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Bob Saget

Bob Saget, to many, is Danny Tanner, the boyishly handsome patriarch of Full House. To others, his mug (and voice-over) is synonymous with dancing animals, maim-worthy water-skiing accidents, and nut shots upon nut shots, from his eight seasons hosting ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos.

But as anyone who’s seen Saget’s funny/filthy cameo appearances in The Aristocrats or Half Baked already knows, Bob Saget has a blue streak a mile long. It doesn’t show at first—on the phone, Saget sounds as polite and mild-mannered as Danny Tanner. That is, until he mentions the computer-enhanced genitalia belonging to one of the penguin stars of his upcoming movie.

Saget is in Los Angeles, working 19-hour days as the writer, director, and producer of Farce of the Penguins, a film he hopes will be released in May; he’s taking time out for some stand-up gigs, like Saturday’s appearance at Skidmore College. “I saw March of the Penguins, and thought it was funny,” he deadpans. “They walk like my grandparents. They look like my grandparents. And I just started doing what I do . . . like that video thing, and kinda dubbed it.”

Producer David Permut was keen on the idea of replacing Morgan Freeman’s narration from the popular penguin pic with Saget’s warped new dialogue. Convincing the makers of a major international motion picture to allow their work be, well, defiled proved to be a bit of a snare, so the team opted to collect stock footage—“we’re not gonna go film penguins”—and cut together a film.

“It’s just like the original movie, but it’s more of a story because it’s a love story.” He pauses, then adds, “And it’s R-rated. [There’s] a lot of cursing in it. Language, and penguin sex. A lot of penguin sex.”

Penguins comes a long eight years after Saget’s debut as a feature-film director. 1998’s Dirty Work had the unfortunate circumstance of being released four months before There’s Something About Mary made the R-rated comedy bankable again. (The film’s raunchiest moments were excised to achieve a PG-13 rating.) The film flopped, although its failure could be attributed to the fact that neither Norm MacDonald nor Artie Lange is nearly as hot as Cameron Diaz. (Or Ben Stiller, for that matter.)

“Directing has always been my first love, but when Dirty Work didn’t perform, it was hard to get another directing gig,” he says, matter-of-factly. “That’s the nature of show business.”

But when it rains, it pours, and Saget’s schedule today is busier than ever. Beside Penguins, he’s writing a sitcom for HBO, in which he will star as a divorced dermatologist (the role originally was written as a gynecologist—“even for me, too misogynistic . . . because you do want women viewers”) trying to raise a 13-year-old son. And this week he’s scheduled to shoot a music video for “Rollin’ With Saget,” a song by comedian Jamie Kennedy’s rap-rock band the Stone Movement that calls Saget “the illest motherfucker in a cardigan sweater” while Saget himself talk-raps about the size and virility of his manhood.

“I’m crazy,” laughs Saget self-effacingly.

So with all that’s going on, how does he find time for a stand-up engagement at a college nearly 3,000 miles away?

“Stand up to me is the root. I’m doing stand-up because I just love it. You have an hour. You create it yourself. You produce, you write, and you star in it. That’s what it is if you’re doing it right. . . . The college people are the people I love doing it for the most. The 18-to-22 audience is my favorite audience. They just get me. I guess that’s just the level of my mentality—which I think is a compliment.”

Bob Saget will perform at Skidmore College’s Sports and Recreation Center (580 Broadway, Saratoga Springs) this Saturday (March 4) at 8 PM. Tickets are $15, and will be sold only to those age 17 and over. (They are quite serious about this.) For tickets or more information, call 580-5298.

—John Brodeur

Sing! Sing! Sing!

For years, some historians tended to overstate the importance of Benny Goodman’s 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall, which only served to obscure how genuinely important it was.

Carnegie Hall was not as ecumenical in its musical offerings in 1938 as it is today. Goodman booking an all-star (and racially integrated) jazz concert with the players from his various ensembles (Harry James, Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Jess Stacy) and guest soloists from the Ellington and Basie bands was not well received in all quarters. “Swing is dance music,” huffed the Establishment, totally missing one of the 20th century’s salient points: Dance music is often serious mu sic, too. And Good man’s crew brought the house down.

Tonight (Thursday) at Proctor’s, clarinet ace Ken Peplowski (pictured) will lead the all-star Kingdom of Swing band in a re-creation of the Goodman show. And it could turn out to be a real blast, with such swing standards as “Don’t Be that Way,” “One O’Clock Jump,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and the epic “Sing! Sing! Sing”/“Christopher Columbus” jam.

Sing! Sing! Sing! will be presented tonight (Thursday, March 2) at 8 PM at Proctor’s Theatre (432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $34.75 to $19.75. For reservations and information, call the Proctor’s box office at 346-6204.

Looking Over the President’s Shoulder

‘It was,” Alonzo Fields once said, “like being in the front row and watching the passing parade of history.”

For a little more than two decades, Fields—a one-time aspiring classical singer—worked as a White House servant, eventually becoming the first African-American chief butler in the presidential mansion’s history. From Herbert Hoover to Harry Truman, Fields saw (and served) the famous and infamous of the 20th century, from Winston Churchill to Errol Flynn, and Marian Anderson to the king of England.

>From this compelling life story, James Still wrote Looking Over the President’s Shoulder, which opens today (Thursday) at Capital Repertory Theatre.

Looking Over the President’s Shoulder will be presented at Capital Repertory Theatre (111 N. Pearl St., Albany) beginning today (Thursday, March 2) with a 7:30 PM pay-what-you-will performance. (The box office opens at 6 PM.) Previews continue Saturday through Tuesday (March 3-7), with the official opening night at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, March 8. The play will run through March 26. Regular ticket prices are $42-$27. For showtimes and reservations, please call 445-7469.

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