Dave Coulier

Dave 2

Photos By: Melissa Bring

Comedian Dave Coulier is best known for his role of Uncle Joey on the beloved 80s & 90s sitcom, Full House. His character, Joey Gladstone, was a quirky stand-up comic that always had an impersonation and joke on hand. Dave Coulier actually has quite a bit in common with his fictional counterpart.

Coulier has been a stand-up comedian for decades now and has also made a name for himself in show business as a voice actor. His extensive work utilizing his vocal talents has allowed him to work on cartoon projects like The Real Ghostbusters, Muppet Babies and The Jetsons. Coulier will always be recognized for his work on Full House and in 2016 he will be returning to the role that made him a star.

Netflix will be bringing the characters from Full House back to fans with their new take on the television franchise, Fuller House. I talked to Dave Coulier about what fans can expect from the highly anticipated project.

Can you talk a little bit about your introduction to the world of comedy?

I have a funny family. They were all really funny people and they would sit around and talk about what was on the The Ed Sullivan Show or The Tonight Show. As a kid I wanted to sit at the ‘adult table’ where they were telling all these off-color jokes and you couldn’t sit there if you were a kid—because it got pretty dirty at times.

Dave 1

When did you start performing and turning your love of comedy into an act?

My brother did voices—he would do impersonations of family members and our neighbors. He is really the one who taught me how to do impersonations. We would sit on our front porch and we would ‘narrate the neighborhood.’ We would narrate what we thought everyone was saying as they walked by. It kind of started there and I loved comedians so much.

It also helped that my best friend is Mark Cendrowski—he’s been directing The Big Bang Theory since the show started. We were always putting on shows and writing songs when we were kids. It was an evolutionary process and I was around funny people all the time.

You have been performing on stage for a long time now with your stand-up. Does it get easier the longer you do it? Are you much more comfortable now than you were starting out?

I don’t feel nervous now. I think I felt nervous when I was first starting out because I was an unproven entity. When I did my first Tonight Show with Johnny Carson as the host—that was nerve-racking. Now I feel excited until I get to the microphone and then I settle in and everything is calm. For me, it feels like home when I can get to that microphone.

What do you think is more important when you’re on stage—having great material or feeling comfortable on stage with the material you have?

For me, I have to feel secure with the material. There is a certain headspace I have to get into. I have to focus very hard sometimes. There are all kinds of situations that you have to deal with. Every room is different. Every audience is different. You have to adapt quickly and be comfortable with whatever the environment is. It’s the comedian’s job to play to whatever the specific moment is.

Dave 3

How did you get the part of Uncle Joey on Full House?

The producers auditioned every comedic actor for that role. I went in and auditioned and I read the part of Joey. I don’t even think the character was named Joey yet—I actually named him Joey Gladstone. I got to pick my character’s name, which is unheard of.

When I got home after the audition there was a message on my answering machine—it said, ‘hey, you got the Full House pilot.’ That was it. It was that simple.

The show is still beloved today despite not having any new episodes produced for more than 20 years now. Why do you think Full House has been able to maintain its cultural relevancy for so long?

The chemistry between all of us as actors is real. We really do care about each other. We became this dysfunctional family off camera as well. I think people feel that. You can’t manufacture that—you have it or you don’t.

Television has gotten very cynical and people don’t tell each other they love each other on sitcoms anymore. For a lot of people it’s a throwback. It’s a guilty pleasure and you feel good after you watch it. As sappy as it can be—it makes you feel good.

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 06: FULL HOUSE - "Jesse's Girl" - Season One - 11/6/87, Joey (Dave Coulier, left) and Jesse (John Stamos) fought over the same girl. Mary Kate Olsen (Michelle) also starred., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 06: FULL HOUSE – “Jesse’s Girl” – Season One – 11/6/87, Joey (Dave Coulier, left) and Jesse (John Stamos) fought over the same girl. Mary Kate Olsen (Michelle) also starred., (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

How do you recapture that spirit with Fuller House? Are you worried about people connecting to it the same way they did the original?

We all kind of clicked right back into those characters again. Before we committed to the show we were cognizant that we really could ruin it. We didn’t want to do that because it has become this iconic American sitcom. We all walked away being very happy with what the show became. We didn’t want to come back and have people say, ‘they look horrible’ or ‘it isn’t Full House anymore.’ We all look great and we don’t look too differently from where we left off. The ingredients of still caring about each other have never gone away. It felt right. But, we were hesitant for years. I think the show is actually funnier now than it was back in the day.

Is this going to be an ongoing series? Will there be more seasons of Fuller House after this one is made available on Netflix?

That’s way in the distant future. It’s kind of a wait and see approach everyone is taking. We aren’t all in it all the time. It’s focused on Candace [D.J.Tanner], Jodie [Stephanie Tanner] and Andrea’s [Kimmy Gibbler] characters. The rest of us kind of pop in during the run of 13 episodes. I’m not sure how audiences are going to take that because they are use to all the elements being in the show. I am a little concerned about that for the audience. I don’t want the audience to think its ‘Emptier House.’

One of everyone’s favorite aspects of Full House is that all the characters have catchphrases. Joey of course has, ‘Cut. It. Out.’ Is there a story behind your famous line?

I stole that from Mark Cendrowski. Years ago we did stand-up together and we were a comedy team briefly. He did this character and he would unbutton his shirt and show his nipple to the front row and say ‘Cut. It. Out.’ I told him I was going to steal that. I had this series on Nickelodeon called Out of Control and I said it on there a lot and it stuck. I did it one time on Full House and the producers all cracked up and asked me to throw it in and I said, ‘sure.’ That’s the story of ‘Cut. It. Out.’

Don’t miss Fuller House when it debuts on Netflix in 2016. Be sure to keep up with Dave Coulier at davecoulier.com.

1 Comment

  1. CN Bring

    01/27/2016 at 9:55 am

    Photo Credit: Melissa Coulier Photography

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *