In the last five months since Bob’s sudden death, I’ve been blessed to work with his family and best friends on a fitting tribute and goodbye. I adored Bob.
I was close with Bob for so long. Knew him so well. I knew and loved his whole family. Spent so much of my life with him. In the forty years since we met, we were never not close. Even when I didn’t talk to him a lot, in a few very rare spells, we were always in contact, he was at my house for every major occasion and we phoned too much, texted way too much, and had far too many cigars together.
Bob and Sherri Saget, my Pontiac Fiero, and myself. In a galaxy far far away.
His death walloped me in a way that other recent passings hadn’t. It could be that three weeks before, my wife, Diane, and I had lost our nephew, Sean, also suddenly.
I was cut up as could be after Sean’s passing. Gutted. He was like a son to me since his mother had passed almost 33 years ago. The weekend Bob left was supposed to be an outing for me to snap back into life. After an emotional funeral in Tampa and another week or two of living with the inevitable, I went to Chicago with my pal, Jeff Ross to have some laughs and giggles watching one of my favorite Stand-up shows, the comedy team-up he does with the amazing Dave Attel, BUMPING MICS.
(Bob by the way has a great cameo in the special.) I did have a joyful weekend in Chicago with Jeff and Dave Attel and in fact, did a lot of laughing. (How could you not with those two?) We tried to Facetime Bob on the trip, we were talking about him so much, telling funny stories. I tried to Facetime him on Sat from the Admirals Club so Jeff and I could give him our usual round of shit. Instead, I teased him on Twitter. He had posted a tweet pushing people to go see his Jacksonville show. (HIs final one. That was sold out, BTW.)
Just to give you an idea how we joked, always, here’s what I tweeted in response.
This is the text I got from him a little later, and the exchange between us. He started by thanking me, then went into….
What’s important to know, is right in between the ‘asshole Jew’ tweet and the last two, as soon as he shot it off, Bob dialed me up to make sure he didn’t hurt my feelings. That was Bob. He so desperatley never wanted to hurt anyone in any way.
I said, ‘Bob, I knew you were joking, I’m also sadly used to you not being funny.’
He teased me back and we talked for a bit. He was excited about so much. Glad to be finally healthy after the Covid, so in love with his wife and his daughters and his comedy and his friends. We had a nice talk and hung up telling each other we loved one another, as we always did for over four decades.
I shot him back one quick text. I’m not sure why. We had just spoken.
MIKE “I love you.’
BIOB ‘I love you too my brother.’
His show in Jacksonville went off like a childhood dream. He met his tragic ending late that night.
Jeff called me Sunday at 3 pm, and I truly thought he was joking. Playing with me. It couldn’t have been real. It was though. I was mortified. I called my little brother, Dave Coulier, and he hadn’t heard. Stamos was on the other line right as I called. I told Dave to take John’s call. Told him what had happened. I could actually feel Dave lose all the color in his face over the phone. I was torn apart for him. Bob was his older brother. We all were bound so tight over so many years, but Bob and Dave were beyond that. They were Mutt and Jeff. Dave loved him so, so, much. It was all so unbelievable. Jeff and I, John Mayer and Jodie Sweetin, Lori Laughlin, and a few others spent the whole night at Bob’s house with Kelly. No one was really sure what to say, or not say to say to her. We just tried not to make it any worse.
We all cloistered with her during that bewildering week as Bob’s girls and Kelly’s family and Dave came into town and plans were made for his funeral. After the funeral, a surreal event, at the same place we had said goodbye to Ben and Dolly, Bob’s mom and dad, his sister, Brad Grey, and so many others, we had a somber memorial for Bob with his close friends at his great pal Jeff Frankin’s, the creator of Full House’s; house. (?) The next night we all went to the Comedy Store for an impromptu show in the tiny upstairs belly room that Jeff Ross and Dave Chapelle and John Mayer put on. It was warm, funny, and real. Musically and comedically raw.
I knew that night we would also have to do something in the main room. Something open to Bob’s fans and larger family and friends circle. John Stamos and I started planning it once we got an okay and date from Peter Shore, Mitzi’s son who owns and runs the club. I began calling and emailing anyone I could think of. Anyone I knew that loved Bob, knew Bob or maybe even once said hi to Bob . A small group of comics never even got back to me, but the larger group did and said they would. A lot then said they would come, and for some reason, didn’t. That’s life. It’s hard to go to these things. I know. I hate them. This was different.
As we got close to the show, I decided to film it. Mostly for the Saget’s, mostly for myself. We filmed Mitzi’s and a few other memorials. (A Comedy Store tradition.) This one I spent a lot of money and energy on. I wanted it to be good. For what, I didn’t know. We didn’t have a plan for it, and worse, Jeff and John were worried that no performers would show up and that we didn’t have a line-up. We had rented all kinds of stage furniture and dressed the room and other than Jeff, John, John Mayer, and myself we had no idea who was going to be there. Jackson Browne who is one of my good friends for almost thirty years said he would come, then called me two days later and had to cancel.
Jeff was really getting nervous. He’s Jewish. And he’s Jeff Ross. He loves his friends so much, he was dizzy in grief. He needed something to worry about to take his mind off it all. I had to give he and John a ‘Field of Dreams’ speech. ‘Don’t worry. It’s in God’s hands. Plus Bob’s up there with him now, and I’m sure Bob is driving him nuts. The perfect lineup will appear. We built it. They’ll come.’‘ They weren’t all that impressed with the speech.
As we built the set and did a camera run-through on Sunday, with still no idea of a line-up, Jackson called again. Things had changed. He was now able to come. He wouldn’t be able to rehearse, with John Mayer or Darren Criss or John Stamos and the band, but he’d be there.
When the audience rolled into the sold-out Scleroderma benefit, we still had no idea how it was going to go. Then they came. Right out of the corn field. Jim Carrey showed up. Chris Rock ambled in, Paul Rodriguez, Byron Allen, and Michael Keaton sent a video. Mike Young, Bob’s opening act showed up. Seth Green. The show was perfect. It was an airtight blend of comedy and pathos. Music, madness, and emotion. It really couldn’t have been better. From Jim Carrey and Chris Rock and Jeff Ross’s comedy jamming riffs over the band’s music to the clips John Stamos had put together, and the songs that Jackson and John Mayer did, including a version of ‘These Days’ that they did on the fly.
It was all Bob working his magic from on high.
My son, Burt, the producer Ricky Cruz, and I started editing it right away. The next day. We knew it was special. Too special. I had never seen anything quite like it. I called Ted Sarandos and Robbie Praw at Netflix and asked them to look at ten minutes of it. I wanted to make a special out of it, and give all the money to the Saget family to use as they thought Bob would like.
Robbie texted me two days later. ‘It’s remarkable.’ Netflix came through. I told Ted we needed an angel. We got three. Ted, Robbie, and JoAnne Grigioni. All three of them made it happen.
It was a long exhausting few months finishing it in time for the Netflix is a Joke festival where we would show it on the closing night at the final party at The Comedy Store. It wasn’t even done when we screened it to a half-full house on a Sunday at 7 pm on Mother’s Day in a town that had just been inundated with an over-dose of Stand-up in the wake of this mind-blowing festival. I was told though, by the time it was twenty minutes the room was full. I wouldn’t know. I had waited outside before the show, went in through the back, introduced the film, then bolted from the stage towards home, diving into my bed. I was sick as a dog. I found out later I had Covid. It was going around. Half the festival attendees it seemed had gotten it.
I called it the ‘Netflix-Password variant.’ You’re sick for three days, but you can give it to as many of your relatives as you want.
Anyway, this was a tough one, as I said. Spending hours and hours in an editing room looking at shots of Bob. Thinking about all the years. How much has happened since we all started out in this world of Stand-up, so many years ago. How close we all were in the early days. Not really believing it was true that he and so many others are gone now. And as Jim Carrey said, wondering who is next.
Please watch and. enjoy, ‘Dirty Daddy- the Bob Saget tribute up on Netflix now, and tell a friend… that you love them.