John Stamos played Uncle Jesse Katsopolis between 1987 and 2016… with a 20 year gap in between. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the beloved actor and character from ABC’s Full House and its Netflix sequel, Fuller House.
After appearing onscreen for over 30 years, encompassing a combined 13 seasons across 2 networks, you would expect to know a character quite well. John Stamos first played Full House’s bad boy uncle Jesse Katsopolis in 1987 and stayed in the role until the sitcom wrapped up in 1995.
As with any film or television series, there are many facts or behind the scenes trivia that only passionate Full/Fuller House fans would be aware of. Here are 10 things you may not have known about John Stamos/Jesse Katsopolis on Full House.
1. The Original Name Was “Adam Cochran”
When John Stamos originally signed on for Full House, his character was somewhat similar to the final version onscreen. He was the uncle to DJ (Candace Cameron), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen), who moves in to help their widowed father Danny (Bob Saget) raise the girls.
However, the original name for the uncle character was ‘Adam Cochran’. Part of this name would continue into Season 1, when Jesse was known as ‘Jesse Cochran’. Stamos later requested that the character’s surname reflected his own Greek heritage while the Christian name was changed for a very personal reason.
2. Elvis Presley’s Twin Brother Was Named Jesse
If you’ve ever watched Full House, you’ll know that Jesse Katsopolis idolises “The King of Rock and Roll”, Elvis Presley. As it turns out, this is based on reality as actor John Stamos is also an admirer of the legendary singer.
After Stamos requested that his character’s name be changed from ‘Adam Cochran’, the chosen replacement was very meaningful. For those unaware, Elvis Presley had a twin brother who was stillborn.
That’s brother’s name? Jesse Garon Presley.
3. Jesse’s “real” Name Is Hermes
With the name Jesse Katsopolis now firmly in place, John Stamos’ character retained this name from Season 2 of Full House onwards. Considering everyone else referred to him as ‘Jesse’, ‘Jess’ or ‘Uncle Jesse’, it would be easy to assume that this was his Christian name.
However, in “The Legend of Ranger Joe”, episode 6 of Season 5, it’s revealed by Jesse’s mother Irene (Yvonne Wilder) that her son’s birth name was Hermes, who was the Greek god of swiftness. As a result of bullying, Hermes adopted a new name, “Jesse” which is now what he’s known as.
4. John Stamos Was Initially An Outsider
Aside from John Stamos, the other adult male leads on Full House were Bob Saget, who played Danny Tanner and Dave Coulier, who starred as Joey Gladstone. In the pilot episode of Full House, Jesse is very familiar with Danny as his brother-in-law and has met Joey a few times. However, the situation was a little different in real life.
Saget and Coulier had a friendship since they were 21 and 18, respectively while Stamos met the pair for the first time on Full House. Nevertheless, it is clear that all 3 are now a tight-knit group, after so many years working together.
5. Started His Career In A Popular Soap Opera
Before landing his major starring role on Full House, John Stamos debuted on ABC in another series: long-running soap opera, General Hospital. Between 1982-1984, he played the role of “Blackie Parrish”, a foster child of Leslie Webber (Denise Alexander) and her-then husband, Rick (Chris Robinson).
Stamos’ General Hospital character was a streetwise kid who had just lost his mother. He was also the drummer in a band named Blackie and the Riff Raff. The actor’s past role was alluded to in the pilot episode of Fuller House. Jesse had just gotten a job as music producer on his “favourite soap opera”, General Hospital.
6. Stamos Wanted The Olsen Twins Fired
Jesse Katsopolis and his niece, Michelle Tanner, had one of the closest relationships on Full House. Of Danny Tanner’s 3 daughters, Jesse gravitated most to Michelle and vice versa. However, the relationship was not always the same between John Stamos and the Olsen twins offscreen.
In 2015, Stamos publicly revealed that he had tried to get the twins fired from Full House. As per NME, “It was very difficult to get the shot, so that is 100 percent accurate,” Stamos continued. “I said, ‘Get rid of these kids.’ They brought in a couple of unattractive redheaded kids, and we tried that for a while and that didn’t work. So it was, ‘All right, invite the Olsen twins back.’ That’s the story.”
7. Stamos Was 24 When ‘Full House’ Premiered
From the pilot episode of Full House, Jesse takes up one-third of the responsibility in raising the 3 Tanner girls. While it was always made clear that he was younger than Joey and Danny, it’s surprising to find out how young the character actually was when the show first began.
Like John Stamos, Jesse was born in 1963. This would make him only 24 years of age when Full House began. Compared to Danny (who was 30), this makes him seem not a lot older than the girls.
8. Stamos Was First Billed For A Reason
If you pay close attention to the credits of Full House, you’ll notice that John Stamos receives first billing. For those who are unaware, this means that the graphic with his name is first to appear, with ‘starring’ above.
As it turns out, there is a very straightforward reason as to why Stamos has this position. After all, wouldn’t you expect it to be Bob Saget, since his character owns the titular ‘House’? Of the 3 adult male leads, Stamos was the best known due to General Hospital and thus the headliner.
9. Stamos Had Another Onscreen Family Reunion on ‘Fuller House’
On Fuller House in 2016, Stamos-as-Jesse got to reunite with his onscreen family – the Tanners, Joey Gladstone and now Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). With three decades of fans waiting, this was a highly anticipated reunion.
However, unless you have followed John Stamos’ career since Full House ended in 1995, you may have been unaware that another onscreen family took place on the Netflix sitcom. Stamos played the father to Josh Peck’s (Drake and Josh) on the short-lived series Grandfathered. In 2018, Peck made the first of 2 guest appearances on Fuller House as “Ben”.
10. Stamos and Lori Loughlin dated in real life
Lori Loughlin joined Full House in Season 2, playing Danny’s colleague Rebecca Donaldson. The character later began a relationship with Jesse, which led to marriage, twins, becoming ‘Aunt Becky’ to the Tanner girls and Loughlin serving as a series regular until the show ended.
However, Stamos and Loughlin did not end up together in real life. Stamos has been married twice, most recently to Caitlin McHugh. Loughlin, of course, tied the knot with Mossimo Giannulli in 1997. In 2013, Stamos revealed that the pair had briefly dated as teenagers in real life before becoming victims of “off timing”.
The 5th and final season of Fuller House is now airing on Netflix.
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