Though he hadn’t gotten around to checking his Powerball numbers by the time we began chatting Thursday morning, comedian Dave Coulier already had an idea in mind for what he’d do with the $1.6 billion jackpot: a truly 21st-century children’s hospital, filled not only with state-of-the-art medical equipment but also the latest in interactive children’s entertainment and activities. If sick children are going to be tragically stuck in hospitals getting treatments, the thinking goes, we might as well give them opportunities to still have fun and be kids.
As apparently the destroyer of dreams, I had to bring up the idea that kids might purposefully get hurt to go this hospital of wonders.
"I didn’t think about that," Coulier laughed.
Between that and the fact that Coulier is still performing a stand-up comedy set at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino rather than diving into a pool of Powerball riches, consider that project on hold.
There’s still, however, a particularly exciting development coming up in Coulier’s future, as he’ll be moving back to a fictional San Francisco where everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold onto. Yes, thanks to Netflix, the extended Tanner clan – including Coulier’s Uncle Joey – will return with "Fuller House" beginning Feb. 26. Before it hits TVs next month – and he hits the Potawatomi stage tonight – OnMilwaukee caught up with Coulier to find out more the return of the Tanners.
OnMilwaukee: Did you ever imagine you were going to come back to "Full House"?
Dave Coulier: No, not really. We’d heard for years that it’d be really nice if we did some kind of reunion show or spinoff, but we never actually thought it was going to materialize and become a reality.
OnMilwaukee: Why do you think "Full House" connected so much with people, to the point that, two decades after coming off air, they want to revisit it?
Coulier: Over the years talking with fans, I think for a lot of fans it’s kind of a guilty pleasure. For others, it’s comfort food. Because they don’t really make shows like "Full House" anymore. They don’t make shows where people tell each other that they love each other and hug and there’s a moral behind the show. It’s a family that’s really striving to stay together, where people sit down and actually talk and not texting one another from their respective bedrooms in the house.
So I think it’s a bit of a throwback for people, and I think that’s very comforting to be with the Tanners and the Gladstones and the Gibblers. I think we’re familiar faces for a lot of people. And there’s some odd chemistry that clicks with kids, because I hear from so many people that their five-year-olds are addicted to the show now. There’s something there; we don’t know what it is.
OnMilwaukee: What was it like seeing everybody back together, or had you guys been hanging out a lot between then and now?
Coulier: Well, we’ve never been apart (laughs). We see each other all the time. I had dinner with Jodie Sweetin last night, for crying out loud. We’ve never really been apart. We’ve always been a very close family, and that doesn’t happen on television shows. That just doesn’t happen where people stick together and become lifelong friends and really stick up for each other and are there for each other. That’s what we have with "Full House," and now with "Fuller House."
OnMilwaukee: It sounds like the Olson twins will not be participating. Are you bummed that it seems like they will not be joining on?
Coulier: I think we were all a little disappointed, but I think we’re all very understanding of where they are at this point in their lives.
And I’m not sure I could reconnect with something I did when I was eight months old (laughs). We all share a different experience than Mary-Kate and Ashley. They were babies when they started the show, so we would go to lunch and have a great time and goof around on the set and have barbecues – and they were getting their diapers changed. But so was I (laughs).
I think it was a different experience for them because they were so young, and they haven’t acted in a long time. They run this fashion empire in New York City; they’re fashion designers of the year there right now. So their lives have evolved into a completely different place than "Full House."
They have a welcome invitation to come back. We’ll welcome them with open arms and we’ll be extremely happy if they ever come back. But for right now, we just keep the Michelle character alive through the dialogue on the show.
OnMilwaukee: What is this new "Fuller House" like? How have you adapted it for a new audience and a new era of sitcoms, which, like you were saying, have changed so much since the heyday of "Full House" and TGIF?
Coulier: Well, it’s an updated operations system. It’s "Full House" 2.0. It catches up with all of us at this point in our lives, and the characters are pretty much the same. You’re going to see all the same loveable characters, pretty much acting in just a different era.
OnMilwaukee: Is it hard to balance bringing in the old audience, many of which were kids at the time now grown up, as well as the new audience of younger viewers? How do you bring all of those together into something they both can like?
Coulier: I think it’s staying true to the characters. It’s a real simple formula. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here. We know our strengths, we know our weaknesses and we know what the fans are expecting and what they want. They want the same kind of interactions between characters.
They want Jesse to be cool, this great-looking guy who’s still together with Becky. They want Danny to be this fastidious neat-freak caring father. They want Joey to be this silly, overgrown kid. They want the girls to be funny and being typical sisters. They want Kimmy Gibbler to be eclectic. So we’re giving them that; we’re giving them all of the things they’re going to expect from "Full House," incorporated into "Fuller House."
OnMilwaukee: You, John Stamos and Bob Saget all dedicated this to your mothers, correct?
Coulier: As well as ("Full House" creator) Jeff Franklin. The four of us lost all four of our mothers within a year. We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve been through births; we’ve been through deaths; we’ve been through marriages; we’ve been through divorces. We’ve been through being a show becoming a hit to a show becoming a cancelled former hit (laughs) to the rebirth of "Fuller House." So we’ve been through an awful lot together, and so there was this idea that we dedicate this first episode to our moms.
Our moms were a big part of our lives. They were a big part of who we eventually became. My mom came to the show. John’s mom was always at the show. Bob’s mom came to the show. Jeff’s mom was at the show all the time and actually worked for the show; she did a lot of our merchandise for "Full House." These four moms have a special place within all of it, and I think it’s just an homage to how much we love our mothers.
Our moms would’ve freaked out for all of us to get back together because they knew what a strong family we’d become. And they were all a part of that family.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.