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Bob Saget talks Don Rickles, ‘Dirty Work’ and Disneyland

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America’s Dirty Daddy is headed to town.
Courtesy
Julie Seabaugh

Bob Saget May 26, 7 p.m., $30-$50. Brooklyn Bowl, 702-862-2695.

From Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos to ribald nature spoof The Farce of the Penguins and memoir Dirty Daddy, Bob Saget’s work has run the family-friendly gamut since he first began performing at age 17. The Grammy-nominated stand-up performs a decidedly R-rated set at Brooklyn Bowl on May 26.

What can you tell me about the new stand-up special you just filmed? I kind of delved into comedy harder right during the election time. And for a year I hit the road, just delighting in doing comedy. It’s truly something that we all need right now.

I’m not really doing tons of political stuff. It’s more personal stuff, but I still can’t avoid a dick joke. They’re my roots. And I’m telling stories. But a lot of it’s just about people being kind to each other. I do a bunch of music; a lot of songs. My closing song is called “We’ve Got to Be Kind to Each Other.” It’s not even dirty; it’s just kind of funny, but it’s really about exactly what its title says. It’s my version of “We Are the World,” but in a comedic sense.

I shot it in Brooklyn over two shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. I’ve done two specials at big venues, but everybody’s kind of drifting toward trying specials in smaller venues right now. With a few hundred people there’s more intimacy. The laughs are more real. I’m not sure where it’s going to end up yet. But I have full reign over all of it, so for the next month I have to edit my mug all the time, which I don’t enjoy looking at.

Where did that burst of material come from? I haven’t felt the draw to do stand-up this much in 30 years. It’s been a weird year, because I’ve lost people. Don Rickles was like a dad …and Vegas really paid great tribute to him. They put him on every billboard. It was absurd, just beautiful. It was one of the few times I looked at the Strip and went, “This is a great place.”

But I love performing there, and I love that I’m doing Brooklyn Bowl, because it’s off the beaten path a tiny bit. I like rock ’n’ roll rooms, because a lot of my audience members are 18, 24. They also go to 65. My audiences are basically 16 to death.

Fuller House is reaching a new generation on Netflix, but next year is also the 10th anniversary of the Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget and the 20th anniversary of Dirty Work. Why do you think they continue resonating with younger fans? Dirty Work was designed to be a movie for 15-year-old boys. It didn’t perform that well when it came out. [Star] Norm [MacDonald] and I went to all the theaters the night of the premiere, and we were like, “This is going to be the biggest hit of all time!” Now it’s like one of these cult classics. People bring the DVDs to get signed, and it’s really an honor. So that lived.

A lot of people tell me my Roast is their favorite of all of them, even though some of the others have been pretty funny. But this one resonated, because it was all my friends. Stamos was the Roastmaster, with Jeff Garlin, Jeff Ross, Norm, Gilbert [Gottfried], Susie Essman … people I loved. And Cloris Leachman, who I’d only worshipped from afar, had the killer set.

I’m 61 today—it’s my birthday!—but I know it’s important to hang out with younger people, and with your friends. This past weekend I was with John Stamos, Dave Coulier and our girlfriends having a hilarious time at Disneyland. If you look at Instagram, they brought onesies for us to have a sleepover at the Grand California Hotel.

I also had a big loss this week. One of my dearest friends [former Paramoount Pictures chairman Brad Grey] passed on. Stuff happens in life, and then you figure out how to go on. That’s what my special’s about: Just trying to enjoy life. I yell at the millennials not to take it for granted … and then give them public service announcements not to have sex with animals and trees.

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