Just months before his tragic death in January, comedian Bob Saget stated in an eerily prescient interview that he had come to accept his own mortality.
Saget died on January 9 from head injuries he suffered in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Florida; the Orange County Sheriff’s Office released details of Chief Medical Examiner Joshua Stephany’s autopsy in which he “explained that the amount of force necessary to cause the fracture, coupled with the fact that the skin on the back of the head was still intact, led him to believe that the injury was most likely caused by ‘something hard, covered by something soft,’ and he gave, as an example, a fall onto a carpeted floor.”
On Monday, the first part of Saget’s May 2021 interview with Radio Rahim’s Til This Day podcast was released. Discussing his own mortality, Saget stated, “I’m proud of myself because I’m onto a new thing. At 65, I’m different than I was.”
Saget explained that as he grew up, one or another of his relatives was dying every two years, remembering, “We had so many deaths growing up, that my dad would just instill [the notion of enjoying life] in me. … He didn’t teach it to me, I just saw how he reacted.”
“[The deaths] started when I was like seven, and then every two years somebody died. … [I had] a cousin die – she died at 23 of cancer after giving birth to her child – and then a lot of cousins went through a lot of hardships, so I was like 9,10, 11, 12, 14,” when they died.
“It was a lot,” he added.
“There’s so much pain, and my parents couldn’t deal with it,” he recalled. “And every time they finally started to regroup, something else terrible happened.”
Four of Saget’s father’s siblings died young of heart attacks, The Daily Mail noted. When Saget’s last surviving uncle on his dad’s side died at 78, Saget’s father, then 85, spoke at the funeral. Saget recalled, “He gave the best speech.”
“And his ending was something like, ‘I’ll see you in 30 years, Joe.’ And it’s so good to close with something sweet that makes people feel the love,” he said.
“I just don’t have the same way of doing humor or conversation,” Saget stated of his state of mind. “I guess therapy, having three kids, watching people pass away in the past few years, mortality, all that stuff has fortunately changed me. … My kids tell me, ‘Dad, you’re different. It’s so nice to watch you grow.’”
Saget’s sisters died before him; his sister Gay died in 1994 of scleroderma, prompting him to push for a made-for-television movie about the starring Dana Delaney playing a character based on his sister. He told Rahim, “That’s the best part about being an only child, man. You don’t have to worry about losing a sibling.”
“People who have accomplished great things and are consistently reaching to do something else are fighting against finality,” Rahim commented. “Like you say, ‘Well this could be my last job, every job could be my last job.’”
“Well I don’t have that. I got rid of that. I do not possess that,” Saget replied.
A report issued after Saget’s death stated that he told crew backstage before his last concert the night he died that he felt sick. That information came from audio of interviews conducted by Orange County Sheriff’s Office that included one with showrunner Rosalie Cocci, who told investigators that Saget had been complaining about his health before the performance.
A transcript from the Daily Mail of the interview said Cocci stated:
He said he had long term Covid, and it was taking his body a long time to get over it. … He said that his hearing had been off and that was the case that night. He was asking the sound guys to turn everything up. And that he had been sick the night before – his hearing was off, and he had a sore throat. He was happy he had lozenges for the stage. … I did hear him say, “I don’t feel good but I’m ready to do the show. This is what I do this for.” … He seemed to be talking himself up.
Cocci continued by saying of Saget’s performance, which lasted two hours, “He seemed okay. He was cracking jokes. He wasn’t sweating; he didn’t miss a beat; nothing slurred…He came out very energetic.”