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'Full House' Star & Comedian Bob Saget Dead at 65; Apartment Fire Kills 19, Including 9 Children, in NYC; Djokovic Wins Case Over Australia Ban. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired January 10, 2022 - 06:00   ET


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Monday, January 10. And I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.


And sadly, we are beginning with heartbreaking news out of Hollywood and what could be described as a stunning loss for the entertainment world and for all of us, really. Bob Saget, who played the whole patriarch, Danny Tanner, on the sit-com "Full House," has died. The actor's family confirming his death in a statement to CNN.

Saget was only 65. And he was undeniably one of America's most prolific and beloved TV fathers.





JOHN STAMOS, ACTOR: You know, sometimes grace and coordination skip a generation.


KEILAR: Saget was found dead in his room at the Orlando Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sunday. Police say that there was no sign of foul play or drug use.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So the thing about Bob Saget is, as much as fans loved him, his fellow comics and collaborators just adored him, adored. You can really tell by the outpouring of grief overnight.

From the cast of "Full House," actress Candace Cameron Bure calls Saget "one of the best humans I known." John Stamos lamented the fact that he "will never have another friend like him." The Olsen twins and Dave Coulier say they are deeply saddened and heartbroken.

Whoopi Goldberg remembered Saget for his huge heart and abject lunacy. Jon Dewart [SIC] -- Jon Stewart described him as just the funniest and nicest person. CNN's Natasha Chen on the life and legacy of Bob Saget.


SAGET: How are you doing? I'm Danny Tanner, D.J.'s dad.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bob Saget may have been best known as America's favorite single dad of the late '80s and early '90s, Danny Tanner, raising three daughters on the show "Full House."

SAGET: OK. I have everyone's sandwich just the way they want them: turkey, all white meat; turkey and Swiss; Swiss, no turkey; turkey, all dark meat and extra tomato; turkey, extra turkey; turkey, half dark meat, half white meat; and peanut butter and banana, hold the turkey.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You wanted tomato.

CHEN: The show dominated primetime airwaves for eight years and was rebooted as "Fuller House" in 2016 on Netflix, starring many of the same child actors, now grown up.

BURE: I just screamed the loudest when I saw them. I was like, "Oh, my God, it's Bob Saget!"

SAGET: I do that, too, when I wake up in the morning.

CHEN: Saget was also the host of "America's Funniest Home Videos" --

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, Bob Saget.

CHEN: -- on Sunday nights from 1989 to '97, showing America our own most embarrassing candid moments, perhaps the audience's first experience with user-generated content in an era where the camcorder became ubiquitous in middle-class households.

SAGET: If you think I'm going to do some bad impression of a French chef, you are right, mon ami.

CHEN: For later generations, he was the voice of an older Ted Mosby --

SAGET: Then I remembered, Cindy has a roommate. A roommate I only caught a glimpse of.

CHEN: -- telling his TV children through nine seasons just exactly how he met their mother. But Saget's career was made of much more than the family man persona.

SAGET: Hey, welcome to the neighborhood.


SAGET: But do me a favor. Don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Don't you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) my daughters. I'm just (EXPLETIVE DELETED) with you. CHEN: He had an edgy, R-rated sense of humor, pushing back against his success from squeaky-clean shows.

SAGET: This is the longest John Stamos has gone without putting his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in a desperate actress.

CHEN: He displayed his raunchiness from roasts, to the ongoing "Aristocrats" joke, where comedians try to tell the filthiest possible setup on the same punchline.

SAGET: Now, "Aristocrats" couldn't be done now.

CHEN: A documentary was made in 2005, filming 100 comedians telling that same "Aristocrats" joke.

SAGET: And the point was censorship, different ways that people can do an art form, you know, and all tell the same thing. Everybody paint the same painting and let's see what happens. But it really was about freedom of speech.

CHEN: Freedom not to hold back.

DAVE CHAPPELLE, COMEDIAN: I'm here today because I'm addicted to marijuana.

SAGET: Marijuana is not a drug. I used to suck (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for coke.

CHEN: His real-life addiction, so to speak, was comedy. In his final tweet, in Orlando, Florida, where he was just beginning a comedy tour, he said, "I had no idea that I did a two-hour set tonight. I'm happily addicted again to this (EXPLETIVE DELETED)."

SAGET: There's no barrier. There's nothing. It's a simple form. A person with a mic just talking to a lot of people. It's the oldest form of theater, really, is you know, a monologue of sorts.

CHEN: Saget used his platform to draw attention to causes important to him. He hosted events to fundraise for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, where he served on the board of directors. Saget lost his sister to the chronic disease in 1994.


And at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Saget performed on the Comedy Gives Back Laugh Aid telethon in April 2020, supporting comedians who could not work.

He came on CNN's NEW DAY to promote the event and bring a little levity in a moment of darkness.

SAGET: I made my own face mask out of my underwear.


SAGET: It's hard to find humor in these times. And it was a mistake. Because you don't -- don't get it out of the hamper, people. That's all I have to say.

CHEN: In a 2013 "Esquire" interview, Saget was asked to define his humor. He said, quote, "I am basically just a 9-year-old boy that evolved."

But his family and friends also remember the man that evolved, not just the comedian. Saget's family said, quote, "He was everything to us, and we want you to know how much he loved his fans, performing live, and bringing people from all walks of life together with laughter."

Iconic sit-com creator Norman Lear shared, quote, "Bob Saget was as lovely a human as he was funny."

"Full House" co-star John Stamos posted, quote, "I am broken. I am gutted. I am in complete and utter shock. I will never, ever have another friend like him."

SAGET: I love them all. And John and Dave are like brothers to me.

STAMOS: You stuck it out.

DAVE COULIER, ACTOR: Just like we always do.

SAGET: Just like we always will.

CHEN: Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


KEILAR: You know, I will tell you, I felt, Berman, that -- I just felt quite affected when I learned that he had passed away. And I realized it was because what a part of my life he had been over the years, you know? And I imagine that that's how so many people feel today.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, I missed "Full House," really, when it was on TV. But one of the things I've always been struck by with Bob Saget is how much he was just adored --


BERMAN: -- by his fellow comedians. I mean, he was the guy they all thought was hilarious and also just one of the nicest guys around.

KEILAR: Yes. And let's -- you know, that's one of the things we're going to explore today, is talking to some of his friends and fellow comedians.

So let's start with his long-time friend, Alan Zweibel, who's with us. You know, Alan, we're all feeling this today. I imagine you are very much in shock. How are you putting this loss into words?

ALAN ZWEIBEL, AWARD-WINNING COMEDY WRITER, FRIEND OF BOB SAGET: It's really hard. I haven't totally figured out how to put it into words yet. I heard all the tributes that you just got from everybody. And when I heard last night, I mean, it came out of nowhere. And I

just sat, and I was shaking. And my wife came in, and I told her. And I know a lot of other people who feel exactly the same way. This was -- we lost a good friend, but a good human being.

You know, you'll hear all day from people about how funny he was. And you know, I met him in the late '80s. I had co-created a show called "It's Garry Shandling's Show." And he was good friends with Garry. That's how I met him.

And our children were very young at that time. And they loved him. And then they went to see "Full House." We took them to a couple of tapings. And Danny Tanner was a part of their young lives.

Last night, when the news came out, all three of our children, the oldest of whom is 40 -- the others are in their 30s -- called. They called me to see how I was, but they were calling, because they were mourning the loss of Bob Saget and Danny Tanner. They were -- their childhood. He was their childhood.

BERMAN: Alan, we're so sorry for your loss. And we appreciate you talking to us. But you're just proving my point, which is that you and so many others in the comedy community just adored Bob Saget. I'm not sure I see -- I mean, with some people, you see this. But this is really just a genuine love that you show.

So tell me about Bob. What was it about him that you love so much?

ZWEIBEL: He was a big kid. And there was a duality there. But Bob Saget that, yes, who was raunchy on stage, yes, he was one of the guys, you know? Danny Tanner was Bob Saget, the father. OK? That's why children were drawn to him.

We in the comedy community knew that we can -- a couple of things. That he can make us laugh. But his heart, I'm telling you, John, his heart -- whatever you needed him for. You mentioned scleroderma, which he started that foundation after his -- his sister. Gave a lot of time to the founding of Gilda's Club, which was named after my pal, Gilda Radner, for cancer patients and their families.

Any time we needed somebody to perform, Bob came, at a fund-raiser or whatever. And if the kids were sick or if he heard that something was wrong, he called. It was the human being.


So it was a combo platter in a way. He was Danny Tanner in real life. He was embracing. And you felt how he felt about you. You could not help but love and embrace Bob Saget. It -- it was -- it's a real loss in terms of the human being. The kind of person you want other people to be.

KEILAR: I think -- and as we're watching some of these clips from "Full House," I did not miss "Full House." I watched so many episodes of "Full House." And he was this -- such a dorky, dorky dad, Alan. But he was -- he was so loving. And I think what's amazing -- and we're talking about this, is like

you said, that's who he was. You know, because that's the thing that he sort of brought, is even as this dorky dad, he brought this model of just showing so much love to the people around him, and it wasn't an act.

ZWEIBEL: I've got to tell you something, you're absolutely right. To a great extent, we're all dorky dads. There's no manual, OK? There's no book that says this is how you do this. This is how you handle that. So we all stumble our way through it somehow.

But it's the love of our children and our love for our children that gets us through it and prioritizes things.

Let me just tell you -- and I guess I can say it now -- Bob's old email address was bobbydaddy. OK? Now, that speaks volumes. What was his priority? Bobby Daddy. That's who he was.

And the dorkiness was something that kids related to and parents related to. And it was that -- but you knew that no matter what he was stumbling through, it was out of love and well-meaning.

Yes. And that's certainly -- that's what a family needs. You know, so, look, Alan, we're thinking very much of you today. We're thinking of his friends today, and certainly, his family. This is just incredibly shocking. And we're going to continue today to pay tribute to Bob's legacy. So thank you for being with us.

ZWEIBEL: Thank you for having me.

KEILAR: So stick around, because our coverage of America's beloved TV dad, Bob Saget, will continue with long-time friend and comedian George Wallace, who knew Saget for four decades. And comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who just spoke to Saget a few days ago. What he remembers most about the TV icon, ahead.

BERMAN: All right. This morning, at least 19 people are dead, including nine children in the Bronx. This is New York City's deadliest fire in 30 years.

Sixty-three people were injured, 32 of whom went to the hospital in life-threatening conditions. Firefighters arrived within minutes, finding victims on every floor of the building. Officials say the death toll is likely to climb.

Let's get to CNN's Brynn Gingras, live in the Bronx with the latest on this horrible tragedy -- Brynn.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. I mean, just unimaginable devastation here, John. As families lost loved ones just within a matter of minutes.

Now, the fire was in just one apartment -- apartment of this building, and it actually stayed in that apartment. But it was the smoke that just quickly spread throughout the entire building, suffocating people as they tried to escape. As you said, 19 people were killed, nine of them children. And dozens more are fighting for their lives this morning.


GINGRAS (voice-over): This morning, the New York City Fire Department and fire marshals are investigating a deadly fire at a 19-story apartment building in the Bronx.

At least 19 people lost their lives, including nine children. Dozens more were injured, including 13 people in life-threatening condition, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

DANIEL NIGRO, NYC FIRE COMMISSIONER: I think it certainly is traumatizing when we can't save a life. And our members, you know, tried diligently, fire and EMS members, to bring some of these people back and to bring them out as quickly as they could.

GINGRAS: The commissioner said the fire started yesterday morning just before 11 when a space heater malfunctioned in an apartment on the second and third floors of the building.

The fire then spread throughout the building. When the door to that apartment and at least one stairwell door were left open.

NIGRO: The smoke spread throughout the building. I think some of them could not escape because of the volume of smoke.

GINGRAS: Nigro says victims were found in stairways on every floor of the building, many in cardiac arrest. One woman who did escape described the fear she felt.

DAISY MITCHELL, SURVIVED DEADLY FIRE: I was really scared. I was scared. I mean, that smoke really hit me. By the time I got to the exit and I had the mask on, I couldn't even see. I thought I went blind. I couldn't even see.


GINGRAS: The fire commissioner said the heat was on in the building, and there were working smoke detectors. But one resident said the fire alarm regularly goes off, even when there is not a fire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How were you supposed to know if it's a fire if it's always going off?

GINGRAS: The building housed a largely Muslim population, with many immigrants from Gambia, a small nation on the West Coast of Africa. Mayor Eric Adams reassured the people affected by the fire they should not be afraid to ask for help.

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D), NEW YORK CITY: If you need assistance, you -- your names will not be turned over to ICE or any other institution. We're all feeling this. And we're going to be here for this community to help them navigate through this. GINGRAS: New York's governor announced the state will establish a

victims' compensation fund that will help with burial costs, housing, or residents' other needs.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): We will not forget you. We will not abandon you. We are here for you.


GINGRAS: It is so important to note the incredible work of the FDNY here. About 200 members arrived within three minutes of that 911 call, putting out the flames, working rescues. In some cases, John, there are firefighters who ran out of oxygen in their tanks as they were trying to bring people to safety -- John.

BERMAN: Wow. Brynn, what a horrible situation. But they were there within minutes. Thank you so much for your reporting. Please keep us posted.

We're going to speak with New York City Mayor Eric Adams and a survivor of the deadly fire.

Plus, Novak Djokovic just scored a big win off the court against Australia. Despite being unvaccinated, he -- at least as of now -- will be allowed to stay in Australia. What will this mean for his future at the Australian open?

KEILAR: And a standoff between Chicago's mayor and the teachers' union there, forcing 340,000 students to stay home without instruction for a fourth consecutive day.



KEILAR: We do have some breaking news out of Australia. A huge win for Novak Djokovic off the court. An Australian judge freeing the men's No. 1 tennis star from his nearly one-week detention.

But that legal win is sparking anger among Australian leaders. CNN's Paula Hancocks live for us from Melbourne. Paula, tell us the latest here.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Brianna, Novak Djokovic may have won the battle, but the war could still be up for grabs.

What we know is that the tennis star is a free man tonight. The judge ordered him released from detention. They ordered the Ministry of Home Affairs to pay all of his legal costs.

And Judge Anthony Kelly said that he was not given enough time to order to be able to respond at immigration, saying he was unable to speak to his lawyers, unable to speak to organizers of the tournament. So it really was a procedural matter, which is why he has been released. But that may not be all we have heard from the immigration ministry.

That the minister may, in fact, use his personal power in order to step in and revoke the visa himself. It's uncertain at this point whether or not he will do that.

But certainly, what we have been seeing is quite interesting in court. There was an affidavit from Djokovic himself, saying that he was aware that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on December 16.

Now, of course, this raises questions, as the fact on the 16th and the 17th, we did see him in public: through photos on social media, on his own social media. He was at a panel discussion, maskless. He was also at a tennis awards ceremony. So that is raising questions as to why he was out and about knowing he was positive with COVID-19 at that point.

Now, when it comes to the public sentiment here, there is little sympathy for this tennis star here in Australia. The border controls have been among the tightest in the world in Australia. And many citizens have fallen foul of him. They don't want to see a celebrity getting what they think may be special treatment -- Brianna.

KEILAR: Yes. They have weathered shutdowns, lockdowns especially there in Melbourne where you are.

Paula, thank you for the report. We know this isn't the end of it.

BERMAN: All right. Here with me is ESPN tennis -- tennis commentator and tennis great, Patrick McEnroe.

Patrick, thanks so much for being with us. What a mess.

PATRICK MCENROE, ESPN TENNIS COMMENTATOR, FORMER PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Well, if this were a tennis match, Djokovic would have been down two sets to love. It's now two sets all, and I'd say he's up a break in the fifth set.

But as you heard from your reporter Down Under, it's not quite over yet. But it sounds to me like, John, that justice, at least in this particular instance, has been served. Djokovic answered all the questions. He had all the documentation that was necessary, he thought, to get in the country.

The border patrol told him that he would get a few hours to be a be to talk to his attorney. This was in the middle of the night after he'd already been in the airport in Melbourne for a number of hours. That he would have a few hours to talk to Tennis Australia, the governing body which approved his visa and his application.

And then they sort of reneged on that, and they made him give -- give his answers immediately and sort of sign this form to say his visa had been canceled.

So that's really where the judge came down hardest and said this was just inappropriate. It was unfair.

But now the ball, proverbial -- is in the proverbial court of the minister of home affairs, who controls immigration in the country. And he could, apparently, still cancel the visa and kick Djokovic out of the country. I'd be shocked at this point if that happens, based on all that has transpired in the last couple of days.

BERMAN: It would be an aggressive move, a bold move.

When you say justice, you're not talking about justice in the terms of whether or not someone should be vaccinated. You're not talking about justice in terms of --


BERMAN: -- whether or not Djokovic has behaved nobly over the last couple of years ago. You're simply talking about the process itself to play in the Australian open.

MCENROE: That's absolutely correct. I'm not talking about what Djokovic has done. He has got his own views on vaccination, particularly for COVID. It's his right to do that.


I don't personally believe it's then his right to be able to go into any country that he wants. But he did get a medical exemption for this particular instance. He did follow the rules. He did do what he was supposed to do.

Now, of course, as a reporter noted, there's questions, big-time questions, John, about the fact that he apparently tested positive on December 16. He got the positive test report back later that day. And then he was seen out and about over the course of the next couple of days. Those are questions that Novak Djokovic personally is going to have to answer.

But as for this particular case, this is why I believe justice was served. Because he clearly was not treated fairly. He was put in a detention center.

And I think the judge also warned the government, Listen, this has become way bigger than just Novak Djokovic at this point. So tread very carefully if you intend to cancel his visa and kick him out of the country.

BERMAN: Yes. Look, if he tested positive on the 16th and was out on the 17th, out and about. That might make him a jerk. That may be someone's opinion there. But it doesn't, in and of itself, you know, cause him to not be allowed to play in the Australian Open by the rules that the tournament and the state of Victoria had laid out there.

What's this going to be like? Assuming he does get to play, what's this going to be like when he takes the court?

MCENROE: Can you say an absolute zoo, John. You're 100 percent right on the moral side of this and the legal side of it. But already, we've seen video of apparently the car that Djokovic was

in leaving his lawyer's, his offices. They did let him leave the detention center to listen to the appeal with his team at their offices. They were seeing people jumping on top of the car, apparently, that Djokovic was in.

This was just him leaving the -- the offices of his legal team. It was absolutely chaos.

It's now after 10 p.m. local time in Melbourne. If I were Novak Djokovic, this is what I'd do right now. I'd go to my house that I've rented where his team is already at. His coach, his trainer and so on.

I'd pick up my rackets. I'd go straight to Melbourne Park, to Rod Laver Arena, center court where he's going to be playing, apparently, in about a week, and I'd get on the practice court. I'd get video.

I know his parents are saying they're about to do a live video press conference with Novak. OK, do that if you want to. It's a huge story, we know that, in Serbia. But if I'm Novak, I'm going right to the practice court right now.

BERMAN: Patrick McEnroe, appreciate you joining us. I know you're going to be covering this every night for the next several weeks here. We look forward to speaking to you again.

MCENROE: Thanks for having me, John.

BERMAN: Four straight days with no school for children in Chicago. Why the mayor says teachers abandoned more than 300,000 students and their families.

KEILAR: And Michelle Obama out with an urgent message to voters and Democrats. Her new push and a warning ahead of the midterm elections.