One of the best television fun facts of all time is that the late-80s/early-90s sitcom Full House was originally supposed to be a show about three single stand-up comedians cohabitating, called House of Comics. Besides having a name that sounds like an eastern European adaptation of an American sitcom, House of Comics, had it been green-lit as it was, would’ve robbed us of Donna Jo, Michelle, and Stephanie Tanner. OK, we all could’ve lived without Michelle—the blog Full House Reviewed is an excellent chronicle of her awfulness—but we grew up with Stephanie, from the time she was just a tiny Honey Bee to the time she was an awkward teen trying cigs with that bad bitch Gia. In 2016, actress Jodie Sweetin returns as Stephanie Tanner on the Full House spinoff Fuller House (aka House of Comics II) along with Candace Cameron as DJ and Andrea Barber as Kimmy fucking Gibbler. Suffice it to say, 2016 can’t get here quickly enough—in the meantime Sweetin will be at Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago this weekend fending off sweaty 35-year-olds who’ve had a crush on her since she was 14. Last week, the mother of two talked with us about Fuller House, that unauthorized Lifetime movie, and becoming an urban legend.
Gwynedd Stuart: I hear you’re on set—how’s it going?
Jodie Sweetin: We’re currently filming Fuller House—we’re on our first week back from hiatus. We filmed the first two episodes, and now we’re back shooting the third. We’re having a lot of fun. It’s exciting to be back doing this again.
You did a webseries with Dave Coulier a few years ago, but besides that how much has everyone kept in touch over the years?
I mean, we see each other all the time. We’re kind of ridiculously close—you see these pictures of us on Instagram and Twitter and stuff. And we do, we really spend a lot of time together. It’s not just, like, a publicity thing. We have remained close, like family close, for the past 20 years. I’m not saying that just to make us special. I don’t think that most casts have quite the bond that we did. Especially the kids on the show, for us growing up, we were really close to the adults. It wasn’t like a separate camp, it was one big family. So throughout those years, we’ve grown up and now become the adults on Fuller House. It’s a fun transition for us.
I read on the Internet that the show revolves around DJ’s family after DJ loses her husband . . .
Yes, it revolves around DJ [Candace Cameron] and her kids, and Stephanie and Kimmy come back to help. It’s kind of the reverse of Full House.
Can you tell me what’s become of Stephanie Tanner?
I can tell you a little bit but I have to be vague to keep everything fun and a surprise until we launch in 2016. But you know, Stephanie has kind of remained the same fun, spunky character she was 20 years ago, but now she kind of brings that into a whole new world of adult life and the fun travels that she’s been doing in the past 20 years. It’s great to play such a fun character. I think audiences will really find her familiar and interesting.
[Ed. note: Here’s where I project myself onto the Stephanie Tanner role] I picture her as a career woman—like a journalist or something.
Not quite, not quite. But equally as exciting and world traveling.
Does she still have Mr. Bear?
She does still have Mr. Bear—actually I still have Mr. Bear. We don’t have him on set, but Mr. Bear lives at my house, he’s there with my Full House memorabilia. I’ve brought him out so that my kids can see him and they’re kind of in shock that I still have him.
Is there any other stuff you held on to?
Not as far as anything else from the set, but they gave me Mr. Bear because that was Stephanie’s really big important thing.
Another thing coming up is this Unauthorized Full House Story on Lifetime . . .
Hmm. I’ve heard mention of that, but I haven’t really paid much attention to it.
I figured it being “unauthorized” and all you probably don’t know much about it, but I mean, does it strike you as funny that it’s a thing at all?
These things are always willing to do anything—from what I’ve seen I don’t think it’s based in any sort of truth. Really, it’s kind of an interesting farce, trying to take something that’s so beloved by people—but we’ll see how it turns out I guess.
Are you gonna watch?
Probably not, I’m actually gonna be doing the comic con [in Chicago] that weekend, so I won’t be around.
Do you have a favorite episode of Full House?
A lot of the ones that I had fun doing as a kid were the ones that revolved around Stephanie. The dance sequences, because I loved dancing when I was young, the one when she crashed the car through the kitchen. There’s a really funny one, I think it’s the first or second episode, where Stephanie gets chicken pox and sneaks out of the house and is in some costume—we had so much fun on the show. When everyone was here shooting the reunion episode [for Fuller House], we were talking about some of the crazy fun things we did, like Disney World, Hawaii . . .
Yes, the menehunes, that’s right.
My fave is when the Tanner family hosts the telethon and you do the dance to “Love Shack.”
Oh, yes, oh god. There’s a meme now. Or a GIF. It’s me with ridiculous hair and sweater doing the running man. It’s so 80s.
Do you still have moves like that? I tried to learn that dance for a variety show a couple years ago and I literally couldn’t do it.
I would like to think I could still do it—maybe a little more modern, a little less running man. People still ask me, can you still do the Boyz II Men dance—what did we do? “Motown Philly.” I’m like, no, I probably couldn’t do it right now, for you as a performance in the middle of the mall . . . I should actually learn it so I can do that. I think people would like it.
Are there any totally off-the-wall child-star rumors you’ve heard about yourself over the years?
Oh yeah, I’ve heard all kinds. I remember an Enquirer story about Bob Saget trying to get me fired, that he hated me, that I was a terrible kid to work with—I think I was like seven or eight when that came out and it was really ironic because at the time I was really close with Bob and his three kids. I was going home with him on weekends and spending time with his kids and, you know, then that story came out. That was ridiculous. There were a couple that I was killed. There was one where I was killed in a plane crash and one where I was killed on a roller coaster. Every once in a while, we’d get a surge of that in my fan mail when I was a kid, like condolence letters to my parents. “I’m sorry that you lost your daughter . . . ” I started to think it was like that movie, like it was a premonition I was going to die. I was like, maybe I should stay off roller coasters and planes for a while.
I told my editor [Jake Malooley] I was interviewing you and he said when he was a kid he heard that you died on a roller coaster at Six Flags!
Who makes up this shit? It had to originate somewhere! It’s so funny to me.
It’s crazy that stuff like that spread before the Internet—like some middle-schooler somewhere made it up and it magically spread.
Yeah, and people all over have heard it. But you know, it’s cool. I’ve made it into some sort of urban legend, I guess.
You’re doing Wizard World this weekend—are you new to the con circuit?
This is my first one. I’ve never been to a comic con as a guest or to do an appearance before, so I’m superexcited to do this. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I think I’m just as excited to go and see the people there as I am to go and meet the Full House fans.
Is there any of that geek culture stuff that you’re into?
I don’t necessarily—I’m not into the comic books and video games, but I know Game of Thrones is really big at comic cons, and I’m obsessed, along with everyone else in the world. If there’s anything Game of Thrones related I’ll be checking it out.