When we first heard that John Stamos has a new web series called Losing It, in which celebrities discuss their first time having sex, we had to know more. This morning, from his suite in Laguna Beach, Stamos called us at SFist Headquarters, which is just a few blocks from the title card backdrop for Full House. This seemed significant somehow. We talked about jamming with Willie Nelson, the nature of celebrity, and how he lost his virginity.
Note: Below is a transcript of our conversation. We've left out a few questions for brevity's sake, but it is more or less intact.
SFist: I'm literally two blocks away from the so-called Full House houses, in Alamo Square.
Stamos: You are? Go see if Saget's standing in front. He likes to stand in front and sign autographs and take pictures. We were at the Outside Lands Festival a couple weeks ago. I was with Bob. Bob took me there for my birthday, but I said, "If you try to get anywhere near those Full House houses, I'm gonna kill ya." [Laughs]
I remember we shot some titles near them, but I don't ever recall being in a shot with them. I don't even know where they are.
To you it's like a soundstage in Culver City, right?
[laughs] Yeah, we would go to San Francisco, I guess, you know once every couple years and reshoot the titles, but you never saw us like walking in that door. I think it was just sort of a stock shot of those houses. Next time I'm there, you and I will go and knock on the door.
You mentioned Outside Lands: How did you end up onstage, playing the bongos with Willie Nelson?
[laughs] I was in Austin last New Year's and I went just to see the show and the guys in the band were like, "Hey, are you gonna play?" and I'm like, "WHAT? No. I'm here to see one of the greats." And about halfway through, the guys — and I had said hi to him real fast before, but very briefly and you know, I don't know if he knew who I was or whatever — and the guys sort of waved me on and I played a little bit and it was funny because as I was playing, he kind of looked back like: "Oh! OK!" Like, "Who's that? This is cool?"
It's been so weird — look, I'm not the greatest drummer in the world, I can get by, but being a celebrity, I've gotten to play with so many amazing people, starting with the Beach Boys obviously. I mean certain bands, Willie's band seems a little looser and the Beach Boys, when I started playing with them there was 20 people on stage. The Willie Nelson thing has been incredible.
Any other bands you're looking to play with. Any bands that need Stamos on drums?
I think I could die and go to heaven happily saying that I played with the Beach Boys. I don't know who your Beatles or your top band is, your wish list, but the Beach Boys was always mine. I grew up on it. They're my favorite.
I was at [John] Fogerty's 50th Birthday party, sitting in with him and he starts yelling, "Bruce! Bruce!" I'm like, it can't be Springsteen. It was in his house. It was like fifty people there. Springsteen gets onstage and I'm right there in the middle of John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen.
How old are you?
I'm 29. So I'm part of the Full House generation, I guess.
Nobody's written the definitive article about it yet, but this Full House — there's something. I guess for me it's like the Brady Bunch or something, but you know we're on like our third generation of people. Every four years theres a new Full House fan born and it's like they think its new. Five-year-old kids come up to me like, "Oh, you know I love Full House." It's so popular in re-runs, it's on Nickelodeon. It's been a trip. I feel like there's something different about it that keeps catching the next generation.
It's kind of timeless. I guess it is a little dated in terms of hairstyle and fashion.
Timeless but dated, yeah definitely. In 20 years, maybe I've seen five minutes of the show and I'm like, oh my god what was I thinking? With the hair... and the outfits... You know Jimmy Fallon was bugging me to come back and do that Jessie and the Rippers thing. I don't know if you saw it. I was like, "No way am I gonna do that." And this sort of leads into Losing It — You know what, if you're a celebrity now and you don't have a sense of humor about yourself and continue to sort of build you brand and give people what they want then you're not in the game. Especially if you don't have a sense of humor about yourself. I think the preciousness has been kicked out from under us and I think it's a good thing.
I've always had a pretty good sense of humor about myself. And I turn on Jimmy Kimmel and George Clooney's in a Paris Hilton wig doing a Paris Hilton bit, I thought I can do anything. I should do anything.
So, do you think there's a Jesse and the Rippers Reunion tour?
I kept asking the Fallon people, "What is this?" I didn't get it — I swear. I came in and they were, "people are more excited for this than McCartney and Springsteen." And I said "Are you crazy?" As far as like The Rippers, every week if you look, there's like a different one because it was whoever was kissing my ass the most that week got to be a Ripper. I don't know what that tour would be, it's not like we had a bunch of hit songs from the show like the Monkees. If you want to see it, then Fallon YouTube is probably gonna be the last time I'm gonna do that.
Hypothetical Question: How do you think Uncle Jesse lost his virginity?
Stamos: [laughs] To Aunt Becky, of course! First and only. It was before they moved in. It was on the set of Wake Up, San Francisco in her dressing room. No — In Danny Tanner's dressing room.
How often do you get to hang out with Lori Loughlin?
Quite a bit. I see her as much as her husband will let me. You know, we all see each other a lot. Ashley and Mary-Kate live in New York so we don't see them as much, but Ashley came to my birthday party, which I thought was really sweet and special.
Do you think you'd ever end up in one of the Olsen twins' fashion shows?
Isn't it just women's clothing? It'd be weird to do one of their women's lines, but I sure am proud of them.
Do you think you'll ever end up on Broadway again?
I hope so. When I finished Full House, as happy as I was about the show, there were some lean years after, as far as typecasting. Things have changed now, I called my manager and I said "what do I do?" How do I turn this around? And he said [dramatic emphasis] "Go to Broadway!" So, first show they did was How to Succeed In Business and they kept going.
Again, I think this plays into the whole theme of what we're saying: When they approached me to do this Oikos commercial, I was like, yeah, I believe in it, I'm Greek, it makes sense, but I'm an actor and then, of course, I did it and had fun with it and a year later I'm on Broadway with James Earl Jones. The lines aren't blurred any more, there's no lines. You can do anything and people aren't going to hold you up against it. Don't you feel?
It used to be movie stars wouldn't do TV. They were always sort of looking down upon us television stars. Now everyone's crossing around, and I think it's good. But mostly I think it's good that people have a sense of humor about themselves. That's what Losing It is about. It's an equalizer.
Someone said on Twitter the other day, "That's TMI. We don't wanna know about that." It's not that. It's not the mechanics, it's not lascivious, it's about the feelings. What you felt before and after.
It's interesting, interviewing women vs. men on that show. The approach is totally different for me, to be more respectful obviously. It's not a boys club. It's a lady I'm talking to.
Do you feel like it's more, like jocular, when you're interviewing the guys?
It has been. You can't really completely tell. I talk to them for an hour and a half, two hours sometimes and we have to cut it down to five minutes. It kills me. I think there's a 22-minute show in there somewhere.
Do you have a favorite story or favorite interview subject that you've done so far?
Michael Rapaport had me on the ground, he was so damn funny. It's been a little bit of a challenge to get guests, but the ones that do it, they've got their gloves off and they come in and they roll stuff out. Perez Hilton was extremely honest about a lot of things that didn't make the cut.
I like the ones that ended up sweet.
Do we ever get to hear your story?
We haven't done it yet, but we're going to. I tried to do this show years ago on another network, but it didn't work. I knew Morgan [Spurlock] could pull it off and I knew that Yahoo is the right place for it. But I've been talking about this for years. It's a great dinner topic. How old were you? Unless you're still a virgin. I dunno... [Ed Note: sick burn, Stamos]
[Age redacted. Hi, Mom.]
Yeah, I was almost 18. I've said it a bunch of times, mine was a sweet: a sister of a girl who was playing bass in my high school band. I was driving home and she dropped her keys in my... in between my legs and it took a lot longer to retrieve them than I thought it would. And then, I realized it was on.
The funny thing was, I was almost 18 and then literally, I think like six months later I got on General Hospital. I don't know if there was anybody in between. All of a sudden I was a teen idol. There was a lot of opportunities then at that point. But I was always kind of clumsy at it. And the first time it happened too, I thought, "This is it? This is what the world revolves around?" But I get it now. Now I understand.
This is a little bit of a person question, so feel free to dodge it: How many women have you personally... devirginized was the word I was told to use?
Wow, that's a good question. I think only one. I'm not the "stickman" that people think I am. I'm in Laguna, in this big beautiful suite for the next couple days by myself! I'm alone for two days, pacing the floors doing interviews with you. And no girls! Anywhere.
That's kind of unexpected.
There's an image, if you listen to Howard Stern or Jimmy Kimmel and they sort of paint this guy that I'm... I'm flattered. It's very sweet that people think "he's this and that," but if they really knew the truth, I think people would be quite surprised at how little of that goes on. I've always been a relationship guy. I'd rather be in a relationship than, you know chasing around different women every night.
Do you think that stereotype was due to your personality or, like you said, you went from teen idol to popular TV show to just generally being good looking. How do you think the reputation ends up that way?
Because I haven't remarried. I certainly didn't have that persona when I was married, I don't think. Or even before. Maybe people just want to live vicariously through that guy, that character. It's very important, for me, to not get caught up in it because I would like a real relationship.
But you don't see me every week with a different starlet or whatever. I've learned since my last quote-unquote "high profile relationship" that you kind of keep it on the down low now. I haven't date a lot of celebrity types. A lot of girls, I dated before they were celebrities.
[At this point in the interview, John mentions he has to call Harvey Levin of TMZ. He promised to call me back in 10-15 minutes. Which he did.]
People seem a little speechless about the new show.
Were they speechless about the topic, or like why is John Stamos doing this?
Why is John Stamos doing this?
Well, it's been sort of a passion project for me to get this on the air. I was watching Jerry Seinfeld and that show he has. And I thought why don't I just go talk to my friends about it? We couldn't figure out what the format would be. Would there be a host? Was it a gameshow? That kinda thing. I sort of had to inject myself into it, and it goes back to what we were saying: it doesn't matter anymore. It hasn't hurt me. It's been a passion project for a long time.
I've had a really fun time doing it. You sit around with your buddies have a beer and, you know, tell a story.
I feel like there's something else we're missing.
It's so funny that you live — do you go by those Full Houses houses over there?
Yeah, it's a good regular, small urban park. Great view of the city. It's like a postcard. The tour buses go by my house all the time and I can hear the loudspeakers on it and they let people off right across the street from my house and the guys are always saying, "if you're looking for the Full House houses, take a right and go two blocks over there. And you'll see 'em."
That's funny. I bought one of the original Disneyland signs. I grew up in Orange County near Disneyland and I bought the sign that says "Disneyland" when they were redoing the park. And I had it sort of hidden on my property and you couldn't really see it. And one day I thought, you know, I'm gonna put the "D" up because it's so iconic and the font and the coloring, it just reminds you of Disneyland, but I put it up kind of behind my guesthouse and — I don't have a big house — but when you walk in, it wouldn't look like Disneyland.
I thought I was being so clever by putting it behind my guesthouse and if you want to see it you have to walk out into the backyard, but I didn't think about where I live all the way up on Mulholland. The whole street can see it. So it's like hey look: there's this whole big D for "dumbass" at my house. I guess the point I was trying to get to is the tour buses now stop by down below on Mulholland and they talk about, "this is John Stamos' house and he owns the Disneyland sign." So I know the feeling.
Episodes 1-10 of John Stamos' new web series Losing It are available on Yahoo right now, with 10 more episodes to follow this Fall.John Stamos, far right, plays bongos onstage at Outside Lands. (Photo via: Ben & Jerry's)