Full House was a popular family show during the 1990’s. The premise was that through some sort of tragedy (Danny’s wife expiring) and financial downfall, three adult males decided to live together and raise three young girls in San Francisco. What eventually made it to our kitchen televisions was a wholesome show that poured out moral lessons during “moral” sounding background music near the end of each episode. I needn’t go into much detail describing what we all saw since we “all saw” it. What most people of our generation do not know, is what the writers original intent for the series was, and the struggle they had each week, as a very different variety of sitcom was chopped and molded by producers into “Full House”.
The man who created Full House, Jeff Franklin, was an old “cold war” cynic who spent very little time outside of his small Sacramento apartment. He was admittedly a modern communist and hated everything he considered “icky” about the society his beloved America had become. He was a firm believer in, “if you can’t beat them, beat yourself.” Jeff wanted to write a gritty drama about two gay men and a drag queen ruining the future of the three daughters of the drag queen, bi-sexual. This is why Mr. Franklin kidnapped all 21 cats of Michael Warren of Miller-Boyett Productions and threatened to eat them in a hairy cat-beef and tofu mixture if Robert (Bob) Saget was not casted as his drag queen, bi-sexual. The studios originally were willing to bend to Franklen’s demands when he started following through on his threats. Franklin contracted Russell Marcus to write every season of the show in it’s entirety (in 18 hours) while he dictated and rambled after a night of drugs, “hookers”, and an attempt at his own life by swallowing 3 bottles of Zyrtec and screaming “whore” at single mothers at a Sonic restaurant in Wellington, Kansas. He sued Sonic (for false advertising the atmosphere of their establishment) and fronted all the money to produce the hit series. Other producers of the show soon learned that they would have to change most of the writing and convince Franklin that it was not “different” as Franklin slipped further and further from reality. This is an excerpt from the opening of the first episode as dictated by Franklin.
“Fright Night, Goodbye Mommy”
Jesse Katsopolis sits on lush living room sofa crying and laughing at the same time. He keeps muttering under his breath about family and motorcycle fenders. There is a loud CLINKING sound coming from elsewhere in the house. Shadows move in the back living room cubby space where Joseph Gladstone resides. The light above the cubby space has been broken.
Enter Donna Jo Tanner. DJ is covered by the tears of someone else.
DJ: Where is mommy, we need mommy to take me to my buzzy bee meeting.
Katsopolis: Mommies aren’t needed for that. Listen DJ, I love your father and blood uncle as more than friends. Mommy had to go, she ruined society many years before she was born.
Cut to: Daniel Tanner constructing a faked auto accident scene at night, in the pouring rain. Danny is dressed like Rosie the Riveter and whistles happily as he works to make things look “really real”.
Cut to: Keebler commercial.
As we can all see, the work the producers had to do each day changing and molding Franklin’s dreams into something they could show as an after school program was daunting. Imagine with each re-run you see what the original version of the episode would have looked like if cats couldn’t run and hide as fast as they do. It’s also important to note the signifigance of what San Francisco has become thanks to “Full House” and to never be afraid to take a leap of faith when it might change the world. My life would never be as full as it is if it wasn’t for FULL HOUSE.