I started the new year with hopes that it would be less cruel than the two prior— a refreshing beginning we all needed— but that was quickly shattered on January 9th when I received the most gut-wrenching WhatsApp message: “RIP Danny Tanner.” I opened that message faster than my reflexes could process, only to confirm the news my brain didn’t want to fathom. Bob Saget was gone. Another beloved veteran taken from us too soon.
Whether you remember Bob Saget as the lovable patriarch from the sitcom Full House, the original host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, or the quick-witted stand-up comedian, he had the ability to touch the lives of all who knew him and watched him, from generation to generation. As for me, Saget will always have a special place in my heart, carved in the shape of Danny Tanner.
I remember the day my mom brought home the third season of Full House on DVD––the first season we ever owned. I was in Grade 5 attending an at-home tutoring session, when I turned to my teacher and blurted out: “MY MOM BOUGHT FULL HOUSE ON DISC!” before running downstairs mid-session to see the DVD for myself. Watching Full House was an integral part of my childhood; I never missed a rerun when it came on TV. It didn’t take long for me to feel like I was a part of the Tanner family or to find safety and security in Danny, who solved every hardship with the promise that everyone and everything was going to be okay in the end. And it always was. It didn’t matter if you were a ’90s kid or not, Bob Saget was a shared experience for everyone. His devastating and unexpected passing at the young age of 65 leaves me with one unanswered question: Whatever happened to predictability?
Watching Full House hasn’t been the same since. I don’t think it ever will be. It’s really tough getting older and seeing people who were part of your childhood pass away, because as a kid they seemed invincible. It’s strange watching a show that was once so familiar suddenly become foreign at the same time. Sad episodes now feel sadder and crying has turned to sobbing. For instance, in “The Miracle of Thanksgiving” (Season One, Episode Nine), Danny comforts Jesse, who is grieving over the loss of his sister––and Danny’s wife–– Pam. Although he tells him that the pain never really goes away, talking about her and remembering all the good times they’ve shared together makes coping with her death a lot easier. This is how our generation must cope watching Full House from here on out.
Everyone who watched Full House remembers the gut-wrenching episode where Papouli dies in “The Last Dance” (Season Seven, Episode 17). Michelle asks where Papouli is and Danny, full of sorrow, tells her that he died in his sleep. This episode will hit differently now since, according to a report by New York Daily News, Saget was late checking out of his room Sunday morning from the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, which prompted a hotel security member to check up on him, only to discover that he died in his sleep.
It is clear that Bob Saget made a lasting impact on his Full House family, and the cast remembers him as “a brother to us guys, a father to us girls and a friend to all of us.” Saget’s death was followed by an emotional outpouring of videos, photos and heartbreaking statements from all those who worked closely with him on set. Candace Cameron, who played DJ Tanner––Saget’s eldest daughter on the show––admitted that his death “hurts like nothing I’ve ever felt before.”
“We’ve always been so deeply connected since the day we met when I was 10 years old. You weren’t just like a father, but one of my closest friends in life.” “I’m not saying goodbye because you’ll never leave my heart. Even with this gigantic tear in it,” she concluded.
John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse said, “I’m not ready to accept that he’s gone – I’m not going to say goodbye yet. I’m going to imagine him out there, still on the road, doing what he loves with all his heart and humor.” He continues, “And when he gets to the hotel to put his head on the pillow, he misses his daughters, his family, his friends. God, he loves us all so much. And he goes to sleep dreaming of when we’ll all meet again – and he’s smiling. I know in my heart he’s smiling, still hearing the laughter from a few hours before. I’m just not ready to say goodbye yet. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.”
It’s the best feeling knowing your favourite TV character was just as loved in real life as they were on screen. On January 10th, the day after Saget’s passing, Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Bob before his show. Holding back tears, Kimmel said, “if you had to pick one word to describe him, it would be ‘sweetest.’” John Mayer went on Instagram Live as he was driving Saget’s car back from LAX airport after his death. With tears in his eyes he said, “I’ve never known a human being on this earth who could give that much love, individually and completely, to that many people in a way that made each person feel like he was a main character in their life and they were a main character in his life.”
I am confident that Bob Saget and his legacy will always live on. The people whose lives he touched personally, the charities he has supported for decades and the generation of kids and families around the world who have wonderful memories watching Full House. They will all keep his memory alive. We will all keep his memory alive.
The ending of Full House’s theme song says, “a light is waiting to carry you home.” The home Saget belonged to all these years transcended far beyond the confines of San Francisco. It was in our hearts.