Joking aside, Bob Saget is a mensch. His call, on a Friday afternoon, accommodated my schedule and he still made sure it was a good time. Introducing himself as “Bob” I almost forgot with whom I was speaking. Bob Saget: actor, comedian, musician, and advocate, had called me! Yes, it was scheduled, but still… Bob Saget.
While I only caught a glimpse of his humor, intelligence, and creativity, members and guests of the Solomon Society of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS) will have the opportunity to see and hear him in all of his “R-ratedness” at the City National Grove of Anaheim on September 10. “Late Night with Solomon Society” is the largest annual gathering of Jewish men in Orange County and features a marquee comedian each year. This year the event will headline Bob Saget, with Mensch of the Year Award recipient Howard Mirowitz, and Master of Ceremonies Elon Gold.
Saget is honored to be headlining this event. A veteran to fundraising, Saget put scleroderma on the map and has helped to raise millions for the once unknown disfiguring disease that took his sister’s life at age 47. Raising money around the country for scleroderma, Saget says, “I have no choice but to do this.”
Saget, who was raised Jewish, Bar Mitzvah’d, and continues to “love the culture and religion,” is all for the support and betterment of the Jewish community and Israel. How does he feel about performing at a Jewish event? “It’s an all guy thing. But they can be the toughest audience. And it’s Jewish guys, so double down on the toughness!” But despite the tough crowd, Saget is honored to be performing at the Grove.
In addition to fundraising and performing at fundraisers, Saget is very busy these days. While not on the road, he is currently writing an independent film, and working on Netflix’s “Fuller House.” “It will be fun,” says Saget. “We are close to having the full cast and getting together to show where everyone is.” Always busy, Saget said he has to stop touring to recharge. “I’m in a nice place right now.”
Saget continues to do a lot of writing just a year after the release of his NY Times bestseller book, Dirty Daddy, detailing how comedy got him through life’s pain. “There has been a lot of death in my family…” says Saget. Not only did Saget lose his sister Gay to scleroderma, Saget’s other sister Andrea died from a brain aneurysm at the age of 34; Saget’s father passed away in 2007. “We’re [comedians] good at what we do because of pain.”
Saget did not always want to be a comedian; his early aspirations were medicine. He graduated from Temple University with a Documentary Film degree. But humor and comedy are innate in Saget and at 17 he officially began to make people laugh. “I did not choose comedy, it’s just who I am… I love comedy, I don’t study it, I just want to do it.” He hit the comedy scene in 1978 when Billy Crystal was just cutting his teeth on a comedy called Soap, and Saget was “all guitar.” “It [comedy] is all about the human condition.”
Does Saget have a favorite comedian? “Don Rickles, he has been like a dad to me. I was at his 89th birthday—it is a pleasure to sit in the presence of Don and [Rickles’ wife] Barbara. He is iconic and gut funny.” He has had the opportunity to work with other icons of comedy as well: Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal among others.
In 1991 Saget and his family made their first trip to Israel. When Saget speaks about the trip it is clear it was an exciting time for him, “We got to go to the Temple Mount… Things were different then. When you go to Israel you fall in love with the land. It’s hard to understand why we cannot get along…But I do understand why people have such passion.”
In addition to headlining Bob Saget, Solomon Society will honor Howard Mirowitz as Mensch of the Year for 2015. Mirowitz served as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee of JFFS for several years; he was the co-founder of JFFS’s Montefiore Society, and he currently co-chairs The Network division of JFFS and serves on JFFS’s Board of Directors and Finance Committee. During his tenure as Treasurer, Mirowitz assisted with navigating the financial aspects of the complex merger process between Jewish Federation and Jewish Family Services, with the financial aspects of constructing and opening Mandel House, and with advising JFFS Community Partners on financial and strategic planning matters. He also stepped in to act as temporary CFO in 2013, directly managing JFFS’s accounting operations for several months, including the preparation and approval process for the organization’s 2014 budget, while coordinating JFFS’s search for a new CFO. Mirowitz was a member of the Board of Directors of Congregation B’nai Israel for many years, and he also served as Treasurer and President of the Bureau of Jewish Education. He currently serves on the Hebrew Academy’s Finance Committee.
Mirowitz’s community service record spans nearly two decades and includes not only the Jewish community but also charities and community work in the broader community. Mirowitz, who has been involved with JFFS for many years, was also nominated for the Spirit of Volunteerism award given by OneOC in 2013.
And what about Bob? The veteran performer that he is, Saget still worries about his edgy and adult only performances, “I hope I don’t offend anyone…”
“Well,” I said, “People attending the event know who is performing and should know what to expect—they’re hoping for Bob Saget.”
If you are looking for the Bob Saget of Full House, you may want to watch reruns and checkout Fuller House on Netflix when it is released. If you are hoping for the edgy and adult oriented Bob Saget, then make sure you get your seat for Late Night with Solomon Society on September 10. Late Night with Solomon Society may never be the same.
Inspired by the wisdom and leadership of King Solomon, Solomon Society of JFFS is Orange County’s fellowship of dynamic Jewish men—brothers, fathers, sons and friends—who today inspire each other through Jewish values and commitment to community.
Through business and social networking, leadership, philanthropy and leveraging its collective power, Solomon Society provides our community with assistance when needed and support for Jews in Orange County, Israel and around the world.
Doris Jacobson or