Bob Saget, an off-beat looking individual who is at once unique and everyman, has dabbled in stand-up comedy, TV and film.
If he’s not being watched every week as one of the stars of TV’s “Full House” sitcom, then he’s the focus of all eyes on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
The 6-foot-4 actor-comedian-emcee is unique partly because he is not the typical white-toothed, immaculately groomed, slick-as-a-whistle TV talk show or game show host looking as if he were sanitized and wrapped in cellophane.
In a brief respite between rehearsals for “Full House” and the pressing demands of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Saget took time out to survey his rocketing career.
“They knew when they hired me for the video show that I wouldn’t stand to become one of the ‘Blooper’ hosts,” he said. “I didn’t even want to be a host. I’d turned down those kinds of jobs before.
“The show is very American. People out there are providing the meat of the program. It’s nothing like ‘Candid Camera.’ I’m really just a comedian guiding viewers through the show.”
Few performers have played a running character in a weekly prime-time series and concurrently hosted an audience-participation show. In one he’s an actor playing a role. In the other he is simply being his somewhat quirky self.
In the beginning, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” was more or less something of a second job. Saget was astonished when it became a top 10 show in the ratings, far out-pacing “Full House.”
Saget realizes many submitted tapes are purposely set up by people with home video cameras hoping to win prizes and make the trip to Los Angeles to appear on camera themselves.
“To be honest, I’m suspicious of all of them. I’m a comedy professional, and some videos look too well-planned to make me laugh. But some people on the show think they’re funny, so we use them.
“The ones with animals knock me out. My favorites are the human relations bits involving children.”
Saget said he tries to pace himself while working in both shows. Because “Full House” is an ensemble sitcom, there are weeks when his character has little to do. At other times he finds himself working more than 14 hours a day.
“I work six days a week all the time,” he said. “The writers for home video come here to my office (on the Columbia Studios lot above the ‘Full House’ sound stage) to work with me during days when I’m light in ‘Full House.’
“I’ll be here as late as 1 a.m. on Monday nights doing the voice-overs.”