Who:Dave Coulier (above)
When: 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Funny Farm Comedy Club, at Mojo’s Pub & Grille, 6292 Mahoning Ave., Austintown
Tickets: $27.50; call 330-759-4242, or go to funnyfarmcomedyclub.com
By John Benson
A dummy is how comedian Dave Coulier referred to himself when calling in late for a recent phone interview.
It’s fitting that the 53-year-old funnyman, known mostly for his eight-year stint on “Full House,” would call himself such a non-offensive word as dummy. You see, Coulier is known for his clean comedy.
“I’m calling myself a dummy, but sometimes I’ll use harsher language,” said Coulier, calling from Los Angeles.
Hearing this insight, we’re guessing his inner monologue is an f-bomb paradise.
“Oh, it’s awful,” Coulier quipped.
Awful language is something that never appealed to Coulier, although he cites raunchy comedians such as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Chris Rock as his favorites.
Apparently, Coulier’s clean streak started as a kid. He specifically remembers going to see Bill Cosby while still in elementary school and being blown away by not only the “Fat Albert” comic but also something bigger.
“I went with my friend and his parents, and we all sat there and had the same experience,” Coulier said. “I was 10 years old, and it was an amazing feeling to be there watching the adults crack up at the same stuff I was laughing at. Those days are kind of gone. You don’t really have those comedians anymore. You have Jim Gaffigan and Brian Regan, but the list gets kind of short after that.”
This leads nicely into Coulier’s current project, which is called the Clean Guys of Comedy. Billed as comedy for the entire family, the tour has been hitting the road of late with a revolving door of funnymen. The next step is taking that bill to the mainstream. Coulier said he hopes to announce something big soon.
In the meantime, the Michigan native is back on the road touring solo with a return Youngstown engagement scheduled for four shows Friday and Saturday at The Funny Farm.
“I’ll be talking about my life, the ‘Full House’ stuff and personal experiences,” Coulier said. “I love doing voices and telling stories with strange characters. So it’s very eclectic, and I kind of bounce around all over the place.”
In some ways, Coulier remains a pop-culture footnote based on “Full House.” Perhaps it didn’t help that he also appeared on VH1’s “The Surreal Life,” which seemingly was the place where B level — at best — actors go before falling irrevocably into obscurity.
“People say, ‘Gee, are you sorry that you did ‘Full House’ and now you’re always known as that character?’” Coulier said. “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding?’ When you’re starting out, you dream of a ‘Full House.’ That was the goal all along. Before that, I was on stage every night with really great comedians like Saget, Jim Carrey and Jerry Seinfeld. Back then we were all kind of struggling in our own ways, so by the time I got ‘Full House,’ I was well groomed. I wanted the big paycheck. I was working really hard. It would be great to be on the cover of TV Guide. That was the goal.”
So who does Coulier think is funnier, his “Full House” character Joey Gladstone or his current comedy set?
He said, laughing, “I’d like to think that Dave got Joey Gladstone his job.”