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The Weekly Interview: Comedian Dave Coulier

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Full House alum Dave Coulier plays Vegas this weekend.
Julie Seabaugh

He flies planes, plays hockey and has provided vocal work for innumerable cartoons, ad campaigns and TV-clean versions of films. (There’s also the small matter of costarring for eight years on beloved family sitcom Full House.) Performing in Vegas for the first time in years, clean comic Dave Coulier details his unique approach to the slots and the professional realization driving his upcoming special.

Congrats on your recent wedding. Were you surprised by how much the press made of the de facto Full House reunion? Not really. When me, Bob Saget and John Stamos did our Super Bowl commercial for Dannon this year, we went to New York and we did Jimmy Fallon, we did Good Morning America and Rhianna photobombed us, we went to The View, and Barbara Walters and all the ladies were gushing over us. We did the Andy Cohen show on Bravo, and there was this energy that kind of took us by surprise. We didn’t think that Jimmy Fallon was such an incredible fan and that Rhianna was a fan. Everywhere we went, the three of us kind of caused this commotion, and we hadn’t been together on a project since Full House. That kind of surprised us.

So when we had that amount of energy doing the Super Bowl stuff, when the wedding happened, I really wasn’t that surprised. I knew that the Full House cast being there was going to cause a stir.

The Jimmy Fallon sketch you guys did for the new Tonight Show made its way around the Internet as well. People loved it. I think it’s because we didn’t take ourselves seriously, and we weren’t afraid to wear mullet wigs and look fat in our clothes—well, I looked fat in my sweater. But I think it’s because we just embraced the good-natured spirit of it all; people responded to that. We weren’t trying to put down Full House. We were trying to embrace it. A wink at the camera I guess is better than flipping off the camera.

In your mind, how did things ultimately turn out for Joey Gladstone? Did he get everything he wanted in his personal and professional lives? Oh no, he’s quite the loser. I don’t know what Joey Gladstone would be doing now, but me and Andrea Barber did a sketch for Funny or Die where Joey and Kimmy are now married, and they still have Comet. Joey still dresses the same. The show is actually called It’s F*ckin’ Late. It’s a very funny sketch. But you know, Joey Gladstone never got the girl. He was just kind of the grown-up kid that never really went anywhere.

Between doing voice work in LA and comedy on the road, how often do you make it to Vegas? I haven’t played Vegas in a long, long time. I think the last time I was there was for Bob Saget’s 50th birthday. We kidnapped him, and me and John Stamos took him to Vegas. There’s a story that Bob tells about me and something I did with John’s 8 X 10, which he told on Conan. Now he likes to tell it in his act. It’s really raunchy. It was one of those locker-room guy moments that I didn’t think Bob was going to make public. But Bob being Bob, there aren’t a whole lot of filters. I always tell people that he’s my filthy Jewish sister.

Other than unspeakable acts at birthdays, what else do you like to do in Vegas? I am a slot machine junkie. Stamos makes fun of me all the time about it, but every time we’ve gone there, I win on the slots. And he really hates that. It annoys him that I play slots; he’s like, “You’re sitting there with all these old ladies. What are you doing?” It’s just solitude for me. It’s just me getting in the zone, because I’m not a card player, but I can sit there at a slot machine for eight hours straight.

I’ll tell you one story: When it was John’s bachelor party in Vegas, there’s about 15 or 20 guys waiting around when John walks down, and I’m sitting there just casually at a slot machine. He comes over and he goes, “Do you guys believe this? It’s unbelievable! This guy just sits at slot machines!” I go, “Well, that’s because I always win.” He goes, “Well you’re not winning now!” I swear to you, the next round I won, like, $1,400. I just stood up, put my arms out and went, “Oh yeah? Suck it, Stamos!”

What’s your secret to winning? I guess it’s just that I don’t care. It’s relaxation for me. It’s not like I’m hell-bent on winning. My brother’s the same way, so maybe there’s something genetic in our DNA that we like watching flashing lights and things spin. I have no idea, but I can literally get in a trance. It’s really silly.

What’s your mind frame when taking a clean comedy act into a place like Vegas? I don’t really have to change it much. I do what I do, and it’s not like I have to edit for Vegas. The show right now I’m working on is an hour for a special. The special’s going to be titled Glorified Birthday Clown. I make jokes about that: “I’m called a comedian, but I know up here on the stage right now I’m just a glorified birthday clown, and you’re the kids at the party.”

Any details on when it will be out? Not yet. I would love to do it at the San Jose Improv. I just played there. It’s a little theater, and acoustically it’s great, the sight lines are great, the audiences are great and it’s just a really big stage. Hopefully that’ll be out later this year. It’s ready to go, so what you’re going to see in Vegas is pretty much what my hour special’s going to be.

Dave Coulier August 22-24, 7:30 p.m., $15-$25. South Point, 702-797-8055.

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