St. Clair Shores unveils ‘Dave Coulier Way’

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published August 25, 2021

 Dave Coulier unveils a sign proclaiming Lange Street to be “Dave Coulier Way” Aug. 8.

Dave Coulier unveils a sign proclaiming Lange Street to be “Dave Coulier Way” Aug. 8.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Coulier talks with childhood friends who attended the unveiling of the new street signs in St. Clair Shores.

Coulier talks with childhood friends who attended the unveiling of the new street signs in St. Clair Shores.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — The laughs started on Lange Street.

That’s where Dave Coulier — the actor and comedian perhaps best known for his role as Joey Gladstone on “Full House” and “Fuller House” — and his friends first got into comedy, in the basements, backyards and halls of his hometown, St. Clair Shores.

“I grew up on Lange Street until I was 18 years old and then moved to California to get into show business,” said Coulier. “I had two partners in crime, both St. Clair Shores kids, Mark Cendrowski and Tom Keenan, and people used to call us ‘The Three Stooges.’”

The trio met when they were all 9 years old at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School. They played hockey together and then went on to Harper Wood’s Notre Dame High School. Listening to Cendrowski’s older brother’s comedy albums, they became “partners in crime through comedy,” Coulier said.

“We thought we were really funny. The three of us would write sketches, and we would perform at the hockey banquets. I would do impressions ... wacky comedy bits, and then in high school, we put a show together with 10 guys at Notre Dame,” he said.

While Keenan went on to become an accountant for automotive dealerships in Texas, Cendrowski and Coulier ended up together in Hollywood. Cendrowski was the stage manager for one season of “Full House” and directed every season of “The Big Bang Theory.”

“We really made each other laugh,” Coulier said.

While he went on to become an actor, he said they were never very involved in the arts in school — they were jocks who shared a passion for comedy and having fun together.

Coulier moved to Los Angeles in 1979, and Cendrowski went to the University of Michigan. He moved to Los Angeles later, and the two were roommates as they both struggled but later got into television.

“My path went toward the comedy, acting side, and Mark was always behind the scenes,” Coulier said. “I really had a support system (of) guys that loved comedy.”

During a small ceremony Aug. 8, at the western corner of Lange Street and Jefferson Avenue, Coulier and city dignitaries unveiled the new honorary name of Lange Street, Dave Coulier Way.

It was there that Coulier said he first began dreaming of being a professional comedian.

“I dreamed about it on Lange Street, and I used to ride my bike up and down that street, thinking of jokes and doing funny voices,” he said.

Coulier said his brother Dan, who recently passed away, taught him how to do impressions in their dad’s house on Lange Street. It was those memories that he thought of when he was asked how he felt about having his name honorarily added to the street.

“The more we talked about it, we came up with the notion that, if I was a kid growing up in that very humble little house on Lange Street and I could dream and go on to fulfill my dreams, if I could inspire just one kid ... then it’s mission accomplished,” he said. “I felt really good about it when it’s in that context.”

He said he felt very humbled and was honored that the city would ask him to add his name to Lange Street.

“I just feel really good about it. I hope when I drive by that I get to smile each time,” Coulier said.

City Councilman Dave Rubello said signs would also be added to the intersections of Greater Mack Avenue and Lange Street, and Harper Avenue and Lange Street, proclaiming the street “Dave Coulier Way.”

“It’s something me and the mayor have been talking about for a couple of years, honoring one of our own people,” Rubello said. “At the same time, I know Dave (Coulier) is heavy into serving as an inspiration to (those trying to) break into that type of industry.”

Rubello said Coulier was “just some kid from the suburbs (who) has a successful entertainment career.

“It’s an inspiration to the people in St. Clair Shores.”

Mayor Kip Walby said Coulier has always been a great representative of St. Clair Shores.

“He’s always made it that it’s his hometown, he loves the place,” Walby said.

He thought Coulier’s story was a great inspiration for the city of a “young kid who made it big.”

The ceremony was heartwarming, Walby said, with Coulier’s childhood friends in attendance.

“He’s been wanting to come back for many years, so he’s glad to be back in the area and be by the water,” he said. “At the end of the day, you definitely got the feeling (that) more than anything, this was his home, and he’s kept it all these years he’s been away.

“He’s represented the city well, and midwestern values very well, so we’re proud of that.”

Coulier said he was happy some of his childhood friends could join him for the street name dedication.

“A couple of my friends who used to hang out, I had a fort in the backyard of my dad’s house,” he said. “My dad used to call it the wooden monster in the backyard.

“Those guys will be there, and it’s just a thrill to be able to be there.”

He and his wife, Melissa, have moved back to Michigan from Los Angeles.

“I’m right back on Lake St. Clair where I grew up. My wife and I love the water, and we’re building a home on the water,” he said. “I’ve had enough of mudslides, earthquakes, fires, pollution and crowded freeways.”

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