Louie Anderson

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Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson.jpg
Anderson in 2012
Birth nameLouie Perry Anderson
Born (1953-03-24) March 24, 1953 (age 68)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television
Years active1984–present
GenresObservational comedy

Louie Perry Anderson (born March 24, 1953)[1] is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author and game show host.[2] Anderson created the cartoon series Life with Louie and has written four books, including Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too, which was published in 2018. He was the initial host of the third revival of the game show Family Feud from 1999 to 2002.

For his performance on the FX comedy television series Baskets, Anderson received three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations and won once in 2016.[3]

Anderson performed a stand-up show called Louie: Larger Than Life in Las Vegas, Nevada from 2003 through 2012. The show originated at the Union Plaza hotel downtown, before moving to Excalibur, South Point, and Palace Station hotels.[4]

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Ora Sherman (née Prouty), a Mayflower descendant, and Andy Andrew Mortimer Anderson.[5] Anderson is the second youngest of 11 children in his family. In a 2016 interview on WTF with Marc Maron, Anderson revealed that his mother actually gave birth to 16 children, but five of them—the first baby and then two sets of twins—died at birth.[6] Anderson has described his father as "abusive" and an alcoholic.[7]

Anderson went to Johnson Senior High in Saint Paul.[8]


On November 20, 1984, Anderson made his network debut as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show.[9]

In late 1985, Anderson was cast as Lou Appleton alongside Bronson Pinchot on the pilot episode of Perfect Strangers for ABC (which was known in this early stage as The Greenhorn). When the show was picked up, Anderson was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker in the role of Appleton (whose first name was then changed from Lou to Larry) as the producers didn't think the chemistry between Anderson and Pinchot was quite right. The show ran for eight seasons on ABC.

In 1986, Anderson had a small role in the singing-telegram scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.[10]

In 1987, Anderson appeared in a comedy special on Showtime.[11]

In 1988, Anderson played a role in John Landis' film Coming to America, which starred Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall,[12] a role which he reprised in the 2021 sequel, and starred in the camp comedy The Wrong Guys.

In 1989, Anderson guest-starred on the first episode of the Muppet Television segment of The Jim Henson Hour.

In 1995, Anderson created and produced a Saturday-morning animated series for Fox called Life with Louie.[13] The series was based on Anderson's childhood with 10 siblings, a sweet-hearted mother and a loud, war-crazed father. It also detailed how he was picked on for his weight, and how he used comedy to deal with the teasing. The show was a 3-year hit on Fox, and won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.[13]

In 1996, Anderson created and starred in The Louie Show for CBS. The show had Anderson playing a psychotherapist in Duluth, Minnesota.[14] The show ran six episodes and was cancelled.

In 1999, Anderson landed the role of host of the new version of Family Feud.[2] Anderson asked former Feud host Richard Dawson to appear on the premiere show to give him his blessing, but Dawson declined.[15] Anderson organized a 9/11-themed tournament week of Family Feud between the FDNY and the NYPD, putting up $75,000 toward both organizations for recovery from the September 11, 2001, attacks.[15] Anderson was let go from the show in 2002 and was replaced by Richard Karn.[16]

In 2000, Anderson appeared as a panelist on an episode of To Tell the Truth hosted by John O'Hurley.

In 2001, Anderson appeared on an episode of Weakest Link, winning $31,000.[17] He has made appearances on network television in Scrubs,[12] Grace Under Fire,[12] Touched by an Angel (Then Sings My Soul, November 28, 1999) and Chicago Hope. He guest starred on the Adult Swim cameo-filled show Tom Goes to the Mayor.

Anderson played in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada.[18]

In 2012, Anderson filmed a standup special entitled Louie Anderson: Big Baby Boomer. In it, Anderson poked fun at his bad habits, pesky family members, and aging body.

In 2013, Anderson appeared in the ABC reality television series Splash. After practicing several dives into a swimming pool then nearly drowning, he needed help getting out from co-star football player Ndamukong Suh.[19]

In October 2014, Anderson signed on as the promotional spokesperson for his home state's Land O'Lakes Sweet Cream butter brand. Anderson has since appeared in radio jingles, web ads, and television commercials promoting the product.

From 2016 to 2019, Anderson played the part of Christine Baskets on the FX comedy series Baskets.[20] Anderson won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Christine Baskets in 2016.

On July 23, 2017, Anderson competed on an episode of Celebrity Family Feud (hosted today by Steve Harvey); his opponent was singer/actress Christina Milian. This makes him one of only a small number of individuals to have both hosted and been a contestant on the same game show, and also marks his first appearance on any form of Family Feud since his departure as host in 2002. As of September, 2018, he is a regular panelist on the TV game show Funny You Should Ask.

Stand-up style[edit]

Dennis Miller has called him "one of the lightest on his feet comedians I know... There's very few guys I'm going to leave my dressing room early (to watch). ... (Louie has) a Fred Astaire, with a broken leg, approach. Very nimble, and he wouldn't hammer points home, but he would do a 'weave-back' that was almost Pulp Fiction-like."[21]

Personal life[edit]

A 1985 marriage to his high-school sweetheart lasted four weeks.[22]

Blackmailing incident[edit]

In 1997, Anderson was blackmailed by a man named Richard John Gordon. Gordon demanded money from Anderson, threatening to reveal to tabloids that Anderson reportedly sexually propositioned him in a casino in 1993.[23]

Between 1997 and 1998, Anderson paid Gordon $100,000 in hush money, fearing the story would threaten his starring roles in two family-oriented series, but when Gordon's demands increased to $250,000 in 2000, Anderson's lawyer informed federal authorities. Gordon, who was 31 at the time, was arrested after leading FBI agents on a high-speed chase along Santa Monica Boulevard.[23][24] Gordon was fined and sentenced to 21 months in prison.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
1984 Cloak & Dagger Taxi Driver #2
1986 Quicksilver 'Tiny'
1986 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Flower Deliveryman
1986 Ratboy Omer Morrison
1988 The Wrong Guys Louie
1988 Coming to America Maurice
1992 Bébé's Kids Security Guard #1 (voice)
1996 Mr. Wrong Himself
2002 Do It for Uncle Manny Tow Truck Driver
2005 Back by Midnight Game Show Host
2007 Cook Off! Mayor Doug Halverson
2017 Sandy Wexler Himself
2021 Coming 2 America Maurice


Year Title Role Notes
1986–1988 The New Hollywood Squares Himself 13 episodes
1986 Remington Steele Bingham 'Bing' Perret Episode: "Steele Spawning"
1987 Trying Times Stu Episode: "Bedtime Story"
1989 The Jim Henson Hour Himself / Space Guy Episode #1: "Outer Space/The Heartless Giant"
1994 Grace Under Fire Dr. Andy Lewinson Episode: "Tears of Joy"
1995–1998 Life with Louie Andy Anderson / Little Louie (voice) 26 episodes
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (1996–97)
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
1995 Love & War James the Cat Episode: "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and a Cat"
1996 The Louie Show Louie Lundgren 6 episodes
1997 Chicago Hope Louie Lickman Episode: "Growing Pains"
1999 Touched by an Angel Uncle Dudley Episode: "Then Sings My Soul"
1998–2002 Hollywood Squares Himself 12 episodes
1999–2002 Family Feud Himself / Host
2000 To Tell the Truth Himself / Panelist
2000 Ally McBeal Therapist Episode: "Without a Net"
2001 Nash Bridges Richard Reynolds Episode: "Blood Bots"
2001 Scrubs Himself Episode: "My Two Dads"
2001 V.I.P. Homeless Person Episode: "Kayus Ex Machina"
2005 Half & Half Louie Episode: "The Big Credit Check Episode"
2005 Joey Himself Episode: "Joey and the Poker"
2006 The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Burt Episode: "Fear and Loathing in Endsville"
2006 Tom Goes to the Mayor Mining Team of Louie Andersons (voice) Episode: "White Collarless"
2015 Pickle and Peanut Gory Agnes (voice) Episode: "Gory Agnes"
2016–2019 Baskets Christine Baskets 39 episodes
Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2017–18)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
2016 Drunk History Winston Churchill Episode: "The Roosevelts"
2017–present Funny You Should Ask Himself 105 episodes
2020 Young Sheldon Ralph Episode: "An Academic Crime and a More Romantic Taco Bell"
2020 Search Party Bob Lunch 5 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Family Feud Himself


Anderson has authored the following:[13]

  • The F Word: How to Survive Your Family, 49 family survival tips
  • Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child, a collection of letters to his late father
  • Goodbye Jumbo... Hello Cruel World, a self-help book for those who struggle with self-esteem issues
  • Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too (2018)


  1. ^ "Louie Anderson's Concert & Tour History | Concert Archives". www.concertarchives.org. Retrieved 2021-12-27.
  2. ^ a b Roura, Phil (1999-03-21). "Playing The Heavy - For Laughs Louie Anderson Turns Childhood Abuse & Weight Into the Stuff of Standup". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  3. ^ "Louie Anderson". emmys.com. Television Academy. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  4. ^ Nave, Howie. "Nave: Comedian Louie Anderson grateful during pandemic". tahoedailytribune.com. Swift Communications, Inc. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  5. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (21 July 2016). "'Baskets' Emmy Nominee Louie Anderson on the Role of His Career". Variety.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Episode 715: Louie Anderson". WTF with Marc Maron. 2016-06-13.
  7. ^ "Interview with Stephen Colbert". Late Show with Stephen Colbert. CBS. April 10, 2018.
  8. ^ "A Real-Life Family Feud, Talk Show Host Repairs Family Ties". CBS News. 2000-07-20. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03.
  9. ^ "Louie Anderson". Dead-Frog - A Comedy Blog. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Louie Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  11. ^ O'Connor, John. J. (August 17, 1987). "Louie Anderson, Comedian". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b c "Movies". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Bubbenheim, Aaron (March 17, 2005). "Comedian's visit to focus on funny". The Pitt News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  14. ^ O'Connor, John J. (February 5, 1996). "The More the Merrier, for a Vet and a Therapist". The New York Times.
  15. ^ a b E! True Hollywood Story. Family Feud. July 28, 2002.
  16. ^ "Anderson Out, Karn In on 'Feud'". apnews.com. The Associated Press.
  17. ^ "Las Vegas, KTNV Channel 13 Action News". Jrn.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  18. ^ "PokerStars.com Players Win More Than $21 Million at the 2006 World Series of Poker". 2006-08-17. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  19. ^ Ley, Tom (January 28, 2013). "Louie Anderson Nearly Drowns In The Most Pathetic Way Possible, Is Saved By Ndamukong Suh". Deadspin.
  20. ^ Joanna Robinson. "Louie Anderson on His Extraordinary New Role as a Woman on Baskets". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  21. ^ Miller, Dennis (2014-02-10). "The Dennis Miller Show" (Interview). Interviewed by Dennis Miller. Archived from the original on 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2020-03-18.
  22. ^ "He's Getting Laughs All Over TV, and Louie Anderson Has Only Just Begun to Throw His Weight Around". People. September 7, 1987.
  23. ^ a b Weatherford, Mike (2006-05-17). "Neon - Laughter and Tears". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 2008-04-03.
  24. ^ Armstrong, Mark (2000-04-14). "Louie's Sex-Extortion Feud". E! News. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17.
  25. ^ "Man sentenced for trying to extort $$ from TV host". DeseretNews. December 20, 2000.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Host of Family Feud
Succeeded by