Bob Saget will be the first headliner to perform in an Atlantic City casino since the pandemic began last year. And no one seems to be happier about it than Bob Saget.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is the first Atlantic City casino to jump back in the entertainment game – safely, of course – and Saget will kick things off with two socially-distanced shows in the Etess Arena 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, April 17.
Known best as the squeaky-nice-guy Danny Tanner on the classic sitcom “Full House” and its more recent Netflix sequel “Fuller House,” Saget’s comedy is quite different than his TV persona.
The former host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” whose “Entourage” cameos are a things of legend took the time to talk to us about what you can expect when Hard Rock opens its doors to its first headliner in more than a year.
Bob Saget (after hearing “Satisfaction” play in the background): I want to thank you for plahing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction sung by me as the Squiggly Monster on “The Masked Singer.” There iss nothing more humiliating and exciting than when you don’t work for a year because of COVID and they call and say, “Do you want to be on ‘The Masked Singer’ that you said no to four times already and you say, “Where do I sign up?” And what’s funny is that night I didn’t get any satisfaction because I took my head off and I was revealed.
Hard Rock: Is it a compliment if I say you were better than Kaitlyn Jenner?
BS: I am not competitive. I was copeting against myself and I lost that night. Look, the next song I was going to do was “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, and I don’t think a downbeat Johnny Cash song was going to get me to that grand prize anyway.
HR: Bob, one thing you are always kind to do for people is record messages as Danny Tanner for their kids. Do you still do that?
BS: People still ask me all of the time, and these days, I do it a lot for charity. So I am on all of these people’s voicemails saying, “Hi, this is Danny Tanner/Bob Saget …” and leaving some crazy message. But I am touched how this show won’t go away, and part of the reason is that it takes you back to a time when things were a little simpler.
HR: But you didn’t let it go away, doing “Fuller House,” which was a top show for Netflix.
BS: It did really well with the kids market they were trying to capture. They wanted that demographic, and “Fuller House” helped them get it. We ended up getting six years of that show, which is just amazing. They called Lori, me and the rest of the cast – we were the legacy cast – and it was just a great time. People don’t’ know how close we were and still are. I talk to all of them all of the time. We are lucky we had this time together, and we all love each other. Sometimes they even come to my comedy shows and heckle me.
But I can’t wait until Saturday night. This is going to be crazy. It’s one of my first shows back. I did Dave Chappelle’s Comedy Camp in Ohio with Chris Tucker and Louis C.K. and a bunch of people keeping comedy alive, but that was the last time I was out. So I have been waiting for this. It’s going to be like a gladiator coming out.
And it’s going to be a socially-distanced show with people wearing masks and following the casino mandates to be very safe. That’s why we are doing two shows and not one so we can spread people out in the Etess Arena. I am going to do new music .. I just can’t wait to come back. It’s going to be a big deal.
HR: Are you nervous?
BS: The first show is sometimes the best because you just start talking. I have a lot of stories. I always have different jokes that are 21 and up but my comedy is a lot like “South Park” for the most part. Although I don’t go as graphic as people think because the way the world is now and how people take so much out of context like “The Aristocrats.” You can’t do that stuff anymore. I don’t do the stuff I used to. It was a different time when I was performing to 20-year-olds in the audience. I feel badly that stuff is accessible today, but that is just the way it is. You don’t think about it when you are doing it. But times have changed and I have grown a lot and learned a lot. I will say stuff that’s not exactly down the middle of the road. I am not Danny Tanner on stage. I think it takes two minutes to get people ready for your joke and another three minutes to apologize for it.
HR: Yeah, but doesn’t that ruin comedy that comics are now afraid to say things because they might offend people? Part of your success is that splash of cold water in your face because of how different you are from your TV persona talking about sex and cursing or whatever.
BS: It does hurt comedy because you have to worry about who has their phone out and who’s going to post it on the Internet and then everyone taking it out of context. They never hear that set up or the apology or maybe I never even said what they say I said. They misquote you or whatever. It didn’t come out of my mouth ever. And that’s just wrong. It’s hard to find the funny sometimes but doing a show in front of a live audience is a very special thing.
Eveyrone has their own voice, and I get so much out of when people leave a show and come back to me and say, “That’s the most I laughed in a long time,” or “I laughed so hard, it hurt.” Before the pandemic, I was talking about social issues, and it wasn’t meant to be political. It’s like a first date: You don’t talk about religion and politics. At this point in my life, I don’t really talk about sex. I am going to be 65 in May, so it’s more about prostate exams.
HR: Does the pandemic help you write and be creative or does it have the opposite effect?
BS: With me, I am writing stuff down constantly. And I stayed fresh doing a lot of podcasting. I will be on Kevin Hart’s podcast soon. I also just did a movie in the Cayman Islands where we had 16 days of quarantine, and if you left your room, they put you in jail. So I finished the movie and I am going to be joyful to try to make people laugh in a live setting again. I will do a half hour of music – people love when I do music – but these comedy shows at the Hard Rock are really fun for me but I want people to be really happy when they leave. That’ s the most important thing to me. It won’t be a full house – yes, I said full house – and it’s not fun wearing a mask, but it beats the alternative. And Hard Rock is just wonderful how they are making this happen.
WHEN: 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, April 17
WHERE: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City
HOW MUCH: $39, $49, $59