“I realized I was kind of the Rich Cunningham on the show,” Saget, who died Sunday, told the Los Angeles Times in 2016. “I was the straight guy. I wasn’t the acerbic guy, which wouldn’t have worked. I was the pure guy. And when I do comedy, people are like, why aren’t you Danny Tanner? It’s like, do you want Anthony Hopkins to eat people? I was acting, guys!”
But the truth, as Saget explained over the years, is that he wasn’t the first person to play the role. It was actor John Posey who portrayed the irrepressibly corny, clean and loving dad in the show’s unaired pilot. The actor had explained that, as a young comic, he had a gig warming up the audience of the Tom Hanks-Peter Scolari sitcom Bosom Buddies. One of the producers of that show, Tom Miller, also had seen him in a 1987 Richard Pryor movie, Critical Condition, and they wanted him for an upcoming show about a dad raising three daughters with two other men. Saget turned them down at first, because he had landed a job on CBS’s The Morning Program, but he went back to the producers after he was fired. And they took him up on his offer.
“They were reshooting my stuff from the pilot because I replaced someone, which is always sad,” Saget told Alabama.com ahead of stand-up dates in Huntsville in August. “I always feel guilt about it, but that’s life.”