Jim Gaffigan, Gilbert Gottfried, Marc Maron and other comedians remember Louie Anderson.
We hear from Louie himself in a clip lent to us by the Art of Bombing Podcast (thanks Dan Bublitz!).
What was it like to walk around a Costco with Louie? What did he pack in his suitcase? All will be revealed in this tribute episode.
Note the originally scheduled Letterman episode will now run next Saturday January 29th.
Uncorrected transcript below
Johnny Mac with your daily comedy news. If you were expecting to hear me talk about David Letterman today, I have postponed that episode two a week from today. Today we will celebrate the life of Louie Anderson who passed away yesterday.
First of all, he’s tried to get a laugh first when you’re writing something.
And then if he can make a point, that’s always great. And I think that’s kind of a Minnesota thing, , well, what does it mean? Trying to do with it. Does it matter to you? I always ask comics, does your material matter to you? Because if it doesn’t matter to you, why w why should it matter to me as an audience prepper
on Twitter Patton Oswalt God, this year, this month, what is happening?
Gilbert Godfried shared a photo of a Gilbert, Louie Anderson, and Bob said, Gilbert caption at this photo is very sad. Now, both good friends that we missed. Jeff Ross, the roastmaster joked about Louie Anderson dying shortly after meatloaf. When meatloaf died, Louie Anderson was like, what’s the point of living?
I love them. Both. Kathleen Madigan said grateful. I got to say goodbye. Loved him. Like a brother. My Midwest king, george Wallace tweeted heaven as a hell of an open mic going on right now,
mark Marin, our IP, Louie Anderson, a true comedy craftsman. A funny, authentic sweet man.
Adam Sandler damn, such a funny, great guy made us all laugh so much loved him, condolences to his whole family.
The Sklar brothers are AP Louie Anderson. One of the sweetest open-hearted brilliantly funny people in the business. His was the first show we ever did stand up on in 1998. And despite his much deserved success in baskets, both critically and popularly, he would always shift the focus onto others.
Jim Gaffigan. I feel so lucky that I knew you, Louie Anderson. So funny, so gentle. You were always encouraging a Midwestern big brother from another big Midwestern family in this crazy business, you conquered standup writing, and most recently we fell in love with your acting in basket.
Michael McKeon, praise Louise, Roland baskets, calling it a phenomenal second act. I wish he had gotten a third and Henry Winkler said that Louise generosity of spirit will cover the world from above.
The national comedy center tweeted, few comedians have found success in so many of comedies arenas from stand-ups had comes in animation to game shows, reality shows and feature film. Louie Anderson made his mark on the art form in wide ranging ways and gifted us all with comedy. That definitely ranged from hilarious to poignant.
Anderson will be revered for years to come as someone who regularly and publicly challenged ideas about what comedy is and for the empathy and grace, he showed his peers and audiences alike. The San Diego union Tribune interviewed Louis in 2019. They asked how his family influenced his comedy. Louie said, my brother, Roger was the funniest outwardly.
He was always known to tell 2, 3, 4 jokes. Every time you saw him, he was much funnier than I was. He influenced me quite a bit. So, when did you decide to become a comedian? I never was going to be a comedian. I did this on a dare. We were at a comedy club. I said, these guys aren’t funny. And my friend said, if you think you’re so funny, why don’t you sign up for next week?
So I went to the guy and I said, when do you do this again? Next Friday. So I went down there that was October 10th, 1978, Mickey fins in north Minneapolis. Here I am.
Louie. What did you learn from your early mentor? Henny, Youngman Henny. His work ethic had the biggest influence on me. He said, just do your jokes, but I was more of a person that wanted to tell stories. . I didn’t want to just present jokes, but I did have a bunch of one-liners when I started my act.
Each time I got that from him and his work ethic. The funniest guy I ever saw was Jack Benny. I loved that. He underplayed everything much. Like my mom, Bob hope was a huge influence on me when I’m loud on my act. I’m definitely doing Bob hope.
I just loved his timing. Rodney Dangerfield just had so many jokes and they were so good. I’m always trying to write the best Louie Anderson, Rodney joke. I can, once I saw Richard Pryor perform, I wanted to do more stuff from my heart, really opened up and tried to do just stuff that bordered on sad, really funny, but tragic.
At the same time,
Louie made his debut on Johnny Carson’s tonight show on November 20th, 1984.
He told the San Diego union Tribune I’d been practicing. When I got to LA I had nine hats and I chose prepared already. I really wanted to be on the tonight show. I knew that I was tonight show material. I just felt that I walked out and killed it. I was very prepared. I even did an ad lib off Johnny’s monologue.
It’s Johnny talked about how McDonald’s had just changed its sign to say a billion people served. I walked out and I said, I was just at McDonald’s and that sign changed again. I know Johnny really appreciated that I was done. I took a bow, went behind a curtain. I’m walking to my dressing room and they start yelling at me.
Johnny wants you back out there and get out there. So I ran back and went out there. He called me over, shook my hand, made me take another bow. That’s when I knew I’d done a good job,
they asked Lou if he can describe the feeling of being completely in the groove, went on. It’s a powerful feeling. You have to be careful not to milk it. You have to move on re-establish yourself and build up to that crescendo again. And can you tell when you’re losing an audience, you don’t have much more than 60 seconds before you can lose the audience.
I don’t care how famous you are. The audience is your true Geiger counter for laughter. If there’s something radioactive there, they’re going to go after it. I always think there’s an electricity between you and the audience when you’re out there and you can look.
here’s a great story on the New York post in the late 1980s, Louie Anderson is at the Beverly Hills celebrity magnet restaurants, the Ivy, Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy’s entourage happened to be dining there. Louie Anderson pays their entire bill and tells the waiter. Don’t tell Eddie who it was until Louie Anderson.
Don’t tell him until after I leave, I’m not doing it to big, big shot. I’m doing it cause I’m from the Midwest and that’s how we would do it. The next morning. Eddie Murphy calls Louie Anderson. He not only offered. Thanks for the gesture. Eddie said nobody ever bought me anything, but he also invited Louie to be on a movie called coming to America.
Let me set. It was the best $660 I’ve ever spent. That’s a big movie in my life. First big.
He used to give Eddie some advice too, about standup. He’d say Eddie you’re too dirty on stage. Be clean. You could be funnier being clean. You’ll do twice the business and it just look at me.
In 2018 at Louis told the New York post, I love the anatomy of a choke it’s like archeology. If you dig too deep, you miss it. And if you don’t dig deep enough, you won’t find it. It’s kind of a crazy thing.
In March of 2021, Louie opened up about losing 40 pounds. He did that via intermittent fasting.
He said, I started the pandemic at about 370 to 380 pounds, depending on what I was leaning on.
His plan was to retire his fat jokes, but said, I think I’ll always be. He played Vegas in the summer of 2021 saying I’ve got a lot of new stuff. I want to perform some dunking, my fresh comedy doughnut into a cup of coffee, a little milk, no sugar. He was caught off guard by how much he missed the stage during the pandemic.
He said, when I had this taken away from me for a year, I realized this is a big part of my life. You don’t realize it when you’re going through it, but I’m feeling it now. I’ve never been more excited about a new set than I am a right now.
In 2017 at Louie told the post that after baskets, he’d like to return to TV again, but in a male role this time – he played the mother on baskets. He said, I’d like to do a drama show and I’d like to play a man again, I don’t know if this role will translate to people. Seeing me as an actor. I do have a lot of people who want to meet with me a lot of times because they love the character. I’m grateful. I think people think, oh, he’s such a good actor, which makes me believe I was worse than I thought I must’ve been quite shallow before, but I don’t hold that against anybody.
Louie once told vulture I’m a descendant of people, pleasers, caregivers, and comforters. I use my mom’s adage. Be nice to people, Louie. You never know what kind of day they’ve had before. They’ve seen you.
Louie revealed that when his own father was around 10 years old
his father and his father’s sister were taken out of their home and place for adoption. They were split up and never saw each other for 50 years. Louis said, because put up for adoption meant that you were put up in front of a church, congregation and families picked you and took you imagine being with your sister and having her go one place and you go another.
So I go, oh my God, I’m sorry, dad. Forgiveness was easy for me when I found that out and I miss him. I love him. I miss the grumpy coffee, sipping person that he was one time. My dad did. I hate that guy. And I go, you don’t even know him. And he says, I don’t need to know someone to hate him, Louie. Thank God for my dad.
I’m still doing the humor. And in 2016, when Louis won the critic’s choice awards, he said to my mom who raised 11 children. And my dad was mean to her.
In the past, you’ve heard me mentioned the podcast, the art of bombing, Dan bulblets hosts that show. I reached out to Dan. He had had Louie on as a guest and I asked Dan, would it be kind enough to share a clip from the art of bombing podcast with this audience here? Dan hooked me up with that clip. You heard earlier in the show and this clip here from Louis that will play into the break.
And then on the other side, I’ve got some fun stories from Lumina. Uh, in an interview, I heard you say you started the first open mic you did was October 10th, 1978. Is that correct? Wow. So this is just interesting fact. You, you started comedy one day before I was born, so you’ve literally, yeah, that’s amazing, huh?
Yes. You’ve literally been doing comedy as long as I’ve been alive. So are you in your forties? Oh, you don’t look 40, so that’s good for you. Thank you. I think comics mostly look younger than they are, but at least that’s what I want to believe. Yes, I’ll go with it. That works for me. It’s been working for us.
You were born on October 11th? Yup. Yup. I was crazy. Well, I think I Tober 11th. I was thinking. Should I keep doing that. I mean, I knew I liked that a lot, but I did sign up right away and went back, I think the next week. Where did you grow up then? Right in here on, yep. Grew up right in here on South Dakota. I lived there until about a year or two after I graduated high school and then I moved to other parts of the state. So I actually, I started comedy way late.
I didn’t start comedy until I was 32. I think. I always tell people you can’t wait long enough. It doesn’t really hurt. You just get smarter as you get older.
Again, thank you to Dan Boomlets for hooking us up with Louie Anderson clips. Dan’s podcast is called the art of bombing. There’s a full episode with Louie Anderson. Get that wherever you get your shows from Thrillist. The author of this article was walking around a Costco in Las Vegas with Louie Anderson.
Louis says, can you believe how busy this place? The author writes, the place is buzzing with more people than you’d expect for Tuesday afternoon. Although to be fair, Las Vegas tends to have as regular sleep schedule as a vampire with a Coke habit, . Louie grabs a shopping cart. I waived my wife’s membership card and the big direction of the security guard, Louie says kind of a loose operation. Isn’t it?
Louise card seizes up. Oh God, what a cliche that I got the cart with the bad wheel. I think we should keep it. It’s got character. They start walking around the Las Vegas. Costco Lewis says
I’m a TV junkie. Are you a TV junkie? They’re standing in front of a display of a 75 inch Samsung TV. Louie says I want to get a new TV, but I just told you that I go, do I need a new TV? Instead he picks up a four-pack of reading glasses from. What do you do? Throw them out after each book, you know, who would have loved this place?
My mom, 11 kids, the newest stuff, the most stuff it’s clean and nice here. This is a Midwesterners dream
Thrillist rights. We finally crossed paths with some of Costco’s famed free samples. We’ll give the apple kale mango juice, a pass. I grab a caramel, which proves inadvisable for instance. Well down in cups of dried peas snacks, great job author. We enter an aisle that looks like a meth chemist candy store.
Every medicine imaginable sealed in huge clamshell packaging and stacked on the shelves. Louie reaches down grabs three jumbo packs of Fryleigh. Second sauce with them in the cart says these are $22. Just one of these in the drug store.
On baskets that week Louis’ character, Christine also buys Prilosec medication of Costco. Louie said, I like to make it real. I told them that for that show, I wanted to get real stuff. Louis then observes. If I didn’t have my hat on, people would be talking to me. It’s funny when I handled.
He decided to do an experiment. He takes the hat off five seconds later, a man waiting in line, recognizes Louie and asked him how he’s doing. I’m good. Having fun. The man says I was until I got in line. And from the New York times back in 2018, what Louie Anderson can’t travel without the times writes Mr.
Anderson travels for work around a hundred days a year. Louis says I love going to the Midwest anywhere in the Midwest because that’s really my home base as a person I grew up in St. Paul’s. I love all that. The times writes Louis is not a light packer, at least partly because of the extraordinary number of odds and ends. He brings with him, his suitcases. Are filled with spare buttons. Q-tips from our hotel room, a pic from the Dave Matthews band coins from different places he’s been and a pair of mittens that we said I love when people give me stuff.
When I cherish it, I have a whole area in my house where he put fan art and fan appreciation stuff.
these are things I’ve probably carried in my bag. Maybe some of them for 10 years, I always go to clean it out, but I can never throw those things away. I think they really do give me luck.
Some of the things, a daily devotional, laundry detergent, the reason for that is I have sensitive skin. So I always carry fragrance-free laundry to dry. Because occasionally I’m out long enough where I have to wash clothes. I’m a Starwood’s member. So I usually stay at them. But if I have to wash clothes, I’ll stay at a holiday Inn express because I know they have a laundry room,
I’ll throw a load in and do it myself. Cause I don’t want people having to look at how big my underwear.
He would carry charms. His brother used to make those a pocket. Watch. My brothers and sisters gave it to me and all their names are on the outside. My name is on the front, means a lot to me, a nose hair, clipper, the older you get, the faster they grow. It’s one of those where you put it in your nose and it just sounds like a forest being cut down.
I keep a thermometer just to get my temperature. Cause I’m a hypochondriac. A blood pressure cuff. I checked my blood pressure at least twice a day and a USB stick, but I don’t know what’s on it. Louie Anderson
Passed away at age 68. I have more about Louis tomorrow and during the week, Hey, I set up a page on pod inbox.com where you can leave voicemails. If you leave a voicemail, I’ll most likely use it on the show. I want to build community around the show. So it’s pod inbox.com/daily comedy news. You can do it on your phone.
Pretty straightforward. You do have to make an account, but it takes to say. You know, your basic email and password use this one you use on all your junk sites, but you can leave me a message there. I’ll start incorporating them into this show. If you want to talk about Louie. Awesome. If you wanna bring up something else differently.
Awesome. Please feel highly encouraged to connect with me at pod inboxes.com/daily comedy news. If you are just discovering this podcast, I do this seven days a week. Tomorrow will be a little bit about Louie and more of a normal episode. And then Monday. You’ll get a feel for what the show is like. I usually start with late night jokes and then a recap what’s happening with your favorite standup comedians.
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