Bob Saget wanted a big family because he loved The Waltons
The Full House star wound up with three daughters in his real life, too.
When Full House premiered in 1987, it became a sleeper hit that woke the networks to how much audiences still craved TV shows based around earnest, caring families.
For Full House star Bob Saget, who played widowed dad of three daughters Danny Tanner, the cast of the Eighties sitcom became a second family to him.
"We joke around so much that it really does feel like a family on set," Saget told Tribute Media Services in 1989. "I’ve known Dave [Coulier] for more than 10 years, and John [Stamos] is like a brother-in-law to me."
Perhaps Saget fell into that dynamic with his castmates so easily because he was, at his core, a strong family man.
He had married his high school sweetheart and through their marriage ended up with three girls of his own. And he didn’t necessarily plan to stop at three kids.
"I always wanted a family like The Waltons," Saget said.
To Saget, having a family like The Waltons didn’t refer just to how well the Waltons treated each other but to how large that classic TV family is – seven children strong.
"We might just stop at four kids," Saget said. "But I love it. I’m so happy to be a family. I’m living Father Knows Best."
In 1989, Saget only had one daughter, with a baby on the way, and he said that his daughter at home started getting a little jealous of how close he was bonding with his TV daughters on set.
"My daughter thinks I’m cheating on her," Saget joked. "I come home, and she smells the other babies on me."
As a way of proving his loyalty to his real daughter, Saget was known to decorate his dressing room at the studio with his daughter’s drawings.
As Full House topped the ratings for Friday nights season after season, surprising even the stars of the show with its widespread popularity, Saget’s family grew.
By the time the show ended in 1995, Saget had three girls just like his character, Aubrey, Lara Melanie and Jennifer Belle.
A few years later, Saget and his wife divorced, and that seemingly ended Saget’s dream of having a family as big as The Waltons.
His daughters remained the most important thing in his life, though.
"The highest thing in my whole life is my daughters," Saget told Parade in 2009. "I worship them! If everything in my life is raised to the level of how great they are, then that would be a great thing to have achieved."
Two decades after his divorce, Saget got a second chance at love when he married his second wife Kelly Rizzo.
Rizzo grew close with Saget’s daughters, establishing a connection that Saget thought was "magical."
And although they decided not to have more kids, Saget the family man was already thinking about the next paternal role he’d get to take on.
"I’ve been the dad a lot," Saget said. "Maybe I’ll be a grandfather one day."
In 2022, Saget passed away, unfortunately, not yet a grandfather, but still the ultimate dad in the eyes of his family.
"He was everything to us and we want you to know how much he loved his fans," his family said in a statement to Us Weekly.