Louie Anderson Wiki: 8 Facts About Him And His Personal Life

A glimpse into the life of Louie Anderson and his comical wits

Who is Louie Anderson

Source: @louieanderson (Instagram Screenshot)

Are you a fan of Family Feud? Do you remember the guy who yelled: “Survey says!”? Yes, that’s Louie Anderson, he’s a long-time standing comedian with an immense talent that finally got his big chance when he was cast to portray a woman’s character in Baskets. Do you want to know more about him, his career and his life? Well keep on reading, we’ll tell you some facts about this groundbreaking comedian.
Louie Anderson, now 66, started his comedic career on the stand-up circuit and has been doing that regularly for three decades. He was born Louie Perry Anderson in March of 1953 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you ask people about him, what they’ll say (apart from thinking that he’s got such a huge talent for Comedy) is that he’s is also the nicest guy. It’ part of who he is and why people love him.
Louie Anderson has never hidden the fact that he came from a very poor family, he talks about it on his shows. He was child #10 of 11, he lived with his parents and siblings in a ramshackle duplex in the projects of St. Paul. His father was a jazz musician, a trumpeter for Hoagy Carmichael, but he wasn’t a good father or husband, his family lived in fear of him because he was an abusive drunk. Anderson says that his mother, Ora Zella Anderson, had a gift for making “the mundane magnificent”, she was forever finding treasures on the town’s dump and repurposing them.
He has always been fat, and for that, he was teased at school and berated at home by his father, he does a riff about this in his shows. He dropped out of high school at 16 and for a while, he had a career as a fencer of stolen goods, This did not end well for Louie because he was arrested. Luckily his parole officer encouraged him to finish school and he also spent three years working in a house for abused and neglected children. This is where he discovered that he had a talent or a gift to use comedy as a tension reliever and that’s where it all started.

Here are 8 facts about Louie Anderson.

1. Louie Anderson started his comedy career on a dare

In 1970, back in Minnesota, Louie went to a comedy club with some friends. He listened for a while and he wasn’t impressed so he told his friends that he didn’t think any of the comedians up on stage were very funny. That backfired on him because people at the club told him: “Why don’t you go there?” He said OK and that was it, within a week he was performing on open mic night.
He wrote a lot of jokes for that first performance and asked people if they thought the jokes were funny. They were jokes about a fat kid growing up. Obviously people thought they were funny because he became a regular. He started getting attention. He was singled out in a local newspaper that wrote about the booming business of comedy clubs, he got a mentioned and things started to roll. His early stuff was mostly about his family, especially about his father and his abusive behavior toward his family.

2. Louie Anderson’s first big break was in”The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson

Source: @louieanderson (Instagram Screenshot)

Louie says he watched “The Tonight Show” as a kid and had cherished moments about it, so when his time came to actually be on the show, it was a dream come true. He remembers standing behind the curtain and hearing the host announced him, he was more concerned about the details of the curtain and finding the X where he was supposed to stand than in breathing and relaxing. When it was showtime, he stepped out, found the X, took a second to take it all in and said “I can’t stay long, I’m in between meals” and he was off and running. 
That was a life-changing moment for him. Johnny Carson loved him and asked him to come back out to take a second bow, shook his hand and invited him to a second appearance on the show.

3. Paying Eddie Murphy’s restaurant bill got him a small part in “Coming to America”

Source: www.collider.com via Paramount Pictures

Remember Maurice? The worker at the fast-food restaurant who became friends with Prince Akeem, Eddie Murphy’s character in Coming to America? Louie Anderson landed that small but memorable role because he paid Murphy’s bill. In 1987 Louie was at The Ivy when he sees Eddie Murphy entering the place with an entourage (they knew each other because they were both comedians), so Louie said to his waiter “put Eddie’s bill on my American Express but don’t tell him after I leave”.
Turns out it was the best money he ever spent ($661 was a big tab for that time) because next day he received a call from Eddie telling him that he had a small part in his movie and that he wanted Louie to play it. Louie said in an interview that he didn’t do it to get the job, he did it because he was being polite and that that’s how he got most of his work, by being nice.  

4. Life with Louie earned him 2 Daytime Emmy Awards

Source: @LouieAnderson

Small-screen success did not come easy to Louie, it seemed that it wasn’t in the cards. He did various pilots for TV shows but people were not interested. In 1996 “The Louie Show” finally came on air on CBS, where Louie portrayed a Minnesota psychotherapist, but it only lasted five episodes. He found a better way to give his sensibilities and outlet with “Life with Louie” which is a cartoon loosely based on his life while growing up in Minnesota.
The show ran for three seasons on Fox and it won two Daytime Emmy Awards and three consecutive Humanitas Prizes.

5. Louie Anderson’s big moment finally arrived with Baskets

Source: @louieanderson (Instagram Screenshot)

A lot of projects came but none has put Louie Anderson’s comedic talents on display as Baskets. This sitcom created by Louis C.K., written and directed by Jonathan Krisel and Zach Galifianakis gave Anderson his first big chance of showing all his talent on TV. Louie was so ready to take on his role as Christine Baskets, it seems that it was written especially for him. Anderson improvises most of his dialogues, Christine is based in part on Louie’s mother Ora Zella Anderson, if you haven’t seen it, don’t expect to see a man in drag. Christine is flashy in the way she dresses (bright billowy caftans, big jewelry, and Crocs), but Louie’s portrayal focuses more on Christine’s inside life. 
Louie said the moment he put on the page-boy wig and lipstick he felt totally at home as Christine. The cast and crew of the show can’t say enough praises about him and how he’s killing it in this role. “Baskets” is in his fourth and final season.

6. Louie Anderson is the author of four books

Amazon.com: Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too eBook: Louie Anderson: Kindle StoreSource: Amazon.com

Louie has penned four books so far, the first published in 1989 was titled, Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child, which is a compelling, funny, tender and well-written book, Here Louie writes about how angry he was at his alcoholic abusive father and how writing about it helped him with his healing process.
His second book was titled “Goodbye Jumbo..Hello Cruel World” (!993) in which he chronicles his struggles to lose weight and gain self-esteem in a life of negative conditioning. His third book, published in 2009, was “The F Word: How to Survive Your Family, where he gives advice on how to deal with poor family dynamics. His most recent book, published in 2018 is “Hey Mom: Stories for my Mother, but You Can Read Them Too”, here Louie tells his mom (who died before his big TV break in Baskets) of his triumphs, disappointments, and continuing challenges.

Personal Life: Marriage and Sexual Orientation

Once upon a time, Louie was married to his high school sweetheart. He got married in 1985 but the marital bliss run off rather quickly. it only lasted four weeks. People magazine interview him two years after the split and when they asked him about it he said that he regretted more the marriage than the failure. After that, his dating life is practically non-existent.

7. He was involved in a controversy regarding his sexual orientation

Source: @louieanderson (Instagram Screenshot)

In the late ’90s, Louie was blackmailed by a guy named Richard Gordon. This person threatened to claim that Louie was gay and that he had propositioned him. Louie paid Gordon more than $100,000 the first time when he returned asking for more money, Louie went to the authorities. He met with his blackmailer in an L.A restaurant to “seal the deal” and that’s when undercover FBI agents apprehended him. This scandal got people pondering if Louie Anderson was indeed gay, but so far those are only rumors.

Overall Net Worth

8. Financially, he’s well set

Source: @louieanderson (Instagram Screenshot)

Louie has come a long way from his humble beginnings and, thanks to all his hard work, he’s now well set financially. He’s still touring doing his shows, he just published a very well-received book and his role in Baskets is still going strong so it’s safe to say he has a pretty good income. According to celebworth.net, his overall net worth is $10.3 million 


Louie Anderson’s comedic gift is extraordinaire and that is why he’s still a favorite among comedy fans, He is a nice guy who had a difficult childhood but who managed to heal and now lives a happy and fulfilled life doing what he loves.