Full House was my first Hollywood experience…At the end of last semester, I found myself doing something I had never done before: sharing with my students my journey to Hollywood. I told them it began with this show called Full House, which ended before any of them were even born. But they oohed and aahed, a group of students who had grown up all over the world. They had all seen it, connected to it, even though it didn’t represent their worlds in terms of race, gender, social structures or socio economics. I, however, did not ooh and ahh when I was told I’d be on the set up Full House. I had won a comedy writing award from Warner Bros as a student, and prize was to intern on a TV show.
I expected to be put on something edgy, not a show that could hardly be raved about for its writing. But edgy writing doesn’t have as wide of an audience, especially if families and kids are the target market. Jack Gilbert, the internship coordinator told me, Full House is what every studio dreams of: a show that lasts years, remains timeless, and thus can be recycled for royalties for generations to come, and doesn’t cost a fortune to make. “This show’s biggest expense are the actors,” he said. Hearing about Bob Saget’s passing, so soon after remembering those times with my students, has revived the emotional roller coaster of arriving in LA for the first time. John Stamos had been one of the great crushes of my teen years, and I felt a bit star struck in his presence, so it was easier to focus on Bob Saget’s acting. The thing I remember most is when he wanted to change a line in the script, and one of the producers said to him, “No, this laugh is for John; he’s the star in this scene. You play straight.” Saget was the only one of them who was a stand-up comedian. But he just nodded agreement. That’s how ensemble, in real life or made for TV, lasts so long, and that warmth is the part viewers craved and could connect to, despite the show’s lack of diversity. It’s how you keep the house full, as they say in the movies. (of course, there are negatives to what I saw at that time in terms of the writer’s room, but I leave that for another time)