'Full House's' Coulier hones routine to prep for Netflix meeting
Joey Gladstone is back!
And so is Dave Coulier, the real-life comedian who brought the fictional Joey to sitcom life.
In 1987, then-young comic Coulier joined Bob Saget and John Stamos — and those adorable Olsen twins — on “Full House.” The show turned out to be an ABC hit for eight years.
Last month, two decades after “Full House” went dark, Netflix released “Fuller House,” reuniting the original cast members — except the Olsen girls. The sequel became so popular that, a week later, Netflix ordered a second season.
Similarly, after years of relative silence, Coulier is roaring back. As usual, he isn't satisfied with just one project and has written a comical children's electronic book, “The Adventures of Jimmy Bugar,” to be released online April 15.
Then there's his stand-up comedy career, which led him to TV stardom. Coulier is back on the road with a show that brings him to the Pittsburgh Improv this weekend.
“I'm working on some new stuff,” Coulier says. “I've played the Pittsburgh Improv a couple of times, and they're a great audience, a good barometer for what's funny and not.”
Getting his show sharp is key, as Coulier notes: “The Netflix people are coming to see me in a few weeks about a possible one-hour special.”
His live comedy embraces the TV show that made him famous. He does his trademark “Cut it out” — then imitates fans messing up the catchphrase when they see him.
His comedy show is filled with impressions, as he does a bit about “Scooby Doo” characters working in airport security, and another based on the premise, “What if that Bullwinkle voice was your real speaking voice?” He also does some Elmer Fudd — not unlike Joey, who did all those impressions, plus Popeye and Pepe Le Pew.
For those not familiar with “Full House,” the loud-shirt-wearing Joey Gladstone was a comedian who moved in with Danny (Saget) and Jesse (Stamos) after the death of Danny's wife to help raise Danny's children. Before he got a garage bedroom, Joey slept on Danny's sofa — a surreal plot twist.
“I met Bob (Saget) when I was 18 and he was doing a comedy show in Detroit,” says Coulier, a Michigan native. “I was a beginning comedian. There was a comedy night, and Bob blew the room away. After the show, I talked to Bob, told him I wanted to move to L.A. He said, ‘Great, here's my number, when you decide to move to L.A. give me a shout.'
“So when I moved out to Los Angeles, I called Bob. He not only picked up phone, he said, ‘Come on over.' We hit it off and became friends. I slept on his couch for three weeks while he was on road. Then I end up on ‘Full House,' and it was kind of like art imitating life.”
Speaking of art imitating life, Coulier is a possible inspiration for one of the greatest revenge songs of all time: “You Oughta Know,” by Alanis Morissette.
“We dated for a year,” Coulier says. “She was great. It just didn't work out.”
Morissette has never publicly said who inspired the song, which she insists came from her subsconcious. Even so, with savage lyrics such as “I'm here, to remind you/Of the mess you left when you went away,” she may not share America's view of lovable Uncle Joey.
Tom Scanlon is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.