Comedy

Bob Saget on Cuddling with John Stamos and Why He Isn't as Filthy as You Think

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Author's note: this interview took place prior to the 56th Annual Grammy Awards which aired Sunday, January 26. Bob Saget was nominated for his 2013 comedy album That's What I'm Talking About. Comedian Kathy Griffin won the award for her album, Calm Down Gurrl.

Congratulations on your Grammy nomination. [laughs] Thanks.

I want to ask you if you think you have a good chance of winning, but I don't want any of that, "it's just an honor to be nominated" bullshit. Well, unfortunately that's the truth. I don't think I have a chance of winning. It was funny because I went to lunch with Craig Ferguson -- we talked to each other right when we both got nominated and we said, "Let's go to lunch. This is our big nominating party: lunch." And it was just him and me in the restaurant. All the nominees that are excited about it were there. I'm of the mindset where I'm just delighted. I'm not competitive in any way. I don't have that gene. Maybe I used to, but on this . . . I'm just excited. Half my special's music, that's even more ludicrous because I play, like, four chords.

When did you start introducing music into your stand-up routine? My act used to be all music. When I was 17, I was a guitar act. I would write original songs and do parodies. And then, by the time I got to my mid-20s, I started to take the guitar off and do more stand-up. But even when I was starting out, like on Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians Special, I don't know what year it was, I guess '84 or something, I still was playing guitar at most of my shows, but on those things I did pure stand-up.

So the guitar was always present then, since the beginning? Yeah. I took it away for a long time because it was a crutch. I didn't want to hide behind it. I'd worked real hard for like seven years to not do it at all. You know it's like trying to make your bad eye good by putting a patch over it. [laughs] Or the other way. You put your patch over your good eye. But me not playing guitar wasn't anything that magnificent, it was just to let my stand-up grow.

I like that. That's a good metaphor. You won a Student Academy Award back when you were 21, which brought you out to Los Angeles and jumpstarted your presence on the comedy circuit that way. This nomination is kind of an interesting, uh, not bookend because you're not retiring or anything -- but it must be nice to have an institution recognize something audiences have known for a long time: that you're fucking funny when telling dick jokes. It's really cool. It's by people that, for the most part, I don't know them. All comedians truthfully want to be musicians and all musicians . . . well, 5 percent of them want to be comedians. But most people who do music, when you're a performer and a writer, it's just one of the greatest things you can do as far as arts go. It's a very inspiring thing. I'll be taking my daughter to it, which is really fun.

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Janessa is a native Phoenician. She joined New Times as a contributor in 2013. You can connect with her on social media at @janessahilliard, and she promises you'll find no pictures of cats on her Instagram — but plenty of cocktails.
Contact: Janessa Hilliard