When you think of Full House, odds are one of the first things you think of is Joey Gladstone, and when you think of Joey Gladstone, odds are one of the first things you think of is the jersey – a Detroit Red Wings jersey, to be exact.
That was by design.
Michigan native Dave Coulier, who played Gladstone on the hit sitcom, is a diehard Red Wings fan.
“Growing up in Detroit, you bleed red,” Coulier said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “Gordie Howe was my idol growing up, and I later became friends with Gordie through some charity work that we did. I remember saying to the producers, ‘Hey look, I’d like to wear this Red Wings jersey,’ and that was before . . . you had to pay a fee to the NHL and (worry about) all this paperwork and this and that. I was like, ‘I’m just going to wear it,’ and everybody was like, ‘Okay, cool, that sounds great.’”
Coulier starred on Full House from 1987 to 1995. When he read for the part of Gladstone, he was in his late-20s and simply trying to make a name for himself. He had no idea the show would take off the way it did.
“You never know,” said Coulier, 55. “That’s the beauty of when it becomes a big hit. It’s kind of this surprise package that you don’t know is going to be underneath the Christmas tree, and all of a sudden you go, ‘Wow, what a great present.’ I actually read for the part of Joey, and the character wasn’t even named Joey at the time. I think it was Adam or something, some different name. But I also read for the part of the father . . . and then they said, ‘Thank you very much.’ And you never know.”
When Coulier got home, though, there was a message from his manager waiting for him: Coulier was hired for the pilot.
The rest is history.
“You just don’t know how it’s going to go,” Coulier said. “You don’t know that there’s a fan base or anybody who’s going to like what you’re doing. We did the pilot – actually with another actor as the Danny Tanner character. It wasn’t even Bob Saget. So that early part of the show was really quite different from anything the fans have ever seen, so you just never know what’s going to happen. It’s now television history, and we’re all really happy to be a part of this iconic show.”
That’s good – because it’s coming back. Fuller House will air on Netflix in 2016. That means another generation of people will associate Coulier with Gladstone, which is something Coulier has never shied away from.
“When you’re starting out, you dream of having a Full House experience every day of your life,” he said. “And then when it finally happens, it’s this miraculous thing that suddenly is in your career, so I have never turned away from Full House. I’ve never tried to dissuade anybody from saying, ‘Hey, look, I’m not that guy.’ If I’m this great character or whatever, then so be it. It’s really up to the fans. It’s not up to me to say ‘Oh, I don’t want to be that guy anymore.’ I’m happy to be Joey Gladstone. It was a great run, it was a great character and it’s afforded me a really nice life. So Full House has been the pinnacle of my career, and I accept that. It’s a really nice feeling.”