Found dead in Orlando-area hotel room
In stunning news, Bob Saget – who was a prominent presence on television in the 1980s and 1990s, was found dead in his hotel room Sunday at the age of 65 in unincorporated Orange County, Fla., near Orlando.
Saget was on tour performing stand-up comedy and was in Jacksonville Saturday night before arriving in Orlando Sunday. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies said no foul play was suspected and no drug use was detected. The coroner’s office will determine the cause of his death in the next few weeks.
Condolences poured in from all over after his death – including a statement from the entire cast of Full House, where he spent eight seasons playing Danny Tanner.
A Philadelphia native, Saget cut his teeth in stand-up comedy and his one of his first TV gigs was appearing on The Morning Program with Mariette Hartley and Rolland Smith, one of countless attempts by CBS to compete with NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America in the A.M. wake-up race. Saget exited after a few months after he was cast as Danny Tanner on ABC’s Full House – a show which didn’t get a lot of rave reviews, but was very popular among young viewers and helped establish the TGIF block on Friday nights. Full House went on to very successful afterlife in off-network broadcast and cable syndication, and on home video. Saget returned in 2016 for sequel Fuller House (though not in every episode.)
While Full House was at its peak, Saget became host of another series on ABC – the pioneering America’s Funniest Home Videos in 1990, narrating pratfalls, slips, and falls sent in by viewers recorded on their camcorders. Saget left the show in 1997, but Videos remains on the air to this very day with Alfonso Ribero as host and is currently the second longest-running entertainment show on network prime-time television, behind The Simpsons (by weeks!) The Saget version entered off-network syndication in 1995 via MTM Enterprises.
Though he was never shown on-screen, Saget was the narrator from Ted’s point-of-view in How I Met Your Mother.
Saget later appeared in the short-lived sitcoms Raising Dad and Surviving Suburbia, directed several movies including theatrical Dirty Work starring Norm McDonald and Artie Lange, and also hosted CMT’s Nashville Squares, one of several Hollywood Squares spin-offs.
But stand-up was certainly one of Saget’s loves. The material in his shows were quite the opposite of the family-friendly persona he portrayed on TV (just watch his cameo in The Aristocats.) He did a stand-up comedy special for HBO That’s Ain’t Right and released a Grammy-nominated comedy album That’s What I’m Talking About in 2014. One of his last social media posts he made was the show he enjoyed doing in Jacksonville the previous evening as part of his current comedy tour.
Saget is survived by wife Kelly Rizzo and three daughters from a previous marriage.
This is the latest person in the media and entertainment world to die in the last two weeks. Over the holidays, ESPN 1000 Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson and beloved NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden passed away. On New Year’s Eve, beloved television personality Betty White died at 99 from a stroke. On Friday, Oscar-Award winner and trailblazer Sidney Poitier died at 94 from A Raisin in the Sun and In The Heat Of The Night movie fame. And on the same day Saget died, Dobie Gillis‘ Dwayne Hickman – who played the title role, passed away at the age of 87.