‘Full House’ Showrunners Reminisce About the Only Episode They Actually Filmed in San Francisco

‘Full House’ Showrunners Reminisce About the Only Episode They Actually Filmed in San Francisco

Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, there’s a heart, a hand to hold onto — unless you’re looking in San Francisco, in which case the best you can do is a paw.

Despite its status as the flagship sitcom of the Golden Gate City, Full House wasn’t actually filmed in San Francisco outside of the title sequence and some establishing shots of that quaint Victorian home on a crowded San Fran street in which none of the Tanners actually lived. Like most movies and TV shows, Full House was filmed almost exclusively on a studio lot in Los Angeles, which should come as no surprise — It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Cheers had the same strategy of using the cities with which they’re so closely associated solely for exterior shots while the scenes themselves are filmed on a soundstage. Hell, even the Scranton Business Park from The Office is in the San Fernando Valley.

But, for one special episode in 1994, the makers of Full House decided to devote a full 24 minutes to exploring the city in which they had hardly set foot with “Comet’s Excellent Adventure.” Yesterday, the San Franciscan news outlet SFGATE spoke to those showrunners about the city’s first and only starring role on the show, never once asking Marc Warren and Dennis Rinsler why they felt it fitting that the only Full House episode filmed in San Francisco needed to be the one where the main characters are dogs.

In “Comet’s Excellent Adventure,” a series of mishaps leads to the Tanner family’s golden retriever running off his leash and exploring many of the most notable landmarks in San Francisco with a collie companion. Eventually, Michelle makes a plea on Danny and Becky’s talk show for her pet to return home, which, after watching the broadcast through the window of a storefront, Comet obliges.

“They were pressuring us to go somewhere on location,” Rinsler told SFGATE of the network’s push to punch up the usual locations in Full House Season Eight, their final one before the original show’s finale. “They were saying, ‘Go to Amsterdam! Go to Holland! Go to Paris!’” But, for the Season Eight premiere, Rinsler and Warren decided that it was finally time to pay homage to the city that the Tanners pretended to call home. “We weren’t sure if this was going to be the last season or not. So everything was kind of up in the air,” Warren explained. “They wanted to do something special. And we also were going up there, I think, to reshoot some of the intros.” 

“Comet’s Excellent Adventure” opens with a spin on the usual title sequence in which Comet picks up a missing TV remote and turns the channel to Full House in a fun little twist. Said Warren, “By the last season, we were able to play around a little bit more and bend the rules a little. They kind of trusted us, so it was fun.”

Over the course of the episode, Comet roams from Alamo Square Park to Lands End’s Eagles Point overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge to the top of Coit Tower, an ambitious route for even the most active of human tourists and a treacherously long journey for a couple of dogs traveling mostly on paw. “This was pre-internet, so we knew nobody would actually be looking,” Warren said of the geographical liberties taken in the episode. “You’d have to pull out a map or something. There was no logic to either the geography of the city or the geography of the house. The house was gigantic. Sometimes the backyard was, like, four acres. Sometimes it was, like, a narrow little strip of grass. Whatever served the story.” 

It turns out that sitcom fans in 2024 are bigger sticklers for realism than they were 30 years ago – for instance, no one today would believe that Danny Tanner could afford such an impressive piece of San Francisco real estate on a lowly morning show co-host’s salary. Today, that house would be occupied by at least a dozen different coders who somehow simultaneously make six figures and survive on food stamps.


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