Caitlin Stamos exclusively reveals her podcast, 'How Can I Help,' to ET and shares how she'll honor Bob Saget and stars giving back.
Caitlin McHugh Stamos is pressing play on giving back!
ET can exclusively announce that the 35-year-old actress is channeling her passion for philanthropy into a podcast, aptly titled, How Can I Help?, launching March 28.
“It's all about how I can help, and how my listeners can help, some incredible people who are making a positive impact on the world,” she explains. Proving it’s truly a project rooted in generosity, Caitlin reveals, “100 percent of the proceeds from the podcast go back to the nonprofits that I interview.”
The structure of the show is unique. Not only will the entertainer interview influential figures from notable organizations, but she’s also putting her learnings into practice.
“I'm getting out in the field, I am volunteering,” she explains. “I am getting the sponsors of the show to not just support us, which I'm very grateful for, but Loungefly, for example… they donated 100 backpacks to the kids of ChildHelp Organization and we got to take a group of them to Universal Studios and gift them and it was such a beautiful day.” Ultimately, Caitlin says, “The hope is to build a community around this podcast that may take small actions in the hope of making a big difference in the world.”
For Caitlin, the idea of starting a podcast started as a macro concept. “I recognize our privilege and I think that there are so many people out there that want to help, but don't know where to start or you're not sure which organizations to look into. There's just so many and it's hard to really learn a lot about them and I thought that this could be a nice way to explore those options.” Each episode will cover a different topic, ranging from “how to help kids who are being abused, how to help people experiencing homelessness, how to help people with ALS, how to help people in all kinds of things.”
And while giving back may initially seem daunting, the Los Angeles native assures her audience that altruism comes in various forms. “I'll ask for big asks, like volunteering and donating money, but then there's also really small things that you can do, like sometimes, it's just calling or emailing your representative to make a difference, or even just spreading a little kindness in the world has a ripple effect that's good and positive and that's just what I'm hoping to do with this podcast.”
Caitlin, an actress who met her now-husband, John Stamos, while co-starring in a 2011 episode of Law & Order: SVU, confirms several celebrities will appear on the program, including John’s former Full House castmate, Candace Cameron Bure. As a longtime supporter of Skip1, an organization dedicated to providing food and clean water to children around the world, Candace joins the show alongside the charity’s founder, Shelene Bryan. Henry Winkler’s daughter, Zoe, will also appear to talk about her work with This Is About Humanity – an organization she founded with a goal of raising awareness for asylum seekers and family separation at the border. And while many of the topics are heavy, Caitlin promises balance with her lighter Disneyland-themed episode. As a widely acknowledged aficionado of all things House of Mouse, Caitlin chats with a roundtable of fellow Disney influencers who share insider tips and tricks to have the best day ever at the Southern California amusement park.
But the Vampire Diaries alum’s first guest didn’t have to travel far: her hubby, John Stamos! Caitlin confirms her other half is not only her first guest, but he’s also helping co-host the episode, centered around his nearly four decades working with ChildHelp – a charity that gives back to abused children.
As for mixing business with pleasure? Caitlin calls the experience “really great” and even jokes, “We did a short film together when we first started dating and that was sort of a big test for us of like, ‘Oh, if we survive that, I guess we could get married and survive anything.’”
Not only has it been fun to collaborate, but Caitlin also takes a moment to praise John and laud him for his support. “He's just a well of advice and knowledge and because of his own podcast, Snatching Sinatra, he knows a lot about the podcast world and I've really leaned on him a lot through this time,” she says, smiling. “The best advice that John gave me was to not rush things too much… he's like, ‘Well, slow your horses. Make sure it's perfect. Make sure that everything is top quality, make sure we got it right, everything, technically, to make it the best it possibly is. I'm grateful to him for that.”
And while Caitlin’s dream guests include Kaley Cuoco (animal rights), Olivia Munn (Stop Asian Hate) and America Ferrera (Harness), one guest she laments not being able to have on How Can I Help? is her and John’s close friend, Bob Saget. The iconic comedian, who died in January, was a longtime champion for the Scleroderma Research Foundation after losing his sister to the disease in 1994.
“Bob Saget was one of the first people I wanted to interview. I came up with the idea of this podcast over a year ago, and I started just sort of formulating what it would be like, and organizations that I'd be interested in wanting to promote. Obviously, the Scleroderma Research Foundation that Bob was involved with was top of my list, and so he's passed, but I still very much want to spread the word about the Scleroderma Research Foundation and everything that they're doing,” she says.
Thanks to Caitlin’s friendship with Bob’s wife, Kelly Rizzo, hopefully that dream will soon become a reality. “She wants to do it,” Caitlin explains of the food and travel blogger joining the show as a guest. “We haven't nailed down a time yet, but I am very much definitely going to do that with her, and maybe bring on someone else from the foundation as well. It was something that was a very close part of him for so many years… It is absolutely part of his legacy that we want to live on.”
Two months following the late comedian’s death, Caitlin says life without Bob is “hard to wrap our heads around” and adds that “his absence is really being felt.” But amid their grief, Caitlin says there are moments that have provided her and John with a sense of comfort and joy.
“The other day, a friend of mine brought over this magazine that was dedicated to Bob. It was a bunch of really beautiful pictures from his life,” she explains. “My son saw it on the table and picked it up and just started kissing it, and holding it and just being like, ‘I love you, Uncle Bob!’ I mean, he'll do drawings and he'll just be like, ‘I'm making this one for Uncle Bobby.’ I have a few of them up in our bedroom. It is just like, ‘He's going to see it from heaven, right?’ It touches my heart. Even though he's not here with us, his presence is still very much felt and we've got pictures of him all over the place and he'll always be near and dear and close to our heart.”
Last month, John shared a heartwarming twist of irony on his Instagram, posting a clip of the couple’s 3-year-old son, Billy, enjoying an episode of Full House, the ‘90s sitcom that put John and Bob on the map. The actor insists in the caption that Billy was never interested in his dad’s TV show, but ironically, Caitlin says their little guy has recently grown fond of it. “The other day, my hand to God,” Caitlin gushes, “We were in the playroom just hanging out and he said, ‘Cut it out!’ I went, ‘Where did you learn that?’ And he said, ‘Joey.’ I was like, ‘Do you mean Uncle Joey? From what?’ He said, ‘From watching Full House.’ I was like, ‘Oh my god!’”
Billy turns 4 next month, and while the proud mom reveals he’s really into pranks, magic and movies like Sing 2 and Encanto, he’s also proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to giving back. Caitlin tells ET that her son is “really aware of others and how other people feel,” and praises him for showing empathy and kindness to others.
“We took the kids from ChildHelp to Universal Studios, and we brought Billy along, and he took some of his little money in his piggy bank and bought bracelets for all the kids. And for him to hand it and understand that, ‘OK, this is my money that I have, and I am buying gifts for these other kids,’ and to see him register that and the importance of that and the importance of community was really, really beautiful.”