The stunning news of the passing of actor/comedian Bob Saget on Sunday brought a lump to the world’s throat.
Saget, 65, was beloved for his role as a TV father on “Full House” and the acerbic wit he displayed on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” but he had a much more involved career than those two gigs.
You will read and hear many tributes and lots of comments about Saget’s sweet nature and what his legacy means. You may know that he appeared on Full House from 1987 to 1995, but did you know that he had 64 acting credits and more credits as a writer, director and producer since about 1980?
In fact, here’s how Saget’s career arc developed:
1. Buddies to start
Saget’s second acting credit was in a 1981 episode of the sitcom “Bosom Buddies,” in the role of Bob The Comic (typecasting?). What you may not recall is that “Bosom Buddies” had its own link to fame. Its stars were the late TV veteran Peter Scolari (think “The Bob Newhart Show”) and an up-and-coming young actor named Tom Hanks. They played two single men who cross-dressed to qualify for an apartment. Hanks’ career took off from there, too.
2. It wasn’t entirely funny
Although Saget’s acting career was a preponderance of comedy – including voice acting in animated films (“Casper” and “Madagascar,” to name a couple) and a Grammy nomination for best comedy album (2014) – he did have his moments in dramatic roles. He appeared in a couple of versions of “Law & Order,” for several episodes of “The Entourage,” in “The Good Cop” and even appeared in the dark dramedy “Shameless.” One of his last dramatic characters was to play Abraham Lincoln, but, alas, that was in 2019’s “Historical Roasts.” Not exactly the Emancipation Proclamation as it was intended. He even had a brief stint as a musical performer when he appeared as Squiggly Monster on “The Masked Singer” in 2020.
3. The role abides
Single father Danny Tanner on “Full House” was his most enduring and endearing character, of course, but did you know that Saget reprised that character in a few other series? He appeared as Tanner in “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in 2016 (it’s unclear why he was in character for a talk show), “ABC TGIF” in 1991 and “The All New Mickey Mouse Club” in May 1989. That was the show that featured, among others, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, Christina Aguilera and Keri Russell when they were teens. His “Full House” parenting partner John Stamos appeared as Jesse in that episode, too, called “Guest Day.” Overall Saget is credited by IMBD with appearing as himself 193 times in a variety of roles.
4. Second choice
The most well-known reprisal of Danny Tanner was in the “Fuller House,” the spinoff series that ran from 2016 to 2020 on Netflix and starred two “children” from the original series, Jodie Sweetin and Candace Cameron Bure. Tanner popped in for 15 episodes more than 30 years after he was introduced. But that’s especially rich when you consider Saget almost didn’t get the “Full House” gig in the first place. John Posey initially was cast as Tanner and appeared in the pilot episode, which never was aired. Then Saget took over.
5. Enduringly funny
Saget gets writing credits for 198 episodes of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” and he appears on 193 episodes as a host from 1989 to 2019. But did you know there are two others who have appeared more often on that show since it first appeared? Tom Bergeron, Saget’s successor as host, appeared for 293 episodes, from 2001 to 2019, and Jess Harnell has been part of 356 episodes as an announcer.