Bob Saget on Returning to His 'America's Funniest Home Videos' Roots With Edgier 'Videos After Dark'
Long before viral videos, YouTube and Daniel Tosh, there was Bob Saget coming into our living rooms to bring us some goodhearted laughs with America’s Funniest Home Videos. Now, 22 years after he last hosted that series for ABC, the comedian returns to host the similar — but edgier — Videos After Dark for the network.
The new series reunites Saget with AFV creator Vin Di Bona, and it will present a fresh crop of clips that would never make air on the franchise original, geared to a more mature demographic. The 62-year-old Saget likens the tone as being similar to what audiences see on one of his standup tour stops.
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“This has such a familiarity to it,” he said. “The main crux of the whole thing is to entertain people and make them laugh. That is what is needed more than anything else right now in the world.
"We’re not talking about the dirtiest thing in the world. If there is a naked body part or a butt crack is there, it’s blurred. If a baby curses, it’s bleeped. And if anyone flips the bird, there is a bird there. I have these monologues, which I didn’t have back in the day, but I ‘m not the same man I was back in the day.”
The nostalgia is certainly there to some degree, with Saget providing his signature commentary and voiceover work to accompany humorous visuals. The 360-degree set allows more flexibility in shooting and freedom to engage with the audience.
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Saget was very involved in the process, from dialogue to even writing the theme song recorded at Capitol Records in legendary Studio A. There were many 16-hour days needed to film the 14 episodes, but for Saget, who is also an executive producer, it was all worth it.
“The people that watched the show as kids, this is for them,” he said. “For example, one video has some guy who goes to deep-fry a small turkey in the backyard. He fills it with oil. Then he puts it in the oil with a fishing line. He goes to put it in there, and spoiler alert, it explodes.
“There is fire everywhere, and he runs away. Everything is fine. It’s not like we had a news report about it. It’s things like that, but we also have people falling down or a kid saying the f-bomb…It’s all done very carefully. We’ve been very careful. I’m on the innuendo train...We brought in a friend Dave Koz, saxophone extraordinaire, who covers the sound of flatulence. If someone farts, it’s covered up with a saxophone. So, we’re protected.”
Saget got the blessing from ABC's Standards and Practices personnel. In his eyes, it has been a good collaboration between the two sides.
“When they say, ‘No, you can’t say that,’ I say, ‘Fine. We find an alternative.’ I’m not looking for any battles," he said. "What am I going to do? Fight for the injustice of not being able to say butthole. Then you find you can make up your own words, and that there is an alternative to everything.”
In addition to this project, those who have grown up with Saget have also enjoyed his return as wholesome Danny Tanner on Netflix's Fuller House. News recently broke that the Full House spin-off would end after five seasons. The “legacy” recurring cast member predicts an emotional end, tugging at the heartstrings much like its beloved counterpart did.
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“It feels like it’s closure. I committed so much to being Danny Tanner, even though now he is more of a curmudgeon, but you can’t dust forever,” he said.
With familiar faces like Saget expected to pop in throughout the final installments on the streaming service, don’t expect Michelle to walk through the door. The television dad feels Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have moved on in their careers.
“I made clear on day one that they aren’t actresses anymore,” he said. “Mary-Kate has been in a couple of films, but they really are fashionistas and are amazing at that…They make three different lines. They run a business and are happy. That’s all I care about. I love them, and we’re friends.
"I have a very parental feeling about everyone. With Candace [Cameron-Bure], Jodie [Sweeten] and Andrea [Barber], it’s more like we’re buddies. They are just lovely women, so I want the show to last for them.”
Saget doesn’t want his optimistic view getting misconstrued or taken out of context. Just that with the given landscape and with shows jumping networks and platforms, he doesn’t rule anything out.
“I remember with Full House, they offered it to the WB,” Saget said. “John [Stamos] and myself thought, ‘I don’t think so, because the world wasn’t what it is today. It’s a different world. Netflix is obviously one of the jewels on the crown, and they did a lot to make this show work, to get it up and running. Things do run their course, but there is always a possibility.
“When I show up on set now, it’s, ‘Oh here we go. Cover the kids’ ears.' Elias Harger says that every time you curse you have to put a dollar in the curse jar. I turn to Dave [Coulier] and said, ‘Here is $60,000. Shut the f--- up.’ I didn’t say it to Elias. He didn’t hear it. I just like to pay up front.
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"Anything can happen. I would be happy for the girls and kids if someone picked it up, because they just love doing it and want to keep doing it. And the fans want it.”
Get a “First Look” at Videos After Dark on Tuesday, March 12, 10/9c after The Bachelor season finale on ABC, with additional episodes scheduled to air later this year.