At the Los Angeles memorial service for Bob Saget, the comedian and actor's wife, travel blogger Kelly Rizzo, was shocked by how many people told her they had recently spoken with her husband.
"There were a lot of people there, and every single person was pretty much like, 'Oh, I talked to Bob last week,'" Rizzo recalled Thursday in an emotional interview with "Today" co-anchor Hoda Kotb.
"I'm like, 'How did he have the time to talk to everybody and tell everybody that he loved them? All the time.' It was just amazing."
In her first TV appearance since Saget's death, Rizzo spoke with Kotb about the "Full House" star's loving nature, limitless kindness and staggering generosity. On Jan. 9, Saget was found dead in a luxury hotel room in Florida. He was 65. The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
"He told everyone that he loved — and I mean, quite frankly, anyone he met and even spent any time with at all — he told them he loved them endlessly and tirelessly," said Rizzo, who married Saget in 2018.
"And that was his entire message. If you knew Bob, and he loved you, you knew it. There was never ever a doubt in your mind."
“He always was just so kind and loving to everybody. He was just the best man I’ve ever known in my life.”@hodakotb speaks with Kelly Rizzo (@EatTravelRock), the late Bob Saget’s wife, who is opening up about the sudden loss of her husband. pic.twitter.com/Jb24ucQZ4o
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 20, 2022
Appearing remotely for the interview, Rizzo occasionally paused to collect herself and wipe away tears while answering questions about "the best man I've ever known in my life." The last text message he sent her read, "I love you endlessly."
"And then I said, 'I can't wait to see you tomorrow.'"
At a private funeral last week, Saget's friends and family gathered to honor the TV hero, often referred to as America's Dad because of his nurturing role as single father Danny Tanner on the hit family sitcom "Full House." Shortly after his death, the cast of "Full House" released joint and individual statements expressing adoration for their longtime friend and co-star.
In his final months, Rizzo said, Saget "was very happy and ... thrilled to be back out on the road" doing what he loved: stand-up comedy.
"He was also very sensitive, and all the weight of everything going on in the world right now was just weighing very heavily on him," Rizzo added.
"And that's why he felt more compelled than ever to make people laugh and bring people together. And he did it up until the very last moments."
Off the screen and comedy stage, Saget worked for decades to find a cure for scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease that affects the skin and took his sister's life. Though no one explicitly asked for donations in the wake of his death, many of Saget's loved ones collectively donated to the Scleroderma Research Foundation in his memory.
"I've never seen anything like this," Rizzo said. "It's unbelievable, just the outpouring, the consensus overall of what an amazing person he was, whether people knew him or didn't know him.
"Because one way or another, he was in your living room since the '80s. ... He felt like he was everyone's dear friend. Nobody will ever be like Bob."
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.