Alibi V.28 No.7 • Feb 14-20, 2019 

Arts Interview

Love with Louie

A chat with comedian Louie Anderson

courtesy of the artist

Louie reminds us of what's really important: telling the people close to you how much you care, doing the things that make you happy and being your kindest self. He’s also hilarious. Between filming his hit FX show “Baskets,” trying to revive “Life with Louie” and touring the country, three-time Emmy-winning comedian, Louie Anderson, took to the time to call in and chat with us.

Weekly Alibi: I loved “Life with Louie,” watched it as a kid—you were kind of the first comedian I knew.

Louie: Oh wow that’s really cool. That was a really fun character because of the voice and playing my dad was cool.

Are you working on a new animated show?

It’s a little slow-going but, yes. We really would like to bring “Life with Louie” back and do some more episodes, because I feel like it would still be relevant and it would still work.

I think so! It really reminded me of my own dad. You know, I was always kind of afraid of him growing up. He wasn't abusive or anything, but he was always very stern, he was the authoritarian, you didn't want to make Dad mad.

Right. I think that was just the dad of that era. I think a lot of dads were like that because their dads were like that. And now I think that dads are not like that. Or at least trying not to be.

Any release date/projected date for your new animated thing?

Oh no we're not in production or anything. I start “Baskets” on the 19th of February. So I know that I’m gonna be swamped doing that but we're definitely trying to get it going. Probably next year around this time is when you can look for something like that.

What’s it like being an Emmy winner?

I like to lay in bed and watch TV—I love TV—and so the difference is now when I’m looking at the TV, over to the left of it is an Emmy. I’m a big fan of television. Don Knotts won that award like five times; so for me to win that was gigantic, because I am now part of that group of people forever. All these wonderful people won it and now I have that statue forever. … I just love the fact that I’m part of this business and still get to do things I love doing.

Was it hard to play a mother in “Baskets”? That role seemed to be really natural for you.

You know what I had to do for the first time? I really had to leave Louie Anderson behind. All the stuff that was Louie Anderson, actor-wise or comedian-wise, like I don't think I’m up there, I don’t exist when Mama Baskets is being played. So I’m really proud of that idea that I made something really special. And what I try to do is consciously not be Louie Anderson and just be this character and it seems to be working.

How is the comedy scene today compared to when you first started?

Well. I think it’s different, but I don't think it’s much different. There’s more comedians out there, more crazy stuff available, and more platforms and some really great comedians. I mean, I think we really were the golden age of standup in the ’80s. I think we really did have our thing going, and I think a lot of the comedians you see today are resolved and influenced by our group. I think there’s more opportunity to become a comedian now and find your place. There’s more outlets now then there’s ever been, and I think there’s a nice camaraderie with comedians.

Any newer comedians you’re into?

You know I see them on the road all the time. I love Nick Kroll and all those guys—they’re the younger end of my generation. And John Mulaney and all those guys, Bill Burr, Nick Swardson, I see all of these guys. The cool thing for me is that I think comedy is alive and well as much as it was when I was starting it.

What’s it like to tour for practically 30 years straight? Do you still have a sense of home?

I live in Vegas now and I love being home. I do love the road and getting out there. This is my 40th year of doing stand up. I'm starting to look more into producing comedy shows and dramas. It’s hard for me to give up my stand up because it’s a thing I love so much. But I’m having an absolute blast. I just think it’s hard to be more alive than you are when you’re doing stand up.

Is your dad still with us?

Yah.

Are you guys friends?

We’re close. I’ve always said that if I wasn’t his daughter we would be really good friends.

That's a really good thing. You should become his good friend, if I had any advice to give you.

Speed Round

Can you describe your ideal hot dog?

Drained sauerkraut, mustard, onions.

Beatles or Stones?

Stones.

Do you believe in reincarnation?

Yes.

Do you have a favorite sibling?

My baby brother, Tommy.

Red Chile or Green Chile?

Green chile.

Louie Anderson will perform Saturday, Feb. 16 at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star Casino. Shows are scheduled at 7 and 9:30pm. Tickets ($25 to $45) are available at thestageatthestar.com.