Welcome to another “Why So Serious?” — a column where we ask stand-up comedians five questions, and don’t expect anything resembling straight answers.
Of course, these days the 54-year-old comic is nearly as well known for his cameos on “Entourage” and in various other TV shows and films as he is his syndicated family fare. His occasionally X-rated comedy act made him one of the most memorable parts of the documentary “The Aristrocrats,” displaying a blue side to the 30-year stand-up veteran most had never seen.
Now Saget is preparing his latest venture, the A&E series “Strange Days,” of which he’s the star and executive producer. The show, which premiers Nov. 30, finds Saget exploring random and bizarre subcultures across the country, including Old Vegas, summer camps and biker gangs.
Last time we talked you described yourself as an “11-year-old that gets to say whatever he wants.” Do you still feel that way, or do you find your sense of humor maturing as you get older?
Actually, it’s funny because on one of the (“Strange Days”) episodes I go camping and these kids are more mature than I am. I think I’ve grown up a couple years since I last talked to you. You chameleon through where you’re at. I’ve always laughed at silly stuff, but I like intelligent stuff and silly stuff. I didn’t see the last “Jackass” movie, but funny is funny, and that’s a skill they have in that thing. It’s basically like when I did the (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) show: people falling down and getting hurt.
What’s one of the worst interviews you’ve ever done?
The ones that are fake are the ones where people don’t listen. And I can’t really pinpoint one. There have been a couple times where people want me to say something tabloid-like, where the first question is, “Is it true…?” But people are just trying to do their jobs so I don’t take offense to it. I actually had one years back with a school newspaper for a college I performed at. I mean, I love performing at colleges because they’re more mature than me. Whoever interviewed me was really nice to me on the phone, but she went to the show and just panned it the next day in the school newspaper. I was like, “So… you kinda planned to hate me while you were talking to me? Nice.” The funny thing is I didn’t disagree with what she said.
How much of your comedic persona do you bring to your “Strange Days” show on A&E?
It’s a comedy-documentary, so I’m calling it a cock-umentary.
That answers that. What something you do on the road to stay sane?
Well, I don’t have the tour bus and I don’t go private jet. I get in and get out and make it about the gig. It’s really simple. I try to get as zen-like as I can. I try to be sober, if I can work out, and usually I just kind of want to chill. I do soundcheck and I pace around with my notes on my iPhone and then I do a show and then call my girlfriend or daughters and go back to the hotel and try to go to bed.
What’s a joke you used to love to tell but now can’t stand?
The first joke I ever told was one my cousins Eddie and Howie told me. I was 9 and it had an expletive in it, so I got excited. And once in awhile I’ll get excited about it because it was the first dirty joke I ever heard. Basically there’s a kid sitting on a bench eating these little brown pellets and this other kid says, “What are ya eating?” And the other kid says, “Smart pills.” So the one kid eats some and says, “This tastes like rabbit shit!” and the other kid says, “Hey, you’re getting smarter already.” It’s two kids eating rabbit shit. Nobody wins in that joke!
Tickets to Bob Saget’s Nov. 4 Boulder Theater concert are $44.
John Wenzel is an executive editor of Reverb and an award-winning A&E reporter for The Denver Post. His book “Mock Stars: Indie Comedy and the Dangerously Funny” was recently published by Speck Press. He also maintains a Twitter feed of completely random song titles and band names.