One of the last clips Bob Saget ever shot wasn’t as the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, nor as Full House’s clean freak dad Danny Tanner, nor as narrating Ted Mosby in How I Met Your Mother, but as a chef cooking up bacon and catching racks of cash while standing beside half-naked pornstar Kendra Sunderland in a music video for, of all rappers, Desiigner.
In “Bakin’,” which Rolling Stone is exclusively premiering, Saget is the most notable in a sort of celebrity Mad Libs that also features Snoop Dogg, Jay Pharoah, and the song’s co-writers and producers DJ Whoo Kid and Slushii.
The song itself only came to be after a brief spat between Desiigner and Whoo Kid because the rapper apparently hooked up with Whoo Kid’s ex-girlfriend. Whoo Kid got on the phone with Desiigner ready to argue, only to send a beat Slushii had given him instead, saying they’d have no beef if he rapped over it. After the song was completed, the team shot “Bakin'” music video in mid-December, just a few weeks before Saget died in a Florida hotel room after suffering head trauma.
Whoo Kid was wrangling folks, trying to build hype for the project, and enlisted Saget, a friend he’d initially met at Sirius XM’s offices in New York years ago.
“We needed a chef for the video and I remember thinking, ‘Who the fuck is gonna be the chef who can make it weird?’” Whoo Kid says, adding that he also asked Willie Nelson, who was unavailable at the time. “Then immediately I thought ‘Bob Saget!’ Nobody on set believed me when I said he’d come until he actually drove up and rang the bell, like this was a Full House episode. When you have rappers pull up for videos, they bring a Maybach, or rent a Lambo, they show off. He shows up and parks his Lexus on the grass and comes in looking like a dad.”
Saget is an unexpected fit in the hip-hop canon. He’d sometimes post rap lyrics on his Twitter page, including the chorus to “Panda,” Desiigner’s 2016 hit single. His name has also been a common reference in hip-hop tracks from artists like Machine Gun Kelly and Lil Wayne, which he spoke about in an episode of Hot Ones. But save for the 2005 comedic rap song “Rollin’ With Saget,” he’d never been featured in a music video until “Bakin.'”
“He kept calling it a rap video; I don’t even say ‘rap’ anymore,” Whoo Kid says with a chuckle. “You could tell he was old-school. He wouldn’t even say ‘twerk,’ he would ask if there was going to be a lot of booty-shaking. But we didn’t do that for him; I knew he’s got a wife and everything, I told him all I wanted him to do was cook.”
Saget ran with the role, making the bacon himself (which Slushii said was cooked quite well). He mouthed lyrics, caught cash, and danced and bobbed his head to the beat. Saget was an easy feature, leaving few notes beyond the types of angles that would work for a more flattering shot or suggesting using dry ice for smoke. His main responsibility was merely existing in the video’s strange multiverse.
“It’s so funny because this video is a testament to what Bob Saget was on stage,” Pharoah, says. “He was the item of incongruity. He would go up there and he would say all of this outlandish shit, and people wouldn’t expect him to say it. The fact that it was so extreme and it was coming from America’s favorite dad, it messed people up. It’s the same thing in this video.”
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Whoo Kid says his team edited the video down to take out some of the edgier scenes, which they felt would’ve been in poor taste to include. His family hasn’t seen the final product, he says. With Saget’s death, a video that was intended to be a campy spectacle of miscellaneous star power became an unintended time capsule of one of Saget’s last video appearances.
“Full House, Nick at Nite, Bob Saget used to rock me to sleep at night man,” Desiigner says. “It was a starstruck moment for me seeing him bumping to my music. After he passed away, it was different seeing that now that he’s back with the universe. We want to turn this up for Bob, you could say this is a going home party for him.”
For Pharoah, another friend of Saget’s who he got to see when they were on the same stand-up bills, the video comes with some lament. He showed up to the shoot after Saget already left, losing an opportunity to see the actor one last time before he died.
“That really messed me up. I said to myself, ‘Maybe if I would’ve been quicker that day, I would’ve had a chance to say bye to him,’” Pharoah says. “I was in Lexington, Kentucky, when I found out. I was doing my set, and five minutes in I see people chattering and thought nothing of it. I finish and go to the green room and [comedian] Patrick Passafiume told me he died. At that moment, that’s when it all came down. It was just like, ‘Man, I wish I could have been there to do that scene with him that day, and I wish I would have been able to see him in person.’”
Still, he finds consolation in the video. “The fact that in this video everybody in it is immortalized with him — even though he’s been immortalized already because of because of his longevity and his career — you can’t you can’t ask for anything else, man,” he says.
However random said immortalization may be, Pharoah sees the unexpected role as fitting for who Saget was as a wholesome dad on TV and a surprisingly raunchy comedian elsewhere.
“You don’t expect him to be sitting around here with all these bad models, and booties-a-clapping and racks being thrown and Desiigner being there doing his thing,” Pharaoh says while imitating one of Desiigner’s signature ad-libs. “But it works because that’s what Bob’s whole spirit was. It was different. It was, ‘Put me in an odd place that you wouldn’t expect for me to be and watch me shine.’”