Me and Bob Saget |

Me and Bob Saget

Barry Smith

For many years, Bob Saget, a man I’ve never met, was a blight on the landscape of my otherwise wonderful existence.It started in 1990, with the launch of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” hosted by Bob Saget. In these early days of Funny Home Videos it was mostly men attempting to teach their kids baseball and accidentally getting hit in the testicles by a wiffle ball bat. Which I personally think is really funny. But I thought Bob Saget was particularly not funny. Really, really not funny. It was only the promise of seeing someone take it in the jewels that allowed me to make it through Bob Saget’s cheesy introduction of each segment.That summer my grandparents came out from Mississippi to visit us in California. They, too, had become fans of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Unfortunately, they had also become fans of Bob Saget. And to make things even worse, they had decided that BOB SAGET AND I WERE EXACTLY ALIKE!It was horrible. I’d walk into the living room, say something witty or clever, and my grandmother and grandfather would look at each other knowingly and smile, then say, “See, he’s just like that video guy.” Sometimes they’d even point.I really held my grandparents in the highest regard, and did my best to honor and respect them as my elders, so it was with the utmost humility that I would remind them that I was not even remotely like that cheeseball Bob Saget, and perhaps they should stop suggesting such before I’m forced to get a kitchen knife.To which they’d point, and smile, and say “See … ?”It was a bad, bad summer. For the past 15 years I couldn’t even look at a picture of Mr. Saget without thinking of that horrible time of my life – that Summer of Saget.This will probably be revealing more than I want to, but one of my many surreal fears is that some really lame (other) person named Barry Smith will suddenly achieve such lasting fame and notoriety that I will spend the rest of my life not being able to tell people what my name is, because they will point and smile in that grandparental way. The Saget incident isn’t quite that, but it was pretty close, and pretty bad.Or so I thought.Last week I saw the film “The Aristocrats.” This film is based around 100 different performers discussing, reminiscing about and eventually telling the same dirty joke. It’s much more than that, though – it’s an exploration into the tradition of comedy, an insightful and hilarious and, in my opinion, genius document of the very essence of the “dirty joke.”And it is absolutely filthy. Filthy, disgusting, beyond X-rated and at times just plain wrong. Man, it’s so good.And in the midst of all that filth, one man distinguishes himself as able to not only hold his own, but to even rise slightly above the impressive field of comedy talent.Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bob Saget!Dirtier than Carlin! Cruder than Andy Dick! More profane than Don Rickles!Yes, we are talking about the same Bob Saget, the one from “Full House!” Bob Saget, who has now gone from punch line to personal hero.I know that elevating someone to “personal hero” based strictly on their ability to tell a really, really dirty joke makes me seem a bit shallow, but that’s only because I am. And thanks to Bob Saget, I’m not ashamed anymore.So, as it turns out, my grandparents were quite accurate when they looked at me and saw Bob Saget. They were seeing the inner Bob, the bold and inventive and fearless Bob, and when they looked deep into this Bob they saw me, and they looked at each other and smiled.And pointed.Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at

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