Doing stand-up comedy is not for the meek – you have to be fearless, charismatic and of course, hilarious. Three-time Emmy Award® winner Louie Anderson excels at all three.
One of Hollywood’s most recognized comedians, the lovable Anderson is headlining at Irvine Comedy Club November 30th through December 2nd.
Anderson has a recipe for success: Be kind. “I get that from my mom,” he told us. “She was always the one to say, be nice to people, Louie. You never know what kind of day they are having.”
The veteran comedian gets to deeply connect with his mom in “Baskets,” as he is actually portraying her in the popular FX series!
“It’s such a fun show. I always thought I would play my dad,” he acknowledged. “I really never thought I would play my mom!”
Ever the creative man, Anderson was the voice of his dad in his adorable Saturday morning animated series “Life with Louie,” which was based on his childhood.
“It’s just so funny, at the time I thought, ‘Well, I will probably play my dad in a sitcom some day.’ But then ‘Baskets’ came along! It came right out of the blue.”
While “Baskets” has many fantastic moments, what Anderson loves best is how his mom’s humanity gets showcased on the show. “I love her empathy and humor. She was a funny and sweet woman. And very brave. I try to draw on that; my mom was an adventurer.”
Heading into its series’ fourth season, Anderson truly wishes he could talk to his mom again, to celebrate this role with her. Which is why he wrote his most recent book, “Hey Mom,” which is a homage to her.
“I wrote her these long letters and showed it to my manager, who immediately thought it would make a great book. While it was a lot of work to do, ultimately, it turned into a joyful thing,” he said.
One Busy Guy
Don’t be surprised if you see Anderson’s name twice on the Emmys nominations list next year. He will soon be seen on the third season of TBS’ quirky, dark comedy, “Search Party.”
In a recurring role, he will play Bob, a sweet but bumbling old-school lawyer from Chicago. In press notes, the character is described as “warm, sentimental and optimistic but can’t seem to remember his clients’ names and is maybe dying.”
“FX was kind enough to let me do both shows, which is exciting, as it’s such a cute show, in the same vein as ‘Baskets.’ It’s daring, different, unpredictable and very millennial. The cast is terrific and I’m having a blast.”
Set your DVRs for when both television shows return next year.
While many actors take on less projects once they’re on a hit show, Anderson has embarked on a national stand-up tour, to celebrate 40 years of performing comedy in front of a live audience.
With numerous cities booked, this funny guy wants to make the most of the experience.
“There’s nothing like the immediacy of stand-up,” he excitedly pointed out. “Performing in front of others, there are no directors, writers or producers. It’s just you, the microphone and the crowd.”
Anderson remembers the first time he got to Southern California.
“In 1981, I had a Chevy Malibu Classic and $600. I drove through the Reno area, up over (Lake) Tahoe, down into Sacramento and hit the 101. A kid from Minnesota saw palm trees on the freeway and knew that he had found a new place for an adventure,” he enthused.
“I never got over the idea of seeing those trees there. They are just so iconic to California and my career. I worked at a lot of the clubs and then got on the ‘The Tonight Show,’ which was epic.”
Anderson has fond memories of his first time performing at the Irvine Comedy Club, and is thrilled to be back in his 40th year.
“I was a little nervous and overwhelmed. It was such a big club, the largest I had performed in at that time, and people were happy to see me. I was so excited. It was kinda like, ‘oh my god, I am playing the Irvine Improv!’ These are the kind of classic places everyone wants to perform in.”
Anderson loves the “hopeful” vibe of performing here. “It’s the weather, you just need a light jacket or a short sleeved Hawaiian shirt. When I am in Southern California, I always feel like I am in paradise.”
After driving down to Irvine for the weekend, he enjoys a meal at the comedy club between his performances.
“Irvine Comedy Club always has the best dinners and appetizers. I eat backstage. Every comic loves free food!” he quipped.
“You should have the salmon but you end up getting the chicken fingers! When your manager and your handlers are around you, you have the salmon! But with other comics you have the chicken fingers and fries and whatever else is good and gooey!”
If you check out Anderson’s family friendly, stand-up routine, you can expect fun jokes about the four f’s: food, family, being fat and being over 50 years! And his personal travel experiences; seeing the unique qualities of people and communities.
“To go across the U.S., I don’t see the divided country that seems to be happening out there. I see the together country, the Democrats, Republicans, the non-political – all kinds of different people in my audience. Our common denominator is laughing and being together.”