Season 4, Episode 7, “Viva Las Joey”

You always know you’re fucked when Joey’s name is right in the title, especially when the title is about the prolonged life of Joey, rather than his painful death.  Well, that’s a pretty generous interpretation of the meaning of this title’s episode, because once you try to translate it, it’s pretty much nonsense.  Once again, Full House blatantly disrespects the Spanish language.

Pre-Credits Gag:  Jesse’s cooking something in a pan… I can’t tell what it’s supposed to be.  Maybe a pancake or an omelet or something?  Anyway, he flips it around all fancy-like and then when he tries to toss it onto his plate it falls on the floor and the dog eats it.  Usually these pre-credits gags are quick, one-note shticks but this one continues after the initial hilarious punchline when Michelle enters the scene to announce that she has an “owey.”  Yeah, howsabout you come over here, kid?  I’ll give you a fuckin “owey.”  So Jesse pulls out a band-aid for her and then the “owey” mysteriously changes locations, disclosing that Michelle was actually just selfishly vying for attention.  Jesse’s like, what the fuck?  and Michelle explains, “owey’s are verrrrrry tricky!”  which is the best phonetic description I can give for her most common method of line delivery.  I guess that somebody decided that it was really funny when she drew out the second to last word of a sentence and then said the last word really quickly and, since you can only get about one stupid baby trick working at a time, they just decided to have her do it as much as possible.  It’s really annoying.

The episode picks up literally the second that the pre-credits gag ended, which has never happened before.  Given that it had a different formula than every other pre-credits gag so far, and that it was pretty clearly just the extracted first 30-seconds of the opening scene, I think it’s fair to assume that they just didn’t make a pre-credits gag for this episode and tried to cover it up at the last minute.  Maybe it has something to do with this being one of those on-location type episodes (SPOILER ALERT:  They go to Las Vegas!), because for whatever reason those kinds of episodes have usually had pre-credits gags that unconventionally tied into the rest of the episode.  There’s probably some technical explanation as to why that is, but since I couldn’t find one when I looked up the episode on IMDB and that’s the most research I’m ever willing to do, it may forever remain a mystery.

So, anyway, the phone rings and it’s Joeys agent, inviting him to perform at some charity benefit.  Joey is so happy at having found a new opportunity to soil the world with his execrable comedy that he embraces Jesse.  Danny walks in and makes the first comment about the uncles being gay that we’ve heard in a while, probably out of spite because he feels left out.

Joey reveals that he’s going to be the opening act for Wayne Newton and excitedly begins packing his shit.  The girls catch wind of these unforeseen travel plans and, allured by legalized gambling, prostitution, and outdoor drinking, beg the dads to take them, too.  Danny’s like, hey, who gives a fuck about anything, right?  And so, the Tanner family prepare for the Las Vegas episode.

As Joey continues to pack, Jesse suggests that he invite his parents to come see his big opportunity to be shitty at what he does in his largest venue to date and, for the first time, we get some information about Joey’s family.  Apparently his mom walks around in a Goofy suit at Disney World for a living and his dad is some sort of a colonel.  Joey dismisses the idea of inviting them by saying that his mom will be working and that he and his dad don’t really get along.  Yeah, it really puts a strain between you and your dad when you’re the most annoying, useless fuck-up who ever walked the planet.

Far be it for anyone in the full house to respect the wishes or boundaries of another person, the girls decide to call up Joey’s dad and invite him to the performance while pretending to be his personal secretaries.  Yeah, I don’t know how they got his phone number, either. The call is a confused mess and clearly could never be taken seriously by a rational adult.  They don’t even say where the show is.

So then there’s an amazing montage of the bright lights of Vegas while John Stamos sings “Viva Las Vegas.” It really made me wanna do a bunch of cocaine and then contract an STD, all while gambling.

The family wait in their first place position in line outside of the Wayne Newton show and then Jesse just straight up runs up to them and pulls the velvet rope aside and tells them to check out some bad ass shit he saw inside.  Damn, Tanner family, first in line just wasn’t good enough, was it?  You might have thought that they only got special privileges inside the full house but, uh-uh, the Tanner family does whatever the fuck they want everywhere they go.  That’s what this show’s about.

The cool thing that Jesse couldn’t wait to show everybody is a bunch of lame Elvis memorabilia that nobody gives a shit about.  Jesse goes into an Elvis-inspired manic frenzy that escalates into some sort of a trance-like state in which he becomes completely disconnected from his surroundings and has no choice but to perform “Heartbreak Hotel” while  a bunch of people walk by, each of them desperately avoiding eye-contact.  That’s right, you guys, for at least 3 full minutes, Uncle Jesse goes straight up mentally insane.  That’s how much he likes Elvis.

The family meet Joey backstage to lend him support before he humiliates himself in front of thousands of people.  Joey steps out to mop up the sweat that’s accumulating under his clothes (gross!) and while he’s gone the girls mention that they’ve invited Joey’s dad, which Danny tells them was a shitty idea.  Joey returns to the scene just as a knock at the door heralds the arrival of Joey’s dad, which immediately freaks Joey out.

After the commercial break, Joey’s dad realizes that Joey didn’t know that he’d be coming and things get pretty uncomfortable.  The family excuse themselves, leaving Joey alone with his dad, and Joey’s dad immediately starts to belittle the path that Joey’s taken in his life.  I guess that the idea here is that we’re supposed to feel bad for Joey, but it’s really hard not to take his dad’s side considering that Joey has proven again and again that he should have been aborted.  I mean, Joey’s dad says a bunch of stuff about how being a comedian is not real work and stuff like that that’s pretty easy to disagree with, but once it’s applied to Joey it’s hard not to see where he’s coming from.  Joey tries to call his dad out for his lack of involvement in his life but if I was that fucking guy’s dad I wouldn’t go to his soccer games, either.  I’d be sitting at home with both barrels of a shotgun in my mouth, wondering how I could have unleashed such horror into the world.  Anyhow, Joey’s dad eventually gets tired of being berated by the living embodiment of his every failure and eventually says his goodbyes.

After that excruciating dearth of dramatic emotional conveyance, we are subjected to its stark, even more intolerable opposite, as the next 4 minutes consist of nothing but Joey’s terrible stand-up routine.  This reminds me of the shitty ass episode from last Season when he went on Star Search, and makes me wonder if he didn’t have occasional episodes that featured his stand-up routines worked into his contract.

I refuse to make any sort of comment about Joey’s stand-up, as it’s pretty redundant by now to say that I wish he would die a slow, painful death, and outside of expressing that yet again, I can’t really conjure up any meaningful commentary.  It is worth noting, however, that Wayne Newton comes out at the end.  Hey, check it out, you guys:  It’s Wayne Newton!

Backstage after the show, the Tanner family share an apple juice toast (no, I did not make that up) in honor of Joey cheating a bunch of Wayne Newton fans out of 4 minutes of their lives, but the party is quickly broken up by the reappearance of Joey’s dad.  The Tanner’s cut out in search of a miniature golf course, leaving Joey alone once again to try to work things out with his old man.  Joey’s dad says that it was hard having such an idiot fuck-up for a son but maybe he could have been around more to try to shape him into something better than the parasitic deadbeat permanent house guest of some unqualified morning show host.  The two of them then bond over Joey’s dad’s recollection of them watching cartoons together when Joey had the chicken pox when he was 3 (although this contradicts the chicken pox episode from Season 1) and then Joey’s dad tries to appeal to him by doing a shitty impression of Popeye.  Although this is clearly the only way Joey and his dad can find a method of relating to one another, I think that the Popeye laugh represents an emotional wall, or at least some sort of deeply rooted inability to connect on any sort of meaningful level.  Regardless, if you were either of these guys I guess you’d just take what you could get at this point, and so they decide to hug as gentle music comes on, resolving everything.

I know that I always rag on this show for its lack of character development, but this is one of those cases that points out that things are generally better when they don’t bother to try at all.  At least I can take consolation in the fact that we will never see Joey’s dad ever again.  I don’t know if he technically qualifies as a grandparent on this show, but he sure is about to get treated like all the others that came before him.

First:  The pre-credits gag leads directly into the episode, Joey’s dad

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35 Responses to Season 4, Episode 7, “Viva Las Joey”

  1. FannyTanner says:

    Joey was inbred. I can’t think of any other explanation except for him doing crack as a six month old. Hey, maybe he was inbred AND smoked a ton of crack with his Disney World-rapist-looking-cartoon-costume-wearing mom. Yea, I choose that one as my answer.


  2. Teebore says:

    So, anyway, the phone rings and it’s Joeys agent

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Joey has an agent?!?! That’s gotta be either the worst agent in the world, cuz Joey rarely has any comedy gigs, or the best, because he somehow manages to make a living despite being unable to consistently book gigs for his awful, awful client.

    And so, the Tanner family prepare for the Las Vegas episode.

    Ah, the Las Vegas episode. Where Jersey and Rebecca Donaldson almost get married. No, wait, they already did that. Oh, right, that was the Lake Tahoe episode.

    Jesse just straight up runs up to them and pulls the velvet rope aside and tells them to check out some bad ass shit he saw inside.

    So how come Jersey didn’t have to wait in line with everyone else to begin with?

    the next 4 minutes consist of nothing but Joey’s terrible stand-up routine

    Huh. As soon as Joey’s dad showed up, I figured they were going for the whole “now he’s so nervous he screws up his routine” route, but I guess not. I wonder if I’m strangely recalling a different episode where something like that happens?

    the Tanner family share an apple juice toast (no, I did not make that up)

    Oy, Not even “sparkling cider”, the product created specifically to serve as a non-alcoholic substitute for champagne, but straight up apple juice? Extra lame, Full House.

    And you know, I’d say Vegas with the Tanner kids in tow must be pretty lame, but I’m not sure the dads would do anything differently even if they were able to tear up the town sans kids.


    • I was hoping that Joey’s agent was calling to offer him a gig as part of Bob Sagat’s rendition of The Aristocrats joke.

      Can you imagine how glorious the humiliation to which Joey would be subjected? Especially because “Danny Tanner” himself dreamed up the repulsive goings-on that he would be performing…


  3. jpv says:

    This is absolutely fucking fantastic.


  4. Hugh Jasso says:

    I love how Stephanie is emulating DJ’s rad hair style in Screencap 3. Even Full House’s hairdresser has no creativity.


  5. TurnMeOnTurnMeLoose says:

    If I recall correctly, there is an episode where Joey does a comedy bit and just makes fun of the full house. Maybe it will bring you some enjoyment. Also, love the blog!! I have turned several friends on to this!


  6. Kayla says:

    Ahhh! Stephanie’s wearing stirrup pants! Brings back horrible childhood memories of being forced to wear those.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Amanda says:

    I had that same shirt that Stephanie’s wearing in the screenshot where she’s on the bed with DJ, calling Joey’s Dad, when I was a kid. I remember seeing her wearing it and freaking out because I had the same shirt that someone on TV was wearing. It came from Limited too and I wore it until it was too small for me because it was one of the few things I owned that didn’t come from Kmart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristin says:

      I was always envious of Stephanie and DJ’s clothes because they were all from The Limited Too, Maurice’s, Merry Go Round and all those other staples of early 90s fashion.

      I had the same wardrobe deficiencies growing up, all the hot shit from like, Kmart and Sears, so I would covet and totally over wear my few articles of clothing from Limited Too and my IOU sweatshirt.

      Too bad Target wasn’t around then (or was it? I didn’t see one until high school in the later half of the 90s. If I was going to get my clothes from places that also sell produce, at least it would be the cool shit from Target. I fucking love Target.


      • Chuck says:

        Target’s actually been around since the mid-60s, but didn’t come to certain parts of the country until MUCH later…hell, we didn’t get one in my neck of the woods until around the turn of the century!


    • Jenna says:

      Yes, I have to admit to being jealous of their wardrobes, sadly enough. My wardrobe was entirely from Jamesway and Bradlees. The most upscale things I had were from Fashion Bug…. and those were never fashionable…. those just made me look like a 60 y/o woman.


  8. PuppetDoctor says:

    I like how Stephanie and DJ have matching hair styles and how Stephanie just wears her shoes on DJ’s bed.

    I always remembered DJ’s and Stephanie’s room (before it got a makeover in later seasons) for that wallpaper and DJ’s bed. As out of style as it is today I would still love to have that wallpaper and bed.


  9. Lisa says:

    This is supposed to be a popular Las Vegas show. How did Joey’s dad get to go backstage? I imagine it went something like this:

    “Hello, I’d like to go backstage to see Joey Gladstone.”
    “Is he expecting you?”
    “Alrighty, go right back.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sarah Portland says:

    That flat thing Jersey was cooking in the pre-credits gag? Fried chicken. It only looks like something else. Jersey isn’t allowed to eat things that aren’t fried chicken


  11. smallwonderrobot says:

    holy shite, John Boehner is Joey’s father?


  12. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the horrible “now my chest hair is fluffier!” joke Joey made. UggggGGggggGggghhhhh.


  13. crea014 says:

    What did they do with Michelle?


  14. Kenny says:

    Danny’s like, hey, who gives a fuck about anything, right?

    LMAO that sums up this entire show.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. cassparilla says:

    Holy crap, Joey’s dad is John Boehner!


  16. BOTR says:

    I just love the “father in the military doesn’t approve of his son’s life choices” cliche. How many other shows have used that tired trope?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. williec29 says:

    This is one of my favorite reviews so far. I nearly lost consciousness with the ‘yeah ill give you a f@ckin owey’ line. This episode is really hard to endure because Joey is not funny… at all…. ever…..


  18. ladyhank says:

    Is there a TV show or movie sequel where people went to Las Vegas and they DIDN’T run into or mention Wayne Newton? I bet there are real people who go to Las Vegas and are totally pissed that he isn’t constantly waiting around to be randomly encountered.


  19. John Q says:

    I love how Michelle just disappears in this episode and there’s no mention as to who was taking care of her while the Tanners were in Las Vegas.

    I love how these characters just do a complete 180 without any justification whatsoever. Normally Cheap-Ass Danny does a complete 180 and pays for plane tickets and hotels and lodging to Las Vegas. Danny will complain about paying $12.00 on Stephanie’s honeybee tote yet has no problem forking over a couple thousand dollars on plane fare and hotel accommodations for his daughters and himself to go to Vegas. And then he has no problem giving thousands of dollars to Joey and Jesse to start their own horrible business.

    It does seem like Dave Coulier had a clause in his contract to feature his stand-up routine at least once a season.

    Is it me or was there always a high ranking career military officer who was a father, uncle or grand-father in every sit-com from the 80’s-90’s? And it’s always a high ranking career military officer. The mother from Home Improvement had an Army colonel father. The Grandfather in Charles in Charge was a retired Navy Captain. A.C. Slater’s father on Saved by the Bell was a career military man. I think Stephen Keaton’s father on Family Ties was a military man. And then there’s usually some kind of massive conflict between the officer and the parent/child that’s quickly resolved in 2 minutes at the end of the episode.

    And then if it’s not a career military man usually somebody has a father/uncle/grand-father who was a combat war hero usually from WW2 or Korea. And then if it’s a Vietnam vet father or uncle there’s usually a “very special episode” as he learns to cope with the war. Elaine Bennes (Seinfeld) had a tough as nails Korean war vet marine father. Grandfather Huckstable (Cosby Show) was a WW2 army hero. Carl Winslow’s father (Family Matters) was one of the founding member of the Tuskegee airman.

    Have they even mentioned Joey still doing stand-up this season? Didn’t Joey just start a production company?? Joey must have the best agent in the world that he was able to get him booked with Wayne Newton when Joey performs little or no stand up in San Francisco.

    Dave Coulier was such a hack comic. Seriously, who the hell wants to see/hear a Popeye imitation? And then he does his (Cut, it, out) schtick about 6 times. Then he milks the audience for applause. Then he rips off Bill Murray and does a lame-ass imitation of Bill Murray’s lounge singer guy. It’s just cringe worthy.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Liz says:

    Hey guys I just thought that Joey was immune to the chicken pox or so he claimed in Season 1/ Why did his dad tell him he had the chicken pox at 3 when in Season 1 he got the chicken pox? Does this mean the writers were like stupid and not knowing he had it as a grown up?

    Also didn’t Joey’s father in season 1 remarry twice or something. I just heard from The Miracle of Thanksgiving he was estranged from his 2 other wives



    • LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

      Military guys usually like to marry a lot of Asian ladies. Especially the underage Cambodian he shes. So…this doesn’t shock and/or surprise me at all!


  21. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    If I had a burden like Joey, I’d abandon my family…


  22. Martin Tanner's Ghost says:

    I can’t believe you made no remark about how it’s all Colonel Gladstone’s fault for Joey becoming a comedian.


  23. Stacey says:

    Way late to the party, but I can’t believe no one mentioned DJ and Steph’s aliases: Janet Abdul and Barbie Dollandbear

    Liked by 2 people

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