Earlier this week, we had the sudden passing of comedian Bob Saget. Well known for his role as Danny Tanner in Full House and hosting America’s Funniest Home Video’s, Bob also had an Ottawa tie – his unequalled friendship with Canadian comedian Norm Macdonald.
Canadian comedian Angelo Tsarouchas saw this friendship firsthand in LA. “There was one time I was at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, and Norm was there in the corner talking to Bob Saget. You could see they were having a really close conversation, and nobody wanted to bother them,” recalls Angelo, who spent time growing up in Ottawa but now lives in L.A.
“Everybody’s there looking at them asking what the hell are they talking about? What are Saget and Macdonald talking about? They were deep in a conversation, and you could just tell they were very close,” said Tsarouchas. “I think Saget and Norm Macdonald saw a lot of each other in each other; that’s why they connected so much.”
Now that he resides in Los Angeles, Angelo is a regular at the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard, where he would run into Bob Saget on occasion.
“We’re upstairs in the green room one time with Dom Irrera, another pillar of comedy. Dom and Bob are both from Philadelphia, and we were sitting in the booth upstairs, talking about Greek food. Bob thought I was Italian, but Dom and I had to explain that I was Greek. It was so funny to me when we talked, but we actually just talked about food, and it’s a conversation with Bob that I’ll never forget.”
Tsarouchas grew up in the Ottawa area, where he started his comedy career with Norm Macdonald. “Norm and I started off together on ‘New Talent Night’ in Ottawa back in the ’80s,” said Tsarouchas. “I worked with Norm at Butson’s Valley Hotel in Renfrew the night before he was going to do the Pat Sajak show. We did Renfrew on Tuesday or Wednesday night, then on Thursday Norm was off to do Pat’s show, and that’s at the beginning of Norm’s career.”
Norm Macdonald passed away on September 14th, just 4 months before Bob’s death. Saget said at the time that Norm’s death was “a knife in the heart for all of us who were close to him and all of you who loved him.”
Their friendship and connection were strong, and Tsarouchas brings up another story to explain Macdonald’s love for Bob Saget. “Bob was the first comic Norm ever saw when he came to Ottawa. Norm loved him so much, and I knew this only from one thing he did – Comedy Central’s Roast of Bob Saget. He wouldn’t roast him even when Bob told him to and instead said stuff like Bob has a beautiful face, like a flower — yeah, a cauliflower.”
Later on, Macdonald would explain that he never wanted to say anything negative about Bob because they were friends. It’s hard to believe we’ve lost them both in such a short amount of time.
“It was a very sad day for comedy when Norm Macdonald passed away. Truly a brilliant Canadian genius for comedy,” Tsarouchas said in a statement. “Now, with Bob Saget gone, it’s almost like he’s back with his friend again.” @bigangcomic
By Steve Bunda