There’s an episode of Full House, where Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) drove the car into the kitchen and ran out of fear to her Aunt Becky’s (Lori Loughlin’s) house. Meanwhile, the others — Uncle Jessie (John Stamos), DJ (Candace Cameron), and Kimmy (Andrea Barber) — wonder how to tell. Danny (Bob Saget) the truth about his damaged kitchen.
Pretending it’s a surprise to him, the kids lead Danny into the kitchen. He is excited and cheerfully says, “Oh you know how I like surprises!” He enters and sees a broken kitchen. It’s this comical expression of shock, horror that I still remember to this day, as well as how he immediately checks with his daughters to make sure they are all right, before worrying about the state of his unusually spotless kitchen.
There were many reasons why the methodical, disciplined and organized Danny Tanner stands out as an iconic and recognizable TV dad – at times terribly obnoxious, overly protective of his daughters, manic about keeping the house clean, yet a father who loved his children. , unconditionally. Messy, flawed, unnerving but with a soft heart – just very human. A Full House episode ended with “a conversation” with Danny Tanner, accompanied by cheesy music to show the importance of a new life lesson for the kids. You didn’t need to learn anything from it, but you’d still want to know what Danny Tanner had to say. Bob Saget brought his own personality and humor to Danny – he could say the funniest things with a deadpan expression. That sense of humor worked perfectly for the family sitcom. He never exaggerated, or was ridiculously exaggerated, even though the show tried to push him in that direction.
When Bob Saget left for the stage in the sky, he took part of his childhood with him. Bob Saget has immortalized many roles during his lifetime, but it is his presence as Danny Tanner that is special to so many. For most of us, whose parents were quite picky, we watched—we grew up on a Full House diet. The show was about three unhappy fathers dealing with three girls who went through adolescence and adulthood on the show that lasted eight years. It was ironic – the show wasn’t a classic, it wasn’t growing up or deeply wise, nor was it supposed to be. It solved tough problems—perhaps more than it could—solved in twenty minutes, a trademark of most sitcoms. Still, the characters shone through and their dialogues were often quoted years later, giving the show the cult following it has today. And one character was Danny from Bob Saget.
He didn’t mean to dust family-loving Danny Tanner, in fact, he’d tried a whole host of other things before starting the show that defined his career. In an old interview he recalled his curious trajectory. The first thing he did “matter” was a Richard Pryor movie called Critical Condition. “Then I got a PBS TV show called The Morning Program, which was up against Good Morning, America. I did that for about five months and got fired,” he said.
Then he was asked if he wanted to host a show where people were constantly being spanked, so he did America’s Funniest Home Videos for eight years. He worked more than 80 hours a week, on two commercial shows, both family-friendly. He transitioned to stand-up comedy, forever leaving the mantle of Danny Tanner behind, sniffing “dirty” humor, as he proudly put it. His style of comedy evolved and he transitioned effortlessly to another era.
Still, some of us unfamiliar with the stand-up comedy scene wondered where Danny Tanner had gone.
As if to grant our wishes, Bob Saget became another invisible TV father when he became the voice of the “elder” or “future” Ted Mosby, in How I Met Your Mother. To frame the story, Bob Saget was brought in to relate Ted’s experiences to his children and was a storyteller to help move the plot forward. Later, Saget explained that the makers were looking for an older actor, with a recognizable voice. Recalling how he got the part he said, “I was doing a play in New York, a play off Broadway. And I get a call from Pam Fryman, one of the executive producers of How I Met Your Mother. She was also the director. And she’s just one of the best people I know. I knew her from my kids’ school because her daughters are my daughters’ friends. She called and said, ‘Look, we think you’d be right to to be the voice of Josh Radnor.” And I said, ‘Why isn’t he doing it?’, which everyone has been asking ever since. [Laughs] And the reason was that they just wanted him to sound older, and people knew my voice, it was a familiar voice. They also had another man in mind for it, and they went with me.”
This was clearly the right decision, as it separated the narration from the on-screen character, who was played by Josh Radnor.
Even without being present, Bob Saget was able to bring humor, little mystery and sadness into the scene, using just his voice. Since HIMYM belonged to the 2000s and wasn’t entirely aimed at younger kids like Full House, the life lessons Bob Saget laid out were much more in-depth and impressive. He didn’t have much to say either, as there was another cast reenacting the story, but there was always a certain heaviness in his words.
In one of his last interviews, Bob Saget said he just wanted to make people laugh. Well, he always did. Whether as Danny Tanner or just a floating voice.