Louie Anderson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Louie Anderson
Louie Anderson.jpg
Anderson in 2012
Louis Perry Anderson

(1953-03-24) March 24, 1953 (age 65)
OccupationActor, comedian, game show host, author
Years active1984–present

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

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 September 2016.

Early life[edit]

Anderson was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Ora Zella (née Prouty) and Louis William Anderson.[3][4] 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 in childbirth.[5] Anderson has described his father as "abusive."[6]

Anderson went to Johnson Senior High in Saint Paul.[7]


On November 20, 1984, Anderson made his network debut as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show.[8]

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.[9]

In 1987, Anderson appeared in a comedy special on Showtime.[10]

In 1988, Anderson played a role in John Landis' film Coming to America, which starred Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall;[11] and starred in the camp comedy The Wrong Guys.

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

In 1995, Anderson created and produced a Saturday-morning animated series for Fox called Life with Louie.[12] 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.[12]

In 1996, Anderson created and starred in The Louie Show for CBS. The show had Anderson playing a psychotherapist in Duluth, Minnesota.[13] The show ran six episodes and was cancelled.

In 1999, Anderson landed the role of host of the new version of Family Feud.[1] Anderson asked former Feud host Richard Dawson to appear on the premiere show to give him his blessing, but Dawson declined.[14] 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.[14] Anderson was let go from the show in 2002.[14]

In 2001, Anderson appeared on an episode of Weakest Link, winning $31,000.[15] He has made appearances on network television in Scrubs,[11] Grace Under Fire,[11] Touched by an Angel (A Song for the 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.[16]

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.[17]

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.

Since January 21, 2016, Anderson has played the part of Christine Baskets on the FX comedy series Baskets.[18] 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-approach. Very nimble, and he wouldn't hammer points home, but he would do a 'weave-back' that was almost Pulp Fiction-like."[19]

Personal life[edit]

A 1985 marriage to his high-school sweetheart lasted four weeks.[20]

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.[21]

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.[21][22]


Anderson has authored the following:[12]

  • 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. ^ 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 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  2. ^ "Louie Anderson". The Grable Group. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  3. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (21 July 2016). "'Baskets' Emmy Nominee Louie Anderson on the Role of His Career". Variety.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Episode 715: Louie Anderson". WTF with Marc Maron. 2016-06-13.
  6. ^ "Interview with Stephen Colbert". Late Show with Stephen Colbert. CBS. April 10, 2018.
  7. ^ "A Real-Life Family Feud, Talk Show Host Repairs Family Ties". CBS News. 2000-07-20. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17.
  8. ^ "Louie Anderson". Dead-Frog - A Comedy Blog. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Louie Anderson". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  10. ^ O'Connor, John. J. (August 17, 1987). "Louie Anderson, Comedian". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b c "Movies". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Bubbenheim, Aaron (March 17, 2005). "Comedian's visit to focus on funny". The Pitt News. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  13. ^ O'Connor, John J. (February 5, 1996). "The More the Merrier, for a Vet and a Therapist". The New York Times.
  14. ^ a b c E! True Hollywood Story. Family Feud. July 28, 2002.
  15. ^ "Las Vegas, KTNV Channel 13 Action News". Jrn.com. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  16. ^ "PokerStars.com Players Win More Than $21 Million at the 2006 World Series of Poker". 2006-08-17. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  17. ^ Ley, Tom (January 28, 2013). "Louie Anderson Nearly Drowns In The Most Pathetic Way Possible, Is Saved By Ndamukong Suh". Deadspin.
  18. ^ Joanna Robinson. "Louie Anderson on His Extraordinary New Role as a Woman on Baskets". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  19. ^ Miller, Dennis (2014-02-10). "The Dennis Miller Show" (Interview). Interviewed by Dennis Miller.
  20. ^ "He's Getting Laughs All Over TV, and Louie Anderson Has Only Just Begun to Throw His Weight Around". People. September 7, 1987.
  21. ^ a b Weatherford, Mike (2006-05-17). "Neon - Laughter and Tears". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17.
  22. ^ Armstrong, Mark (2000-04-14). "Louie's Sex-Extortion Feud". E! News. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Richard Dawson
Host of Family Feud
Succeeded by
Richard Karn