To at least two generations, Bob Saget is best known for his role as Danny Tanner, the patriarch in “Full House,” but since the show ended, he’s also made a name for himself as a filthy stand-up comic. The 57-year-old divorced father of three spoke to FOX411 about his tragic family history, the Olsen twins and his new book “Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.”
FOX411: Your family suffered a string of unspeakable losses.
Bob Saget: I guess that's one of the one things that made me want to write the book, as a dedication to the people that went before. It's very, very strange because it doesn't happen that often.
My father had four brothers. He lost three brothers, all of heart attacks, 37, 40 and 42. Two years exactly to the day I was born my parents had full term twins, Robert and Faith, and the hospital had dysentery that they didn't tell the other patients about, so about seven babies died in the hospital. My mother also nearly died giving birth to them because it was a difficult delivery. My sister Andi, she had a tough life. She died of a brain aneurysm at 34, and my sister Gay, who died at 47 of scleroderma, which is hardening of the skin. It's a battle I continue to fight. I'm on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation.
FOX411: Your parents buried four out of their five children. It's so awful.
Saget: I lost my mother last month. She didn't want us to be sad. She said, “There's nothing to be sad about.” She got to live a full life. She also told us that not a day went by where she didn't think about any of my siblings.
FOX411: Clearly your sense of humor is a response to all of these losses?
Saget: Yeah, I really do. I had enough therapy to know when I broke it down, it became clearer to me: Yes, comedy was kind of a cleansing thing for me to do.
FOX411: You got fired as a co-host from the CBS morning show. Did you think your life was over?
Saget: Yes, I always thought my life was over with any job. It didn't matter what it was. I thought, “I'm never going to work again.” I got there one day and my co-host chair was missing. I ended up sitting on the steps off-camera, sometimes they'd let me come on on-camera to introduce a comedian or I'd be sitting on the steps saying, “It's 15 minutes after the hour.” I'd basically turned into what Siri could do for you and then it was only a couple of weeks of that obviously because I was manic depressed in front of an audience and you can't have a 27-year-old guy wishing his life was over on TV.
FOX411: You have to laugh in the face of awful things happening, otherwise you break down.
Saget: I find that humor admirable or maybe it's not. Maybe it's my coward's way of dealing with it. You are there to either save the person you love or bury the person you love so the humor is going on either way. I don't know if I was in a war in a trench and someone's head got blown off if I'd be making jokes at that moment...I probably would. There's something wrong with me in that regard.
FOX411: So being on “Full House” must have seemed like God's cosmic joke to you, a filthy comedian getting cast on a show like that.
Saget: It was effortless. It was just another gear.
FOX411: Ever get tired of Danny Tanner?
Saget: No, I love him. If he's out there and existing he's the safest, most innocuous person that could possibly exist. He wouldn't hurt anybody. You could have your kids over at his house. You're not going to have to read about him, there's nothing sketchy about him at all. The reason I wanted to play him in the first place was I had no job and the other reason is because he's a good man and I was drawn towards that.
FOX411: You are very protective of all the kids especially the Olsen twins.
Saget: It really bothered me when they got bashed on the roasts. They were 9 months old when they started. No one at 9 months old goes, “I want to be a child actor,” and maybe if they'd started their careers at 4 or 9 they might have said, “No, we don't want to do this.” It was very unusual and will probably never happen again, when someone starts acting when they're born basically.
I am protective of them. They have a really good family. Their family loves them a lot. When you see a lot of other circumstances of kid performers and how it turns south, it really is from lack of love or misunderstanding and thinking that the whole circus is more important than their lives.
FOX411: You got divorced at 42, started going to bars and [drinking and] driving.
Saget: It was an incredibly stupid thing to do. It was pathetic. It happened not a lot of times but one time is enough to hurt someone. My fear of writing it is knowing I would one day have this conversation with [the media] because it was a dumbass thing to do. There was one time I blacked out. Lucky no one was on the road. Lucky I didn't kill my friend who was asleep in the car with me, and lucky I didn't kill myself.
Now I've literally become neighborhood watch. I call 911 on people. I'm the old man driving 25-miles-per-hour down Sunset. I'm a converted person as far as [driving] under the influence. On my birthday last year my friends took me, and I said I can't drive home. The valet drove me home then he robbed me and tried to sleep with me. He's here now, we've been living together.