From the second you pick up the phone, and you hear his voice on the other end, you know it’s genuine. Whether he is calling you back in regards to the voicemail you left on his listed phone number(562-600-0343), or he is calling you up for an interview to promote his new podcast, the result remains the same. Bob Saget is here for you.
This is not an interview with Bob Saget. This is merely a conversation. Occasionally, I’ll ask him an interview question, which he’ll answer. But then he’ll take us in a direction I wasn’t planning on going into. There is an unpredictability to the whole thing. It feels much more like catching up with an old friend who is telling you about his new podcast than your standard interview with a well-known comedian would. It all just feels familiar.
It may feel familiar because for many, myself included, he has been someone that has been in our lives since we first started watching Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos at an early, formative age. As you get older, you would begin to discover the cleanest man in San Francisco actually has a dirtier alter-ego that bares his same name that “sucked dick for coke” in Half Baked or pops up in Entourage or has one of the dirtiest tellings of The Aristrocrats. Or you may know him as the narrator on How I Met Your Mother. The fact is, no matter how you know him, we all know Bob Saget.
His new podcast is Bob Saget’s Here For You. And as you listen to him call people back on the podcast, or even just sit around and talk for an hour into the microphone, it’s comforting. The walls between celebrity and fan have all come down, and it almost feels like a free-for-all. Mixed into the bunch is conversations (not interviews) with friends like John Stamos, Bill Burr, John Mayer, and Macaulay Culkin. And in the days of people sheltering in, feeling more and more alone, this is the sort of thing we need right now.
We recently had an epic conversation with Bob Saget where we talk about his new podcast, what he hopes you get out of it, bringing people together through stand-up, how he’s become more like Danny Tanner, being the “Walt Disney of the nut hit”, and the possibility of an upcoming project with his pal Norm MacDonald.
Hey Andrew. Bob Saget here. How’re you doing?
I’m doing well. How’re you doing today?
I’m good. It’s so funny. With what I’m doing now, when I ask somebody how they’re doing, I really mean it. I don’t know what happened. I mean, this is what it’s always been like. But when this sh*t happened, it’s just different. So are you in quarantine-ish type life?
Definitely. I’m staying inside as much as possible right now. Good time to get some work done.
For sure. I’m working, literally. (Laughs). I can’t believe the hours I’m working. I’ll go today until 7 o’clock. And I’m doing 4 hours of recording and calling people to see how they’re doing. Which I feel like has been done before in the world of radio. But usually callers call in. But this is the opposite. This is me calling people one on one.
Talking to people, I can’t wait to do it. I’m doing some press this morning, to help get people to know about the podcast because it’s brand new. And it’s doing, from what they tell me, really, really well considering it’s brand new and the market is so saturated. I keep saying “The kid across the street’s got a podcast.”
But your tagline does state you are the first comedian to have a podcast…ever. So that’s good.
Yeah, it’s the very first. There are no other comedians that have one. (Laughs). And comedians, sometimes, is a very subjective word. But I don’t know. It’s just trying to help people.
And what I love about it is, you see so many different celebrities and comedians doing what they can to help out through fundraising or starting their own podcasts just to talk about it. But this is something you had been planning pre-pandemic, no?
Yeah. I did this because of the same reason I started doing stand-up again three years ago or whatever it was. I just couldn’t take anymore that everybody was hating each other and I went “What the hell’s going on? What’s the world coming to?” We all can do our part to balance differences of opinion, differences of “Of my God, that person’s an idiot. I hate them.” I was a kid during the 60’s after the Vietnam war and watched everybody with all the fighting. It’s history. It’s history with every country. With every place on Earth. And I just went “Aren’t we more evolved?” So I just wanted to go out there and entertain people. And so I would do my stand-up and I would bring the whole room together. There were people that believed one thing, people that believed other things. It’s always “The man on the other side of the aisle,” that’s always what we hear. It’s like “Take out the aisles.” No more aisles, that would be theater in the round or congress.
And I don’t talk political or religion, but it’s hard not to talk about differences of opinion sometimes. But I wanted to go out and I had a new hour ready to go. I had a tour coming and I had to cancel it. I had been holding out on doing a podcast. And then everybody came at me and said “Bob, we’ve got like 6 offers from different companies.” I went with Studio 71 because I loved working with them and it felt right. And the title was always Bob Saget’s Here For You. It came out of my last special, Zero to Sixty, when near the end of it, someone said “We need you, Bob.” And I answered “Well, as long as you need me, I’ll be here,” or something like that. And they all applauded and it was before the end of the show. They stood up and applauded when I said it. And that affected me. That’s not fandom. It’s like I’m their friend. I’m their dad, I’m their uncle, I’m their brother. I’m some weird guy that doesn’t have an age. They know I’m a good person or whatever. Always be suspect of someone that says they’re a good person. (Laughs). People in jail right now for doing terrible things. “Oh, I’m a good person.”
But it hit home and it’s because… I think it comes with maturity. I’m 63. I don’t feel it. I don’t act it. I have a better conversation sometimes with a 24 year old than a person my own age. Because my own age, people are going “Aren’t you gonna retire?” I’m like “Who are you? Retire? I’m just getting started.” Rodney Dangerfield was a mentor of mine and he didn’t do Caddyshack, his first movie, until he was 58. And Norman Lear’s a friend of mine… I name drop like a bitch. I’m a name dropping bitch… But he’s 97. And he’s a genius. And he’s producing One Day at a Time. And he’s at the top. And it got cancelled by Netflix, and it got picked up because he’s Norman Lear. And he is my inspiration. If you want to follow somebody on Instagram that makes you feel good, just watch his morning video.
I’ve been watching him do those things. It’s fantastic.
Isn’t it beautiful? It’s like “That’s 97? That’s some people’s 70.”
We should all be 97 in that case.
We should all be him. We should all follow his example and to appreciate the glass of orange juice. Because some people can’t even get a glass of orange juice. I’ve got two kids in New York, and it’s hard. I was texting with my oldest just now. “Come on. I don’t care if you give it to me. Stay with me here. Come be in your house here.” And she’s like “We can’t. We have a cat.” I was like “Okay. Don’t come. I love you, I want to save your life, but no cat.” (Laughs).
But it evolved into something. We did two episodes in studio of the podcast. One was just talking to people, the introduction. Which again as you do these things, you learn as you do these things. And I’ve been broadcasting since I was 27 professionally. On CBS, up against The Today Show and Good Morning America, I had a show that was Mariette Hartley and Rolland Smith, and I was third. I was like the sidekick and I got fired after 5 months of it, because I was too, I guess, hot for the morning. I was doing like drive radio on T.V. But this is learning a different skill that just comes from doing it all the time. But it’s not even a skill, it’s just talking to people. And I got into a really, very comfortable suit. Although we’re all in sweats. I’m in a robe right now for God’s sake. TMI. And a bra and panties, so that’s fine. That’s what I do for all my phone interviews. What people don’t know is not gonna make them throw up. (Laughs). I feel like I’m on a Full House episode right now. And that’s the joke is that I’ve become Danny Tanner, which is the farthest thing I thought I’d ever be.
Right, I saw you tweet that out. Complete with you dust-busting the vacuum.
It’s totally weird. I really did dust-bust the vacuum cleaner. I literally did it. I did it as a joke when we did that little viral video with the cast. We all did our where we are right now with a thing called Full Quarantine.
I loved seeing that. How did that come together?
Candace’s daughter made it, Natasha. She’s 21. I mean the people I work with are 24, 25, 30. That’s what you have to do is work with the best people. And 40 year old’s, 50 year old’s, spend all day just trying to figure out how to join the Zoom meeting. And it’s like “What?” I’m building equipment here. I’ve got little studios around the house. My wife does a lot of, you can’t say viral stuff anymore… “It’s just viral, Bob. It’s not bacteria.”… But she’s really good at all this stuff and she’s given me some pointers. But I was already way into all this stuff anyway. So I’ve got little places. If I’m doing CNN, I’ll do it in the living room area. I’ve got like mini-studios going on for different stuff. And so many people my age, I just feel bad that they don’t… I don’t know. You don’t have to know how to do all this stuff. But I think it’s kind of necessary now, because the world has changed on a dime.
This is the only way you can really stay connected these days it seems.
100 percent. It’s not just about staying relevant. It too is about being able to sign into a Zoom conference. “How do I turn on the camera?? How did you get that fancy background?” I don’t use backgrounds. I just try to use a nice part of my house, that’s all.
Are you tech savvy at all?
Yeah. I always have been. I had the very first Mac that ever existed. This was before the iMac. I had the Mac SE, I had the Mac Plus. I’m a Mac boy. Then I had a phone with a curly cord hooked up to my car. So with the video show, I was pre-YouTube. I was the gatekeeper of people getting hit in the nuts. Now that’s all on there. My friend, George Lopez, says “Half the people I know, that’s all they post.” Barstool Sports, that’s all they post.
You were 20 years ahead of us all right there.
Oh my God, I’m the originator. I’m the Walt Disney of the nut hit. (Laughs). But I enjoy it. And you also let people know what you’re up to, and I’m incredibly proud of the podcast because I’m just becoming more and more myself through the whole thing. And it’s connecting people. It truly is. I did a thing with DJ Whoo Kid the other day that was hilarious. It was on Sirius Radio, he’s got his own podcast, and his channel is run by Eminem. I guess he’s the exec producer/owner of it. And I’ve known him for years. And we were Instagramming live the other day, and it’s hilarious. I just reposted it on my Instagram. He’s getting high to the Full House theme. He’s just smoking and plugging it and there I am in a split screen. (Laughs). And there’s nothing more white than the Full House theme and he’s just totally enjoying it and getting high to it. It made him feel good.
And the guests I’ve had on my podcasts, like John Stamos is on tomorrow. And then every week I’ve got really wonderful people. Macaulay Culkin I just heard the episode and it’s so good and he’s so sweet and we’re friends. I’m trying not to just put guests on because “Oh, I’m going to interview a famous person.” That’s not where this is coming from. I did one yesterday that’s just me talking. An ad where I’m at different thoughts. I really spent about 20 minutes talking about airplane bathrooms and what we took for granted. Were we crazy? We could’ve caught everything. Probably so many flues could’ve been prevented, in the past, just by our habits. And so now you have to teach people. I just went off. Scientists at the beginning were telling us “This is the way we wash our hands,” which we heard when we were 6. And that’s what they’re telling the country, these people who don’t know how to wash their hands. Or some people in certain parts will pick their butt, and they don’t care. They’ll just do that and then eat a pickle. (Laughs).
Think of all the things we’ve done, all the practices. This is going to change all that. And then people have gone to a country like Japan and thought “Oh, it’s so clean.” There people wear masks and pollution is bad but it’s so incredibly spotless. And the reason for that is probably stuff that we’re not even aware of has gone on over the years and in China. I can’t even comprehend it. Humanity is beyond flawed. I don’t go that deep. Well, sometimes I do. It depends who I’m talking to. I’m calling John Mayer tomorrow and I’m sure we’ll get pretty deep about all of it. But I sometimes just want to provide just a nice solace for people to listen to in the morning or when they go to bed or in the afternoon. I always say “You know what? I’m gonna tweet something right now. Maybe some kid’s walking to his car in a parking lot and he’ll laugh.” Before he gets in his car. Hopefully he’s not reading it in the car and bashes into a wheat silo. (Laughs). Most kids are doing that, bashing into wheat silos. But it’s like a text. Somebody just laughs and says “I needed that, thanks.”
And the fact that you are going out of your way to build a connection with people is really neat. And listening to the people who call in is interesting, as far as the wide age range. You’ve got someone calling in at 25 but also in their 50’s. And I imagine that is a result of people knowing you from many different things. But there’s a generation that seems to see you as sort of a father figure because of Full House.
Right. Yeah. And then I’ve got people that know me from stand-up. So those are people that grew up watching Full House or didn’t watch it because some guys only liked me on the- they didn’t like me. Nobody liked me. (Laughs)- but they liked me on the video show. And then they grew up, and then they saw the other side of me with Entourage or the stand-up special, the one that like turned things around where people were like “Holy crap. Who is this guy?” And then I knew things had changed when I was in Rolling Stone, I think it was 2007, it was Mavericks of 2007. It’s this whole article and I’m one page away from Billy Joe Armstrong, who is like a hero of mine. And I’m like “Holy sh*t, this is weird.” Because it all happened at the same time.
Did The Aristrocrats documentary also play into that sort of re-branding of your image?
Yeah, that was the same time, too. And I was also in a play off-Broadway called Privilege written by Paul Weitz, which was this great play. So all this stuff happened. And I’m like that. And I will continue to be like that. Every 7 to 8 years something happens where people go “Geeze, Bob, what’s he doing now?” Because I take things as they come. If something seems interesting, I do it. And if something seems fun, I do it. I don’t sell my soul. I was doing ads for my podcast, and there was one about a man-scaper. It’s about man-scaping. If you want to groom up your junk. (Laughs). I talk about how you want to make sure you’re not nicking your balls anymore. This is like “When did the world catch up with me?” So that’s a commercial? Okay. That product’s gonna help people. If I’m amused, people who are fans of the thing are amused.
Some people that are amazing have a full rundown of what they’re going to talk about. Mine just sort of riffs. I mean, Bill Burr just ripped me a new asshole when we did it. You’ll hear it. It’s a long episode and it’s a more R-rated episode. I had to go in myself, because I’m the guy that makes the decisions. Even though Studio 71 is amazing and there’s a lot of collaboration, I had to say [on the episode] “Hey, if you’re under 15, I wouldn’t listen to this.” Don’t have people under 15 listen to this episode because he just reemed me. (Laughs).
And at this point, we can’t really expect anything different from Bill Burr but to get that.
Oh, I love it. I mean I’ve loved him for years. And I know he’s crazy about me but all he does is tell me how much he doesn’t like me. He’s just one of my heroes. And we’ve done benefits together. He knows what I do. I’m telling more stories now. But I had a new hour ready to go out, that’s the other thing. I was supposed to be on tour right now and I would’ve had a special by the fall. But now when I do the special next year, when things are almost to the new kind of wherever we’re at, I might have an audience full of masks. But I don’t care if people are safe. Even if I find out I’ve had it already, I can’t put people in a room that haven’t. I don’t want anyone to get sick. But when I finally do it, there’s 10 minutes of pandemic material. Because that’s all we’re going to be hearing for a long time. It’s like the black plague.
You couldn’t go onstage and not comment on it.
No, you can’t ignore it. Everything has to be honest. Everything has to be as transparent as you can be. And the way we get information, we find out stuff and sometimes the real stuff is not the stuff that’s sent out to the masses. And people really do go to what they believe. So they’ll find their belief system. No matter what, they’ll find it. And that’s why I’m putting something out that’s simply meant to be pleasurable. And back to Bill, he said that my stand-up is like taking all the lines from Full House that they wouldn’t let me say but were still Full House jokes that were cut, and then I’d just say f*ck around them all. (Laughs). He said that’s what my stand-up is. I went “Bill, no. That’s not what it is. I’m telling stories, I’m imparting things about how you treat other human beings.” “You know what you are.” He just kept going at me. So after about a half hour of being berated, I started to attack him. And then we were just laughing our asses off.
And then I change it around. I’ll do the monologue for an hour. And I really love calling people. That’s a real gift to be able to do it. And they’re nice. I called one guy, you haven’t heard it yet, and it was really interesting. And I found out he was a guy who was not able to work right now, due to the staying indoors. And he’s an Iraq rooted guy whose parents moved here 7-8 years ago for a better life and they became citizens. And we were talking. I said “You know, we might’ve ended up going to war with Iraq if there hadn’t been the pandemic. That’s kinda where we were at. Who knows what would’ve happened.” And as we’re talking about this, he’s just laughing the whole time, because he’s so excited he’s talking to me. So here we are talking about something that’s pretty damn serious. And there were detentions around it with some people. And he’s so stoned because they don’t know when I’m going to call. Like I’m making calls today from 1:30 to 5:30 and I just called the whole time and make a couple of episodes. And he didn’t know. He didn’t time his getting high. So he was literally peaking the moment I called.
And maybe that’s how we should approach everything. Maybe everyone in congress should just be stoned. (Laughs). We know they’re drinking by the time it’s unhappy hour when they’re done meeting. But there are good people in there too. But that’s the thing. Everybody just makes it the hateful enemy. But that’s government. It is always big brother. But I don’t even deal with it. But I’m sure I will, I’m sure I’ll get around to it. But I’m not a person who goes around and attacks. I’d like it to be a little more evergreen, so you can turn this on in a year and listen to these episodes and not be going “Oh wow. That happened that day in history?” I want it to be that they can listen to it. This pandemic we’re going through is not going to be gone no matter what. Even if they tell me “It’s okay to go to stage one.” I’m not leaving the house. Why risk giving it or getting it? I just talked to somebody in New York today. Three of his friends in their 40’s and 50’s died. And anybody who doesn’t believe that wouldn’t be reading this what you’re writing anyway. Because they wouldn’t be reading it. That’s not the audience. People that wanna not believe this isn’t happening. “Okay, that and the moon landing. Whatever.” (Laughs). I just can’t believe how people can’t believe what’s really happening.
It really is unbelievable what is going on right now. But I’ve got to say, after listening to the episodes out so far, people do get truly excited when they find out you’re calling them. They are caught by such surprise, and probably makes their day.
They get excited when I call because it’s usually people that leave a number and say “Call me back”. It’s not like when I would go on Howard Stern a lot years ago and people would call up, and they would screen the calls, and someone would call up and go “I hate you. You’re garbage. You had sex with my sister.” And it’s like “No I didn’t. What’re you saying?” And then Howard would laugh watching me flounder. And it was good radio. And then another call would come through and they’d say “Your sister who passed away, I was her nurse, and you’re doing so much for Schleroderma.” And that was the ying and yang of it, and it made for great radio.
But this is like, if someone calls and says they hate me, my producer does not forward that call. I am done with negative. I’ve had enough of it, there’s no way to avoid it, it’s always going to be there. You turn on the news for a little bit to see what’s going on. It’s “Oh. What? They said that?” And I’m just trying to do something positive amidst all this craziness. And I think a lot of people with their podcasts they’re doing exactly that. And they’re making me feel better and some of them are friends and some of them are not. What John Krasinski did, it’s amazing. And that’s not just “Oh, he’s using his stardom.” You know what he’s using his stardom for? Something f*cking wonderful, that’s what he’s doing. It’s like a love letter every time he does one of those. I guess it’s a broadcast. It’s not a television broadcast, but it’s a broadcast because it’s going everywhere. It goes around the world. What he did with Hamilton for that little girl with the whole cast.
That was really a cool thing that came out in the middle of all this craziness. Sort of restored faith in humanity for everyone briefly.
I was crying. It’s kindness that affects me the most emotionally. So that’s what I’m trying to output. Be funny, be kind, and get real. I mean, I’ve got a couple of podcasts coming up and they’re pretty serious. And I’m doing them as they’re needed, but I’m also doing them a little bit ahead of time so I can make sure that I’m on the right track of where I’m going. I just love doing it. I can’t do it enough.
And I’m working on other stuff, too. Which is interesting that I’m working on other stuff. I’m developing a movie right now to direct, there’s a T.V. show. I’m pitching to networks on Zoom. It would be for when we’re able to work again and get it into studios. And making a movie, obviously you gotta have a script for it so you’re on borrowed time anyway right now. We’re all on borrowed time, except for people who are essential workers. And definitely people in show business are not essential. We need ‘em sometimes, especially to make us feel good or somehow get us through this. Or, if you want to be depressed, there’s plenty of people out there breeding hate and anger and have popular podcasts. Because everybody should have their voice if you want to enforce the injustice and your anger at whatever group you don’t like. That’s not what I’m doing.
And I love so much what you’re doing. And before we go, speaking of podcasts, I’ve gotta say I loved your appearance on your pal Norm MacDonald’s podcast a few weeks ago.
(Laughs). He’s another dear, dear, dear friend who throws me under buses whenever he can. There’s something about me. I’m so innocent, I’m so stupid, I’m so gullible. We recorded one before, and there was some really funny stuff I said that he cut out. But then I go off talking like I’m promoting. And he goes “Hey Saget. Remember what I told you before, what you needed to be on this thing?” And I went “Oh yeah. Funny?” And he went “Uh yeah.” So I tried to be funny. And he is just one of the funniest people whose ever lived.
Dirty Work was a movie I grew up watching. I loved what you and Norm did with it.
Thank you. I might have some good news about that once we figure out what the hell’s going on in this crazy world. He and I are close. I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you. That was the little quiet, not allowed to talk about it, hint. We’re trying to do something, but we don’t know yet. We’re not there. But he and I have always wanted to do something. We’re trying to do something. And it would be something really, really, really funny.
And we know that’s what people are gonna need. They may not need it now, but they’re gonna need it more once this black fog lifts because it’s just effecting everybody everywhere. Most of us disconnect. But if you connect with the people who can’t get food, don’t have a place to live, they’re sick, we don’t even know if they have it or are dying from it right now. But they’re not in a hospital because they can’t go to one and because they can’t afford it because they don’t have insurance and all this crap. That’s the thing that makes me even drive more to try to add some light to all this.
Bob Saget’s Here For You can be found on iTunes and everywhere else you get your podcast.