Bob Saget discussed his mortality in an interview conducted just months before his death.
The Full House actor and comedian, who died in January at the age of 65, spoke to Til This Day With Radio Rahim podcast in May 2021 and it's just being released. In part one of the three-part conversation, he shared his deep thoughts about life and death.
"I'm proud of myself cause I'm onto a new thing at 65," he began. "I'm different than I was. We're all rethinking what we said 20 years ago, 10 years ago, four years ago. I'm not even rethinking it, I just don't have the same way of doing humor or conversation. I guess therapy, having three kids, watching people pass away in the past few years, mortality, all that stuff has fortunately changed me. My kids tell me, 'Dad, you're different. It's so nice to watch you grow.'"
Talking about his milestone age, Saget said he knew a lot of people who got afraid of turning 30. He said he loved turning 30 "because I didn't want to live in my 20s. I was so depressed" because he wished his career took off. He was 31 when he landed his role as Danny Tanner in Full House.
Saget said growing up, he suffered a lot of loss — and his humor came from that in a way.
"We had so many deaths growing up that my dad would just, instill [a sense of humor] in me," he said. "He didn't teach it to me. I just saw [how] he reacted. He buried four brothers and a sister in his life. He buried all his siblings."
He recalled helping his 85-year-old father write yet another eulogy for a sibling — and said it changed his perception of mortality.
"I helped him write the speech at 3:30 [a.m.]," he recalled. "I said, 'It's going to be the shortest funeral of your life, Dad. You're 85 and I'm not putting you through this anymore.' And his brother passed away, and he lived to about 78, which was longer than any of the other [siblings]. They died at like 40, 37 — really weird heart attacks, so I have a heart doctor as my [general practitioner]."
He said he helped his dad write a eulogy — "we did it together" — and it was the "best speech."
"I just moved [some lines] around, like you do for people, especially when they're grieving," he said. "His ending was something like, 'I'll see you in 30 years, Joe.' And it's good to close with something sweet that makes people feel the love."
Saget said the deaths in his family started when he was 7 "and then every two years somebody died." He recalled a cousin dying at 23 after giving birth to a child. "I was like 9, 10, 11, 12, 14. It was a lot. And then I lost both my sisters," referring to Gay Saget, who died from the autoimmune and vascular disease scleroderma at age 47, and Andrea Saget, who died of a brain aneurysm when she was 32.
"There's so much pain, and my parents couldn't deal with it," Saget said. "Every time they finally started to try to regroup, something else terrible happened."
He said all the heartbreak at home led him to pick up an 8-millimeter camera when he was 9 and he started making movies as his outlet. He made friends by putting them in his movies. It eventually led to his career in front of the camera and on the comedy stage.
When Gay died from scleroderma, Saget was already a star and channeled his efforts into fundraisers for research on the disease.
"I've done over 30 years of benefits and we've raised over $50 million for the Scleroderma Research Foundation," he said proudly. "It's one of my life's work."
Saget — the famed TV dad and host of America's Funniest Home Videos — died on Jan. 9 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, where he was staying during his comedy tour. The autopsy found he had blunt head trauma from an accidental blow to the back of his head, likely from a fall, and he died from the resulting injuries in his sleep.
Two more parts of the three-part conversation between host Radio Rahim and Saget can be found on Luminary, a subscription-based podcast. Other topics that were covered included Saget’s deep love for friends and family and, sadly, his dreams and future goals for his film career. He also shared stories about the 60th birthday bash John Stamos threw for him and his friendship with Tom Hanks.