It’s the voice, his signature voice that is tinged with a nasally sweetness that any comedy lover can recognize. With just the right amount of sarcasm, warmth and truth, Louie Anderson has been making America laugh for exactly 4 decades. Since his first standup routine October 10th 1978, Anderson has carved a comedy niche retelling his family stories and life observations in a clean but bitingly acerbic fashion.
“A stress test—you know what that is? It’s where you have your whole family over to the house,” Anderson is known to say. He was the second to last of eleven children growing up in Minnesota, with as many ups as downs to talk about that attracted audiences.
Anderson used his personal life to leap from stage to movies like, “Coming To America” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Also he has been a regular on tv sitcoms, his most famous show, the cartoon “Life With Louie” inspired by his family and hosting “Family Feud”. Anderson has appeared on every late night show from Carson to Colbert, authored four books and still continues stand up. Coming to the Key West Theater Sunday September 30 for two shows, Anderson will be bringing his best on stage with his classic stories and his penchant for turning life into brilliant one liners.
“I would like to say I don’t work at it, but I do, very hard,” said Anderson. “No one enjoys the show as much as I do, I have a responsibility to bring it. I open up my heart and let the crowd see how vulnerable I am and it works.” In the same vein as Richard Pryor and Robin Williams, Anderson talks to his audiences and reacts from their emotions.
His most recent role on the hit show “Baskets” opposite Zach Galifianakis won him an Emmy in 2016 and gained nomination again this year. Anderson plays the mother, Christine Baskets, a character based on his own midwestern, suburban mother. “She had a big life and I want to celebrate that, represent all the good in her.” Anderson has always been open about his father’s alcoholism which he compares to a “nuclear fall out”, and sees the character as a chance to give voice to his mother. Ironically, he doesn’t change his own voice playing a women and it works.
When Galifianakis asked him to play a woman, he thought “Oh my god, that’s perfect.” Admittedly, he always thought he would eventually portray his father not his mother. Anderson’s character is so lovable and nuanced, audiences react to the genuine affection he has for the character. “Christine Baskets helped people wake up to the fact I am a really good actor,” said Anderson. It also helped inspire his latest book, “Hey Mom” composed of recent letters he has written to his deceased mother.
Named by Comedy Central as “One of 100 Greatest Stand, Up Comedians of All Time, Anderson promises, “ I will just keep talking if I enjoy the crowd, sometimes they have to remind me to get off stage.”
Key West Theater Sun September 30
Rams Head Presents
6:30 & 9:30 pm
www.thekeywesttheater.com for tickets