It’s been eight years since Bob Saget told the most disgusting family orgy story ever recorded for that Aristocrats documentary. These days, Saget’s potty mouth isn’t nearly as shocking or unique as it once was. This is especially apparent in his latest standup special for Showtime, That’s What I’m Talkin’ About (available on demand all month long). Saget is still telling dirty jokes. But now, with less people tuning in just to see the guy from Full House talk about his dick, he seems more relaxed and confident than ever. Saget’s finally hit his stride, doing what he does for the people who like what he does. All comics should be that lucky.
I called Saget — who’s preparing for a big summer tour, beginning June 7 in San Francisco — and talked to him about what you’d expect Saget would talk about: testicles, Disneyland, and John Stamos.
Whenever I interview you, I’m reminded of that scene in Annie Hall where Woody Allen is on a first date with Diane Keaton and he says, “Let’s kiss now and get it over with it.”
You want to kiss me?
No, I want you to get right to the horrible sex jokes.
Oh, okay, I get you. You want me to say something incredibly invasive and disturbing that I’ll feel bad about later?
Exactly. Let it out in one big Tourettian spew. Say all the terrible things swimming near the surface of your subconscious.
I’m not the dirty weird bastard people think I am. They walk up to me and show me pictures on their phone, and it’ll be either sexual or bathroom-related. And I’m like, “Dude, I can’t look at that.”
Not even a peek?
It depends what it is. I am basically just a nine-year-old boy that evolved. But I don’t want to see pictures of your poop. People do that and they think it’s funny. I don’t think they’re getting what I’m all about.
When you say something dirty, it seems like there are two halves of your personalities. One half is holding on for dear life and hoping the other half doesn’t go to the bad place.
It really is like that. It’s one side of a body trying to turn off the other side. It’s like that Steve Martin movie, All of Me, where you have two people inside your body. “I’m a really good person/Oh God, I forgot I was talking to you about your testicles.” I’m just glad I’m not the host of The Price Is Right.
Because that could’ve happened?
My name gets thrown around for these things because I know how to host. But when that job came up and they were going through names, it was mutually agreed that I wasn’t the right person. Drew Carey is great. He has amazing self-control.
What does he want to say that he isn’t saying?
Drew has a dirty mind. Every time some contestant comes up, you can see it in his face. He wants to say something terrible like, “What’s wrong with your tits?” It’s a good gig for him. I couldn’t do it. But I’ve got nice things coming up. I’m writing a book. I’m finding out how hard writing is.
Is it going to be an essay book or a memoir?
It’s kind of like my standup in book form. It’s being published by Harper Collins, and I’m writing it all by myself. It has some memoir in it, and a lot about comedy and death in my life and how they intersect.
So you’re going to get dark?
It’s dark. It has a lot of darkness in it. I just finished a chapter about losing two sisters. And then I do irreverent stuff about it because it kind of gets me through it. Some of it is gallows humor. You lose somebody that you can’t imagine losing, and then people come over to your house, trying to give you solace, and say, “I don’t know how I’m going to live without her. Is there food?” I’ve had so much sadness in my family, but there is always humor in the sadness. These things exist simultaneously.
That sounds kinda amazing.
And then there’s stuff about my balls.
Well of course there is.
There’s quite a bit in the book about my balls. More than there should be. That is one of my editor’s notes. He sent me an e-mail that just said, “I really think there is too much penis and balls.”
That’s a good note.
I’ve never heard that from a man before.
Is there a chapter devoted to John Stamos’s balls?
I don’t mention his balls ever. But I do mention him. I also mention him in the special, talking about when he had the mullet, and his saucer matched the teacup, if you know what I mean.
I know what you mean.
His penis looked like ZZ Top smoking a blunt.
Is that true or are you kidding?
I’ve never seen him naked. I had plenty of opportunities, like in gym locker rooms. But if I’d looked, it would have done permanent damage to my psyche. He sends me pictures of his dick ever day, but I won’t look. Dave Coulier, however — I’ve seen him naked constantly because he enjoys it.
How does he enjoy it?
He does it to make us laugh. Like some people do balloon tricks at a party, but he does it with his balls.
You’re going to have to give me an example.
I had a birthday party in Vegas, with Stamos and six buddies. We’re in the bowling suite at the Palms, and Dave Coulier took off his clothes and sat on the bowling alley. He pulls up — he’s going to get mad that I told this story — he sat on the bowling alley naked with his legs spread and pulled his ball sack up over his unit. I guess you call that the Turtle.
Some people would call that oversharing.
Yeah. I don’t care for it. But I’ve been around comedians who take out their dick and ask, “What do you think?” I’m like, “It’s fine, put it away.” And they kind of want that response.
You’ve known comics who do this? Can you give me a name?
Okay, that makes sense.
He was known to have the biggest penis around. I went to his 90th birthday… or 85th, I forget. He said, “Do you want to see it?” I said no. He said, “You know what I’m talking about, right?” I said “Yes, but I really don’t want to see it.” And the late great Red Buttons says, “Milton’s dick is so big, it has a sun deck on it.”
Dick jokes are always funnier when old guys say them.
These guys were making jokes like that for years. Don Rickles, God bless him — he’s like a dad to me, by which I mean we never speak. No, that’s not true, he’s a great man — he was telling me the other day, “We talk the way you guys talk, but not for a living. We didn’t do it onstage. Even at the roasts we didn’t do it.”
I need to ask you about John Stamos again.
About his balls?
No, about Thanksgiving. He posted an Instagram photo of the two of you spending Thanksgiving together, wearing bowler hats and seemingly singing a duet. Was that staged? Please say it wasn’t staged.
No, that was real. I was at his house. We put on hats and we sang. He’s a pretty great friend. It’s kind of amazing what a great friend he is. And I like singing.
What songs? Wait, don’t tell me. “Kokomo,” right? It was “Kokomo.”
No, but you’re close. We were singing Beatles songs. He had a Beatles book, so we were just going through them. His mother was there, my mother was there. We had ladies we no longer talk to, which is good.
It was hard to tell by the photo if it was an organic thing that just spontaneously happened.
It was totally organic. I had a couple of drinks and I was really happy, so we were singing. He’s got a band room. It’s so Uncle Jesse and The Rippers. He’s a great drummer and he can play guitar and he has all these friends that were in the Beach Boys, and they are always there when he has a party and I get to sing for three hours and people stare and leave as quickly as they can.
That’s… really weird.
[Laughs.] I know. But it was a fun Thanksgiving.
It’s sweet that you guys still hang out.
We hang out all the time. Here’s a funny story: Stamos and I were on Main Street in Disneyland. He’s a Disney-phile. He’s got a real problem. So we’re standing next to Winnie the Pooh, and all these little kids are coming over and their parents are saying, “There’s Uncle Jesse and Danny from Full House!” But nobody was coming over to Pooh.
Winnie got snubbed?
Totally snubbed. So I said to Winnie, “I’m sorry, man. Apparently John and I are bigger than Pooh.”
The truth hurts.
It does. I felt bad about saying it.
It’s not your fault he’s not as famous as you are.
He’ll get there. Maybe the light was hitting him bad. He needed to be blow-dried. He needed a little carpet cleaner. A furry is a furry, no matter what you do.
Do you go to Disneyland a lot?
I’m such a Disneyland freak. I can’t take my mom anymore because pushing around a wheelchair just gets annoying after awhile. I just drop her in the Jungle Cruise water. I don’t take her to the dock, I dump her in. “Hey mom, it’s a Small World,” and she’s floating behind the boat.
If I was at Disneyland and I saw you in the crowd, it would freak me out.
No it wouldn’t.
Yeah, it really would.
Even if I had kids with me?
It depends. Are they your kids?
Most of the time I’m with my kids, or I rent children, or I just pick up some kids. A great place is a bowling alley. You go, there’s a tournament, and you say, “Wanna come with me?” Do you have kids?
I’m not going to take them!
I have a two-year-old.
If you go to Disney, try to get hooked up so you don’t have to wait in those lines. Because it smells like ass everywhere. That’s what happens if you wait in line all day in the summer. And people come there from all over the world. There’s some big people and it just smells like bag everywhere.
And we’re back to testicles.
For me, that was my motivation for the whole conversation. In the special, I say… I can’t remember if this is in there, I think it is. When I was born, I came out balls first and the doctor slapped it, and I’ve been doing that ever since. But anyway, getting back to your kid.
Here we go.
There’s my comedy in a nutshell.
From kids to testicles and back again.
But seriously, I do want to get back to your kid. In fact, could I spend some time with your kid? The California Adventure has a Cars ride, and I think four- or five-year-olds can go on it, if the height works. Girl or boy?
Great. Once he’s old enough, you’ll be able to take him on it. I almost wanted to have another kid just so I could take it on that ride. And then get rid of it. “I just wanted to have you to this point. And you saw the ride. Good luck. Here’s your graduation pin. Here’s a couple extra sweaters. And here’s a Bob Saget T-shirt. I had it made extra-small, for you, son.”
If I can awkwardly change the subject.
You’re performing at Bonnaroo this summer.
Yeah, it’s hilarious. I’ve never done it. I’ve been asked to do it a bunch, but I never did it because it wasn’t in my wheelhouse at the time. Louis Black kept telling me to do it. “You’re going to love it! C’mon, we’ll go together!” And he’s not there this year, which is a bummer. I’ve always loved him. But they have really good people.
David Cross, Reggie Watts.
Daniel Tosh, Ed Helms. And also Paul McCartney.
He’s not doing standup, I hope.
He could. And it’d probably be awesome.
Is this your first time performing in a tent?
No, I performed in tents in World War II when we were trying to get out of the Holocaust. Also, my dad was in intensive care and I was inside that tent for a while. I’ve done tents. Up in New Haven, there are all those really pretty places where they have shows and it’s a couple thousand people outdoors, on the water. Very family-friendly stuff.
And they hire you?
I don’t do the dirty stuff when there are kids in the audience. Wait, are there kids at Bonnaroo? Is there an age limit? Do you have to be 18 or older?
I have no idea. I don’t think there’s an age limit.
I don’t want kids in the tent. I’ll get confused if I see a 10-year-old. I won’t go blue. One night a while ago… about six years ago… no, 10 years ago. Sorry.
Are you drunk right now?
A little. No, I’m not. You’ll never believe this story, and you probably won’t use it.
I did a Disney Cruise.
I did two shows on this Disney Cruise with Kermit the Frog. And I didn’t go blue. There were kids there, so I did my act without any of the dirty stuff. Well, okay, there was one thing. I did something from my act called “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” which is sung to the tune of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” Two guys in the audience were offended by it.
But there’s no cursing. I was just saying everybody on Full House was gay, which is… I mean, that’s not a surprise to anybody, is it? Anyway, during one of the shows the lights went out. The ship had a complete power failure. And Kermit and I didn’t have microphones. It was dark and scary, and I’m thinking about Titanic. And then Kermit and I just start talking to each other. He’s like, “How’re you doing? You okay?” And I’m like, “I’m okay. How are you, Kermit?”
You were talking to the puppet?
Yeah. Not the guy with his hand up the puppet’s ass. The puppet. The lights are out, the microphones are dead, everybody’s scared, and I’m talking to a puppet. It was quite weird.
That’s a sweet story. Not at all what I was expecting.
What were you expecting?
I don’t know. I was bracing for a muppet handjob.
Well sure, that happened later. Back in Kermit’s cabin. Not during the show. We’re professionals. [Groans.] Oh God, why did I say that? I already hate myself for saying that.
(This story originally appeared, in a slightly different form, on Esquire.com.)