This week, Ira spoke with Louie Anderson.
Louie Anderson, who will be performing at the South Point Casino July 24-26, is one of the most versatile and successful comedians working today.
Sharing the ups and downs of his childhood experiences as one of 11 children in Minnesota, Anderson crafted comedy routines that rang true for his early club audiences, routines that led him from his career as a counselor to troubled children to the first-place trophy at the 1981 Midwest Comedy Competition. Henny Youngman, who hosted the competition, recognized the diamond-in-the-rough genius of the young comic and hired him as a writer, providing invaluable experience that soon put Anderson in his own spotlight on comedy stages all over the country.
Johnny Carson, the comedy icon for generations of rising stars, invited Anderson to make his national television debut on the “The Tonight Show” in 1984, and the rest is history. Leno, Letterman, “Comic Relief” and Showtime and HBO specials followed, making Anderson a household name and opening doors for him as an actor. He has guest-starred in sitcoms like “Grace Under Fire” and dramas like “Touched by an Angel” and “Chicago Hope,” and he has had memorable featured roles in film comedies like “Coming to America,” opposite Eddie Murphy, and the classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
In 1995, Anderson put his creative energies to work on the Saturday morning animated series “Life with Louie.” The long-running series based on his own childhood and his life with his father won three Humanitas Prizes for writing on a children’s’ animated series, making him the only three-time recipient of this award. It also earned a Genesis Award for its depiction of the proper treatment of animals and, most significantly, two Emmy Awards.
His best-selling books include “Dear Dad – Letters From An Adult Child,” a collection of alternately touching and outrageous letters from Louie to his late father, and “Good-bye Jumbo…Hello Cruel World,” self-help for those who struggle with self-esteem issues.