John Stamos Explains the Inspiration Behind His "Have Mercy" Catchphrase
Have mercy, John Stamos has revealed the inspiration behind his Full House catchphrase.
At the TV Land Icon Awards last weekend, where Stamos was honored, the actor explained that it was Garry Marshall who urged him to come up with a recurring line of dialogue while starring on the hit family series.
“He always said, ‘Get a catchphrase, you need a catchphrase.’ I’m not kidding you. The ‘have mercy’ thing came out of, ‘Oh sh**, Garry told me I had to have a catchphrase.'”
Marshall, who presented Stamos with an Icon Award during Sunday’s ceremony and whom the Fuller House star has previously called his “showbiz godfather,” explained the repetition of a phrase was intentional.
“ ‘Sit on it’ we had to put on Happy Days for 10 weeks. The cast kept saying nobody laughs,” Marshall, who executive produced Happy Days, said of the famous saying. He added that audiences need more time to pick up on the recurrence. “It takes a minute,” Marshall said, before praising Stamos. “[John] was brave enough to do it.”
Marshall isn’t wrong: Stamos’s Grandfathered costar Paget Brewster said her recollection of “have mercy” was admittedly cloudy.
“I thought the little girl said, ‘have mercy,’” Brewster told EW (that catchphrase was, “You got it, dude”). Brewster then referenced a third & Full House slogan: “Cut it out.”
“I only didn’t see John’s. What a lousy costar I am,” she joked. “All right, I’ll watch Full House… I haven’t seen Full House. I’m a bad friend.”
The TV Land Icon Awards air Sunday on TV Land. For more information on the show, head to the TV Land website. Check out Stamos and Marshall discussing the meaning of the awards above, and Brewster’s feelings on Stamos below.