Iconic comedian Louie Anderson, a three-time Emmy® Award winner, is one of the country’s most recognized and adored comics, named by Comedy Central as "One of 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time." His career has spanned more than 30 years. He is a best-selling author, star of his own standup specials and sitcoms and he continues to tour the country performing to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.
In 2016, Anderson was cast to co-star along with Zach Galifianakis and Martha Kelly in the FX comedy series Baskets. Anderson plays the role of "Christine Baskets," matriarch of the Baskets clan. He based the character on his mother and five sisters who were all major presences in his life. Anderson won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as "Christine" in 2016. He received two additional Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy nominations for the role in 2017 and 2018.
"I’m not as nice in the character as my mom was as a person. It really is an extension of my mom," Anderson says, adding that he always aims to make his performance "as real as possible" without affecting or cartooning it up. "It felt like it was divine intervention when I got the call to be on the show… that somehow my mom, from the great beyond, was finally getting herself into show business where she truly belonged in the first place."
Sharing the ups and downs of his childhood experiences as one of eleven children in Minnesota, Anderson crafted comedy routines that rang true for his early club audiences while reducing them to helpless fits of laughter, 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 Tonight Show in 1984 and the rest is history. Appearances with Jay Leno, David Letterman and on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Comic Relief, Showtime and HBO specials followed. His gig hosting the legendary game show Family Feud made Anderson a household name and opened doors for him as an actor.
Anderson has guest starred in sitcoms like Grace Under Fire and dramas like Touched by an Angel and Chicago Hope. 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 2013, he took a dive on the ABC reality series Splash where he conquered his fears. His standup special Big Baby Boomer premiered on CMT in 2013. In his most recent standup special Big Underwear (2018), taped at the historic Palace Theatre in Los Angeles, he plays on the challenges of getting healthy, life on the road, dealing with technology and how we all eventually become our parents.
In 1995, Anderson put his creative energies to work on the Saturday morning animated series Life with Louie. The long-running series, based on Anderson’s 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. The series was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Animated Program and Anderson won two Emmys for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
His best-selling books include Dear Dad: Letters From An Adult Child, a collection of alternately touching and outrageous letters from Anderson to his late father, Goodbye Jumbo…Hello Cruel World, The F Word: How To Survive Your Family and Hey Mom, which shares his journey of turning life’s challenges into joy, as well as wisdom he’s gained from his late mother.
Anderson has been channeling his beloved mom in his iconic stand-up comedy for decades—but she passed away before getting to see him reach new heights and win an Emmy for his breakout role playing her on Baskets. Hey Mom is Anderson’s way of catching her up on everything that has been going on in his life, including his struggles with food, drugs, gambling, depression and his role as “Christine Baskets.”
When not in production, Anderson continues to tour, traveling the States doing what he loves to do: stand-up comedy. Anderson again delivers to his fans his inimitable brand of humor and warmth.