“My life has a schizophrenic quality,” says Bob Saget.
Considering he’s the guy behind Danny Tanner, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and the newest game show sensation, “1 vs. 100” — not to mention the ribald comedian whose stand-up comedy routines and wild appearances in “Entourage” and “The Aristocrats” have christened him one of the most salacious contemporary personalities — that does seem fitting.
Yet despite the chaos that would often be associated with such flagrant metamorphoses, Saget transforms from stay-at-home dad to Hugh Hefner in training with as much élan as an 18-wheeler becomes Optimus Prime.
On Tuesday, as part of his promotion for “1 vs. 100” — the new NBC trivia show where one person has to beat out a often-celebrity-laden mob of 100 contestants — Saget fielded questions from college publications around the country. And the butterfly didn’t shy away from a thing. Even his relationship with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
When one girl asked his opinion on “the whole Olsen situation,” he replied with candor.
“They’re friends of mine, so I don’t think of them as Cuba,” Saget said. “I love the both of them. They’re like family.”
If Daddy Tanner could see his precious little Michelle (Michelles?) now! But in the 12 years since Saget ditched playing pop, he’s constantly jumping the border between family friendly and NC-17. From “America’s Funniest Home Videos” to “The Aristocrats” to “1 vs. 100,” Saget is impossible to typecast.
Before there was YouTube, there was “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” which gave Saget the chance to share his juvenile sense of humor with the world. And while he thought that “people getting hit in the crotch over and over and over again was incredibly funny,” he does not believe today’s “Jackass” is a worthy successor.
“I’m against taking a public doodie … unless you’re an astronaut,” he joked. “You should be able to catheterize yourself if you plan on telling someone you love them.”
His bawdy side has also been featured on “Entourage” as the bong-toting next-door neighbor of Vincent Chase, with a perpetual stock of bikini-clad babes slinking around his pool. And, despite his disclaimer that he is a family-oriented guy, “The Aristocrats” — in which dozens of comedians contributed their own renditions of the punchline to an age-old joke involving a dysfunctional family vaudeville act — combined the sexual, the scandalous and the downright sick.
“I’ve always laughed at the unthinkable, as long as it’s clever,” Saget said of his “Aristocrats” cameo. “It’s not a joke for everybody. But I’m fascinated by the joke because it’s about fame. We live in an ‘American Idol’ society, and that family is the worst example of that mentality.”
Maybe this sociological analysis indicates Saget’s maturity. Maybe this sophistication makes raunchy humor allowable. But even Saget wouldn’t give himself that much credit, and his most recent project, “Farce of the Penguins,” a spoof of the Academy Award-winning documentary, is proof.
Watching the Morgan Freeman-narrated “March of the Penguins,” Saget felt as if he were a college-age stoner, lending voices to the aquatic birds and cracking sex jokes. The documentary’s subject matter — thousands of emperor penguins traveling over 100 kilometers to hatch a baby penguin — coupled with Saget’s penchant for perversity gave way to his mockumentary. The result of one year’s worth of editing, film collection and script writing, “Farce of the Penguins” may have benefited most from narrator Samuel L. Jackson.
“He contributed one of the greatest lines to the movie: ‘Weather’s getting as cold as a well digger’s asshole,’ ” Saget said. “I can’t write that brilliance.”
But Saget’s biggest current project is not so dependent on obscenity. As host of “1 vs. 100,” he now entertains a wider — and younger — demographic. But no matter what he’s doing, Saget just wants to entertain. He’s the documentarian with a “nine-year-old sense of humor” and the game-show host infused with the scruples of a stay-at-home dad.
“I’m the same guy, and I love doing all of it,” Saget said. “At times, I just have to change what words I’m allowed to say.”