Uncle Joey provides laughs, advice for students
The Jubilee Auditorium was packed on March 31 as Dave Coulier, famous for his role as Joey Gladstone in “Full House,” came to Seton Hall to perform his stand-up comedy routine.
The actor started the evening off by talking about his famous role in the show which he has recently reprised in the new revival series, a Netflix original, “Fuller House.” From his craziest fan experiences to being back on the set, Coulier joked about all things Hollywood.
In an interview with The Setonian the comedian shared advice on what college students should do if they want to break into the entertainment industry.
“Get your ass to Hollywood,” Coulier said with a laugh. “It’s not going to happen anywhere else.”
Aside from location, the performer also shared the notion that there is no secret formula to success, because everybody is different. However, some basic characteristic traits are needed.
“You need to have huge drive,” he said. “You have to have extremely thick skin. You have to be able to handle rejection every single day, no matter how successful you get.”
After going for a reading or audition, an agent may call and say “they thought you were too fat,” “they thought you were too thin,” “they didn’t think you were tall enough,” “they didn’t think you were handsome enough,” “you’re too Midwest, they’re going for more New York,” he said to name
But Coulier says not to think about the rejection or criticism.
“You hear criticism about yourself and you have to be able to take whatever positives you can from something like that, if there is anything, and use it to your own advantage,” he added.
“If you want to do it, just go,” Coulier said. “Don’t talk about it, don’t tell people you’re going to do it. Just go. If you want to be a Broadway actor, go to Broadway. Go immerse yourself in it. You have to be willing to leave the nest and immerse yourself in the world you want to be in.”
That’s exactly what Coulier did. Instead of going to college, he moved to Los Angeles when he was 19 years old to follow his dream. But he didn’t always want to be a comedian.
“I always enjoyed watching other comedians,” he said. “I come from a really big, funny family. In another life I would’ve liked to be a doctor or a surgeon or a pilot.”
Luckily for audience members, Coulier did move to Hollywood and became a successful actor from his time on “Full House” which ran from 1987 to 1995, before most college students today were born.
Many fans of the original series were aching for more from the Tanner family and there were rumors for years about a spin-off or a reunion show. Before “Fuller House” hit Netflix in February, the excitement was palpable, not just from the fans, but the actors as well.
“It was very surreal being back there within the confines of that set at Warner Brothers,” he said. “In my mind, it’s not full house, it’s full circle. What was amazing is that even though all this time has passed, we clicked right back into those characters immediately.”
Going back to that character and set was emotional for Coulier.
“I cried when I first saw the set,” he said. “I went to Warner Brothers and they were building the kitchen and the living room. I stood up in the bleachers and I started to tear up. I thought ‘Wow, I never thought I’d be back here, this is amazing.’”
The rumors and Jimmy Fallon appearance kept fans anxiously awaiting a reunion show until Netflix announced the revival, but the actors always said that they wanted to make sure it was done correctly, Coulier said.
“We’ve built such a nice, iconic image and following in television syndication around the globe now,” Coulier said. “We didn’t want to tarnish that. You can botch that up very badly in a big way. We were cognizant of the fact that there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.”
When Coulier went back to film “Fuller House” he said the process is similar to what they did for “Full House.” The show has the same setup, same rehearsal process, the same actors, etc.
“It’s the same people, we just look older and wiser,” he said.
His favorite memory from filming the revival series was the first night the live audience was there.
“I knew people were excited, but not like how they were,” he said. “It was really an incredible and magical night.”
But acting for a live audience is not always easy. Coulier shared that performing on-stage versus in front of a camera and live audience is different.
“In a sitcom, you are listening to that live audience, listening for those laughs,” he said. “You have to hold for a laugh and look at the other actor and wait and wait and wait. When we did ‘Fuller House,’ the audience reaction was mind-numbingly huge. We had to just sit there and wait for the audience to die down.”
During his routine, Coulier said he had fun performing with his TV family again and doing the silly voices that made him famous. In fact, the comedian first began by doing imitations.
“Sometimes voices can be really challenging,” he said. “It depends on whether it’s already in my wheelhouse or not. Some voices are easy to do, but some you have to work at.”
Coulier said his favorite imitations are obscure ones of people he knows, because when he grew up, his older brother Dan would imitate their family members.
“We’d lay in our bunkbeds at night and he would crack me up doing impressions of family members,” he said. “I just had a natural inner laugh about doing voices.”
He joked with the audience that his favorite time to do imitations is on the phone with telemarketers, because he loves giving them a good scare.
When Joey Gladstone was reintroduced to the world, it was revealed that he lived in Vegas, was married, and had kids of his own, although they haven’t made an appearances on the show.
“I’d like to meet my wife and children,” he said with a laugh.
Viewers are hoping to meet the rest of the Gladstone family in season 2, which the cast is filming this summer.
Rebecca White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.