ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In the final hours before his death, Bob Saget was doing what made him happiest in life.
That’s what fellow comedian Tim Wilkins remembers, who opened for Saget in Florida this weekend as the former ‘Full House’ sitcom star kicked off his "I Don’t Do Negative" comedy tour.
Saget performed Friday night at Hard Rock Live in Orlando and then Saturday night at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Ponte Vedra Beach near Jacksonville.
The 65-year-old was found dead in his Orlando hotel room on Sunday.
“I thought it was a hoax," said Wilkins, who took the gig to meet his longtime idol. “I’d been a fan since ’84, he was a big inspiration and a big influence on my career.”
Wilkins, who also used to host WTSP’s weekday lifestyle show from 2006 to 2008 back when it was called "Studio 10," said Saget took a genuine interest in his comedy and took the time to talk with him before the shows.
“So, that blew my mind and touched my heart,” Wilkins said. “It was just really special to be a part of his show and see what he does and how he does it.”
The raunchy, hilarious comedy Saget was known for on stage was in stark contrast to the buttoned-up TV sitcom dad, Danny Tanner, most Americans knew him as on "Full House."
But in real life? “Offstage he was more Danny Tanner,” Wilkin said. “He was just a genuinely sweet, nice guy.”
Wilkins said it was clear Saget was enjoying himself on stage, doing nearly two-hour sets both nights this weekend.
“You only do that when you and the audience are having a great time,” Wilkins told 10 Tampa Bay. “He was just so happy doing comedy, he was so happy how he was evolving as a comedian, he was genuinely having a great time.”
Wilkins said in their final interaction Saturday night the two exchanged a wink and a nod as he watched from side stage while Saget finished his set.
Saget’s final tweet at 3:42 a.m. Sunday included a shoutout to Wilkins.
“He was so generous to share the spotlight with me, that spoke volumes to who Bob was,” Wilkin said. “He means a lot to a lot of people and we’re going to miss him.”
They say never to meet your heroes, but Wilkins said he's grateful to have met his. His only regret is that he never got a picture with Saget before the two parted ways.