In the early 1980s, he was one of the first stars of then-fledgling, now-juggernaut kids’ cable channel Nickelodeon. Coulier helmed the desk on Out of Control, a half-hour fake news show that included tripped-out Monty Python-style animation and kid-approved segments such as “Isn’t It About Time for a Hurry-up?” which sped up tedious chores like homework and haircuts.
Most people know the guy as Joey Gladstone, the wiseacre with a heart (and wavy mullet) of gold on ABC’s long-running sitcom Full House. But he also voiced ´80s cartoons, including Muppet Babies and animated Ghostbusters spin-offs as Bill Murray’s character, Peter Venkman.
The impressionist is in town for a gig June 22-24 at the shiny new Stanford & Son's Comedy Club at Legends in Kansas City, Kansas. I had the infinite pleasure of catching up with one of my childhood heroes for this item in the Pitch Night & Day section. Here’s a full version of the Q&A that readers of the dead tree edition of the Pitch won’t see:
The Pitch: So, Bob Saget ruined childhoods with his send-up of the infamous and disgusting Aristocrats joke. Can we expect that sort of blue material from you?
Dave Coulier: No. Bob and I are great friends. We were friends long before Full House, and Bob was always very R-rated. Then he went on to be the dad on Full House -- which is a very family-oriented, G-rated sitcom -- and he hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos, which is also very much family fare.
After Bob got notoriety from those two series, he would go back to doing what he was always doing. People didn’t respond favorably, but I give him a lot of credit because he stuck to who he is. I think he ruined a lot of childhoods because he is the “Full House dad,” but Bob has always been beyond sick.
I always tell people Bob is my filthy Jewish sister, and he in turn talks about my body parts in his show. So there’s a yin and yang.
You had the pleasure of watching the Olsen twins grow up. When they were just little munchkins, did it ever occur to you they’d be the multimillionaire fashion icons they are now?
Not just multimillionaire. Billionaire. When Mary-Kate and Ashley started Full House, they were just eight months old and in diapers, but so was I [laughing]. None of us had any idea Full House would become what it has today. It’s on twice a day every day and is syndicated in a hundred different countries. None of us had any idea these 8-month-old girls would become a billion-dollar industry.
I’m so proud of those two girls. I was on the cover of TV Guide with Mary-Kate and Ashley some years ago, and it sits here in my office where I am right now. They maintained friendships they didn’t have to and kept a cool head.
You read about them a lot in the tabloids. We’ve all been in the tabloids from the show. A lot of it is a little bit of truth coated over with sensationalistic verbiage. I play golf with Mary-Kate and Ashley’s dad, and they come from a really great family. They’re smart girls. They run their own company. When we were doing Full House, we were all making a ton of money and they just wanted to ride their bikes, you know?
You’ve been on reality shows like the Surreal Life and Skating with the Stars. You seem to be a pretty normal guy with no hardcore demons, so how disturbingly beautiful was it to watch Flava Flav and Brigitte Nielsen fall in love?
I don’t believe they really fell in love. I think they were lusting after each other. It was a very strange environment for me to be immersed in. I didn’t know who I was going to be in the house with. We were there for 13 days, which was about 12 days too many for me.
I got along with Flav the best out of everybody in the house. He really has a lot of heart and is a deep thinker, believe it or not. He’s a very outspoken guy, but he’s also very introspective. I really have an affection for Flav.
Brigitte, on the other hand, would walk around naked all hours of the day. She’s a very imposing woman. She looked like a telephone pole with big pumpkins on it.
You are a master of impressions, aping everybody from Popeye to Peter Venkman. But who would win in a sound-effects-off, you or Michael Winslow from the Police Academy movies?
Oh, he would beat me in sound effects, no question. He’s a master at that. I don’t even know how he does that stuff.
Thanks for this pop-culture nostalgia trip, but I’m sure you’d like to talk about what you’re up to now, so let’s close with that.
I’m starring in a movie for Nickelodeon called Shredderman. It’s their first big feature-length film in a number of years. I play Shredderman’s dad.
I have an Internet channel called Cleanguys.tv. Basically our mission statement is that there’s a ton of video content sites out there, but if you and your family want to get to the children’s or family section, you’re going to be surfing through a lot of raunchy, questionable material that’s downright wrong for children to see, and a lot of families don’t want to see that stuff. So what we’re doing is scouring the Internet and grabbing all the clean videos and putting them under one roof.
Well, thank you Dave Coulier, it’s been a real treat. Now will you say the thing that you say?
Oh, I can’t imagine what that would be. Do you mean “cut it out”?
Yes! Now say it like you would say it with your hands doing the scissor motion.
Ah, cut it out.
-- Megan Metzger