JAMESTOWN – The comedy world lost another legend this week after actor and stand-up comedian Bob Saget passed away in Florida on Sunday.
Journey Gunderson, the Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, spoke to us about the legacy Saget leaves behind, saying that his career is one many envy.
“It demonstrated one’s ability, which is rare, to transition from a sitcom character that is one of the most recognizable to a stand-up persona that was distinctly different,” says Gunderson. “So Saget achieved the highest level of success in the sitcom realm, while at the same time continuing to apply his craft live on stage as a stand-up and keep his authentic comedic voice.”
Saget’s career began playing wholesome father Danny Tanner on the ABC sitcom “Full House.”
Gunderson describes his later stand-up career as bold, provocative, and boundary-pushing, which she says allowed him to earn the respect of his comedic peers.
“One of the things you can observe from all of the outpouring of tributes online is that people often cite how supportive he was of them,” explains Gunderson. “And so when we reflect on his contribution to comedy, it’s not just his own humor, his own unique voice, but how he influenced so many others. And the fact that he was performing live on-stage right up until his passing is a testament to what a fixture he was in comedy and how much he was a true lover of the art form.”
Saget also hosted ABC’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” putting him in two top-ten TV shows at the same time. Gunderson praised his hosting skills, saying his voice-over character-work enhanced an already funny show.
“Visitors to the National Comedy Center can enjoy and reflect on Saget’s work in every exhibit from “The Art of the Roast” highlighting his talent in insult-comedy to our Sitcom and Television area with “Full House” to the Stand-up Lounge highlighting his live on-stage persona,” boasts Gunderson. “So his work is already woven through the exhibits of the National Comedy Center and now, in honor of his passing, we’ll do our best to greet visitors with his work in a way that’s a little more forward-facing and make sure that he’s remembered.”
Saget and fellow comedy titan Betty White are featured in the NCC’s sense of humor quiz that each visitor takes upon arrival to the center. The center hopes to increase Saget’s presence by digging through the archives with media exhibits as well as artifacts that showcase highlights of the legends career.
“Bob Saget wasn’t just talented and creative, he had the mechanics of comedy,” says Gunderson. “So he had great timing, cadence, and delivery. And that served him well in the sitcom genre as well as on-stage.”
The National Comedy Center will be honoring Betty White’s centennial on January 17th through an exhibit that will allow different generations to understand the talent that was.