Saget on rib­ald com­edy’s place amid mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions

Times Colonist - - Arts - VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN

TORONTO — There’s a bit in Bob Saget’s new com­edy special Zero to Sixty that he says he’d likely change if given the chance.

In the special — which was taped May 2 and be­came avail­able Tues­day on plat­forms in­clud­ing Ama­zon, iTunes and Google Play — Saget refers to the sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against co­me­dian Bill Cosby and how he said he couldn’t iden­tify his ac­cusers be­cause he was legally blind. Saget then acts out how he would iden­tify the women if he were blind, us­ing his hands.

“Be­cause of what’s hap­pened since then, I think I would have han­dled it dif­fer­ently than I did when I shot the special,” Saget, 61, said in a re­cent phone in­ter­view.

“I’m also telling sto­ries ear­lier that are not con­don­ing this be­hav­iour, so it’s very clear that I’m not a man that would ever do any­thing like that to a woman or to any­one — to live­stock.

“I just wanted to add that in for no rea­son,” he added with a laugh. “I would never med­i­cate a goat to have my way with it.”

Speak­ing from his car in Los An­ge­les, Saget con­tin­ued on a tan­gent that ranged from Cosby and his fall from grace, to the cur­rent con­ver­sa­tions around sex­ual mis­con­duct in Hol­ly­wood, to how he got his start at Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto when he was 22, with a then-17-year-old Jim Car­rey open­ing for him.

It’s the same stream of con­scious­ness nar­ra­tive that de­fines Saget’s standup com­edy, with one topic lead­ing to many oth­ers in the span of a few min­utes.

Bawdy hu­mour is an­other trade­mark of Saget’s act and the Brook­lyn-shot Zero to Sixty has plenty of pro­fan­ity and off-colour jokes — a stark con­trast to the ac­tor’s straight-laced Full House/Fuller House char­ac­ter, Danny Tan­ner.

“I love ab­sur­dist com­edy,” said Saget, who just fin­ished di­rect­ing and star­ring in the dark com­edy film Ben­jamin.

“I don’t do blue for the sake of blue. I do blue be­cause I think it’s funny at that mo­ment, and I guess that’s my line-cross­ing. But peo­ple who see my show go: ‘You weren’t as dirty as I thought you’d be.’ ”

Rib­ald standup com­edy, such as Saget’s, may be strik­ing a new tone for au­di­ences as more and more sto­ries of sex­ual mis­con­duct make head­lines. Asked what kind of im­pact such sto­ries will have on standup com­edy, Saget said it de­pends on the per­former.

“I think some co­me­di­ans will go di­rectly into the belly of the beast, and oth­ers couldn’t give a crap be­cause a shady pro­ducer is not some­thing un­usual, and these acts have gone around for a long time. The good thing about it is they’ve never been ex­posed like this be­fore,” he said.

As for him­self, Saget said he draws a line at com­ment­ing on the cur­rent al­le­ga­tions sur­round­ing fig­ures in­clud­ing Har­vey We­in­stein, who was once his man­ager for a brief pe­riod.

“You’re not in shock when you hear of some­one in power that abuses their priv­i­lege, and you’re not in shock when you hear that peo­ple have done ter­ri­ble things. What you are is, you’re in pain over it and it hurts tremen­dously that so many peo­ple have been hurt by it, so I can’t do hu­mour about it,” said Saget, who re­cently an­nounced his en­gage­ment to food and travel blog­ger Kelly Rizzo.

“Even if you look at my special, I’ll do jokes be­low my waist, but they re­ally are in­nocu­ous, they’re like an 11-year-old that learned a bunch of bad words. My sets have al­ways been like that.”

Bob Saget: “I’ll do jokes be­low my waist, but they re­ally are in­nocu­ous, they’re like an 11-year-old that learned a bunch of bad words.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.