There are very few places on the planet where Dave Coulier doesn’t get recognized. “Full House has never been off the air since 1987 and we’ve aired in over 100 countries. It is also streaming, so it’s hard to get away from,” the actor and stand-up comedian, who played the show’s goofy Joey Gladstone, tells Closer Weekly in an exclusive interview, on newsstands now.

“But I’ve never wanted to get away from Full House. I adore the show and it’s been a love affair with that character.” In fact, the 61-year-old star returned to the role of Uncle Joey in 2016 on Fuller House, a continuation of the original series, which completed its fifth and final season on Netflix in 2019. “They say you can’t go home again, but we got to go back home,” he says.

For the past few months, while Dave’s stand-up comedy tour has been grounded due to COVID-19, he and his wife, photographer Melissa Bring, have been renovating their family home in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Dave has also been working to launch his own family-friendly TV comedy series, Uncle Dave’s Laugh Emporium.

Keep scrolling to see what Dave is up to today!

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It sounds like you’ve been keeping busy during the pandemic!

My wife and I just moved into a home that we remodeled right when COVID hit. So it was actually kind of — I don’t want to say nice — but it was a very convenient time to be locked in a home. We were tearing down walls and ripping out carpeting and doing construction work.

And the new house is in the town where you grew up?

Yeah, we’ve been out of California for almost two years. I’m originally from Michigan and my family is still back here. We’ve been visiting for many summers and then we found this incredible lakefront property.

Has your hometown changed a lot since your childhood?

Everybody I went to school with is much larger! And the guys have less hair! But in a lot of ways, I wanted to come back here because it hasn’t changed a lot. It has a simple tone that doesn’t exist in New York or Los Angeles. It’s very refreshing to get back to a pace that’s nicer.

Was there a moment in your childhood that set you on the path to comedy?

I’d been a hockey player since I was 8 years old and I could always do impressions of the other player or coaches. Sitting in a locker room with an audience of 20 was where I discovered that funny could be a rewarding thing. I also had a partner in crime, Mark Cendrowski. We have been friends since third grade and now he’s a huge television director. He’s directed every episode of The Big Bang Theory.

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You became a stand-up comedian when you were 18. Is it true that you were almost hired for Saturday Night Live?

Yes. I was so excited. Of course, I told everybody in my life that I was going to New York to be on SNL, but then right before I was supposed to go, I got fired! I never even stepped on the stage! It turned out to be a very good thing. If I had gone to New York that season, I would never have gotten the script for Full House. So be careful what you wish for.

It always seemed that the Full House cast got along so well.

We have always been a tight-knit family, off-camera as well as on. I’ve known Bob Saget since I was 18 years old. And John Stamos and I instantly bonded. The week we did the pilot, we made each other laugh so hard. We thought, OK, we’re friends for life.

So you had no hesitation about going back and playing Joey in the reboot Fuller House?

No, it was an incredible experience. It seemed as though no time had passed. All the same silly innuendos and jokes from Full House were brought to Fuller House.

Lori Loughlin, who played Becky, had to leave the show after she was indicted in the college admissions scandal.

Lori is family. I love her dearly and we’ve all been very supportive of her and her husband. It’s very unfortunate the way things played out, but you couldn’t know a more loving, caring or wonderful person than Lori. It all makes me very sad.

On a happier note, did you really introduce Candace Cameron to her husband, Valeri Bure?

I did! Her husband and his brother are both from Russia and they were playing in this charity hockey game with me in Los Angeles. I brought Candace and Lori to the game. She and Val just — it was kind of like in that moment in Lady and the Tramp where they are both going after the same piece of spaghetti. It was quite lovely to watch. They fell instantly for each other. Now they have three kids!

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How about you? How did you and your wife Melissa meet?

We’ve been together 15 years and married for [six]. I met her in Montana on a guys’ trip. We were just out at a bar and I was sitting in a booth. She walked by and I stuck my foot out while telling a story. I accidentally tripped her! She ended up joining us and we just hit it off.

What makes your marriage work?

We laugh a lot. We’ve been through friends getting married or divorced and babies being born and family members dying. Through all those times, we’ve found a way to find the silver lining by laughing.

What is left on your bucket list?

I want to build my next house. I want to be the contractor. I also want to produce more family television. I really feel as though there’s a void for quality programming for families — shows like Full House. I created a show called Uncle Dave’s Laugh Emporium. It’s kind of my version of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. And so I’m with a new company called InventTV. We’re going out and doing pitches with that show.

Do you plan to do more stand-up?

Oh, yeah. I was doing a lot of college dates. I also had a tour of 24 U.S. Air Force bases that was postponed, but we hope to start again in March of 2021.

For more on Dave, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now — and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive news!