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Daddy Works at Night. It's a Dirty Job.

Bob Saget is a
Bob Saget is a "hilarious pervert with a heart of gold," says his friend John Stamos. (By Jonathan Alcorn For The Washington Post)

He continues: "They reminded me last night that I used go like this all the time on the set, I'd go" -- here Saget leaps up from the table and imitates a man with a rocket strapped to his back -- "and I can't take off! I was trying to, like I had a jet pack, like from 'The Jetsons,' just trying to fly out of the building."

Away from the Burbank studio, away from "Full House"? Why, Bob?

"I was completely nuts."

Saget presents himself as a trim, tall, baby-faced 51-year-old, wearing jeans, sneakers, spectacles. From a distance, he appears almost normal. He sips nothing stronger than iced tea. Yet even this mild natural stimulant may have been unwise.

John Stamos phones us later. He hasn't seen the HBO special yet but asks if his dear friend Bob includes the bit about them having, ummmm, what? There's not even a euphemism. "About Bob being a real pain the neck?" Stamos suggests.

Anyway. "He is this hilarious pervert," Stamos confirms. "But he's this hilarious pervert with a heart of gold." Stamos describes Saget as "the greatest guy I know." They love each other. Like brothers. "He could have been washed away like a lot of other TV dads," Stamos says of Saget/Tanner. "But he's come back."

Back to shock? There is something about watching Saget perform his adult material for HBO -- after viewing a DVD set of the complete "sunny seventh season" of all "the fun and games, love and laughs," all the "remember-when joy" of "Full House."

"The guy that I played on that show," he says of Danny Tanner -- "where in the hell does a guy like that exist? It's an 18-minute morality play and then it's over, and you gotta get through the beats of a story that you're in for seven minutes. You've gotta resolve a problem. With a kid! None of it's even possible! However, there was a resonance. That show worked. For both shows that I did, they completely worked."

And yet. "I was unappreciated," he says. The TV critics? He shudders. "I got trashed."

But the years have passed. It's time to heal. The HBO special is a part of that. "I wasn't the guy that I am now," Saget says. "I had fear. I had a thing of wanting to be everybody's nice guy. I had a mom and a dad -- it's not hard to do the psychology of a nice young kid that moved a lot. I moved in the middle of ninth grade, moved between 11th and 12th grade, didn't have a lot of friends, really. Used comedy to make friends."

When he was a college student, Saget made a documentary about facial reconstruction. He is proud of it. After attending Temple University, he came to Los Angeles and did stand-up in Hollywood clubs. For a long time, his act included a guitar. "I was only doing guitar work," he says. "It was a prop and music. And water poured out of my guitar. Which means you really can't do that in a room for more than 100 people. I used to audition for producers with my guitar. It was like it 'Broadway Danny Rose.' " He eventually got a walk-on part on sitcom "Bosom Buddies." He was not invited back.

During his formative years as a stand-up, Saget says he hung around Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Don Rickles, Larry David, Robin Williams, Chris Rock, Sam Kinison and Rodney Dangerfield. Saget says, "If you're in the presence of people who are that good, I would go, 'Oh God, what am I doing? How am I going to ever get near any of these guys?' "

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