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A stand-up guy, Bob Saget psyched for return to his ‘true calling’

By Selena Fragassi | For the Sun-Times

“Everywhere you look,” Bob Saget is there.

The actor/comedian wrapped up his latest stint on Broadway January 3, playing Pastor Greg in the Tony-nominated production “Hand to God.” But he’s wasted no time settling in the weeks since, appearing on the cover of “People” magazine to promote Netflix’s upcoming “Fuller House” reboot, guest-starring on pal John Stamos’ FOX sitcom “Grandfathered,” and now embarking on a new standup tour.

“You’re going to get me in rare form, like a kid who should be on Ritalin,” Saget promises of the January 17 date at Thalia Hall. After months playing a man of god and reprising the role of the morbidly square Danny Tanner, the notoriously foul-mouthed comedian is anxious to get back to his true calling. Which, for anyone who has seen his appearances in “The Aristocrats” or read his 2014 best-selling autobiography “Dirty Daddy,” knows is stringing together four-letter words and quips about genitalia.

BOB SAGET

When: 8 p.m. January 17

Where: Thalia Hall, 1807 S. Allport

Tickets: $39-85

Info: (312) 526-3851; ticketweb.com

“My [comedy] that people perceive as dirty or foul or filthy, it’s really just silly,” he says of the responses he’s had to the risque routine he’s perfected over the last 40 years, which began when the then pre-med dropout won a Philadelphia radio contest for a song about bondage. “Actually it used to be worse. Twenty five years ago, while doing ‘Full House’ and ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ I was stomping my feet saying, ‘Hey c’mon I’m not that clean-cut guy,’ but now I just do it because I love the art form and being able to be funny.”

Saget hasn’t had a comedy special since “That’s What I’m Talkin’ About” aired on Showtime in 2013 and will be using the tour to finesse new material for its follow-up that he hopes to piece together in the coming months. After writing all new bits, topics of conversation will be familiar, largely commentary on relationships with his kids — and women. “I’m super single so I use standup as my Tinder.” But there are also themes of lost connections, he says. “It’s not a philosophical show by any means but I’m dealing with losing my mom. There’s a long section on her threatening to reincarnate.”

Bob Saget (center) and the reunited cast of “Fuller House.” NETFLIX
Bob Saget (center) and the reunited cast of “Fuller House.” NETFLIX

Don’t be fooled. For as much as Saget tried early on to distance himself from the family guy image, it’s also been a large part of his own story. He actually is a single dad to three (albeit grown) daughters and has dedicated a large part of his career to annual benefits for the Scleroderma Research Foundation after his sister Gay died of the disease in 1994. “My family is everything,” he says, admitting that at 59-years-old he’s not exactly the “Entourage” guy you saw on the HBO show over the years. “Though I can still dress in all black and act like it.”

It’s also why he had “no hesitation” in re-banding with the “Full House” cast for a few episodes of the modern-day iteration, which this time focuses on eldest daughter DJ (Candace Cameron-Bure) who is widowed with three boys and takes up residence in the familiar San Francisco house.

“It was the easiest decision in the world; there’s nothing but love and excitement about it,” he says of the sentiment shared by the cast.

Saget has remained incredibly close with all of them over the years — as we speak they are engaged in a group text message swapping pictures.

“There’s a piece of magic that hit with the casting years ago, and as a result we all got to have friends for life. Every single person on that show has been there for me in a different way,” he says, dispelling any of the manufactured drama that appeared in the unauthorized Lifetime biopic a few months back. “I don’t actually believe it existed,” he chides, conceding that he didn’t watch it. “It’s not who I am or what I am.”

Who he is, Saget says even he is still discovering.

“I feel like I have yet to do my greatest accomplishment,” he admits. But no doubt whatever it is, whenever it happens, it will make people laugh. “No matter what I’m going to do in my life I can’t imagine not doing [comedy] in some form.”

Selena Fragassi is a local freelance writer.