August 14, 2008
Bob Saget: Clean-cut and filthy (uncensored version) [VIDEOS]
What hides under his nice-and-nasty Jewish boy public image?
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Saget in The Artistocrats (complete)
Then there are off-color jokes about his Ministry of Tourism trip to Israel years ago: He apparently got in trouble with his mother after showing a picture of her on a camel to Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" and remarking that she'd never had anything that sizable between her legs.
Saget is alternately rueful about his profane stand-up (he tries to use the words "poo" and "pee" instead of their expletive counterparts, which in itself is hilarious) and describes himself as "self-loathing," despite his confidence onstage
"I don't have many things in my act you can look at and go, 'Oh, someone else is doing that,'" he said. "How many people are claiming that they do my stuff?" he laughed. "It's a style no one wants."
But when the Chino-area earthquake interrupts the conversation, Saget sits through it with an almost eerie calm.
"Catastrophes calm me down," he said. "The Jew has to be on game; you can't mess up. But God forbid you said no salt in your food, and the waiter gives it to you. It's like, 'I distinctly said no croutons in my salad.' The Jew wants his order correct."
Saget traces his resilience and his particular brand of comedy to his late father, Ben, who had a "gallows sense of humor" shaped by painful events. The elder Saget had to go to work as a youth to support five younger siblings after their father died of cancer. Ben Saget survived all four of his brothers, some of whom died young.
By the time Bob Saget was in his 30s, both of his own siblings
"My dad also loved livestock jokes, because he was in the meat business," Saget said of the origins of his own penchant for such humor. "His delivery was wry, deadpan, with a Cheshire cat grin. He always looked as if he were up to something perverted in his mind."
When Bob Saget was young, humor also proved to be his own survival mechanism. The family relocated several times as Ben Saget set up businesses in various cities.
Bob Saget was born in Philadelphia but also lived in Virgina and in Encino, where he attended Birmingham High for two years. He said he was "the least funny person in the world" from the time of his bar mitzvah until he was in his late teens.
"I was miserable because we moved a lot, and I just was nerdy and overweight and didn't have any friends," he said.
In high school, he made friends by casting them in his own Super-8 films, with titles such as "Hitler on the Roof" and "Beach Blanket Blintzes," which starred "a big blintz who turned people into sour cream. It wasn't a film, it was garbage," he said.
"But the first time I ever did stand-up was when I introduced that movie to an audience in the neighborhood. Then when I was 17, I started going to comedy clubs in New York, to Catch a Rising Star and The Improv, where I'd stand in line for 10 hours to sign the open-mic sheet."