Roger Williams University students packed the Campus Recreation Center nearly wall-to-wall to experience a stand-up routine by none other than Dave Coulier on Friday, April 28. Most students, however, know him as “Uncle” Joey Gladstone, best buddy of Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) and Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) and overall nice guy of “Full House.”
In the show, Coulier’s character Joey pursued stand-up comedy, relying on his fabulous range of voice impressions, usually to little success. Ironically, Coulier himself now tours the country delivering the same earthy yet honest brand of comedy. He has currently reprised his role as Joey in the spin-off show “Fuller House,” and has lent his voice talents to animated shows such as “Robot Chicken”.
After the majority of students voted to select him several months ago, Campus Entertainment Network (CEN) hosted Coulier as a headliner, along with local David Angelo as the opening comedian.
Angelo performed well, although some audience members complained that he was difficult to hear. He struck a chord with his riff on Nordstrom and the privilege associated with the ability to buy such expensive clothing, but his racial jokes fell flat.
“His race jokes just weren’t funny, I didn’t like him as much,” confided freshman Maddisen Fostyni.
As soon as Coulier came onstage, his humility seemed to cast a spell over the audience. He was a celebrity, but he was one of the crowd.
“I know you would all rather see John Stamos,” he announced with a bashful grin, contradicted by thunderous applause. His routine was somewhat light, sometimes playing on bodily and sexual humour, always supplemented by plucky impressions. He admitted that audiences never knew when his “bits” were over, so he played a “tuba,” using only his voice, to mark the end of each routine.
The audience loved his Matthew McConaughey impression, which he linked with a risqué Bill Clinton drawl. His “Castaway”-inspired Tom Hanks impression, “Wilson? Wilson! Oh, Wilson!” apparently did not impress Hanks himself, but Friday’s audience found it spot-on. He riffed on airport security, gave a Shaggy and Scooby Doo impression, and also voiced Spongebob and Patrick.
He poked fun at Shaquille O’Neal by impersonating his voice, which he complained was too baritone to hear over a microphone. Coulier also told the story of his so-called “miracle experience”: the time he watched a man’s flatulence supposedly set off an automatic paper towel dispenser in a men’s restroom. This story proved bathroom humor is still universal.
Coulier directly targeted a Herald photographer who approached the stage, posing ridiculously for a photo. He called out audience members who left the performance as a “walking ovation.”
His most relatable skit? A cringe-worthy yet touching account of his relationship with his son: “When he comes home from flying all over, I’m all excited, I go and wait in the driveway, and he’s not. He says he’s tired and just wants to chill, but I can see his little Xbox thing under his arm, and he goes upstairs, and I can already see he’s got his T-rex arms going on, freaking out, punching buttons.”
Coulier ended with a surprise when he performed “the stereotypical cowboy song” on a real harmonica with incredible control, imitating a blues saxophone. He finished with a flourish, expressing his love and gratitude for the students, who returned his enthusiasm in kind.
“Dave Coulier was better than Andy Grammer,” gushed freshman Veronica Schaefer, and others also called him their favorite part of Spring Week. Whatever the case, just like in the “Full House” theme song, there were smiling faces “everywhere you look” as students exited the event. After all, who else could bring the house down like a star of “Full House”?