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Bob Saget Looks Back on Cloris Leachman Laying a Big Kiss on John Stamos: 'It Was Spontaneous'

Dana Rose Falcone
·5 min read
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Cloris Leachman, Oscar Winner and Mary Tyler Moore Show Star, Dies at 94

Cloris Leachman, the decorated actress of stage and screen best known for her role as the annoyingly perfect landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died

Bob Saget wishes he had more time with his late friend, actress Cloris Leachman.

"People always go, 'Well, she lived to 94. That's long enough.' I just go, 'Give her 110, 115, as long as she's happy and comfortable,'" Saget, 64, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "If it's someone you care about, you don't get over it. You don't want people that you love to go. I'm so happy that I got to spend not enough time with her."

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The Fuller House star considered himself a fan of Leachman — who died at 94 of natural causes on Jan. 27 — long before she partook in his 2008 Comedy Central roast.

"I would sneak in at 14, 15 years [old] — I lived in L.A. then — and I would go see The Mary Tyler Moore Show being filmed. And when she was on the show, all eyes were on her," Saget recalls. "Even when Cloris did Phyllis, I went to see that filmed because I was such a fan of hers."

Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Bob Saget and Cloris Leachman

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The comedian never met Leachman prior to his roast, but when producers threw her name out as someone to have sit on the dais, Saget jumped at the chance to have her participate.

"I said, 'Cloris Leachman would do this?' And they said, 'She'd love to do it. She's a big fan of yours.' And I think they said she loved [John] Stamos," Saget says of his close friend and Full House costar.

On the night of the roast in August 2008, the Oscar winner confirmed her affinity for Stamos, joking in her monologue: "I am not here to roast Bob Saget. I'm here to f--- John Stamos. You heard me pretty boy. I'm going to strap on my Oscar and take you right there in that filthy bean bag chair."

RELATED VIDEO: Cloris Leachman, Oscar Winner and Mary Tyler Moore Show Star, Dies at 94

Cloris Leachman, Oscar Winner and Mary Tyler Moore Show Star, Dies at 94

Cloris Leachman, the decorated actress of stage and screen best known for her role as the annoyingly perfect landlady Phyllis Lindstrom on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, has died

When Leachman called Stamos, 57, up to the podium to "see what 'ya got,'" the actor obliged, grabbing the eight-time Emmy winner's face for a dramatic kiss.

"When he just got up and went over and kissed her, I don't know how planned that was," Saget admits. "My instinct was that it was spontaneous, and he got up and kissed her. If you watch the kiss, you realize that she took the kiss and then she started to put her arms around him and he kind of spun and dipped her. That's what kind of person, what kind of a performer, she was, which is you go with whatever. She was just adorable and smart."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Leachman didn't hesitate to perform the raunchy content. "She knew that material was funny, because she laughed out loud," Saget says. "The language wasn't something she had to go, 'Oh, my God. I'm going to say this?' She was so relevant, and so smart. She had a youth to her. She was cool as hell."

The Last Picture Show star joined Saget and Stamos at the roast afterparty and they all stayed in touch. Stamos invited her to a birthday party of his where Saget performed with the band ("I would always grab the mic and they'd have to throw me off," he quips) and the dad of 2-year-old Billy played the drums.

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"She was just having a blast. It was so much fun," Saget says of the event. "She was very huggy, kissy, and we couldn't get enough. John and I were like her boyfriends."

Stamos joked on Twitter that Leachman "partied harder than anyone there."

Saget exchanged calls with Leachman about grabbing a meal together in recent years, but their schedules never aligned, and then the COVID-19 pandemic complicated in-person gatherings. He did want to try to work with Leachman again, though.

"I am working on something right now and we all said, 'Can we get Cloris Leachman to do this?' And that was one week before she passed," Saget reveals. "Because we knew that she would be spot-on at any age. She was a young 94."

He continues: "I've known people that have been around for 50 years that are thinking, 'I'm 75. I'd love to work again. Keep something in mind for me.' She didn't possess that. She was just a genuine person. And she'll be greatly, greatly missed."

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