Comedian Louie Anderson Dies at 68
Born and raised in Saint Paul, MN, as the second youngest of 11 children, Anderson first worked as a counsellor to troubled children, performing comedy on the side. Per the comedian's bio, a first-place finish at the 1981 Midwest Comedy Competition caught the attention of stand-up legend and host Henny Youngman, who hired him as a writer.
Anderson would go on to make his network debut in 1984 with an appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The decade also saw him land film roles in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Coming to America — reprising his role as Maurice in the latter's 2021 sequel, Coming 2 America.
In the '90s, Anderson's childhood-inspired animated sitcom Life with Louie. Running for 26 episodes between 1995 and 1998, the series won Anderson a pair of Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program. Live-action sitcom The Louie Show followed in 1996, airing for six episodes that year. From 1999 to 2002, Anderson was also host of Family Feud, and also made recurring appearances on Hollywood Squares.
More recently, Anderson played the role of Christine Baskets in comedy-drama series Baskets, co-created by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis and Jonathan Krisel. Anderson received an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for the role, which he based after his own mother.
Anderson wrote further of his childhood and self-esteem issues in books like 1989's Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child, which he wrote to his late father, and 2002's The F Word: How to Survive Your Family.
Find tributes to Anderson below from Gilbert Gottfried, Steve Albini, Bill Burr and more.
RIP Louie Anderson! You were as gracious and kind as you were funny. Rest well!! Keep 'em laughing in Heaven ❤️https://t.co/c9tEjNOOwg— Viola Davis (@violadavis) January 21, 2022
This photo is very sad now. RIP Bob Saget and RIP Louie Anderson. Both good friends that will be missed. pic.twitter.com/DLJ8Ntt7LN— Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) January 21, 2022
Louie Anderson once blew 80 grand, all his money, gambling in LA, then rented a car, drove to Vegas in the middle of the night and used a casino line of credit to win it all back in the pit by sunup, caught a 7am flight and went straight to shoot a 7-11 commercial.— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) January 21, 2022
LOUIE ANDERSON I AM SO SO SORRY BUBBA YOU THE BEST GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 21, 2022
I always loved how effortless @LouieAnderson made stand up look. He could get an applause break with a slight change of expression or a sideway glance. A true master. Thank you for all the laughs and for being so nice. You were one of the greats! Rest In Peace.— Bill Burr (@billburr) January 21, 2022
Louie Anderson : Your generosity of spirit will cover the world from above .. we are so lucky you were on earth for a moment , spreading your humor all over like bars of living gold .. Good Bye— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) January 21, 2022
My first Hollywood job was gettting Louie Anderson cigarettes and donuts every day on his CBS sitcom. Most of the time I spent watching him play pinball in his dressing room while he told me to quit and pursue my career. He was super nice to even lil diumb dumbs like me. RIP.— Stephen Falk (@stephenfalk) January 21, 2022
RIP to McDowell's Employee of the Month. pic.twitter.com/RnCcGRgmuW— Riot Fest (@RiotFest) January 21, 2022