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Good Advice: Embrace Your Haters

Date:10-05-2013 06:50:06 read:3
Category:Life Style-->Entertainment

 

Photo courtesy of Showtime
Marxists believed that religion is the opiate of the masses—a powerful painkiller and a relief from the punishment of daily life. Comedian Bob Saget gets that, though instead of offering sermons from the mount, the ex-Full House star is more inclined to hurl a barrage of salty punchlines from behind a microphone, providing his fanbase a profanity-filled release from the day-to-day grind.

 

Now, you’ll get a chance for the same best medicine Friday night at 10 ET, when Showtime broadcasts Saget’s stand-up special, That’s What I’m Talkin’ About. But first, Saget, 57, shares his tips for embracing your critics, solving world problems with dick jokes, and using comedy to get girls.

Men’s Health: Your comedy almost seems like the perfect response to the world we live in today. It’s edgy, filthy, and absurdist.

Bob Saget: That’s what I was thinking. I’m just silly, you know, and the world’s so painful. I’ve realized the more pain I go through, the more I go to a place in my comedy that’s not necessarily dirty, but just hoping to shake people up and get them to forget about everything for a minute. To sort of kill the pain. That’s why I tell 200 dick jokes. It’s a public service. [Laughs] I’m giving people solace. For the record, dick jokes are not what’s wrong with the world.

MH: Some people regard you simultaneously as the best and worst comedian in the world. Thoughts?

Saget: I don’t subscribe to the negative stuff anymore, but I’m interested in it. I can’t control what somebody says on their blog or in some Yahoo chat room. I think all of us are loved and not loved, to some extent. Frankly, I think if you sit and watch me, there’s no way you can’t like me. I’m a really good person, and I think it comes through somehow. That’s my epitaph: He was a really good person. I’ve got three kids and they’re amazing, I look up to them, and I’ve done some work that has entertained people. So the way I look at that: at least “the best comedian” comes first.

MH: See, I look at that assessment and think it’s kind of perfect for a comic. Maybe you’d like everybody to love you, but at least people are having strong reactions.

Saget: You’re right. I could never be taken in the middle. That sounds dirty. In fact, I prefer to be taken in the middle; let’s set the record straight. And that’s what Men’s Health is all about: being taken in the middle. You’ve gotta work on your core, man. Crunches. Just do crunches. And to answer your question, I have a Pilates machine.

MH: Is it tough to take criticism?

Saget: When I was in film school forever ago, I did a movie when I was 21 that won a student Academy Award. I thought I was the Michael Jordan of student filmmaking. I thought I was really brilliant. I was out of my mind, as most young people who have any fortune are. Where ego intersects opportunity, things do not go well usually. But I had this really smart teacher, and he told me, “Go make another film.” So I did, and I was presumptuous enough to call it The Filmmaker’s Film. It was 30 minutes long in color, 16 millimeters, a big deal. And my teacher gave me a B-minus and said, “Something’s wrong with this.” He shot straight with me. He was right. So as I progressed in my career, I always kind of gave myself the default B-minus. That’s what guided me through the years—not being quite good enough—so that whole “worst comedian in the world” thing is fine by me. No one’s going to be harder on me than I am on myself. And the truth is, I find myself with a lot more love than hate in my world today. And finally, life being what it is, the person who originally made that comment about me being the worst comedian ever has probably, for better or worse, by now found themselves laughing at something I did.

MH: I read somewhere that you used to trade jokes for kisses in grade school. True or false?

Saget: You know, it’s true. I did. I was an in-love, romantic little creature before I hit puberty, and I had this James Bond fixation. I loved women. And I was 4. On playgrounds, I was always trying to get girls to like me—which made no sense, because I had no testosterone. But you tell a joke, you get a kiss. That’s some positive reinforcement. I can’t imagine what joke I told. I wish I could remember it now. I’m pretty sure it’s not the one about the guy f—ing a chicken. My dad told me that joke when I was 9. He was so excited to tell me that joke. That’s good parenting? I don’t think so. “Bob, I’m telling you this about 10 years before I should.” Animal stuff is always good. But I don’t know if it gets you kissed.

MH: You owe a lot of your sense of humor to your father, right?

Saget: Yeah, Showtime did this press release thing, where they blame my father for making me this way. And you know what? It’s true. He did make me this way. And he had no Men’s Health. He had two heart attacks at 40. My father was like this. I’m like this. It’s all about the court jester coming out and trying to get the kingdom to laugh.

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