There isn't a lot my pal Nick Vitto and I disagree on. We both love film and comedy. We love Spielberg, Seinfeld, and The Simpsons and can talk about them for hours (Ask my wife, who has on more than one occasion listened to us ramble about such topics like a couple of pros). When we do disagree, although it never turns heated or argumentative, we couldn't disagree more. The two points of contention on which there is no middle ground are the Ernest movies and Bob Saget. Nick loves 'em. I opposite of love 'em.
And so, when it came to reviewing Bob Saget's "That's What I'm Talkin' About," I jokingly mentioned to Nick that he should write the review, since there's no way I was going to write anything favorable (I listened, and I was right). Nick happily accepted the challenge and I present to you his review. Regardless of where you stand on the whole Saget/Ernest thing, I think you'll like reading Nick's thoughts. I did. You can hear more from Nick by following him on Twitter or stalking him on Facebook.
Unless you’ve been in a coma since the mid 90’s, before Michelle Tanner fell off a horse and lost her memory in the season finale of Full House, then everyone should know by now that Bob Saget’s standup routine has become synonymous with the lowest form of filth. It’s unbelievably tasteless, and Bob Saget knows this better than anyone.
He’s also well aware of the fact that for eight, yes, EIGHT seasons he played an uptight, neat-freak father who was so schmaltzy that it made just about every TV critic puke. Not to mention his side job as the high-pitched-talking host of the original America’s Funniest Home Videos. The name Bob Saget had become a punch line. But when Bob was no longer obligated to be ABC’s good natured dad, it was time for him to spread his wings. But little did most of us know that those wings were covered with poop and sex jokes.
In 2007, Bob released a one-hour HBO special, “That Ain’t Right.” It featured Bob in all his Saget-ness. Despite his junior-high rapid fire gutter jokes, he admirably took plenty of shots at himself and the laughable image that made him famous in the 90’s. One stand out bit was a song he performed called “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” sung to the tune of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.” He defends his character’s sexual orientation while surfacing many new details from behind the scenes of Full House that we never wanted to know about – “I never slept with Dave Coulier, but Kimmy Gibbler got it this way.” This angle is what makes Saget so fun to watch as a comic. There’s no getting around who he was known for, and he wants to be the first to laugh at himself while dragging his own name deeper through the mud. It’s a twisted act and voice he’s developed, but he owns it.
Six years later Bob has released a new one-hour special featured on Showtime, “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About.” Bob has aged sort of like a fine wine, that’s been chilling in a urinal full of ice. It starts off exactly where he left off, stating, “I don’t want to offend anybody, I want to offend everybody.” He’s also well aware that since his last special, people who grew up watching him are adults now, and forewarns the audience; “Oh, I grew up watching you.” “Good, cause now you’re gonna go down watching me.”
His rapport with the audience is actually one of the most sincerest I’ve seen from any comic and is one of the funnier nuances of this performance. I believe I counted at least four fist bumps with audience members in the front row. And he hasn’t forgotten about his fans in the back rows either: “What’s your name, bro?” “J-Bone” [Bob’s eyes widen as if he were about to be hit by a train] “Where the f*** am I?” But Bob knows exactly where he is and what his audience wants to hear him say as he caters to their every need. He feeds off this young and drunk college crowd adding to his endless energy of rant-style joke telling.
What Bob may lack in tightly structured joke telling and writing, he makes up for it with a great ability to tell twisted stories of his life. I mean, if you’re on a show with a big cast like Full House for eight years, you’re bound to have at least a few amusing anecdotes. He doesn’t disappoint, as he tells a horrendous story of about an episode they did, that I remember far too well, with a donkey that kept getting an erection on set. In the episode the donkey’s name was Shorty, but off camera Bob called him “Peppermill.” Do the math. Another great story is called “John Stamos and The 8 X 10.” It involves Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier and Bob’s nephew as they decide to take a trip to Vegas. Let’s just say it involves a naked Coulier and Stamos’ tongue. Don’t do the math on that one yet. Just give it a listen if you’re so inclined.
The last part of the show is Bob’s infamous song singing time. He does about five songs, most of which are rather somber sounding, but filled with plenty of dirty lyrics to satisfy. A standout that will remain stuck in your head for most of the day, is the upbeat, “Butt Plug Made of Leather.” All of these songs are fine musical comedy additions, but none of them could top his swan song, “Danny Tanner Was Not Gay,” featured as the final bit in his previous special.
Bob Saget is that friends’ dad who is more immature than you are, but you still secretly want to be just like him when you become a dad. It’s truly amazing how young at heart and upbeat he remains despite all the personal tragedies he’s had to deal with in his life. But for those in need of a break from high society for an hour, there’s no better way to spend it than listening to some solid poop and wiener jokes heavily featured in “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About,” which is now available on Netflix Instant. You can shrug him off if it’s just not your kind of humor, but don’t forget, “everywhere you look” Bob Saget “is waiting to carry you home.” Those words are truer than I’d like them to be.