David Duchovny Was Desperate to Star in ‘Full House’

But the network told him to ‘cut it out’
David Duchovny Was Desperate to Star in ‘Full House’

As Fox Mulder on The X-Files, David Duchovny investigated vampires, chased mutant sewer-monsters and battled scantily-clad, virtual-reality cowgirls. But he very nearly found himself in an even stranger situation: holed up in a San Francisco townhome with three children and two other dudes.

Yes, Duchovny came shockingly close to starring in Full House, which may sound kind of odd, but certain Full House storylines could have easily passed as X-Files episodes.

On a recent episode of his podcast Fail Better, Duchovny chatted with Fred Armisen about their early unsuccessful auditions, with the former Saturday Night Live cast member revealing that he once tried out for Mad TV, the RC Cola to SNL’s Coke. 

Duchovny then revealed that when he first moved to Los Angeles, he auditioned for plenty of sitcom pilots, and “thought each one was gonna be the break.” One of the shows that left him “devastated” for weeks afterwards was Full House. And Duchovny didn’t just try out for the role of Danny Tanner, but also Uncle Jesse, and even Uncle Joey. Although it’s tough to picture Duchovny telling Popeye jokes on Star Search.

“I auditioned for all three parts on Full House,” Duchovny informed a surprised Armisen. “I tested at the network. At first they had me for, I think, the dad. And then they had me for the Stamos character, and then they had me for the other guy.” 

Umm, his name was Joey Gladstone, David. Just because he was an annoying freeloader doesn’t mean he isn’t deserving of our respect.

Desperate to pay his rent, Duchovny really got his hopes up, presuming that the odds were in his favor: “I was thinking, ‘I gotta get one of these, and it’s gonna change my life.’” 

Although Duchovny did note that he probably wasn’t the best actor for the job. “I was really bad at that kind of stuff,” he admitted. “Like, I did not know how to do that sitcom stuff. I don’t know what they were thinking, (if) they thought I was gonna exist in that world.” 

“I guess I could have learned, but I wasn’t ready,” he added. “I wasn’t ready for that kind of energetic performance.”

While he never starred in a traditional three-camera sitcom, Duchovny did eventually do some great work in the half-hour comedy format, memorably playing himself in several episodes of The Larry Sanders Show.

Weirdly enough, Full House did initially cast a more dramatic actor named John Posey in the role of Danny Tanner because creator Jeff Franklin’s first two choices, Paul Reiser and Bob Saget, were unavailable. But when Saget’s schedule cleared up, Posey was given the boot, despite having already filmed the pilot. 

Who knows, maybe in some parallel universe, it was David Duchovny who was fired and replaced with Bob Saget before fading into obscurity?

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