John Stamos was haunted by Uncle Jesse's mullet
He has often spoken of his struggles stepping out from under that mullet.
Before the second season of Full House, John Stamos took his character’s hairdo into his own hands.
After rocking a mullet as Uncle Jesse for the whole first season, Stamos lopped off his locks during the break and when it was time to bring the show back, Full House writers decided to do something funny.
They crafted the entire second season premiere episode around Uncle Jesse cutting his hair.
In "Cutting It Close," Stephanie asks Uncle Jesse to play "Beauty Shop," and winds up accidentally cutting off a chunk of his iconic mullet.
To film the scene, Stamos wore a wig, and it’s the wig that Stephanie cuts in the scene.
From that point forward, Uncle Jesse was cut free from the mullet on the show, but the memory of the mullet has since lived on and likely haunts him to this day.
In fact, in countless interviews since the show ended, Stamos has discussed how Uncle Jesse’s mullet has haunted him, with casting directors looking at him and only seeing the mullet, even though he only wore it for one season.
"Since my departure from Full House, I’ve been trying to organically separate myself and show that I have more depth than that mullet-headed dude on the show," Stamos told the Austin American-Statesman in 2004.
In part because the mullet made Uncle Jesse such an iconic character, and in part because the ladies liked Uncle Jesse, Stamos felt the rush of fame from Full House immediately, and he told the New York Daily News in 2003 that lopping off the mullet and changing his looks was his very first survival instinct.
"I’ve never really been alone, especially after the whole TV thing started," Stamos said. "I suddenly just wanted to be by myself, grow a beard so no one recognized me, take a large amount of cash, drive to the airport, buy a ticket to anywhere – New Orleans, Greece."
Even Stamos’ first wife, Rebecca Romijn, was haunted by the mullet, after they got married and she never forgot her first impression of him.
"I totally remember seeing John Stamos walk in with his guitar in hand and that dorky haircut, the double-decker mullet," Romijn told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 2003. "Today I keep thinking, God, what if somebody had been sitting next to me and said, ‘You’re going to marry that man someday.’"
Of course, Stamos wasn’t the only one sporting a mullet in the Eighties. Pop culture writers regularly list Stamos’ mullet alongside other famous mullets of the era, from MacGyver’s to David Bowie’s.
Eventually, Stamos stepped out from under the mullet’s shadow, mainly by taking on darker roles that he felt proved he had more dimension than he got to show as Uncle Jesse.
"It’s taken me years to have people realize that I can do more than that mullet-headed, guitar-playing motorcycle guy," Stamos told the Messenger-Inquirer in 2005.