From 1987 to 1995, Dave Coulier lent his hilarious comedic skills to Full House, one of the biggest sitcoms on television. While he was such a huge part of the show’s success, his portrayal of Joey Gladstone almost did not happen.
The comedian sought new job opportunities in the early ‘80s after doing voice work on the animated TV series Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. When a huge opportunity to join Saturday Night Live came around, he was incredibly excited. The Hollywood funnyman had auditioned for the sketch comedy program before and got the call to come to join the cast in the mid-’80s.
“I told everybody in my life, of course,” Dave said during a July 13 interview on SiriusXM’s “Jim Norton & Sam Roberts.” “All the comics were like, ‘Wow, you’re on SNL?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, can you believe it?'”
The Michigan native was ready to make the big move to New York after learning producer Lorne Michaels wanted him on the program.
“I boxed up everything in my apartment and then 10 days go by, and I don’t hear anything,” he continued. “I’m trying to find an apartment in New York. I’m ready to go. Then I get a call that says, ‘I’ve got some bad news.’ I said, ‘What could be bad — I couldn’t find an apartment?’ He said, ‘No, you’re not going.'”
Another comedy legend was trying to find his place in Hollywood at the time — Dana Carvey. Producers of the show thought Dave and Dana were “too similar.” The Wayne’s World actor ultimately ended up getting the spot on the show over the future sitcom star and made his SNL debut in 1986.
Fortunately for Dave, he got the script for Full House one year later. He ended up portraying Joey, the fun-loving, hilarious uncle of D.J. Tanner, Stephanie Tanner and Michelle Tanner. He went on to reprise the unforgettable role in 2016, joining the Netflix sequel Fuller House. The series aired its last episode in June 2020 after five seasons. Dave is beyond grateful that he got the SNL rejection because it led to the role of a lifetime.
“You’re always kind of shaking something like that off,” he explained. “But had I never gone to New York that year, I never would have been on Full House.”