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Fun and games

Bob Saget left Full House m ore than a decade ago. But he still does standup comedy and television. His latest role: host of NBC's 1 vs. 100 .

Published November 5, 2006


NEW YORK - Bob Saget wasn't sure what to do when production company Endemol USA asked him to host the new NBC game show 1 vs. 100. So he consulted old pal Howie Mandel, who emcees an established Endemol hit, NBC's Deal or No Deal.

"I called Howie, and I said, 'What do you think?' and he said, 'Don't touch me,' " Saget says, quickly adding that he's just joking about the response (a reference to Mandel's widely publicized obsessive-compulsive disorder). "I've known Howie for 25-plus years. We're standups. And his standup (comedy) is not unlike mine in that it is bluish. ... A lot of my comedy is nasty but not hurtful.

"So Howie said, 'It's not going to affect any of that. It's going to help everything. It's a different world than it used to be.' "

Saget at one time was best known for his eight seasons (1987-95) as widowed dad Danny Tanner on ABC's Full House and for hosting America's Funniest Home Videos. But nowadays, when Saget plays college campuses, the kids are more likely to yell out kudos for his Entourage stint as a pot-smoking version of himself, or ask him to reprise his rendition of the world's dirtiest joke from the movie The Aristocrats.

"I've already gone through enough experience now at 50, finally, that I'm going to colleges and selling out thousands of seats. They don't expect me to come out and dust-bust like Danny Tanner. They don't think I'm that guy anymore," Saget says, pausing half a second. "Some people might. And that's okay."

Truth is, Saget's work has long had a split personality. "Even when I did the family shows, I would go off and do my standup," he says. "I did an HBO special 15 years ago that was PG-19, almost R-rated."

On this recent trip to New York, Saget was also filming an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. "I play a computer nerd," he says of the episode, in which Catherine Bell is his dancer-wife and Chris Sarandon is a choreographer friend whose wife dies. "I'm not allowed to talk about it, so I go around telling people that she possibly ate a really bad piece of halibut."

For all we know, Saget may be the murderer. On Entourage and Huff, he played unsavory characters. "They always had me with drugs," Saget says, laughing. "It's funny. Everything I get offered there's something subversive now, which I love."

The game show 1 vs. 100, which originated in the Netherlands, features one contestant facing "the mob" of 100 for a chance to win up to $1-million. Initially, Saget did five shows, but NBC, thrilled with early ratings, ordered another 10. Saget is also developing another show for NBC, still narrates the CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother and performs in large Vegas venues like Caesars Palace.

When on earth does the man sleep?

"I'm a little tired," Saget concedes. "But anyone who complains when the phone's ringing off the hook is a fool, 'cause I know what it's like when my phone doesn't ring."

[Last modified November 5, 2006, 05:27:35]

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