Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 | 4:45 p.m.
I posted a Facebook status update that I was going to see Bob Saget at the Orleans on Saturday. My friend J. left this comment: “His opener is one of the worst comics I've seen and has no business being on a real stage like that.”
J. is a stand-up comic himself, so naturally I responded, “You’re opening for Saget?! That’s awesome!”
The actual opener was Frazer Smith, and J. warned me he would use stock jokes and material about how bad the Clippers used to be. I joked that he’d probably mention Monica Lewinsky.
And then, on Saturday night, Smith actually 1. told stock jokes (inserting “Ron Paul” into the “Your mama’s so old her Social Security number’s 3”), 2. used Clippers jokes (“Remember when the Clippers used to suck?"), and 3. included a Lewinsky joke in his act: “I was sweating like somebody hunting ducks with Dick Cheney. Remember that? That was the biggest presidential scandal since Clinton shot Monica in the face.”
On the plus side, Smith moved really fast, making it hard to complain about any one joke for too long. Plus, though it pains me to say this, the audience liked him. Sorry, J.
On to the main act. Saget was great. He was great when I saw him a decade ago, and he was great this past weekend.
There are two ways a comedian can be great: A comedian can write great jokes or a comedian can just be funny. Jerry Seinfeld, Woody Allen and Jon Stewart write great jokes; Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart and Eddie Izzard are just funny.
Bob Saget falls under the latter category. He’s just funny. What jokes did he tell? Doesn’t matter. Fifty percent of his set was filled with audience interaction. Lots of communication with some guy who claimed his name was “Poncho.”
“No, I want to know your name, not what you wear when people pee on you.”
Further interaction involved an exterminator:
“What’s the biggest thing you ever put down?” Saget asked.
“Surviving Suburbia,” came the reply, referring to Saget’s short-lived 2009 sitcom.
“That was the best heckle I ever heard,” Saget said. “I worship you.”
Saget’s show was less filthy than it was a decade ago. Only 80 percent dick jokes this time around. So I guess Saget is maturing? No. That can’t be right.