Admit it: If you had to tell one member of Full House‘s cast the story of how you lost your virginity, you’d obviously choose Uncle Jesse. (Or maybe Aunt Becky — you know she wouldn’t judge.)
That’s the basic idea behind Losing It With John Stamos, a new series of shorts that debuted earlier this week on Yahoo Screen. The premise is simple: Stamos sits down with a celebrity, who regales him with a story about turning in his or her v-card. Occasionally, bits are re-enacted by cute cartoon characters or puppets. (That’s got to be the stamp of documentarian Morgan Spurlock, who serves with Stamos as co-EP.)
Where did Stamos get the idea for Losing It? More importantly, how does he convince his famous pals to participate? The ex-Full Houser spills all in our interview — and also reveals whether Joey Gladstone is next in line.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us about the genesis of Losing It.
JOHN STAMOS: I was at my parents’ house, sitting at my kitchen table, and the bass player of my band when I was in high school came over and brought her sister. I was like, “Hi, hi… wait a minute, I know you.” She was very pretty, very sweet — and I realized that she was the girl I’d lost my virginity to. I went to MTV the next day and was like, “We take a celebrity. They talk about how they lost their virginity, and then we find the person and we get their side of the story.” They were sold! So we tried to do the show years ago, [but] this was when celebrities took themselves way too seriously. We couldn’t get guests.
So I waited around for the idea to come back to me — because I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of this common denominator most of us have.
How long has it been since you first pitched the idea to MTV?
A long time. 13 years, maybe.
Who were some of the guests you did manage to find back then?
At the time I was married, so my ex-wife [Rebecca Romijn] did the first one. I feel like David Boreanez did one, and maybe Snoop, or somebody like that. And then we just couldn’t get guests. And now, the beauty of it — the showbiz gods [have] all kicked the chairs out from under us. It’s like, “Knock it off already; you’re just like everybody else. So stop being so cool, and just talk about what we’ve all gone through.” I think with the advent of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram, blah blah, everybody wants to be relatable. Everybody wants to say, “Hey, I’m just like you.” So losing your virginity — how much more can you relate to somebody?
What’s your pitch to celebrities when you’re trying to convince them to participate?
PLEEEAAAAAASE!! [Laughs] I have to be honest, it’s not been easy. To me, I don’t care if it’s an A-list celebrity — if they have a great story, they’re an A-lister to me. It’s a very personal thing. I went up to a hundred of my friends, even very close friends — and a lot of them were like, “John, great show, wish you the best, but I can’t talk about this. I got kids!”
The final episodes posted on Yahoo last only five or six minutes. How long are your actual conversations?
Depends who it is. [I] did two at my house recently, with Jeff Ross and T.J. Miller — couldn’t get rid of either of them. I think they’re still here, actually. But honestly, we do about an hour and a half. And my goal and my hope is to do it as a syndicated show [eventually], because it kills us — we literally talk for an hour and a half, and we have to cut it down to four, five minutes. There’s so much more there. I just know that there’s a 22-minute version of this show, easily.
How do you make people feel comfortable when you interview them? Is alcohol involved?
There has been, but we usually shoot during the day. Most of the people on there are friends of mine. I always want it to be more of a conversation, less like being interviewed. But you’d be surprised — it’s a different world we live in now. There’s no lines [anymore]. I’m doing a yogurt commercial, and then two months later I’m onstage with James Earl Jones on Broadway. It doesn’t matter, you know? It’s about building your brand. I think it’s a movement that’s happening. Even a couple weeks ago, Jimmy Fallon kept bugging me to do this Jesse and the Rippers [reunion]. And I said, “I’m not going to put on a wig!” And you know, they’ll send a video of [Paul] McCartney doing “Scrambled Eggs,” or Bruce Springsteen doing “Whip My Hair.” I go, “Okay, I get it, I get it.” If you can’t ‘have a sense of humor about yourself, I don’t think people are going to attach to you. I think that if you’re not in that game of making fun of yourself, then you may be in trouble.
Is the girl you lost your virginity to going to be on the show?
Yes. We haven’t shot that one yet. Apparently, she has a completely different story than I do.
Also, since you and Bob Saget have both done it, it seems like Dave Coulier must be next in line.
[Laughs] Yeah, I guess I should ask Dave. Dave is surpris–you know, it’s so funny. You’d be shocked — the people that you would think would be on there in two seconds, they’re like, “No way am I talking about that!” Or vice versa.