Bob Saget On ‘Zero To Sixty,’ His New Film ‘Benjamin,’ And Confronting Comedy’s Demons

News & Culture Writer
11.14.17

Brian Friedman

Yes, Bob Saget realizes you probably know him as Danny Tanner from Full House, the original host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, or — if you’re one of the millions who supposedly stream it — Danny Tanner from Fuller House. And you know what? He doesn’t mind at all. In fact, the 61-year-old actor, writer, director and stand-up comedian celebrates his claims to fame — just as much as he skewers them, which happens frequently in his comedy specials. Whether in 2007’s That Ain’t Right or 2013’s Grammy-nominated That’s What I’m Talking About, Saget is always willing to make fun of himself.

Nor has this practice of self-deprecation wavered in Zero to Sixty, the first original stand-up special from album producer and distributor Comedy Dynamics. Now available to stream on a number of services, Saget dives right into the filthy, stream-of-consciousness jokes he’s famous for in the new hour. Yet as Saget tells Uproxx, he’s made a concerted effort to emphasize “being kind to each other” in Zero to Sixty. “[A]s ‘soft’ or ‘hard R’ as people want to say I am, the whole point of this special — and everything else I do — is to entertain people and be kind.”

I saw you were just in Rio. Still recovering from the jet lag?

Kind of, but I ended up working a lot. This morning I was back to finishing up the movie. We have a screening this Tuesday, and then I was getting ready to promote the special. So my brain goes right back to working hard. I’m a workaholic. But yes, it was an amazing trip. I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was just John Mayer opening up his heart and bringing his friends along with him. The activities were hilarious and fun, and it was decadent but weird. It was just a really good time. And now [John] Stamos is engaged. So much is going on. I can’t keep up.

Whether it’s a long vacation or a short one, or even a weekend, the need to get back to work is always there.

To be honest, I was working with my editor, Bruce Green, the entire time. He was sending me QuickTime files while I was in Rio. We were editing via WiFi the entire trip. I was on a boat. I was literally using their WiFi to pick which take I liked better. It was just nonstop work, but it’s a good problem to have. You know, what a great problem! To be able to be working on a movie you love, to be with friends that you love, to be with a great girlfriend, and then to be able to not have any time to do your work. Meanwhile, people are shooting Nerf bullets at each other on the boat, back and forth. It was quite hilarious.

John Mayer is a very intelligent and funny guy. I’m very lucky to know him. Andy Cohen was there, too, and he’s nonstop. There were a bunch of funny comedy writers were there — just really smart comedy writers like Jarrad Paul and Jordan Rubin. Smart, fun guys. So it was a really, really special trip. We stayed three nights and flew 16 hours each way, so I’m basically doing a study on how to make my testicles smell as bad as possible in as little time as possible. They were like, “We’ve got lay back seats.” Really? Is that going to stop my testicles from smelling? I don’t think so. [Laughs.] Yeah, I always have to go to a lovely place, don’t I?

By now, anyone familiar enough with your career knows what your comedy is like. Speaking of which, how did Zero to Sixty come about?

I didn’t even know I was going to do it at first. I was on a plane on a Thursday, going to New York to do some press and some gigs, when I got a call. Actually, I didn’t get a call. I’m sorry. I was on a plane. I got a message via the plane’s WiFi from Brian Volk-Weiss, who runs Comedy Dynamics. He asked me if I wanted to shoot a new special the following Tuesday at the Williamsburg Hall of Music in Brooklyn. It’s a great venue. I love that place. I’ve played there many times before. So I told him, “You know, I do. I’ve got three years of material set to go at this point.” It’s all really stories about my life.

Zero to Sixty was an easy title to come up with because I’m 61 now and I was 60 when I shot it. It’s me at nine years old learning the facts of life, and it’s like, oh God, that’s what made him turn into this. It goes all the way through the different experiences I had, suffering as a both a comic and as a human being. Things like my mother passing away. It kind of taps into a lot of stuff like that, and the message I wanted to get across is the final song I perform, which is about being kind to each other — but with jokes. So as “soft” or “hard R” as people want to say I am, the whole point of this special — and everything else I do — is to entertain people and be kind.

That’s been one of the blessings of having this dual, bipolar career. One minute I’m Danny Tanner — I still am because it will never go away — and the other minute I do this stand-up, which usually entertains people if they’re in the right demo. Or, if they like this kind of offbeat, dirty comedy. I try to make it be unlike everybody else’s stuff. I mean, I don’t think anybody else would talk about a squirrel eating a frozen hemorrhoid. [Laughs.] So, you know, I think it sets me apart slightly.

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