David Alan Coulier, formerly Couwlier, was born to David Alan Couwlier and Arlen Couwlier in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, on September 21, 1959. His mother's side of the family is from Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada, and his paternal grandmother was a Jewish immigrant from Germany. He got his start in stand-up comedy in high school by impersonating his principal and other staff over his high school's PA system. He graduated in 1977 from Notre Dame High School in Harper Woods, Michigan, where he was a member of the varsity ice hockey team, playing defense alongside future NHL player John Blum. Coulier also attended high school with Mark Cendrowski whose claim to fame is directing The Big Bang Theory. Coulier and Cendrowski have been friends since the third grade and were always making 8mm films together during high school. Coulier also attended The University of Michigan but dropped out after his freshman year to pursue comedy full time.
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