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The Bob Saget I Remember

S.E. Cupp, Tribune Content Agency on

The year was 2005, and I was a 20-something living in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. As such, feeling hip and somewhat subversive, my friends and I looked for hip and somewhat subversive things to do. (Key word: somewhat. We all had real jobs.)

When we’d heard that AMC theaters had banned a new movie, “The Aristocrats,” from its 3,500+ theaters, seeing it went straight to the top of our to-do list.

It was a new documentary from Penn Jillette and Paul Provenza, in which scores of all-star comedians told their version of the same joke about a new fictitious act, always ending with the punchline: “It’s called...’The Aristocrats!’”

It featured the heaviest of comedy hitters: Whoopi Goldberg, George Carlin, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman...and then there was Bob Saget.

In 2005, remember, Saget had been out of the spotlight for some time. He’d been immortalized to all of America as the guy who played Danny Tanner, the dad from “Full House,” and then the squeaky clean host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” the quintessential non-offensive, wholesome presence in all of our living rooms.

So, I’ll never forget watching him deliver seven of the most filthy, perverse, stomach-churning, indeed offensive minutes I’d ever seen on film while presenting his take on “The Aristocrats.” We left the theater sore from laughter but also stunned by Saget’s surprising star-turn.

 

It was a whole new Saget to us, one we very much appreciated. It seemed as though his comedian friends were well aware of this odd dichotomy Saget lived in, where his television roles utterly belied his raunchy blue stand-up roots and his dark humor.

Later, perhaps because of his appearance in “The Aristocrats,” he was able to dabble in both worlds, playing a satirical version of himself on “Entourage,” writing the book “Dirty Daddy,” and taking the kind of sitcom roles that made him famous — the voice on “How I Met Your Mother,” “Surviving Suburbia” and “Fuller House.”

A decade after seeing Saget in “The Aristocrats,” I was asked to participate in a roast of famed political consultant James Carville at The Kennedy Center. Known for being a filthy joke teller himself, Carville was going to be affectionately pilloried by the likes of Jeff Ross, Jim Norton, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, and several politicos like Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, Carville’s wife Mary Matalin, and, unimaginably, me.

The roastmaster was none other than Bob Saget.

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