14 Things You Didn't Know About Bob Saget

Fans were shocked and saddened when Bob Saget was found dead at age 65 in a hotel suite in Orlando, Florida, after he had just performed as part of his "Bob Saget: I Don't Do Negative" tour. News of Saget's death was met with tributes from fans and colleagues, with him lauded as a genuinely nice guy and one of the sharpest, funniest standup comics ever to set foot on a stage.

Of course, Saget will best be remembered for his work on television, most notably as widowed dad Danny Tanner on the beloved sitcom "Full House." In addition, Saget was also known for his multi-season stint hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos," and for providing the voice of the unseen narrator on hit TV comedy "How I Met Your Mother." In addition to guest starring in a plethora of television shows, ranging from "Entourage" to "Shameless," Saget also pursued other avenues of expression, carving out a career as a movie and television director and author of a bestselling memoir

As fans look back at the career of the beloved comedian who came to be known as "America's dad," read on to find out what you never knew about Bob Saget.

Bob Saget won a Student Academy Award when he was just 21

Bob Saget was just 21 years old when he won an Oscar — or, at least, the student version of an Oscar. In fact, he was presented with a Student Academy Merit Award for "Through Adam's Eyes," a 1977 documentary he wrote and directed while studying film at Temple University. The 11-minute film, Saget told Ability Magazine, was "about someone to whom I'm very close who had reconstructive facial surgery."

Filmmaking was one of two competing passions vying for Saget's attention during that time, with the other being standup comedy. As Saget told Ability, he relocated to Los Angeles when he was 21 to further his film studies at USC, but dropped out after just three days. "I figured I'd already gotten my undergrad degree, anyway," he said of dropping out of school in order to pursue a career in comedy.

In 2016, Saget shared a photo on Instagram of his 21-year-old self, posing with his award. Describing that moment as "one of the super geekiest yet happy times in my life," he also joked that he "looked like someone who had been rejected as an extra for 'Saturday Night Fever.'"

He appeared twice on The Dating Game — and won once

While Bob Saget was pursuing his dreams of standup comedy in Los Angeles, he also managed to get himself on television — on game show "The Dating Game." 

In fact, Saget recalled during a 2017 visit to "The Rich Eisen Show" that he actually made two appearances on "The Dating Game," in which a trio of single men are asked provocative questions by a woman who then decides which of the three will accompany her on a vacation date. According to Saget, he lost once and won once. However, he and his date weren't able to enjoy their prize — a trip to Guatemala — because the country "had a civil war the next week." Saget didn't go away emptyhanded when he lost, with Saget revealing he received some Turtle Wax as a consolation prize. 

As Saget explained, appearing on "The Dating Game" carried another big benefit beyond perilous South American vacations and wax to keep his car shiny; he also received "medical coverage for the year," courtesy of those television appearances granting him membership into the AFTRA union and access to its health insurance. 

Full House changed his life — but he almost didn't get the part

Being cast as Danny Tanner in "Full House" wasn't just a job for Bob Saget, but a life-altering event that changed everything. However, as Saget revealed in an interview with Alabama.com, he almost didn't get the part. As Saget explained, one of his previous gigs had been warming up the audience at sitcom "Bosom Buddies," which was produced by the same team behind "Full House." When creating the role of Danny Tanner, they had Saget in mind.

Unfortunately, when "Full House" was being cast, Saget wasn't available, as he was contractually obligated to another TV series — "The Morning Program" on CBS — at the time. Yet fate intervened; The producers of "Full House" were unhappy with the actor they'd cast, John Posey, and decided to reshoot his scenes in the pilot with another actor. "Then I got fired from 'The Morning Program,' and they wanted me still for 'Full House,'" said Saget. "So I took the job, and it meant everything."

While acknowledging how "Full House" placed him on the path to stardom, Saget admitted he'd always felt bad that his success came at the expense of another actor's misfortune. "I always feel bad," Saget told entertainment.ie of Posey, adding, "I never knew him, but I hear he's doing well."

Bob Saget maintained a low-key career as a director

When Bob Saget dropped out of USC film school to focus full-time on comedy, that didn't end his ambitions to be a filmmaker. Following the end of "Full House," Saget launched a new career behind the camera, directing the made-for-TV movies "For Hope" in 1996 and "Jitters" in 1997. Those led to Saget being tapped to direct his first theatrical movie the following year, the 1998 big-screen comedy "Dirty Work." Starring "SNL" alum Norm Macdonald and future "Howard Stern" show sidekick Artie Lange as a shiftless duo to launch a revenge-for-hire business, "Dirty Work" proved to be a flop, bombing with both audiences and critics. 

Saget landed that directing gig, he told Bullz-Eye, because "Norm had seen a couple of things that I'd made and thought I'd be right to direct that movie, as did the producer, Bob Simon, and MGM at the time. Until they went broke," he joked, clarifying, "I had nothing to do with that ... even though I got a note that said I owed them $30 million personally for 'Dirty Work.'"

Subsequent directorial efforts included the TV movie "Becoming Dick" and the films "Farce of the Penguins" (2009) and "Benjamin" (2019). 

His sister's battle with a rare autoimmune disease inspired one of his movies

Bob Saget's directing career was sparked by a family tragedy, the death of his sister, Gay, due to a rare autoimmune disorder called scleroderma that causes skin and connective tissue to tighten. To work through his grief and raise awareness of the disease, Saget produced and directed the 1996 TV movie "For Hope," starring Dana Delany playing a character based on his sister. 

"It is incredibly painful to have a loved one experience a condition like this," Saget said in a candid interview with NIH Medicine Plus Magazine. "My family is still having post-traumatic stress disorder. I don't know how my parents endured."

As Saget recalled, he'd been approached by the founder of the Scleroderma Research Foundation "to host a comedy fundraiser for a disease I knew very little about." Two years later, his sister was diagnosed with that same disease. "I don't think it's a coincidence anymore," Saget told New York's ABC7 while promoting "For Hope." Looking back at the sequence of events, Saget added, "It just happened. It's just supposed to have." 

His comedy stage act wasn't nearly as wholesome as his Full House persona

Fans of Bob Saget who only knew him from his roles on "Full House" and "America's Funniest Home Videos" were likely unaware that his live comedy act was as filthy as his TV appearances were wholesome. That hit home when Saget became one of the comics to appear in the 2005 documentary "The Aristocrats," in which various comedians tell their own versions of one particular joke — widely considered to be the dirtiest, most depraved joke in comedy history. 

Saget continued his quest to break free from the chains of Danny Tanner via his raunchy 2007 HBO special "That Ain't Right," which brought his edgy stage act to television. Speaking with the New York Daily News (via The Seattle Times), Saget admitted he did have "some concerns" that parents who didn't realize how dirty Saget's comedy actually was may inadvertently traumatize their kids by plopping them in front of the TV to "watch the dad from 'Full House.'"

Asked what his act would be like if he performed "without all the expletives," Saget quipped, "It would be 40 seconds long."

Simultaneously starring in two hit TV shows was actually no picnic

At the peak of his television career, Bob Saget starred in two of ABC's most successful TV series, playing Danny Tanner on "Full House" while also hosting the network's wildly popular "America's Funniest Home Videos." While this made him one of TV's biggest stars, the schedule was unrelenting. "I was working 80 hours a week," Saget recalled in a 2006 interview with The Daily Northwestern. "I was going nuts. I felt like I was funny but didn't feel funny on the shows."

However, Saget added, he pushed those thoughts aside, instead focusing on the gratitude he felt by telling himself, "You're lucky, and this is a good job."

At the same time, Saget admitted his clean-cut television persona was so at odds with his edgy standup comedy that he felt the need to tone down his notoriously filthy standup comedy act. "I felt like my voice was tainted because I had to serve that audience. If I cursed, it would have been a big deal in my stand-up back then," he explained. Since he no longer appeared on either of those shows, he added, "Everything I do now is R-rated."

Bob Saget was devoted to his daughters

While Bob Saget's wholesome "Full House" image may not have matched his edgy comedy, there was one key characteristic that he and Danny Tanner shared: Both Saget and his TV character were devoted fathers. 

In a 2009 interview with Parade, Saget was asked how his three daughters (whom he shared with ex-wife Sherri Kramer) would describe him. "I think they'd say I'm respectful and loving and understanding. I worship them," Saget gushed. "The best thing I've done, the highest thing in my whole life is my daughters." Saget expressed similar sentiments in a 2016 chat with People. "They are the light of my life," said Saget of his offspring, noting that he was "fortunate" that all three of his daughters are "exceptional" people, very wonderful and very brilliant ..."

Meanwhile, Saget told People that he also maintained a fatherly relationship with his TV daughters, "Full House" stars Candace Cameron Bure (who played D.J.), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie), and twins Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen (Michelle). "It's not just people who come into your life because you did some show together," he explained, characterizing the Olsens as "family."

He set the record straight about a strange mid-air run-in with Boy Meets World's Danielle Fishel

Bob Saget wasn't known as one of those stars to feud with other celebrities — until, that is, the time he found himself at odds with Danielle Fishel, star of ABC sitcom "Boy Meets World." 

It all started with an interview that Fishel gave to Maxim. As she recalled, via the Los Angeles Times, ABC was flying the stars of its "TGIF" Friday-night sitcom lineup to Disney World in Florida, with Fishel accompanied by her parents and brother. "We had these four seats facing each other with curtains, so we had our own little private family area ... all of a sudden Bob Saget walks down the aisle, rips open our curtain, and shouts, 'Do you guys have any coke?!' Then he looks my dad in the eye, laughs, and closes the curtain."

Saget responded, as reported by HuffPost, by admitting his joke did include a "drug reference," while insisting his intent was "satiric." She noted, "The joke was that her parents should protect this kid who was starring in a television show." Fishel subsequently confirmed she had no beef with Saget, calling out the Maxim interviewer by tweeting that her quote didn't include "what I said at the end, 'we knew he was joking. It was funny.'"

Bob Saget also starred on Broadway

To say that Bob Saget had a diverse and multi-faceted career is beyond understatement. In addition to acting and directing, in both film and television, and performing standup comedy live onstage, he also appeared in two Broadway plays. In 2007, noted Theatermania, Saget made his Broadway debut by taking over the role of "Man in Chair" in the musical "The Drowsy Chaperone." Commenting on his role, Saget confessed, "I'm not a big singer in this show. I'm not a big dancer in this show — thank God!" He also described the experience of appearing in Broadway as "a dream ... a silly, wonderful dream. There's nothing that compares to it."

Nearly than a decade later, Saget returned to the Great White Way, once again as a replacement, in the comedy "Hand to God." As Variety reported in 2015, Saget played Pastor Greg in the production, about "a young man whose foul-mouthed hand puppet wreaks havoc on his life at home and at church." 

Performing in eight shows a week with "Hand to God," admitted Saget in an interview, was a unique experience. "You're tired all the time," he mused, "and yet once you get there, you can't wait to do it."

He had a very specific pre-show ritual

Getting laughs onstage was something that Bob Saget took seriously. As he told the Argus Leader, over time he'd developed a pre-performance ritual intended to provide him with the focus he required to deliver the best possible show. 

For the half-hour prior to taking the stage, Saget explained, he required absolute solitude, something he said he'd picked up from performing on Broadway. "That half-hour is a sacred hour; everyone focuses," he said. "The whole idea is to have kind of a meditated attitude before the show ... as a comedian, you pace around and you look up your material and you try to remember it all." Knowing the material inside and out, he explained, was crucial order to successfully improvise; if he could "drill the material into yourself before you go on," he'd then be able to have a landing place after taking off on improvisational riffs off the top of his head.

About five or 10 minutes before showtime, Saget said, he would put his notes away "and let it go." At that point, he added, "You just trust."

Bob Saget was beloved by his fellow comedians

One thing that became crystal clear in the hours following Bob Saget's tragic death was just how loved he was by his fellow comics. As numerous A-list comedians paid tribute on social media, a common thread that ran throughout their comments was what a kind, decent and generous guy Saget had been to them. "Saturday Night Live" star Pete Davidson, for example, described Saget as "one of the nicest men on the planet," detailing how Saget helped Davidson "get through some rough mental health stuff."

Comedian Howie Mandel wrote on Instagram, "I truly loved this man," adding, "I don't know anyone with a bigger heart." Taking to Twitter, Chelsea Handler wrote that Saget was "the kindest, warmest male comic there was ... He was the guy that everyone loved."

Similar sentiments were also expressed by Jim Carrey, who praised Saget's "big, big heart" and "wonderfully warped comic mind," and Jim Gaffigan, who tweeted, "What a warm kind man we lost." Veteran comic Richard Lewis also paid homage, opining, "In often a ruthless business he was historically not just hilarious but more importantly one of the kindest human beings I ever met in my career."

His role on Full House included changing his co-stars' diapers

Playing the father of three young children on "Full House" was not a typical sitcom gig, something that Bob Saget made abundantly clear in his 2014 memoir, "Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian." In an excerpt from the book published in the New York Post, Saget recalled that in addition to learning his lines and delivering punchlines on cue, his role on the show also included changing the occasional diaper of an Olsen twin. 

"Cameras were rolling and one of the young ladies had made a poop, which had to be removed or we would have been holding a child with a smashed-poo-filled diaper for a long scene," Saget wrote of Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, who were just nine months old when they were cast in the shared role of Michelle Tanner.

In addition to the lingering smell of an unchanged diaper under hot TV-studio lighting, Saget was also concerned for his infant co-stars' delicate derrieres. "I didn't want the poo to cause a rash and soil my television child's butt," he wrote, "so I decided to take the time to remove the aforementioned substance from the diaper, so that my television baby was poo-free."

Bob Saget displayed his singing abilities on The Masked Singer

Of the many roles that Bob Saget played over the years, one that few of his fans saw coming was when he hid beneath a costume to portray the Squiggly Monster on the 2020 season of bonkers Fox TV singing competition "The Masked Singer." Truth be told, Saget didn't do that great a job concealing his identity, given that three of the show's four "celebrity detectives" correctly guessed it was Saget crooning beneath the mask prior to the Squiggly Monster's unmasking.

After the episode aired, Saget spoke about the experience with Entertainment Weekly. Admitting his "voice is a little recognizable," Saget also confessed that "Full House" co-star Candace Cameron Bure had figured it out the first time he stepped on "The Masked Singer" stage (although, he added, he was forced to deny it because he'd "signed a legal document"). 

Singing and dancing while wearing a ridiculous costume may not be the most dignified way to appear on television, but Saget had no problem with looking silly. "It was really funny, and I'm glad people will have a good laugh at it," he said. "We need distractions right now as much as we can."