John Stamos Explains History Of ‘Have Mercy’ Catchphrase, Credits Garry Marshall

Actor John Stamos finally opened up about the history of his popular “Have Mercy” catchphrase, crediting Garry Marshall for its overall inspiration.

The former Full House star (and current star of Grandfathered) shared the story behind his iconic line during an interview with Entertainment Weekly at the TV Land Icon Awards last weekend. According to the report, Stamos gave credit for the catchphrase to longtime director Garry Marshall – a man that John Stamos refers to as his “showbiz godfather.”

“He always said, ‘Get a catchphrase, you need a catchphrase.’ I’m not kidding you. The ‘have mercy’ thing came out of, ‘Oh sh*t, Garry told me I had to have a catchphrase.'”

Why did John Stamos take advice from Garry Marshall? Anyone that would even think about asking that type of question more than likely has no idea who Garry Marshall is or what he has accomplished within the world of successful television series.

Garry Marshall was the creator and executive producer of such popular sitcoms as Happy Days and Mork and Mindy. He also was a co-creator of Laverne and Shirley… and that barely scratches the surface of his extensive list of credits as a writer, producer, show creator and actor.

Therefore, John Stamos definitely made the right decision by listening to Garry Marshall’s advice when it came to finding a consistent line of dialogue that would forever be associated with Uncle Jesse and Full House — “Have Mercy.” There were a number of other successful catchphrases that came from that show over the years of its original run – including “How rude!,” “Cut It Out,” and “You got it, dude!”

However, the line that never seems to get old primarily because of the different ways that it can be said was John Stamos’ “Have mercy” line.

When it came to the science of popular catchphrases, Garry Marshall made it clear during the same interview that it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. He used an example of the iconic catchphrase “Sit on it” from Happy Days.

“‘Sit on it’ we had to put on Happy Days for 10 weeks. The cast kept saying nobody laughs. It takes a minute. [John] was brave enough to do it.”

John Stamos had the chance to re-introduce his “Have Mercy” catchphrase to his Full House fans while introducing it to the first time to a new generation of Fuller House fans thanks to the success of the Netflix spin-off series. It did not take very long after the first season premiered for Netflix to renew Fuller House for a second season. The nostalgic value of seeing most of the original cast members reprising their roles from the original series was worth the wait for many longtime fans and critics.

With the success of John Stamos’ FOX sitcom Grandfathered, the 52-year-old actor now has the opportunity to develop a brand new catchphrase for a brand new show. Even though it has not officially been renewed for a second season yet, Deadline reports that Grandfathered “has been the stronger ratings performer and looks good to return for Season 2.”

Chances are that John Stamos will have more than enough time to work on at least one more popular catchphrase.

[Image Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images]