'Half Baked' director Tamra Davis remembers how Bob Saget's unforgettable R-rated cameo showed 'he had edge'
Bob Saget was America’s Dad — a performer best known for family-friendly entertainment, be it delivering heart-to-hearts to D.J. and Stephanie as single father Danny Tanner on Full House (1987-95) or running the tape on irresistibly funny pets gone wild or uproarious unintentional praftalls as host of America’s Funniest Videos (1989-97).
But true comedy fans know that Saget, who died last month of head trauma at age 65, had a sense of humor that was bawdier and bluer than his squeaky-clean primetime-TV rep. It was evident in Saget's early standup routines, and it was especially evident in his epic take on “The Aristocrats,” a standup tradition in which comics attempt to out-gross one another. Saget’s version, featured in the 2005 documentary The Aristocrats, has been called “one of the filthiest jokes ever filmed.”
And then there was his unforgettable appearance in Half Baked (1998), which has to go down as one of the greatest, most surprising cameos in movie history.
Saget had just wrapped his hosting stint on America's Funniest Videos when he appeared as a recovering cocaine addict in the Tamra Davis-directed cult classic stoner comedy starring Dave Chappelle.
When Thurgood (Chappelle) enters rehab to get help for his addiction to weed, he’s met with hostility from the other addicts in the group who’ve been battling much harder drugs.
Warning: Clip is definitely NSFW
“Marijuana is not a drug,” Saget rises to tell him. “I used to suck d**k for coke. And that’s an addiction, man. You ever suck some d**k for marijuana?”
In a new interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Davis (Billy Madison, Crossroads) recalled how much she enjoyed watching Saget show up and consciously destroy his wholesome TV-dad image.
“He came on and did that cameo and just killed it,” says Davis. “When we look back at his incredible career, he's so loved. Everybody talks about how much they love him, and he really was the greatest. But I also really loved that Half Baked was part of history of pivoting, and really kind of showing that he has edge."
To truly enjoy the commitment Saget brought to his one minute on screen, keep your eyes peeled on him in the background as he curls into a shell of shame after sitting back down.
“It’s amazing when you have the potential to just put a camera on somebody and see what happens to them, and let them kind of experiment and let them do they want to do,” says Davis, whose next film will be the Netflix original 13: The Musical.
“I feel like [I can] be an enabler where I try to get people to be as comfortable as possible on set so that they feel that. It's okay to go for it. And that you kind of need to feel safe to push comedy like that. You need to feel you’re in a safe place where you can risk it and and laugh and have a good time.”
Saget made millions laugh from just a couple very dirty lines in Half Baked.
— Video produced by Anne Liburn and edited by Jimmie Rhee