In the new TV2 comedy Grandfathered, handsome, snappy, well-preserved, confirmed bachelor John Stamos plays Jimmy Martino, a handsome, snappy well-preserved, confirmed bachelor. The execution of the character suggests something of a riff on Stamos himself.
"Well, I always look for that, you know, to disarm people," Stamos tells TimeOut. "To make fun of myself again. My idol is Dean Martin. And he played Dean Martin till the day he died, but did it very well. But, you know, I guess we're just leaning into it. They certainly make fun of me a lot on this show. "
Effectively encapsulated by the economic title, Grandfathered focuses on what happens when womanising restauranter Martino discovers he has a grown-up son named Gerald (Josh Peck), who has a child of his own.
"I want to be a good father, I want to be a good grandfather. I don't want to alter my life, and I don't want to make compromises. And that's part of his struggle. And he takes two steps forward and one step back. The second episode, at the end, it's a really beautiful moment.
"Gerald wants me to go to the beach with the baby, and I'm fighting it. And I want to go to Diddy's White Party."
Although Stamos cops to riffing on his own persona, he insists he's not as smooth as Jimmy.
"I'm a lot more clumsier about all that, I think, in real life. And that's part of what we wanted to do with the show is, I think people have an image of a guy like me, or Jimmy more so . . . they think he's got it all going on, and he's got a great life and he's got women and stuff. And if you pull the curtain behind a guy like him, or me, you'd see that we're just sort of like everyone else, a little insecure and lonely at times, and unsure of themselves."
"But I think it's not just me. I think, you know, men and women look fantastic in their 50s now. We certainly are celebrating that on our show. And one of my favourite characters on the show is Sara, played by Paget Brewster, who is, you know, in her mid-40s, who's a really strong, smart, beautiful single mother, you don't see on television a lot. So I think you know, 50 is the new black, as I say."
Stamos paid his dues as a serious actor in the final four seaons of ER, but is less interested in drama these days.
"Not to sound corny, but the world is pretty, you know, topsy-turvy right now. And I've done dramas. It's nice to go to work and laugh and try to be funny. And it's harder. So it's more challenging. But it's a great way to spend the day. And at the end of the day you feel full, and your heart is full of laughter and love. So I like doing comedy."
Stamos also has goals as an executive producer of Grandfathered.
"What I love is this is a very relatable high-concept show. And what we keep trying to infuse into this show is relatability and family.
"And, you know, I did it years ago. I was thinking about it, it was really one of the first unconventional family shows. I mean, three guys in San Francisco raising a kid, straight guys, in San Francisco raising a kid. And now, you know, 25 years later, it's another very kind of unconventional family.
"As time has gone on, this is more and more the norm. You know, single parents, same-sex marriages."
It was inevitable that San Francisco would come up. Unless you've been living under a particularly well-soundproofed rock, you'll probably be aware that Grandfathered isn't the only TV show John Stamos is working on at the moment - he's also participating in the upcoming Full House sequel series, Fuller House.
"It is a trip because, you know, Full House, it's a bit of a time machine over there. And the studios are kind of right down the street, so I've been going back and forth. In the approach to Full House we were kind of like, let's not change, it's not broken. People still watch 25-year-old reruns. So it is in a time capsule back there. And then coming here, it really is a fresh, modern look at some of the same things that we did in Full House.
"This is my main gig right now. I'm full-time on Grandfathered. I did the first two episodes of Fuller House, and I'm just producing that now. So I read scripts and, you know, maybe give a note or two. But this is my first priority."
When: Premieres Monday 8pm