January 12, 2007

Saget to play Mandel Hall, poop jokes aplenty

After fathering the Olsen twins and introducing video after video of people getting hit in the crotch, most people would rest on their laurels. Not Bob Saget.

Instead, he’s coming to the University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall on Sunday, January 21 where the campus community will get to know an entirely different side of Saget, as part of the Major Activity Board’s (MAB) winter quarter show. MAB, an organization that brings notable entertainment to campus every quarter, has featured some comedic acts in recent years, including Margaret Cho and the late Mitch Hedberg.

Anyone who has seen Saget’s performances in the movies Half Baked and The Aristocrats won’t be surprised to hear that the comedian gives raunchy stand-up performances, but for those only familiar with his work on Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, it may come as a bit of a shock.

From the mid-’80s to mid-’90s, the name Bob Saget became ubiquitous in America, as a result of his star turn as Danny Tanner on the sitcom Full House and as the wholesome host of Funniest Home Videos.

Full House prominently featured Saget as Tanner, the widowed patriarch of a San Francisco family, in a TV show that gave the world, among other things, the Olsen twins and John Stamos. Saget’s character on the show was clean-cut and fatherly, a stark contrast to today’s Bob Saget, who can be seen in internet videos parodying the Backstreet Boys with the song, “Danny Tanner is Not Gay.”

America’s Funniest Home Videos had Saget as the host introducing videos sent in from around the country. Featuring a variety of slapstick humor and visual gags, the videos competed for cash prizes, strung together by Bob Saget’s gentle, mildly ironic commentary.

Lately, he’s been doing a great deal to reverse his popular image. Saget got his start as a “dirty” comedian in the tradition of stand-up comedians like Sam Kinnison. Saget has returned to those roots as of late in work like The Aristocrats. In that film, where Saget delivers a famous joke, the point of which is essentially to be as dirty as possible, he delves into describing various sexual positions, body parts, and fluids. He quips, “Can I get a copy of this? I’d like to send it to the kids from the show Full House.”

Often his current humor alludes to his more wholesome past, playing up the shock value of watching someone most people thought of as a square let loose. In a rap song by Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone, “Rollin’ with Saget,” from Kennedy’s show Blowin’ Up, they have Saget rolling blunts, pulling a gun, and bragging about his genitals. The song is featured on Saget’s official website, which has a picture of him silhouetted, smoking a cigar.

Tickets for the MAB show go on sale at the Reynolds Club starting January 15 and online starting January 10. Student tickets cost $20 and Faculty/Staff tickets are $25.