Where Are They Now?: ‘Full House’
So last week, I confessed my ultimate TGIF geekery and told you where the Family Matters cast was today. This week, I’m continuing the series with arguably my favorite TGIF show, Full House. I loved this show dearly growing up, mostly because of the character Michelle (you know, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s character) – in fact, from ages 3 through 8, I only knew of the show as “Michelle,” but now, thanks to reruns on ABC Family, I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of the show. A better person than me might be ashamed of that, but I wear that badge with pride. So if you too would like to learn where the Tanners are today, I have one thing to say to you – “You got it dude!”
Michelle Tanner – Mary-Kate & Ashley OlsenLet’s start with the two girls who originated that catchphrase. When I watched this show in its original airing, (so I was like 6 years old), I always wondered why Mary-Kate Ashley Olsen had so many names (yeah, I thought they were one person). We all know that the Olsen twins launched an empire during their tenure on Full House that is comprised of movies (both theatrical releases like, It Takes Two, and direct to video movies, like How the West Was Fun), music, and even a fashion line. They also starred together on another TGIF show – Two of a Kind, which, yeah, I’ll get to in a few weeks.
While the sisters will forever be known together, in recent years, Mary-Kate Olsen has worked to distinguish herself from her sister. She had a recurring role on Showtime’s hit show, Weeds, and a couple guest appearances on the prematurely canceled Samantha Who? She had a role as the “witch” in the 2011 film, Beastly, a modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. However, Mary-Kate is probably best known these days for her personal life – in 2004 she entered treatment for anorexia and in 2008, following the death of Heath Ledger, the masseuse who discovered him called Mary-Kate twice before contacting police.
Life for Ashley Olsen has been much quieter than for her sister. Her last screen appearance was in 2004’s New York Minute, the last movie both twins appeared in together. There was a bit of buzz surrounding Ashley in a 2005 issue of The National Enquirer for depicting her as being involved in a drug scandal with her former boyfriend, Scott Sartiano. She vehemently denied any involvement.
Stephanie Tanner – Jodie SweetinStephanie was the precocious middle Tanner child who had a passion for dance and, towards the end of the series, a rebellious streak. You could say that Jodie’s screen life mirrored her real life (though screen life was slightly more saccharine, just slightly). Her rebellious streak started after Full House, when she turned to alcohol and drugs, especially meth, reportedly, because she was bored. In 2008, she appeared on the cover of People Magazine with the headline “From Meth Addict to Mom.” She went on a ‘sobriety’ tour, talking to college students about her experiences using drugs and recovering from the use; however, during the tour she began using again (coke, meth, and ecstasy). In 2009, Jodie published her memoir, unSweetined, about her drug abuse and “sobriety tour.” Today, Jodie is reportedly sober with two children, Zoie and Beatrix.
D.J. (Donna Jo) Tanner – Candace CameronThe oldest daughter of the Tanner clan, D.J, was definitely the girl I aspired to be – she was cool, smart, and did the right thing (remember when she wouldn’t let Stephanie ride in that car with those boys who were seriously reckless drivers, and later found out they got in a car wreck?!) Since Full House, Candace, who is an outspoken Evangelical Christian, married the now-retired hockey player Valeri Bure, with whom she has three kids: Natasha, Lev, and Maksim. Currently, Candace is a series regular on ABC Family’s hit series about gymnastics (and one of my favorite shows), Make It or Break It, as Christian gym manager Summer van Horn, whose on-again, off-again boyfriend is named…wait for it… Steve Tanner. Kismet, no?
Steve Hale – Scott WeingerAnd speaking of D.J.’s boyfriend, Steve… Scott Weinger isn’t doing too badly for himself. While on Full House, Scott was very busy voicing Aladdin, yeah, of Disney’s Aladdin (remember that episode where the Tanners went to Disney World and D.J. imagined Steve was in the Aladdin costume?!). He continues to be the voice of Aladdin for sequels to the movie, and most recently for the new movie/ride at Disney World – Mickey’s Philharmagic (writer’s note: if you have a chance to go to Orlando and experience this movie, you should. It’s 10 minutes of pure delight). While Scott has the occasional guest spot on TV, his focus is on writing. At the moment, he’s a writer/producer on The CW’s 90210. Whoa!
Kimmy Gibbler – Andrea BarberD.J.’s other sidekick during Full House was quintessential annoying neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler. For the life of me, I couldn’t get why D.J. was friends with her, but D.J. was a loyal chick and I respected that, and Kimmy, for all her faults, like her perpetually stinky feet, was a good friend. After Full House was cancelled, Andrea decided to retire from acting. Today, she holds a degree in English from Whittier College and a Master’s in Women’s Studies from University of York in England. She and husband Jeremy Rytky have a seven year old son, Tate, and a four year old daughter, Felicity, so that picture of her autographing a bra on someone’s head must be an anamoly… right?
Danny Tanner – Bob SagetNo one loathed Kimmy Gibbler more than Danny Tanner (well, maybe Uncle Jesse, but we’ll get there…). Danny was the, literally, squeaky clean father on Full House, who named his dustbuster and looked forward to spring cleaning like kids look forward to Christmas morning. This family friendly persona informed his fan’s perceptions of him, which was quite contrary to his stage persona of a dirty old man. By the time the youngest audience of Full House was all grown up and tuned in to Bob Saget’s comedy, it was a shock to hear Danny Tanner dropping the f-bomb, and that made it all the more funny. Since Full House, Saget has been busy – he had a well-known cameo as a cocaine addict in stoner comedy Half-Baked, had a guest star role as himself in Entourage, and told one version of the world’s dirtiest joke in the 2005 documentary The Aristocrats. He also hosted the NBC game show 1 vs. 100 for too short a period of time (I really enjoyed that show). He also had the honor of being the subject of a Comedy Central Roast in 2008. Outside of stand-up, today you can find Bob Saget voicing the older version of Ted Mosby on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.
Joey Gladstone – Dave CoulierAfter Danny Tanner’s wife Pam dies from getting into a car accident with a drunk driver (didn’t realize how dark Full House was, huh?), he calls in for reinforcements. His best friend, Joey Gladstone, moves in with him, and the rest is history (and Popeye imitations). In truth, a lot of Joey’s character was informed by some of Dave Coulier’s real life proclivities – like doing impressions of cartoon characters and a love of hockey (Dave actually introduced Candace Cameron to her now-husband, Valeri) – but not others, like receiving oral sex in a movie theatre, a la the Alanis Morisette song, “You Oughta Know,” which was supposedly about Coulier. Joey, you bad boy! Since Full House¸ Coulier appeared on a couple of reality shows – Skating with Celebrities and The Surreal Life – and voiced Bob McKenzie in an animated series, Bob & Doug, about the McKenzies originated on SCTV by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, respectively. Besides doing a ton of voice work for animated series, Dave Coulier continues to tour as a standup and, in 2008, toured with “The Clean Guys of Comedy” – a family-friendly comedy group.
Rebecca (Becky) Donaldson-Katsopolis – Lori LoughlinBecky, a sweet farm girl from Nebraska, was the female presence the Tanner daughters needed in their lives (after all, they were living in a house full of men). She was cool, understanding, and seriously pretty (and she looks like she’s barely aged!). Becky was also Danny’s co-host on Wake Up San Francisco and eventually married Danny’s brother-in-law, Jesse. After Full House, Lori Loughlin guest starred in many hit shows, including Spin City and The Drew Carey Show. In 2004, she co-created and starred in the WB show, Summerland, about a fashion designer who takes custody of her niece and nephews after their parents die. It lasted for 2 seasons. Lori just finished her 3rd and final season of the CW show 90210 as Debbie Wilson (though her exit left her open for future guest appearances). Cool! That’s the same show that Scott Weinger is a writer/producer on! Looks like the clan sticks together.
Nicky & Alex Katsopolis – Blake & Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit
Jesse and Becky’s kids, Nicky and Alex, were both cute additions to the cast and a great source of drama for Becky and Jesse (remember that episode where they imagine what each kid would be like if only one parent raised him? One was a disrespectful motorcycle gang member, the other was the waterboy for the chess team or something?). So what are these guys up to today? Not much in the public eye. They, like Andrea Barber, quit acting after Full Housewas cancelled. They’re 21 years old and are hopefully enjoying their last year of college, and first year without having to use a fake ID.
Jesse Katsopolis – John StamosOh Uncle Jesse! I still swoon when I think about him. I even own and proudly wear a Jesse and the Rippers t-shirt. He was a rock star with a sexy bad boy exterior and a heart made of gold. And I’m convinced that John Stamos just gets better looking as he ages. Just compare season 1 Uncle Jesse to season 8:
And here’s a bit of trivia for you — his last name in the first season of the show was “Cochran,” but was changed to Katsopolis thereafter to reflect Stamos’ Greek heritage.
Anyway, a lesser man would have let his career to fizzle after portraying such a heartthrob (how can you do better?!), but not John Stamos. He’s gone nowhere but up. For starters, he’s landed plum guest star roles on some of the hottest series of the day, like Friends and Glee. And, also, he had a starring role in the later years of ER. I was still bitter from Anthony Edwards’ departure (and I think I still am?), so I didn’t watch, but I’m kind of wishing I did. Prior to ER, Stamos had the title role in the extremely underrated ABC satire-sitcom Jake in Progress – I’m firmly of the belief that this show was before its time. I loved it. If anyone has the episodes on DVD, please let me know. I’ll be forever in your debt.
Oh, and you guys remember how Uncle Jesse and the Beach Boys hung out a bunch? Well, in real life, John Stamos tours with them as a drummer! If you’re looking to catch him live, look for the performance dates of the Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Tour – John Stamos is scheduled to drum with them there.
And finally, as if he wasn’t enough of a triple threat (you know, the acting, singing, and amazing good looks), John Stamos has been on Broadway as Albert in Bye Bye Birdie, the Emcee in Cabaret, and also in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Nine. Last summer, John Stamos came to the Hollywood Bowl, where he portrayed Corny Collins in Hairspray. And while all the tween girls were straining their vocal chords over Nick Jonas, I was screeching my lungs out for Uncle Jesse (my mom and sister can attest to it). I’m a lucky, lucky girl.
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