In his new memoir, If You Would Have Told Me, John Stamos revealed that he almost gave up his role as Uncle Jesse because of one scene in the Full House pilot.
In an excerpt, via Variety, Stamos explained that he wasn’t feeling the show’s vibes during his first reading. But when he and the cast got to the final scene where the Tanner-Katsopolis-Gladstone family sang Meet the Flintstones around Michelle’s crib, he was done.
“By the time we get to ‘Have a Yabba-Dabba-Doo Time,’ I’m having a Yabba-Dabba-Don’t Time. The reading ends, thank God, and I head to the lobby as fast as I can, avoiding everyone babbling about how great the reading went. I dig through my pockets for change. I jam a quarter into a pay phone, get my agent on the line, and gently suggest, ‘Get me the f**k off this show!’”
He proceeded to tell his agent that he was “dying to pull the rip cord” on the “family-friendly” hell. But he understood he needed to “fulfill” his contractual obligation, which he suggested only extended through the pilot. At the time, he figured the show would “crash and burn,” and he hoped it wouldn’t ruin his reputation along the way.
‘Full House’ Rebounded Thanks to John Stamos’ Rival
John Stamos was partially correct about Full House. The first season had lackluster ratings, and his agent figured ABC would drop the show. So he called Stamos to share the good news. But by that time, the actor had already bonded with the cast, and he didn’t want to quit after all.
Stamos’ agent talked to ABC’s execs and suggested they rework the TGIF lineup in an effort to get more eyes on Full House. His plan was to air Season 1 reruns after Whose the Boss throughout the summer. The Tony Danza-led show was the network’s top hit at the time. The idea worked. Full House reached the top ten that summer and went into Season 2 ahead of the game. It went on to run for eight seasons.
Interestingly, in the memoir, Stamos claimed he walked in on his ex-girlfriend in bed with Danza around that same time. So he thought it was ironic that Danza’s show helped send Full House into massive popularity.
“If you would have told me the day I walked into that room and caught my true love in bed with another guy that his show, ‘Who’s the Boss?,’ would launch Full House into a bona fide hit, making me a household name,” he wrote,” . . . Well, what can I say? Thanks, Tony Danza.”
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