Being a comedian and succeeding at it can be quite hard, as it involves constant reinvention to maintain relevance. One person to have done exactly so is Louie Anderson who has been a comedian for over three decades, winning a variety of awards and making his way into the list of Top 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time.
Anderson’s achievements as a comedian spans across TV, stand-up comedy, and film, all of which require different skills and talents. Some of his popular works include Life with Louie and Baskets.
Louie Anderson Early Life Was Fraught with Abuses From His Dad
Louie Anderson’s life is the definition of turning a difficult situation into a success story. He was born on the 24th of March, 1953 in Saint Paul, Minnesota as the second to the last child in a family of eleven children. His parents are Louis William Anderson and Ora Zella.
In what was already a large family with its own logistical challenges, Anderson was the subject of abuse from his father. He also suffered fat-shaming from other family members and friends for his body weight as he attended Johnson Senior High school in his hometown.
He Learned His Craft Under the Tutelage of Comedian Henny Youngman
Louie Anderson was still battling through the vagaries of life when his interest in comedy and the creative arts led him to Henny Youngman, a comedian very famous for his mastery and use of one-liners.
Anderson wrote one-liner jokes for Youngman and their time together proved to be very successful. It further encouraged him to pursue a career as a comedian for himself and in 1984, he was able to make his onscreen debut on The Tonight Show. He has since then maintained a career in the industry.
After his debut, Louie Anderson made an appearance in the pilot episode of Perfect Strangers but failed to maintain his place in the series. Towards the end of the 80s, as his stock grew in the comedy industry, he appeared in more projects such as the iconic film, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the classic, Coming to America. Around that time, he also recorded his first comedy special for Showtime.
Louie Anderson is Known For His Unique Comedy Style
Louie Anderson’s comedy style has been described as unique by several comedic veterans. According to talk show host Dennis Miller, he is one of the “lightest on his feet comedians” of our time. He further elaborated that only very few guys would make him leave his dressing room early, and Louie is one of them. He further likened the entertainer to Fred Astaire, albeit with a broken leg approach.
One of Anderson’s most successful approaches was sharing the vagaries of his childhood as one out of 11 children. From his childhood experiences, he was able to craft comedy routines that absolutely rang true for his early club spectators while reducing them to fits of laughter.
Another famous approach of his is him playing female roles, one of which earned him an Emmy Award. For his Emmy award-winning role where he wears a wig and a dress to the astonishment of his audience, the entertainer confessed to applying some mannerisms and traits associated with his own mom.
He Has Solidified His Place in Comedic History By Winning Several Awards
Louie Anderson has enjoyed a very successful career that has produced multiple specials and classic shows like Baskets and Life with Louie which solidifies his place in the industry. Across both film and TV shows, he has starred in over 35 projects and has also been the host of a number of shows, including the game show Family Feud.
Over the course of his career, the brilliance of Anderson’s work has not gone unnoticed as he has received multiple award nominations, including from the Emmys where he has been nominated four times and won once. The legendary comedian is poised to clinch even more accolades in the future as he is still very much relevant today.
Louie Anderson’s Financial Success is Best Described as Unprecedented
When we consider his humble beginnings in the entertainment world, we would not be wrong to surmise that Louie Anderson has achieved unprecedented success. Though he started out by writing one-liners for Henny Youngman, the veteran has since built a career that is nothing short of brilliant. He has equally starred in a series of successful commercial projects, all of which have allowed him to accrue a net worth of $10 million. It is important to note that one of his highest-paying gigs is his hosting of the game show, Family Feud, where he was paid $1.5 million.
Rumors of Him Being Gay Started After He was Blackmailed in 1997
Over the course of his career, Louie Anderson has been the subject of various rumors alleging he is a gay man. The first was in 1997 when he was blackmailed by a man named Richard John Gordon who sought money in exchange for silence about Louie propositioning him at a casino in 1993. According to available reports, the legendary comedian had to part with the sum of $100,000 in hush money to settle Gordon.
Reports said that Anderson’s reason for paying the money was out of fear that the story hitting the tabloids would likely jeopardize his starring roles in a couple of family-oriented series. However, when his blackmailer upped the stake to $250,000 a few years later, the comedian had no choice but to report the case to federal authorities. His complaint led to Gordon’s arrest by FBI agents who arraigned him before the court where he bagged 21 years in prison, as well as a fine. Although the matter died a natural death after that, it sparked rumors of Louie being gay.
The Comedian’s Actual Sexuality Is Still Shrouded
While we are still at sea about the entertainer’s actual sexual orientation, issues that keep on pointing to his connection with the LGBT community keep popping up. Another rumor was fueled when Anderson claimed he was sexually assaulted by comedian Tom Rhodes when he was 19 years old. The claim was made as part of several confessions that made it to the public arena during the heat of the #MeToo movement.
Combined with a traditional feminine persona and his adeptness at playing female characters, such as his own mother in Baskets, Louie Anderson’s sexuality remains a subject of debate as the popular comedian has yet to clarify what his sexual orientation is.
Louie Anderson’s Only Marriage Experience Lasted For One Month
Despite the plenty of reasons that suggest that Louie Anderson might be a gay man, he is known to have been married to a woman. The comedian was previously married to his high school sweetheart for about four weeks in 1985. Ever since then, he has never been known to be married and has no recognized family of his own.