -- I find him enormously likeable no matter what he does and, he'll probably hate hearing this, but I really, really liked his TV persona, even if he wasn't so wild about it. His comedy act seems carefully constructed to seem like stream-of-consciousness, delivered fast, a lot of sex jokes (a LOT), plenty of mocking of his public image and more sex jokes. Plus, a healthy lack of respect for Smiegel from "Lord of the Rings" who he repeatedly suggested should be killed.
Besides assassinating literary figures, we were there for another reason. Bob is one of 20 stars in The Hollywood Cookbook (launch party on Sunday, November 19, out in stores and on Amazon for the holidays). The charity he supports in the book is the Scleroderma Research Foundation (his sister Gay died of the disease). Anyway, my wife Jackie wrote that book with her friend Morgan Most and we were able to present Bob with a copy after the show, his first look at the finished product. I honestly think he was really moved by how it all came together. If you're a Saget fan, honestly, you probably do want to buy a copy of this book because A) he's a big part of it and B) you'll be supporting his favorite charity since $5 per book goes to the fund. Here's Saget's own endorsement that is on the back jacket of the book itself:
"This cookbook's a wonderful way to help great non-profits raise money and awareness, and at the same time, feed great recipes to the people we enjoy fattening up."
Bob's literary and culinary contribution is also timely in that he presents an entire Thanksgiving menu. And he talks about a special Thanksgiving where Rodney Dangerfield came to his house shortly before his death and was discovered by Saget's daughter smoking pot. Whatever you think of Saget's stand-up act, he probably could have made a fortune selling tickets to that meal!
Something else I learned while writing this post: he and I share the same birthday, May 17.
Finally, Bob is the November "Spotlight" celebrity on "The Hollywood Cookbook" website. You can check that page out by CLICKING HERE.