There’s a reason that the show Full House seemed a little too happy — because it was. While the cast were all good friends and the children of the show grew up together on the set, recent revelations bring to mind that saying about how if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Largely due to Bob Saget‘s 2014 tell-all, we know a lot more now about what really went on behind the scenes. Some of it’s funny, and some of it’s downright shocking, especially when you consider the source. But news flash: Bob Saget is not Danny Tanner, as good as he was at portraying him for eight seasons. And just like Bob, the rest of the cast and crew — as well as Full House, itself — aren’t always so squeaky clean either. There are just a few things the producers of the show would just as soon keep quiet (16 things, to be exact).
Bob Saget himself referenced Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in his memoir Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian. He wrote that the experience of Full House was a “beautiful, Jekyll and Hyde experience,” and when you read this list, you’ll see why. Bob Saget and his character of Danny Tanner are, indeed, as opposite as Jekyll and Hyde, but so are many other things about Full House. Let’s just say that the squeaky-clean, corny, wholesome show had some very dirty behind-the-scenes moments, as well as other things that producers are not eager to share with the world.
Join me on a trip down Memory Lane, and let’s reminisce about one of the ’90s’ best sitcoms. Then, let’s see all the things that some people prefer that we don’t. Here are 16 secrets and lesser-known facts about the set and cast of the beloved Full House.
16. Bob Was a Dirty Daddy, Even Back Then
As many people know, long after the final Full House episode aired, Bob Saget, who played the corny patriarch Danny Tanner, penned a memoir about his life and experiences on the show. His 2014 book is called Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian. But the reality is that he was being filthy and stirring up trouble even back in the Full House days when he was that “family man.” Bob Saget has, apparently, always been filthy. This is in complete contradiction to his squeaky-clean dad image on the show, where he was known for being dorky, cheesy, and very lovable. But behind the scenes of Full House, he portrayed a much different image. According to several sources, Bob told tons of crude jokes and made lots of inappropriate gestures. There was even one incident involving a plastic doll used as a stand-in for his television daughters, and one time, he was being “obscene with it,” thinking he was in the company of only a few other adults. But as it turned out, the cameras were rolling, and everything was caught on film. Awkward! And definitely not family friendly!
15. Jodie Sweetin Blames Drug Addiction on Full House
Well, maybe the producers don’t care as much now if people know this, as the show’s been over for 22 years. But it’s still not cool to think that such a family-friendly show like Full House could possibly be to blame for such things. And if it’s true, the producers likely don’t want that getting out there. As the public is well aware, Jodie Sweetin, who played middle-child Stephanie Tanner, was at one point addicted to crystal meth. This came after she began abusing cocaine in high school. Jodie blames her spiral out of control on the show ending (it ended in 1995, when she would have been 13 years old). She said in an interview, “It is kind of hard to figure out who you are when you’ve lost your job at 13 when that was basically how you identified yourself.” Jodie’s mother was an addict herself, but now, Jodie has gotten sober for her children.
14. Only One Episode Ever Was Filmed In San Francisco
This is a bit hard to believe because fictional though it may be, Full House is a show with an extremely strong sense of setting. Each and every episode, viewers are treated to views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the trolley cars of hilly San Francisco, and the “Painted Lady” houses that are supposed to be where the Tanner family lives. They also often talk about the city they call home, and Danny and Becky even host a talk show called “Wake Up, San Francisco!” And yet, only one of the 192 Full House episodes was even filmed in that city. That episode was the eighth season premiere, and it was called “Comet’s Excellent Adventure.” In this episode, the family dog, Comet, gets lost, and the entire family bands together to search the city and bring him home. I can see producers not wanting people to know that only one episode was actually filmed in San Francisco because something might be taken away from the show’s strong sense of setting, and it might then seem less real, somehow, even though we all know it isn’t, anyway.
13. They Didn’t Give Proper Credit to the Twins At First
It’s common knowledge now, 27 years later, that producers didn’t credit Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as two separate people at first. This was because they didn’t want viewers to know that the youngest Tanner daughter was being played by two people. Now, the producers probably don’t want people to know that they didn’t want people to know that since it seems so silly and unimportant. From seasons two through seven, the twins were credited as “Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen” in the opening sequence, appearing as if “Ashley” was Mary-Kate’s middle name. Due to the girls’ growing popularity as they got older (and honestly, way before season seven!), they eventually changed their names to be separate by the eighth season.
12. Bob, John, and Dave Inhaled Nitrous Oxide and Got High While Filming
It turns out that good ol’ Danny Tanner was actually the culprit behind a lot of the “secrets” from behind the scenes of Full House. Many of them were revealed by his own hand in his memoir, and this one may take the cake for most scandalous. It’s at least something that even now the producers of Full House would likely rather keep hidden. In one instance, the three male stars of the show engaged in some particularly questionable behavior. In his book, Bob writes, “Dave, John, and I were waiting backstage. We had been waiting awhile… and I was getting impatient. I grabbed Dave and John, and we went into the prop room backstage and locked the door… I swung open the refrigerator, and behold! Six cans of whipped cream. Reddi-whip. Nitrous oxide is dangerous. Can cause brain damage… Dave and John followed my lead, and we inhaled the little bit of air still left in the cans that were meant for Michelle’s birthday cake scene. I guess we got high.”
11. The One With The Donkey’s Erection
Does this sound more like the title of an episode of Friends than Full House? Well, after Full House was canceled, Friends was filmed on the very same sound stage (and before Full House, the Wonder Woman television show was filmed there). But in between Wonder Woman and Friends, there was the episode of Full House with the donkey. It was an eighth-season episode called “If You Pet It, You Bought It,” and in it, Michelle bought a donkey from a shady “petting zoo” with the money she earned from her (very lucrative) lemonade stand. She then brought the donkey, whom she named Shorty, home. It was there, surrounded by people with the cameras rolling, that this donkey got “excited” for some reason and had an erection. To make things worse (and harder for the producers to keep under wraps), they were filming in front of a live studio audience. That must’ve been quite the show!
10. Bloopers Reveal All the Foul Language Used on Set
You would think that when adults are around young children, they would learn to be more careful about what they say. Especially after eight years of filming with kids (first the girls and their friends, then later Jesse and Becky’s twin sons), not cussing should become second nature. That wasn’t the case on the set of Full House, however. In fact, swear words and other foul language sound like it was par for the course. This doesn’t sound professional at all, so it would likely be something the producers of Full House weren’t proud of. The show so many people think of as wholesome and family friendly may not have been behind the scenes. Blooper footage shows that the cast were actually huge potty mouths. When they mess up their lines, as they’re bound to do sometimes, they would blurt out swear words, and little Michelle can be heard saying, “You’re in big trouble, Mister!”
9. Dave Coulier’s Farts Resulted in the Set Being Evacuated
On the set of Full House, Dave Coulier was known for more than just his funny voices, his Mr. Woodchuck puppet, being an avid hockey fan, and being a jokester. He was known to his castmates just as much for his rancid farts as he was all of the above. That’s the great thing about television; anything like that happening on the screen cannot filter through to us viewers at home. But his fellow cast members were, alas, not so lucky. Dave’s flatulence was so terribly memorable that they even found their way into Bob Saget’s memoir. He recounted in the book that Dave would say, “You’d kill yourself if I wasn’t here.” Then he would fart and say, “Cut. It. Out.” This was, of course, his tagline from the show. Bob wrote that Dave was “famous for his gas explosions” and that “the set was evacuated and always smelled.” As Stephanie Tanner would say, how rude!
8. Bob Endangered the Cast During One of His Outbursts
There has been a lot of talk since Bob Saget’s memoir about his inappropriateness. We’ve touched on that a little bit, but until now, all of his antics have been purely childish. Immature, yes, but dangerous, no (unless you count the whole inhaling nitrous oxide thing, which we probably should). He admits that he had trouble keeping his sense of humor at bay and was often scolded by producers and parents of the child actors for his antics. But there was one instance on the set of Full House in which things rose to a new level. He was known for cussing and throwing little tantrums when he was crabby, and one time, he threw a ceramic coffee mug into a wall of high-voltage lighting switches. It could’ve easily burst into flames and set the whole set on fire. He references the Jekyll-and-Hyde atmosphere that being on Full House sometimes felt like, but it seems to be that Danny Tanner and Bob Saget are the real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
7. Scripts Got Phallic Shapes Drawn on Them — Regularly
Perhaps this isn’t surprising by now, but Bob Saget was also behind all the scripts for Full House that got penises drawn all over them. This habit, along with the whole blow-up doll thing, makes the man who played Danny Tanner seem kind of like a pervert (or you know, just a ridiculous man-child that will never grow up). He’s 61 now, but during the years that Full House was on the air, he was 31-39, which is still a full-grown adult who should know better and act appropriately at his job. To give him credit, though, none of us ever had any idea he was such a child. So, during meetings with producers and writers, Bob would occupy his time by drawing penises all over his scripts. According to one (seemingly very astute) website that analyzed the situation, “He was so full of dick jokes, he simply could not keep them bottled up inside for an entire meeting and exploded like a balloon full of spiders.” Sounds about right.
6. John Stamos Tried to Have the Olsen Twins Fired (And Almost Succeeded)
Over the years, we’ve been treated to numerous photos of John Stamos (Uncle Jesse) and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen together as they grew especially close on the set of Full House. In fact, John might have been like a surrogate father to them, with how much time they spent together. But would you believe that there was a time when John actually tried to get the twins fired? It sounds so preposterous, knowing what we know now. But it’s true. In the early Full House days, before they had a strong bond, of course, John couldn’t take all the crying from the twins and tried to get them fired. This is interesting, considering they got the part of Michelle in the first place since they were the only babies auditioning that didn’t cry. In John’s own words, he said in an interview, “They brought in a couple of unattractive redheaded kids. We tried that for a while, and that didn’t work. [Producers] were like, ‘Alright, get the Olsen twins back.’ And that’s the story.”
5. John Stamos Also Had a Problem with Bob Saget
It sounds like John Stamos needs to give people a chance before deciding to not like them! With both the Olsen twins and Bob Saget, he didn’t like them before going on to have amazing relationships with them all. In the case of Bob Saget, who is now one of his very best friends, the man who played Uncle Jesse was not a fan at first. His issue stemmed from the fact that Bob was constantly goofing around and joking, and he wasn’t serious enough for John. Given what we’ve learned so far about the man who played Danny Tanner, I would say that isn’t a stretch. But over the years, the two men bonded and are now very close. Actually, it seems as if the entire cast of Full House remains as close as if they were a real, blood-related family. That is, with the exception of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who’ve turned their nose up at the Full House revival, Fuller House and who didn’t even RSVP to the 25-year Reunion.
4. There Were Supposed to Be Two More Seasons
Full House ran from 1987-1995 for a glorious eight seasons. Fans were devastated when it was over. But many people don’t know that actually, it was going to be picked up by the WB for another two seasons. This happened after ABC canceled Full House due to a decline in the popularity of family shows. While ABC wanted to keep up with market trends, the WB was just starting out and looking to have a family show, so the timing worked out perfectly. Seasons 9 and 10 would’ve been aired — just on a different channel. However, some of the main cast of Full House were not interested in doing this, and rather than continue the show with new cast members, it was decided that the show wouldn’t go on. In hindsight, it’s at once heartbreaking that we could’ve had two more seasons of such an amazing show, but I also appreciate the fact that usually, with that much change (a new network as well as new main characters), it wouldn’t have retained its greatness and would’ve likely been a letdown. It’s good that Full House ended on a high note and quit while they were ahead.
3. The Opening Credits Are Not What They Seem…
This is one thing the producers of Full House would be happy for the public not to know because now that we do, every time we see an episode, we’re going to be meticulously searching that opening scene to see if we can tell. I’m talking about the fact that during the opening credits, the last scene of the family is not actually them. When they’re seen driving across San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the shot is being taken from a helicopter, and the people in the car are lookalike actors. You don’t say! I myself never would’ve even noticed this had I not stumbled across the trivia fact in another article. Let’s all go dig up an episode of Full House, watch the opening credit sequence (while dancing to the beat of “Everywhere You Look,” of course), and then pause it to see if we can make any of their faces out.
2. Full House Was Hated by Critics When It First Came Out
This sounds like a load of nonsense hearing it now, but hindsight is 20/20, as they say, and obviously, those critics didn’t know when they first saw Full House how successful it would end up being. The show premiered in 1987, and at first, the reviews were terrible. Show creator Jeff Franklin said in an interview with MTV, “When Full House came on the air, the reviews were scathing. We got an F in People magazine. All of the critics hated the show. It wasn’t until Season 4 or 5 that we started to see good reviews. The critics started to lighten up on us.” By the time the eighth season had finished, Full House was one of the network’s top-rated shows. 24.3 million viewers tuned in to watch the finale!
1. The Ungrateful Olsen Twins Owe Their Fame and Fortune to Full House
And yet, they snub it (and their Full House family) every chance they get. It doesn’t seem to quite add up. After being the only babies at the audition to not cry, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen won the role of Michelle Tanner and began filming at just eight months old. After some ups and downs (like being fired for crying too much, thanks to John Stamos, then rehired again, and after their mother almost pulled them off the show to have a “normal” childhood, only allowing them to continue when they were given more money), they became the breakout stars of the show. They amassed a huge fortune and became the youngest self-made millionaires before the age of 10. They even had their own production company, called Dualstar. The twins had products encompassing everything under the sun: calendars, videos, clothing, books, games, television shows, a fashion label, and so much more. They’re worth an estimated $150 million each, and their company Dualstar is worth $1 billion. If you think about it, it’s likely that none of that would’ve ever happened without Full House, and yet the twins (who have stayed out of the limelight since around 2004) seem to want to have nothing to do with the very thing that gave them all of it.
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