Bob Saget Hosts Roast of James Carville at the Kennedy Center

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Bob Saget at Kennedy Center

Jason Fraley | June 20, 2016 6:23 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center is hosting its first-ever District of Comedy Festival this week, bringing top comedians to the nation’s capital.

And what would a D.C. comedy festival be without some edgy political humor?

Bob Saget, the tidy sitcom father (“Full House”) turned raunchy stand-up comedian (“The Aristocrats”), will lead a celebrity roast of political strategist James Carville on Thursday night.

“I’m really excited to host it … because I’m excited to find out who he is,” Saget joked with WTOP.

“I have met James Carville at a ‘Conan’ [show] one time. He came up to me, we talked for 20 minutes, then he head-butted me in the chest as hard as he could. … But James is someone that I actually admire and respect, so it’ll be fun to do disrespecting, unadmirable material toward him.”

Saget said he was a last-minute substitution as the roast master.

“Lewis Black dropped out and he’s a bastard for doing that, so they said, ‘Bob’s in town, let’s get Bob,'” Saget joked. “They really wanted me bad simply because they have the hotel room available. They had no reason to want me for it except for the fact of whatever semi-fame they’re excited about.”

The roasters will include Paul Begala, Tucker Carlson, S.E. Cupp, D.L. Hughley, Hari Kondabolu, Tony Kornheiser, Jim Norton, Jeff Ross, Luke Russert, Rev. Al Sharpton and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

“The great Robert Smigel is the mind behind that wonderful character [Triumph],” Saget said. “I’m very excited to see Smigel. Let me just pull the curtain away so you see the wizard standing there.”

In other words, pay no attention to the man behind the cigar-puffing dog.

If you know Triumph, you know it’ll be no-holds barred.

Saget suggests the act is for audiences ages 21 and up.

“I think it’s going to be an R-rated roast,” Saget warned. “There’s no way for it not to be. … [Carville] is a nice man … who’s talented enough to not only be a political adviser, but he’s incredible at sports broadcasting, he’s a male model for Fright Night. He’s a big Halloween [mask]. He frightens children.”

Carville’s wife, Mary Matalin, will also take the stage, providing a Republican counter to Carville’s Democratic legacy. The two famously formed a bipartisan marriage after Matalin served as campaign director for President George H.W. Bush and Carville was lead strategist for President Bill Clinton.

“She’s a Republican and he’s a Democrat, so there’s a lot of good jokes about what goes on in their bedroom,” Saget said. “It’s very hard to get a jackass and an elephant in the same bed.”

There will also be special video roasts by President Bill Clinton, HBO political comedian Bill Maher and Republican strategist Karl Rove. With the 2016 presidential race entering the final stretch between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, there will be no shortage of political fodder for jokes.

“It’s all so upsetting right now, because we turn it into such a large catfight, ya know?” Saget lamented. “The Kardashian-ism of America is what we’ve become. We’ve become a name-calling [society] and it’s worked because we’re at that place in humanity.”

The night before the Carville roast, Saget will participate in the festival’s “A Tribute to Joan Rivers.”

“I was requested to do stand-up because they say I was one of Joan’s favorites, which is beyond an honor,” Saget said. “She was one of the best at what she did, and I will try to do material that mirrors my version of hers … stand-up that is a bit of a pitbull. … such a tenacious, amazing comedian.”

If for some reason you can’t make either of this week’s Kennedy Center shows, Saget will return to Washington D.C. later this summer for his full stand-up act at Warner Theatre on August 20.

“I’m excited about that, doing my full show,” Saget said. “Just me being me, so God help everybody.”

In between the Kennedy Center and Warner Theatre, Saget will reprise his role as Danny Tanner in Season 2 of Netflix’s “Fuller House” (2016), the spinoff to ABC’s hit “Full House” (1987-1995).

“I’m doing three episodes this [coming] season,” Saget said. “I’m shooting one next week after the Kennedy Center week. … [John] Stamos and I posted it, Candace [Cameron] Bure posted it, and it ends up on Deadline Hollywood. It becomes a piece of news, and it’s like, boy are we out of news.”

The streaming spinoff outperformed expectations, averaging 14.4 million viewers in the advertiser-friendly 18- to 49-year-old demographic in the first 35 days after its February release.

That puts it on par with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” By comparison, Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” averaged 13.4 million viewers in its first 35 days.

“It’s huge. In fact, it actually took a dent out of Friday night regular programming on network [television] when it first came out,” Saget said. “They did it properly. They hired a new cast. Candace’s kids are adorable. All the new people that came into the show are just really great, for what it is.”

The audience is clear: those who grew up on “Full House” and now want to show it to their kids.

“It’s a show made for kids,” Saget said. “You can take your 8-year-old, leave it in the room, never have to see it again and just let it binge-watch for seven hours. It’s a child’s ‘Breaking Bad.'”

Either way, there’s no denying how beloved the Tanner family is among its devoted fans. Folks who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s can still close their eyes and remember Saget’s timeless gags, be it his reaction to Stephanie driving a car into the house, or his slapstick antics trying to stop a cement mixer from dumping cement on the kitchen floor, or his suspicious grilling of D.J. and Stephanie as they sang an improvised “Dad, Dad, Dad” song in an attempt to cover up a nasty hole in the bedroom wall.

“The hole in the bedroom wall is something new I’m working on and it’s X-rated,” Saget joked.

Yes, Saget just can’t help himself from cracking a raunchy joke at the expense of his former wholesome image. In fact, it’s practically his comedy brand these days, having penned The New York Times best-selling book “Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian.”

But even if he continues to mine jokes from the famous Tanner household in San Francisco, he says we shouldn’t be surprised if he picks up and moves to Washington.

“I love playing Washington,” Saget said. “I’m planning on moving to Washington after this interview.”

Or to quote Michelle Tanner in the above video: “He’s coming, he’s coming, he’s coming. He’s here!”

Click here for more details on the District of Comedy Festival. The full schedule is listed below:

WTOP's Jason Fraley chats with Bob Saget (Full Interview)

Jason Fraley | June 20, 2016 1:16 pm

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