WE Day brings John Stamos and motivated youngsters together

‘Full House’ veteran hosts latest ABC edition of annual special
John Stamos is the host of the yearly WE Day special, which ABC presents Friday, Aug. 17.

As a new dad, John Stamos is getting a number of ways to express his enhanced love and concern for young people.

In playing host again recently for PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth,” the “Full House” veteran spoke emotionally about his hopes and dreams for his infant son. He does the same in presiding over the latest yearly WE Day special, which gathers many youths and inspires them to contribute to their communities and the world, via motivators including celebrities. Taped in April in Southern California, the event – one of 19 in the United States, Canada (where the concept originated), the United Kingdom and the Caribbean – has an ABC telecast Friday, Aug, 17.

“He had just been born then,” the friendly Stamos says of his child, “and this is what it’s all about: What are we leaving behind? You see these kids who have such passion. If we knew back then what we know now, would we have changed the course of things? I’m grateful to all these kids who are doing good in the world and making it a better place for mine.”

Among others participating in this year’s WE Day special are Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Selena Gomez, Martin Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. Phil McGraw, and music’s Chainsmokers, Dierks Bentley and Cyndi Lauper. Also appearing: #NeverAgain founders Jaclyn Corin and Cameron Kasky, survivors of last February’s shootings at a Parkland, Fla., high school that prompted the global March for Our Lives a month later.

Jennifer Aniston appears on the yearly WE Day special, which ABC presents Friday, Aug. 17.

“I was a little afraid that (WE Day was) going to go easy on all of that,” Stamos notes, “because everybody’s so afraid to talk about gun violence, but they hit it. I wasn’t exactly nervous meeting (the Parkland students), but I just wanted to say the right things and thank them properly. The whole show has that feel. It’s pretty illuminating.”

WE Day is the brainchild of Canadian brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger, who conceived of a program to empower youths and advocate for them to take leadership roles in and out of the classroom. The only way they qualify to attend WE Day events such as the televised one is to adopt two causes, one local and one global, and take action on them.

Stamos reflects that on the special, “I talked about my junior-high-school teacher and the encouragement he gave me. I was sort of an awkward dude, but I didn’t put obstacles up because of good teachers like him and my parents. I never said, ‘Oh, I can’t do that.’ I embraced who I was and just plowed through, and to be able to say that in front of a lot of kids can be helpful, I think.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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