Mike Young first met Bob Saget on the set of “Entourage.” The two comedians immediately hit it off, and Saget offered Young an opening slot on a couple dates…which soon turned into 12 years on the road together. As close friends and collaborators, the duo was set to embark on a 20-city tour starting at the end of January. After Saget’s shocking death on Sunday, Young spoke with Variety to share his favorite memories of Saget, reflecting on the legendary comedian’s impact.
“My biggest takeaway from Bob as a comic was his ability to be open and honest. He would crack his heart open and let the audience know who he really was,” Young tells Variety. “You could really see his sensitivity up there.”
Off stage, Saget was a man who loved people. Young recalls a time when the pair flew in to Omaha, Neb., for a show. Their driver couldn’t see where to pick them up, so she left her car outside and walked into the airport to find the comedians. As she led Saget and Young back outside, they saw the car being loaded onto a tow truck, so Saget sprinted toward the vehicle and convinced the tow truck driver to release the car.
“The lady was so shaken up, so Bob tells her to get in the backseat and relax. Bob takes her keys and drives us to the hotel himself, making sure that she got back to her situation safely,” Young says. “That’s the type of dude he was. He just wanted to take care of everybody.”
Young also remembers directing Saget in his movie “A Stand Up Guy,” in which Saget played an off-kilter country singer who sings darkly comedic songs.
“Bob took it so seriously that he’d call me at 1 a.m., rehearsing the part, like, ‘How does this sound?’” Young says. “He was hilarious and so awesomely fun and neurotic.”
Before he died, Saget was directing a documentary about actor and comedian Martin Mull. According to Young, he also had a handful of other projects on the table. “Bob was nowhere near wanting to retire,” Young says. “He had a lot more to give. I can’t believe I’m talking about him in past tense.”
Young adds that Saget’s ability to straddle the line between America’s dad on “Full House” and raunchy club comic was “special,” and it reflected his own duality.
“As much as he tried to shy away from Danny Tanner in the later years, and would get dark on stage, he was the sweetest dude when it came to his daughters or his wife,” Young says. “He would do anything for them.”
Young notes that Saget’s audience was aged “8 to 80.” In public, he faced mobs of both die-hard comedy fans and little kids: “He brought a lot of people together. Adults would get emotional talking to him, saying things like, ‘I bonded with my daughter over your show.’”
Fellow comedy icons looked up to Saget as a legend who made audiences laugh for four decades. Steve Martin, Ben Stiller, Kathy Griffin, Judd Apatow and many more paid their respects on social media on Sunday night.
“Comedy is such a hardcore art form that there’s no fake love,” Young says. “The highest in the game gave Bob love and respect. Dudes like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle… they’re looking at Bob like a mentor.”
But to Young, what Saget leaves behind is more personal: “He loved his family and friends. Bob wanted to make sure everybody was okay. He was a loving soul who gave his all. That was his legacy.”