Amid the recent controversy surrounding Lori Loughlin, who is forever loved by Full House fans for her role as “Aunt Becky”, the cast of Full House and Fuller House have stood united as both an on- and off-screen family.
The show’s cast members are far closer than the cast of a typical television show, which resulted in plenty of on-and-off-set friendships and hijinks. But that doesn’t mean that everything always went smoothly behind-the-scenes, either.
One of the special relationships in Full House is the close bond that Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) has with his niece Michelle (Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen). From heart-to-heart talks to singing her Elvis Presley songs to lull her to sleep, Jesse and Michelle had a one-of-a-kind, unbreakable bond.
Behind the scenes, John Stamos didn’t immediately feel that for the Olsen twins, and he even tried to get them fired. During the first few episodes of the show, Mary-Kate and Ashley would cry a lot on the set. So, Stamos requested that the twins be replaced, and producers tried out another set of twins. However, the Olsen twins couldn’t be replaced, and they were brought back to the role that would make them famous.
My Two Dannys
Paul Reiser was a successful comedian in the 1980s. However, when Full House was being cast, he had not yet had his later big successes in shows like My Two Dads and Mad About You. The show’s creator Jeff Franklin was friends with Paul Reiser, and he offered the role to the funny actor.
Luckily for Bob Saget and many fans who love his portrayal of Danny Tanner, Reiser turned down the role. Interestingly, Reiser accepted another “dad” role around the same time. He went on to star as Michael in My Two Dads. Both family-friendly sitcoms with no shortage of fatherly devotion premiered in 1987. My Two Dads ran for three seasons, while the original Full House ran for eight seasons.
Can You Spot the Difference?
Even the most devoted Full House fans typically cannot tell the difference between Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in episodes of the show. In fact, the twins themselves have said that they can’t always tell who is playing Michelle in the early episodes. However, Mary-Kate and Ashley are not identical.
Mary-Kate and Ashley are fraternal twins. That means they don’t share the same exact genetic material, and there are differences between the two that can help you tell them apart if you pay close attention. For example, look for freckles. Ashley’s freckle is above her lip, while Mary Kate’s freckle is on her right cheek. Also, Ashley tended to take on heavier scenes, while Mary Kate excelled at comedy.
When Twins Have Twins
Mary-Kate and Ashley started their careers on the set of Full House when they were mere babies, so the parents of the babies who played Jesse and Rebecca’s twin sons may have anticipated a similar outcome. However, the little actors who first portrayed the twin boys were replaced after only 12 episodes.
Kevin Renteria and Daniel Renteria started out playing the twins after Rebecca Donaldson Katsopolis gave birth during the show’s fifth season. However, they were only on the show for 12 episodes. They were then replaced by Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit and Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit. Dylan and Blake made their debut on the two-part episode “Michelle Rides Again” and played the twins for the rest of the show. They reprised their role in two episodes of Fuller House.
How rude! Oh Mylanta! Cut. It. Out. Have mercy! You got it, dude! Those wonderful catchphrases are among the things that many fans and casual viewers of Full House remember. However, most people don’t realize that the catchphrases naturally came for the actors themselves. Candace Cameron said, “Oh Mylanta!” because the Christian actress didn’t want to take God’s name in vain, and it stuck.
John Stamos came up with “Have mercy!” for the show’s first episode, and it suited him perfectly. Dave Coulier borrowed his catchphrase from an old friend who had used it during an act with a different context. Hopefully, Dave is still giving that guy a percentage of his royalties.
Since Full House was a family sitcom, every member of the primary cast was an important part of nearly every episode. Even when stories weren’t centered around their characters, they were needed to support the character facing the problem that could typically be solved with a talk and a hug. Candace Cameron Bure was the one cast member to miss an episode.
Bure didn’t appear in the season six episode “Subterranean Graduation Blues”. Her character D.J. is only seen in the opening credits of the episode. Apparently, she missed this episode because she went to visit her brother Kirk Cameron at camp. However, Bure appears in all the other episodes and is the leading actress in the spin-off Fuller House, so she has more than made up for missing one!
The Title Fuller House Has More Than One Meaning
Casual viewers often assume that the “Fuller” in Fuller House comes from the fact that the family has now expanded to include even more family members. After all, D.J. now has three kids of her own. However, the name of the show has another meaning in the storyline. D.J.’s last name is now Fuller because her deceased husband was named Tommy Fuller.
Few people realize that a cast member from the original series had the name Fuller. Although Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen don’t appear at all in the sequel series, it is one of them who have the name. Ashley’s full name is Ashley Fuller Olsen. However, we can assume that is just a coincidence, and the name was originally chosen for the show for the cute play on the original title.
It’s All Greek to Jesse
Names are important to the characters on Full House, although they appear to have somewhat of selective memory about them. Uncle Jesse was referred to as Jesse Cochran early in the show. Remember when he had his own pest control business? Thankfully, the writers dropped the pest control storyline, and Jesse was also renamed in the process.
John Stamos allegedly wanted Jesse’s last name be switched from Cochran to Katsopolis to reflect his own Greek roots. The Greek heritage of Uncle Jesse was the focus of the first episode of season four called “Greek Week” where Uncle Jesse’s Greek family comes for a visit. The last name Cochran wasn’t mentioned after the first season.
Lifetime’s Bizzaro Tanners
In Jodie Sweetin’s biography unSweetined, she lets fans in on a lot of secrets from the set of Full House. For example, she once wrote a curse word to describe Candace on one of the sets. (Don’t worry. Their childhood feud is very much in the past, and they’re very close friends these days.)
According to The Unauthorized Full House Story, a Lifetime movie about the show that didn’t get a lot of praise from critics and little recognition from the original cast, the adults on the set sometimes misbehaved more than the younger cast members. The movie depicted Bob Saget as a prankster who misbehaved with a mannequin (sometimes Saget confirms in his autobiography Dirty Daddy). It also shows Stamos and Coulier joining in on the pranks.
The Struggles of Stephanie
Jodie Sweetin is living a life anyone would dream of having these days, and she overcame a lot to get where she is today. Jodie started playing Stephanie Tanner when she was only five years old. The show ended when she was in her early teens, and that was a tough time to have to return to the “real world” after the glamorous life of being a star on one of the world’s most successful sitcoms.
Sweetin started drinking when she was only 14, and she went on to become addicted to meth. However, she turned her life around after she became a parent in her twenties, and she now has over five years of sobriety. She credits her recovery with helping her create the wonderful life she has today and her preparedness to embrace her successful second chance in show business.
Who Took the (Full) House Off the Market?
Jeff Franklin has long embraced the very dedicated fans of Full House. As the creator of the show, he even went so far as to purchase the original house in San Francisco that is used in all the exteriors of the Tanner home on both Full House and Fuller House.
Although the home from Full House is sometimes mistaken as being one of the Painted Ladies homes in San Francisco, it is not one of them. It is, however, located nearby at 1709 Broderick Street. When the home went up for sale, Franklin bought the home for around $4 million. He has a sign out front that welcomes fans and asks them to be considerate of the neighbors.
The Man Behind the Olsens
Franklin can be credited with launching the careers of most of the Full House cast since he gave them their big break on the sitcom. However, he did something that may have inspired the two youngest entrepreneurs to strike out on their own for a duo career. While Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were very young children starring on Full House, he wrote a made-for-TV movie starring them.
Franklin wrote To Grandmother’s House We Go specifically for the Olsen twins. It was a starring vehicle and holiday film that got big ratings and showed their management exactly how much star potential the little girls had. This movie is credited for launching their mega-successful career beyond Full House.
The One Where Stamos Got Stuck in Second Gear
No show gets to keep an entire soundstage dedicated to it forever. Even the biggest shows in history must share a soundstage with the shows that have come before and will come after it. For Full House, it was made on a soundstage with a cool heritage -the groundbreaking 1970’s series Wonder Woman was filmed there.
Also, Friends would take over the soundstage from Full House shortly after the show wrapped in the mid-1990s. Friends filmed Season Two through ten on the Full House soundstage. (Full House was still on the air during Friends’ first season.) Stamos would later guest star on an episode of Friends called ‘The One with the Donor”.
Give Michelle a Hand
Michelle has Danny, Uncle Jesse, and Joey wrapped around her little finger. Or rather, both little fingers, since the youngest Tanner is part of the rare 1% of the world that happens to be ambidextrous. Ambidexterity simply means that Michelle is both left-handed and right-handed.
Or so Full House would have you believe.
Can you guess where this is going? While Michelle uses both hands, the actresses that portrayed her didn’t. Ashley is right-handed, but Mary-Kate is left-handed. f you catch the show on an episode where Michelle is writing, that’s a surefire way to tell them apart.
Joey Oughta Know
Dave Coulier comes across as a genuinely sweet guy just like his character Uncle Joey. No doubt he is. However, before meeting and falling in love with his current wife, photographer Melissa Coulier, he dated Alanis Morrissette before she became a singing superstar. It’s rumored he inspired one of Morrissette’s most famous songs.
Morrissette is said to have written “You Oughta Know” about her ill-fated romance with Coulier. The actor himself has seemed to both confirm and deny that the song is about him. He told BuzzFeed that the subject of that song was a jerk and didn’t want to be associated with that, and he denied that the song is about him. He did, however, admit in the interview to having formerly confessed that the song was about him. So, was it? Only two people know for sure!
There’s No Such Thing As Small Roles
Kimmy Gibbler was one of the most outrageous sitcom characters in history. With an unmistakable loud sense of fashion and an affinity for Uncle Jesse, who didn’t love this fun character? Andrea Barber also gave Kimmy so much heart and made viewers love watching her. However, the character was originally just supposed to appear on one episode. Later, she would go on to be one of the primary stars of Fuller House.
Similarly, Lori Loughlin was only originally hired to portray Rebecca Donaldson on six episodes of Full House. However, she was popular with fans and had great chemistry with Stamos and the rest of the cast. Producers decided to make her a regular cast member, and the character would go on to marry into the Tanner family, becoming Rebecca Donaldson Katsopolis in the show’s fourth season.
The Belated Block Party
Every cast member likely had their own dream scenario for their characters while they were filming Full House. Some of those dreams didn’t come true. For example, Candace Cameron and Andrea Barber were, like many young girls in the 1980’s, enamored with New Kids on the Block, and they are still big fans of one of the world’s biggest boy bands.
Although Bure and Barber tried to get the New Kids on the Block to guest star in the original show, it never worked out. However, their dreams came true when the band came to guest star on Fuller House early in the show’s run.
The House That Summer School Built
Franklin may be most famous for his role as the creator of one of the most adored and enduring family sitcoms in history, but his career has been quite dynamic away from the Tanner family. He wrote one of the classic romantic comedies of the 1980’s that centered around rebellious summer school students, bribery, and summer love.
Franklin wrote Summer School, the 1980’s romantic comedy starring Kirstie Alley and Mark Harmon. It also had a pretty well-known supporting cast of kids that included Courtney Thorne-Smith, who would go on to star in Melrose Place, and Patrick Labyorteaux from Little House on the Prairie.
The Disneyland Date That Turned Into a Role
John Stamos and Lori Loughlin had undeniably remarkable chemistry. Fans couldn’t take their eyes off the gorgeous couple that seemed to have such a genuine affinity for each other, and rumors swirled that the two were together in real life. Well, the timing wasn’t right on the show, but they had gone on a sweet date to Disneyland years before Full House aired.
The two have always said good things about each other, and Stamos has yet to comment on the recent scandal surrounding Loughlin. He has stated before, however, that he considered Loughlin to be “the one that got away” and wistfully spoke about what could have been if their timing had been right. The two have continued to express their love for each other as friends.
The Tanners Have Talent
The producers of Full House took notice of the real-life talents and interests of the cast members when planning stories and aspects of some of the show’s characters. For example, one of Jodie Sweetin’s primary passions off set was dancing. She was enrolled in dance classes since before the show aired, and her real-life dance teacher guest-starred on the show.
One episode that really showcased the talents of a lot of cast members was the telethon episode from the third season called “Our Very First Telethon”. Andrea Barber had taken unicycle riding lessons, and she rode a unicycle on the episode. Sweetin performed a dance to “Love Shack”. Candace Cameron sang a song. Also, the young girls’ artwork was sometimes displayed on the show, with drawings by the Olsen twins appearing on the fridge.
A Very Special Episode…For All the Wrong Reasons
Although it was simply aired as a typical episode, the “Shape Up” episode is seriously messed up. While Candace Cameron Bure has had the good grace to never criticize the show or the unfair criticism of her character D.J.’s body, many fans are angry in retrospect. During the show’s diet episode, D.J. says terrible things about her body and goes on a crash diet where she starves herself.
In real life, Bure suffered from an eating disorder after the show wrapped, and one can’t help but wonder if having to endure such public criticism of her character’s body impacted the actress in real life. On that episode of Full House, the writers had D.J. complimenting Rebecca’s body while criticizing her own. In retrospect, it’s a particularly cringe-worthy moment in the normally positive show.
What’s In a Name?
During the episodes of Full House and Fuller House, we learn a lot about the real names of the characters. Beyond the fact that Jesse’s character undergoes a name change, we learn mostly about the female character’s relationship with their names. D.J.’s full name is Donna Jo Margaret Tanner. That’s a long name! No wonder she prefers D.J. or “Deej”.
The youngest Tanner daughter’s full name is revealed as Michelle Elizabeth Tanner, and the middle child is Stephanie Judith Tanner. Joey’s name is Joseph Alvin Gladstone and named after his strict dad. Danny’s name is Daniel Ernest Tanner. Even Kimmy’s middle name is revealed – she’s Kimberly Louise Gibbler.
Danny Tanner gives a lot of great dad talks throughout the run of the show, and he is considered by many to be the heart of the series. Danny delivers the very first line on “Our Very First Show”, the debut episode that aired on September 22, 1987. However, many people don’t realize that Bob Saget did not appear as Danny in the original pilot for the show.
Technically, the first line delivered on-set as Danny was said by John Posey, an actor who was dismissed from his role when the show was picked up by ABC. You can still find versions of this unaired pilot online, including one that highlights the subtle differences Bob and John brought to the performance.
The Couch Connection
Many fans look for signs of the original show Full House in the sequel series. When trailers for the much-anticipated sequel show premiered, fans freaked out at the sight of the blue and white couch that is still sitting in the main living room of the Tanner family home. Not only does it look just like the original couch, it’s actually the same one!
As many of the show’s shenanigans played out in the main room of the home where the family gathered, that blue and white sofa has been a fixture for most fans’ favorite episodes. The Tanner family set on it to solve problems, give each other hugs at the end of arguments, plan the big Jesse-and-Rebecca wedding, and otherwise celebrate their big love and big family.
Who Says Sequels Suck?
Many fans of Full House were angered that the show never got the recognition they feel it deserved. As one of the most successful television shows in the 1990s that has stood the test of time much more than many of its Emmy-winning contemporaries, it is hard for some to believe that the show simply wasn’t acknowledged by many award shows and critics.
Things changed for Fuller House. It received some of the credit that the earlier show didn’t receive during the first run of the show. Fuller House was nominated for Outstanding Children’s Program at the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards. John Stamos observed that it “only took 30 years” in a post he made to celebrate the nomination.
The Cameron Crossover
Candace Cameron Bure knew what it was like to be the sister of a famous 1980’s TV sitcom star before she rose to fame on her own show. Her brother Kirk Cameron portrayed Mike Seaver on Growing Pains, and he was in the heyday of his teen heartthrob fame when she got the part of D.J. Tanner.
The two famous siblings appeared on each other’s show. Kirk Cameron played D.J.’s cousin Steve on an episode called “Just One of the Guys”. Candace guest-starred on two episodes of Growing Pains. She played a character named Jenny Foster on episodes called “The Long Good-bye” and “Fool for Love”. Kirk recently said that he feels both shows were so beloved because they gave people comfort.
Tell Us How You Really Feel, Mary-Kate
Many little kids wanted to be Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen when they played Michelle on Full House. The duo eventually received a ton of publicity for being the youngest people to ever start a production company. However, things were not picture-perfect for the two twins, who are still loved by fans for their portrayal of the spunky Michelle.
In 2010, Mary-Kate Olsen declared that she “would never wish my upbringing on anyone”. However, in fairness to her, she also added that she also wouldn’t take it back for the world. It must have been hard to contend with all the downsides of fame that often pull child stars into darkness when the attention fades. Mary-Kate and Ashley have moved on from acting and don’t plan to return to Fuller House.
The TGIF Extended Universe
There’s a special episode of Full House that features a character from another show on the TGIF line-up on ABC. (Full House was a prominent part of TGIF for years.) When Stephanie has a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that she needs glasses and has been teased by kids in school for wearing them, Steve Urkel comes to say the day.
Urkel, the popular character from Family Matters who was portrayed by Jaleel White, appears in the Full House episode called “Stephanie Gets Framed”. He teaches her to embrace what’s different about her. Also, Michelle Tanner appears on an episode of Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper that’s called “Hangin’ with Michelle”.
Kimmy Gibbler Runs Away
Aside from her unicycling skills, Kimmy Gibbler wasn’t depicted as exactly being a motivated or particularly athletic kid. The same cannot be said for the lovely actress who portrays her. Andrea Barber, who has returned to take a starring role in Fuller House, has long been a marathon runner, and she posts about her adventures online.
Barber has completed an incredible 26 half marathons and three full marathons. She even did two half-marathons in one day, which would have been the length of a full marathon in a day with a break in between. Whew! Fans of the D.J. and Kimmy friendship will Stan over this fact: Candace Cameron Bure and Bure are the best of friends in real life, and they even ran a half-marathon together.
The Life Cycle of a Tanner
Okay, it’s tough to say how serious Franklin was about this. However, in a Q & A with Buzzfeed, Franklin did suggest this probability, if only jokingly. The interviewer asks if they thought that they would come back for a sequel series such as Fuller House, and all the cast express their total surprise at the turn of events.
The cast is grateful but never dreamed they’d get to return to playing the character that made them famous. On the other hand, the show’s creator says that he knew that they would get together for a reunion show and says that he knows that they’ll get together for a show called Fullest House in 20 years that picks up where Fuller House leaves off. Let’s hope it is a real thing sooner than 2039!
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