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Learning About Bob Saget’s Death Reminded AFHV’s Tom Bergeron Of When His Good Pal John Ritter Died

Screenshot of Tom Bergeron and Bob Saget during AFHV's 20th anniversary special
(Image credit: ABC)

While America’s Funniest Home Videos has been a television staple for decades, that legacy wouldn’t have been possible without the presence of Bob Saget. Since Saget departed the show, Tom Bergeron and Alfonso Ribeiro have continued Saget’s legacy as a Sunday night staple. Like many fans, co-stars, and loved ones Saget touched during his lifetime, his passing affected Bergeron in a déjà vu way. The former AFHV host recalled how news of Saget’s death reminded him of when his late friend John Ritter died.

Bergeron and Saget formed an unlikely friendship after hosting the video clip show for years (at separate times, of course). So, Saget’s passing hit the former Dancing with the Stars host particularly hard, similar to Full House's John Stamos's experience. But this wasn’t the first time Tom Bergeron had lost a friend. He had a similar experience with late television legend John Ritter, who passed in 2003. He found out the news through a third party. Of course, the way he found out about both deaths wasn’t lost on the former AFHV host.

I think she said something like, 'Just heard about Bob, I am so sorry,' and it reminded me of years ago when I got the news John Ritter had died. Also, a friend, also a shock. And just that feeling of every nerve ending suddenly coming alive and then it was just a matter of trying to find out more information and responding as best I could to friends texting to see if it was true ... The morning after, I am still in disbelief.

Learning about two dear friends’ passing similarly was ironic and sad at the same time. Of course, Bergeron felt the losses, having worked with both men on multiple occasions. Sharing the same television show led Saget to support the former Masked Singer contestant during his AFHV tenure. In the same interview with Entertainment Tonight, Tom Bergeron recalled how their friendship got the late comedian to celebrate the show’s anniversary celebration.

A couple years prior to that, when the video show was having its 20th anniversary, I said to Vin Di Bona, the executive producer, I said, 'We have to get Bob for that.' So, we were already friends at that point, and I have to admit, I really worked him hard. I went to one of his Scleroderma Foundation benefits and wooed him a lot… If you see that show, you see me just laughing, just spending the hour just enjoying that lovable lunatic that he was.

How Did Tom Bergeron Become Friends with John Ritter?

While Bergeron’s bond with Saget was understandable, his connection with John Ritter might not be as obvious. The former Dancing with the Stars host and the Three’s Company vet had been friends for years. The two men even shared the screen as the latter was a panelist on the Hollywood Squares revival hosted the former.

Ritter was still on the game show when he fell ill on the set of his sitcom 8 Simple Rules. He ended up passing away from an undiagnosed heart defect. Tom Bergeron was still feeling Ritter’s loss in 2021 as he posted images of him and the Hearts Afire star during funny moments on Instagram (via Inquisitor). Much like his relationship with Bob Saget, it appeared Ritter’s comedic timing drew Bergeron in. His post garnered elicited responses from Ritter’s widow Amy Yasbeck and his Three’s Company co-star Suzann Somers. It seemed the former AFHV host wasn’t the only one feeling Ritter’s absence that day.

AFHV's Alfonso Ribeiro Shared a Special Bond with Saget Long Before Hosting Gig

Of course, AFHV has continued to live on through current host Alfonso Ribeiro. Much like Bergeron, Ribeiro felt the passing of Bob Saget in a major way. While Tom Bergeron has been supporting the Fresh Prince alum since DWTS, his connection to Bob Saget goes back many decades. In his Instagram tribute to the late Full House star, the host recalled their first meeting during his Fresh Prince days.

Of course, Ribeiro was grateful for Saget’s friendship and support. Alfonso Ribeiro even acknowledged the Fuller House star’s contribution to the beloved clip show. Ribeiro's heartfelt moment was the latest AFHV tribute honoring the late comedian. Thankfully, the Fresh Prince alum and the Hollywood Square host have their memories of Bob Saget to hold on to during these emotional times for his friends and family.

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).