Dave Coulier was 18 when he met Bob Saget at a comedy club. “I had been a standup comic for two weeks. I still had braces on my teeth and long hair,” he tells Closer. “I said, ‘I’m moving out to California.’ And he said, ‘Well, when you come out, here’s my number. Call me.’ So I did. I didn’t have an apartment for a while, and he let me sleep on his couch.”
In 1987, the friends became co-stars on the hit sitcom Full House. “We really cared for each other,” says Dave, who acknowledges that the pain from Bob’s sudden death last January still feels raw. “But I have all these wonderful memories and laughs to remember him by,” says the comedian, 62. “He’s locked in my heart.”
Dave currently stars in Live+Local, a new comedy about a morning radio host, streaming on Pure Flix.
So tell us about your new role on Live+Local.
“I play a radio host named Tommy Murphy. He is a big fish in a small pond, the number one radio host in a very small market on a local think-based radio station. In the first episode, we learned that his contract is going to be up in a few weeks. And so as we peel away the layers, we see that he becomes more vulnerable.”
On Full House, your character Joey dipped into broadcasting. Did that help you prepare for being on Live+Local?
“It did not prepare me at all! This is more along the lines of a real radio show. We have live guests that we Zoom with. They built us a whole radio studio with a fully functioning board, and I have to run the board. That was a big technical challenge for me.”
Who were some of your comedy idols growing up in Michigan?
“George Carlin and — I know it’s not popular to talk about Bill Cosby, but he was an incredible stand-up comedian. I used to love listening to his records, and I listened to George Carlin’s because they were dirty. We would play them as loud as we could in our house, and that made us laugh. If I could convince my parents to stay up late, I used to love watching comedians perform on The Tonight Show.”
You starred on Full House for eight seasons. It always seemed like a very happy set.
“We really had that chemistry from the starting gate. It was just incredible. We just loved each other through all kinds of situations. We’ve gone through marriages and divorces, births and deaths, pickups and cancellations, and then another pickup and another cancellation. We’ve been through so many different things together, and we’ve remained really close. You can’t fake that kind of chemistry. — either you have that or you don’t.”
Obviously, the death of Bob Saget was a horrible shock to everyone. What do you miss most about him?
“He and I had tons of stupid little comedy bits that we would only do with each other. I miss that most about Bob.”
When did you last speak with him?
“I spoke to Bob his last day on the planet. We were texting each other back and forth, making each other crack up. The last thing I said to him was, ‘Hey, have a great show. I love you.'”
That’s so sad but sweet. You also recently lost your brother.
“And my dad. So it’s really been a hat trick of heart punches for me. It’s been tough because I didn’t know how to mourn. I start mourning my brother and then start thinking about Bob and then my dad — it really can just be too much. But you have to give yourself time to process and heal through it.”
Do you have any advice for someone else dealing with loss?
“We all handle death and tragedies in different ways. I think you just have to be kind to yourself and love yourself so that you can understand the loss.”
Do you still keep in touch with Lori Loughlin? She also had a difficult time after her conviction in the college admissions scandal.
“We’re the best of friends. I feel so bad for what’s happened in her life. We all make mistakes, and she’s paid for those. All I can do is just be a strong supporter of our friendship.”
You’ve been very open about giving up alcohol in 2020. What made you embrace sobriety?
“I always equated alcohol with a good time. Drinking meant having fun. I had to really take a good look at myself to see how alcohol was affecting my relationships, my work and my creativity. I realized it was really affecting my life in a negative way. It took me about a year to get sober. I really had to think about a lot of things because I thought, ‘Oh, am I still going to be the funny guy?’ I had to really come to grips that it wasn’t going to affect that. I needed to cleanse my life, which ended up just cleansing my entire soul.”
Did you discover anything new about yourself?
“That I can get up really early!”
Has your wife been supportive?
“She has walked hand-in-hand with me the entire time. In fact, she and I used to enjoy a bottle of wine every night, and now she just has stopped because she’s honoring where I’m at. She’s cut back to barely anything at all. She’s been my biggest supporter.”
Do you have any big goals for the near future?
“My wife and I bought a piece of property in Michigan, and we’re building a house. We had a big hand in designing it, and then I thought, ‘Well, I’d really like to build it.’ So, I went to contractors school. It doesn’t mean I know how to build a house, but we start next week, so I’m excited and terrified at the same time.”
Why do you think that laughter and comedy are important in troubled times?
“Comedy is a relief valve for all of us. I think the entire world, in general, should start laughing a lot more because we’ve gotten to a very dark place. Without humor, we’re all missing out on so much joy.”