As some of you may know, I’m not much of an autobiography or memoir reader. My love of reading definitely lies with fiction, although I’ve been trying to branch out lately. Among the new titles I’m trying to include in my reading cycle are… celebrity autobiographies? It sounds so stupid to say aloud, but yeah. I guess that’s what you’d call them.
I don’t know if they’re getting more popular, if it’s a current trend, or I’m just being subjected to too many tweets and Barnes and Noble display stands promoting these types of books, but I’ve been noticing a lot of celebrities releasing books during the past few years. Like I said, I don’t have a lot of interest in autobiographies, but after seeing certain ones all over the place I’m finally giving in and seeing if there’s something in them I can enjoy.
And the first one? Bob Saget’s Dirty Daddy.
Another fun fact about me: I love Full House.
And I honestly have no idea why. It’s not funny, it’s super cheesy, and it reeks of family friendly values that taught my generation that people who smoke, drink, have sex, and swear are bad people.
But… I don’t know! I kind of like it because of all those reasons! It was a kindhearted show that made for relaxing background noise while I fell asleep at night. And… I don’t know! It came on Nick at Nite one year while I was in high school (and by came on I mean completely dominated) and I had it on every night while I did homework, played video games, read, drew, and went to sleep.
And my friends and family made fun of me for it. A lot. As a particularly moody and “dark” teenager, the irony wasn’t lost on me that I loved something as harmless and fuzzy as Full House. And you’ve probably guessed where I’m going with this, but a big reason I loved Full House was because of Danny Tanner.
Again, I’m not sure why. 75% of me believes that I casually said I liked Danny Tanner or defended him when one of my friends made fun of him, and I ended up liking and defending him more as my friends and family hated on him and the show.
But for whatever reason, I ended up loving Danny Tanner. Super clean, super dorky, super lame — again, I have no idea why I love this character or this show, but I’m so thankful the Internet has let me know I’m by no means alone in this boat.
I even remember one day I was at a friend’s house and we were just goofing around on his computer, and I randomly typed “Danny Tanner is God” into a search engine and… well, we were pretty shocked and laughed hysterically as we found someone (that wasn’t me) who had made a shrine to Danny Tanner as the one true lord and savior and actually accepted donations to the “church” of Danny Tanner. Or something like that. I tried doing a search for the website before I started writing this post, but I couldn’t find it. This was back in the days when Angelfire and GeoCities were popular, so I’m guessing this may have been one of those kinds of websites and it’s disappeared into the void since then.
So it may come as to no surprise that I was a little shocked when I first found out Bob Saget, the man that played Danny Tanner, was the complete opposite of his Full House persona. I covered my mouth to hide a smile as I said “oh my” when I saw my first clip from his stand-up. But that was almost ten years ago now, and strangely enough I’ve never seen his stand-up, save for some clips online.
Another fun fact about me: I’m not really into stand-up comedy. Again, I don’t know why. I’ve seen several comedians perform stand-up over the years, some were good, some were bad, but at the end of the day I seem to prefer seeing them act in a show or movie rather than on stage.
So I know Bob Saget strictly through Full House and have never seen a full stand-up show (although I did see his roast on Comedy Central when it aired). I randomly started following him on Twitter a couple of years ago, I guess maybe to see what he’s like nowadays, and I was surprised to find a mixed bag of dirty jokes and surprisingly sweet messages. It was like a combination of what I knew him as and what everyone said he was really like.
Which — finally — brings me to his book, Dirty Daddy. Aside from my curiosity for these new celebrity autobiographies, I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn more about Bob Saget and what exactly he’s all about. And after reading the book, I can say he’s just like his tweets: a mix of dirty jokes and sincere messages. Bob Saget takes you though his life growing up, losing family members (including his two sisters) very frequently, talking about how his father and other comedians influenced him, how he struggled in clubs and comedy shows before being cast in Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, effectively portraying him as a completely different person, and his life afterward. I won’t go too much into it, as I find an autobiography’s purpose is to convey information and there’s not a lot left to enjoy if that’s spoiled.
I will say it was interesting to learn more about the man, although a large part of that probably has to do with my interest in him. I know some people that read autobiographies exclusively. I don’t know if they read everything they can or stick with the people they want to know more about, but I’m going to assume the people that will enjoy this book are the people that enjoy Bob Saget and his humor. His stories are lined with dick jokes, poop jokes, etc., so it helps to know what you’re getting into beforehand.
I’ll admit, I didn’t find a lot of his jokes very funny. I knew he was raunchy, and I knew he uses a lot of immature humor, and I can be fine with that. However, in a written book, his humor doesn’t have the same impact as I would imagine it would during his stand-up. (Actually, I watched my first stand-up show of him right before writing this, and I can safely say he’s much funnier performing on stage than reading his jokes from a book, even if some of them are still in poor taste). From the reviews I’ve read on Goodreads, this seems to be a common problem among other readers, along with the fact that Bob Saget’s kind of all over the place. I’m normally a fan of stream-of-consciousness styles of writing (in fiction, anyway), but he constantly starts a story, cuts away to some jokes, cuts away to another story, and then resumes his first. After about five pages he finally gets to the point. In his defense, he tells us that’s how the book’s going to be very early on, but still, you can tell he’s trying to write like he would speak during stand-up, and it doesn’t translate very well here.
Still, I didn’t hate any of the book. It did its job, it told me more about Bob Saget and included his humor along the way. He seems like a genuinely nice person, someone that struggles with pain and insecurities just like the rest of us (although for all I know, every autobiography says something similar). My favorite parts were about his struggles as a comedian and trying to find a proper place for himself, two things I definitely connect with (only replace comedian with writer). I also naturally enjoyed the chapter on Full House and some of his behind the scenes stories, although there aren’t as many as you might expect. So Full House fans, keep that in mind if you decide to read this book.
I borrowed this from the library, as I’m sure I’ll do for all the future autobiographies I read, and I feel like it’s a fine book to borrow. I’d go for the paperback if you really want to buy it, as I can’t imagine reading it more than once. Although again, I’m not much of an autobiography fan, so that may just be me. The writing’s a little all over the place, so even if you’re a fan of autobiographies this one may not be the most appealing. I haven’t listened to it, but I imagine the audiobook would fit Bob Saget’s narration better, so try that if you can.
Info for my edition of Dirty Daddy:
- Published 2014 by It Books
- Hardcover, 272 pages
- ISBN 978-0-06-227478-6