Like Bob Saget? Thank Stephen Starr

MATT SAYLES / ASSOCIATED PRESS Bob Saget says in his autobiography that he performed often at a Stephen Starr club.
MATT SAYLES / ASSOCIATED PRESS Bob Saget says in his autobiography that he performed often at a Stephen Starr club.
Posted: April 10, 2014

BLAME Stephen Starr for Bob Saget's comedy career.

Abington High grad Saget yesterday released his autobiography, Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian, including remembrances about his time living in Philadelphia.

Saget was born here, moved to Norfolk, Va., then Encino, Calif., before returning to the Philly suburbs for high school and then college at Temple University.

In the book, Saget says he didn't start thinking about becoming a comic until he moved back to Philly. He says he would probably be doing something very different if it weren't for his time living here.

His English teacher Elaine Zimmerman told Saget, "Do not become a doctor. You need to make movies and perform and write. You need to make people laugh."

That sent Saget on his comedic path, including his first stand-up gig, which he won through a WMMR contest that found him singing an original song called "Bondage" ("Masochists and sadists unite one and all, bondage is the rage, let's have a ball"). His first paying gig was at the then-named Beaver College ("Oh, how I wish I had gone there," Saget writes), now Arcadia University.

Of course, Saget takes credit for the name change.

In his latter years attending Temple as a documentary film major, Saget started performing frequently at a club called Stars (although, Saget refers to it as Starz), at 2nd and Bainbridge, owned by a young Starr (it was his second joint, behind diner Grand Mom Minnie's).

"Stephen is really the first person of note that thought I was funny and gave me my start," Saget writes. "You can blame him."

* Comedy fans, take note: First Person Arts brings back Kevin Allison (MTV's '90s cult hit "The State," "Reno 911!," "Flight of the Conchords") to Underground Arts (1200 Callowhill St.) on Friday for RISK!, which features stories that performers never thought they'd tell onstage. Local performers include Thomas Dixon, Kitty Hailey, Alex Kacala and Teresa Marquard.

Totes Oates

Hall and Oates' John Oates appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Monday, sitting in with fellow Philly guys the Roots. Keen observers will note that Hall brandished an ax emblazoned with the Phillies logo. The guitar is a Fender Stratocaster and is part of a line of baseball-themed six-strings. Get your own for a mere $799 from Fender.com.

The Roots' Questlove will induct Hall and Oates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tomorrow night at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn. The induction ceremony will air on HBO on May 31.

Robin Lee retires

WMMR's Robin Lee has retired from radio after 33 years in the biz. Lee came to WMMR 10 years ago to do weekend and fill-in work at the station. Before that, she did time at WYSP and was a program director at Allentown's 951 ZZO. Her LinkedIn profile suggests that Lee will continue her work at Web-design team websitefreaks.net and working with Gettysburg Ghost Tours.

"It is rare to work in a radio station where you know everyone is pulling for everyone else, and then that goes for our listeners who are our family, too," Lee wrote on her Facebook page. "WMMR is truly an amazing place."

Reality bites

Aneesa Ferreira, who graduated from Lower Merion High School and first came to prominence on "Real World: Chicago," will return to her MTV roots and appear on "The Challenge: Free Agents," the 25th (!!!) season of the "Road Rules"/"Real World" spin-off. The show premieres tomorrow at 10 p.m.

* Local welterweight Steven Upsher-Chambers will be on NUVOtv's new boxing reality show, "Knockout," in which upstart boxers travel to Las Vegas to train with the likes of Ruben Guerrero, Yoel Judah and Floyd Mayweather Sr. The show premieres tonight at 10.

OUT AND ABOUT

Mike Flanagan, the director of the much-buzzed-about horror film "Oculus" - which hits theaters on Friday - and the film's producers, Trevor Macy ("The Strangers") and Jason Blum ("Paranormal Activity" series, "The Purge," "Sinister"), dined on steaks at Butcher & Singer (1500 Walnut St.) on Monday night before participating in a Q&A at the Rave University City.

* Philly superproducer and DJ King Britt was spotted at the Center City Ethiopian spot Almaz Cafe (140 S. 20th St.) yesterday chowing down on lunch.


Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

Phone: 215-854-5909

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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