A man's home is his castle, right?
That is certainly true for comedian, actor, master impressionist and Michigan native, Dave Coulier, who is coming home to headline at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle. He will hit the stage at 8:00 p.m. tonight followed by two shows on Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. bringing his “full house” of comedy impressions and stand-up.
The clean comedian and former "Full House" star brings his full entourage of impressions and voice characterizations to life for over an hour in each show. Known to the world as Joey Gladstone on the ABC show that ran from 1987 to 1995, Coulier’s early comedic influences include George Carlin, Steve Martin and Robin Williams. But, he got some career advice at age 19 from a giant in the industry about his act.
“Leno came up to me after one of my sets at the Comedy Store in LA,” he said. “I saw your set, noticed you’re clean and just remember, if you work clean, you’ll work anywhere. And I’ve never forgotten that.”
After working the comedy circuit, Coulier got the ultimate invite in the entertainment industry. His hard and “clean” work got him noticed by big name comedians who passed on encouragement.
“It’s not something that I purposely do it’s just that I’ve always worked that way and I haven’t changed,” Coulier explained. “I came up in the ranks of 'The Tonight Show' when Johnny Carson used to host and if you wanted to be on 'The Tonight Show' you had to work clean. There was no other game in town. There was no Letterman or Leno.”
Not that he’s a prude, Coulier admits to listening to and enjoying George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock.
“But that’s just not a style that lends itself to me,” he said. “George Carlin – I loved listening to his albums as a kid and when the filthy parts of the album would come on and my mom would be in the other room – we’d crank the volume up.”
It was Carlin’s writing that hooked the young impressionist.
“I just loved the way he crafted jokes and he's an amazing wordsmith,” Coulier said.
Coulier has been given the mantle of clean comedy and he’s readily taken that on, as he’ll be on tour in 2013 with The Clean Guys of Comedy Tour. The live show in Denver will be broadcast to theatres across the country.
When not performing, Coulier enjoys playing hockey and flying airplanes and the NHL fan doesn’t care for the current labor situation of his favorite sport.
“They could have settled this collective bargaining agreement a long time ago. They knew it was coming and to kind of hold it over the fans the way they are doing – it’s a shame because they could have figured this out,” he said. “A lot of people – the ancillary workers, the people who run the concessions stands and the bars and restaurants near the arena – those are the people who will really suffer. And they’ll lose a lot of fans.”
The licensed pilot first got into the air at 18 and has continued flying and getting more certifications. He recently, along with fellow pilot Harrison Ford, spoke to the Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association’s Hat in the Ring Society.
“Basically, people don’t know the positive benefits they get from their local airport. There’s a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue. It’s an amazing mode of transportation,” he said.
Royal Oak ambassador
Coulier has performed at the Comedy Castle and growing up nearby, he has a strong knowledge of Royal Oak and enjoys hanging out when he’s not on stage.
“I love to go clothes shopping in Royal Oak,” he said. “I always find cool stuff.”
And he frequents local eateries but always finds time to hit Little Brothers Burgers.
“It’s great. I love that place,” he said. “There’s so much to do there in such a small downtown area – you’ve got great restaurants, great places to shop, funky clothing stores, you can grab a cup of coffee, see some of the biggest names in comedy – right there. It’s really this cool, little microcosm of Detroit. I tell all my friends – my Full House friends – to go there.”
Full House forever
The full cast had an un-official get together to celebrate their 25th anniversary recently in September.
“Jeff Franklin, our show’s creator had a get together at his house. We Tweet each other, we Facebook each other, we see each other, we go out to lunch – we really did become a dysfunctional family on that show,” he said.
Working With Heroes
Known for his impressions, Coulier has had the opportunity to work with giants of the voice characterization industry – Bugs Bunny and Yogi Bear.
“I got to work with Mel Blanc and Daws Butler and I’ve been really, really fortunate,” he said. “I just sat there while we recorded the show with other cast members and I’m thought, ‘Wow, I’m sitting here across from Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety Bird, Sylvester…’. The list is just incredible of the characters he’s (Mel Blanc) done. It was a pretty cool day.”
To find tickets to tonight and this weekend’s shows, call Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle at (248) 542-9900 or go to www.comedycastle.com. To follow Coulier, check out his Facebook and Twitter pages as well as his website, www.davecoulier.tv.