Friends and family throw Bob Saget a ‘punk rock shiva’ for the ages

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Dan Buffa, Special For The Jewish Light

There are many ways to honor someone. But the best possible way to honor the late Jewish comedy maestro Bob Saget would be gathering a bunch of his close friends and family to put on a comedy show for the ages. Shiva for the ultimate dirty old man comic could only happen at one place, and that’s the Comedy Store in West Hollywood, Calif.

Produced by Mike Binder and hosted by Jeff Ross, the night wasn’t just a time to make people laugh in fond remembrance of Saget; it was more like a place to talk about him, sing about him, and celebrate his work and legacy. Co-hosts and close Saget pals John Mayer and John Stamos joined Ross and Binder in gathering some of the best and brightest souls from the late “Full House” star to come together and take the edge off his unfortunate passing.

The Guest List

Jim Carrey, Michael Keaton, Chris Rock, Jackson Browne, Seth Green, and many others took the stage to do comedy sets. Saget’s wife, Kelly Rizzo, led the entire room in a sing-along with his daughters.

Like Saget’s funeral, the affair was intimate and very private–a place of refuge for all the people who felt the impact of his life. Ross called the Sunday gathering a “punk rock shiva,” noting how it was “four hours of laughing and crying” that included tributes from Dave Chappelle and Marc Maron.

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The Comedy Store is a fitting place for the sendoff, being that Saget launched his comedy career there decades ago under the guidance of Mitzi Shore. Before “Full House” and “Entourage” introduced him to a legion of fans of all ages, it was one guy on a stage in the main room in West Hollywood telling jokes with the hope that a career would follow. It surely did. What Saget mastered over his four-decade career is the ability to tap into alternative forms of comedy and master them. He was the doting dad who could crack wise, and then he returned to his comedy roots on the stage later on in his life. Most comics can’t even nail down one of those personas.

Raising money and awareness

Along with celebrating his life and work, the Comedy Store event raised money for one of Saget’s favorite charities, the Scleroderma Research Foundation. He lost his sister to the rare group of diseases that involve the hardening and tightening of the skin. It may also cause problems in the blood vessels, internal organs and digestive tract.

 

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There aren’t many people that can create a scene like the one on Sunday night, depicted in pictures from Rizzo’s Instagram page and Ross’ page as well. What other stage can you find Chappelle smoking a cigarette and laughing uncontrollably while Mayer and Maron (both also holding guitars) sit with Ross nearby?

Rizzo ended the night in proper fashion, getting the entire group to participate in a sing-along of one of Saget’s favorite and raunchiest songs, “My Dog Licked My B++++.” While that may gross out some, that was who the comedian was. A soul who could make just about anything funny.

A shiva usually lasts seven days, but Ross and company packed about a week’s worth of jokes and material into one evening on Sunday. Unfortunately, Saget, at age 65, left life’s stage too soon. Clearly, his audience of millions wanted more.