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Louie Anderson
Birth name Louie Perry Anderson
Born March 24, 1953 (1953-03-24) (age 56)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Years active 1984—present
Notable works and roles Louie on Life with Louie
Host of Family Feud

Louie Perry Anderson (born March 24, 1953) is an American stand-up comedian.[1] Louie has also created the cartoon series Life with Louie, has authored three books and was the initial host of the second revival of the game show Family Feud from 1999 to 2002.


Early life

Louie Anderson is the second youngest of eleven children in his family. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota[2] and was raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota.[1] He feels that his first audience was his family and many of his early experiences are the cornerstone of his comedy act. His material involves his relationship with his mother and father; and many life experiences. A 1985 marriage to his high school sweetheart lasted only four weeks.


In 1986, Anderson was cast as Larry Appleton alongside Bronson Pinchot on the pilot episode of Perfect Strangers for ABC. The show was ultimately picked up but Anderson was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker for the role of Appleton, as the producers didn't think the chemistry between Anderson and Pinchot was quite right. The show lasted for eight seasons on ABC.

Anderson created and produced a Saturday morning series for FOX called Life with Louie in 1995.[3] The series was based on the childhood of Louie Anderson, growing up with 10 siblings, a sweet-hearted mother and a loud, war crazed father. It also detailed how he was picked on when he was younger due to his weight, and how he used comedy as a way to deal with the teasing. The show was a 3-year hit on FOX. It also won two Emmy Awards.[3]

In 1996, he tried once again to be part of a television sitcom when he created and starred in The Louie Show for CBS. The show had Anderson playing a psychotherapist living in Duluth, Minnesota.[4] The show only lasted six episodes before it was canceled. Anderson later said he was dissatisfied and disappointed with the series, claiming that CBS changed it so much that by the end it wasn't even his show anymore.[citation needed]

Family Feud

In 1999, Anderson landed the role as host of the new version of Family Feud.[1] He beat out popular country singer Dolly Parton for the role. Anderson asked former Feud host Richard Dawson to come on the premiere show to give him his blessing, but Dawson declined. Anderson started off with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, but soon looked bored and uninterested with the program, which was once mocked in a MADtv sketch.

Anderson was let go from the show in 2002 and replaced by former Home Improvement star Richard Karn. Somewhat bitter over losing the job, Anderson claimed, on the E! True Hollywood Story about Family Feud, that the show would not last more than one season without him.[5]As of 2009, the show remains on the air, although Richard Karn was replaced by John O'Hurley in 2006 after four seasons.

Anderson put together a special 9/11 tournament between the New York Fire Department (FDNY) and the New York Police Department (NYPD), with Anderson putting up $75,000 of his own funds toward both organizations in helping the recovery of the September 11, 2001 attacks.[5]

Recent activities

Anderson has a regularly scheduled performance in Las Vegas at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.[6] For the last three years, he has starred in a New Year's Eve comedy show in Minneapolis, with business acquaintance Scott Hanson.

He has starred in his own comedy specials on Home Box Office and Showtime[7] and frequently appears on late night talk shows. He has made appearances on network television in Coming to America, Scrubs, Grace Under Fire, Touched by an Angel and Chicago Hope. He recently guest starred on the Adult Swim cameo-filled show Tom Goes to the Mayor. He also made an appearance on a 2001 episode of The Weakest Link, winning $31,000.

He has worked with numerous charities. Shortly after 9/11, Louie came up with an idea to do a show in New York City for the NYPD and FDNY Widows Fund. He is also the co-founder of the H.E.R.O. organization whose mission is to empower people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to "attain maximum self-sufficiency." H.E.R.O. works with a variety of local agencies to enroll clients in empowerment training, that will allow them to set goals for themselves and create action plans to accomplish these goals.

Anderson played in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.[8] He was eliminated on the first day of play, during which he received a 10-minute penalty that the tournament director could impose on people caught using foul language at the poker tables.[9]

Anderson is a frequent guest on the morning show of Minnesota radio station KQRS-FM and is a close friend of its host, Tom Barnard.


In 1997, Anderson was blackmailed by a 31-year-old man named Richard John Gordon. Gordon extorted money from Anderson, threatening to reveal to tabloids his claim that Anderson approached him in a casino requesting sexual acts in 1993. [10]

Anderson initially paid Gordon $100,000 in hush money, fearing the story would threaten his starring roles in two family-oriented series, but when Gordon's demands increased to $250,000 in 2000, he informed law enforcement authorities. Gordon was arrested and sentenced to 21 months in prison, a $4,000 fine, and 3 years probation.[10][11]


Anderson has authored the following:[3]

  • Dear Dad Letters from an Adult Child A collection of letters to his late father.
  • Goodbye Jumbo... Hello Cruel World A self help book for those who struggle with self esteem issues.
  • The F Word How to Survive Your Family 49 family survival tips.


  1. ^ a b c Roura, Phil (1999-03-21). "Playing The Heavy - For Laughs Louie Anderson Turns Childhood Abuse & Weight Into the Stuff of Standup". Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  2. ^ "A Real-Life Family Feud, Talk Show Host Repairs Family Ties". CBS News. 2000-07-20. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  3. ^ a b c Bubbenheim, Aaron. "Comedian's visit to focus on funny", The Pitt News, 17 March 2005. (archived link)
  4. ^ O'Connor, John J. "TELEVISION REVIEW; The More the Merrier, for a Vet and a Therapist", The New York Times, 5 February 1996.
  5. ^ a b E! True Hollywood Story. Family Feud. July 28, 2002.
  6. ^ Stacy Jenel Smith (2007-02-17). "Ask Stacy: What About The Man Law Commercials?". National Ledger. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  7. ^ "TV Review; Louie Anderson, Comedian". The New York Times. 1987-08-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  8. ^ " Players Win More Than $21 Million at the 2006 World Series of Poker". 2006-08-17. Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  9. ^ "PokerStars Blog". 2006-07-31. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  10. ^ a b MIKE WEATHERFORD (2006-05-17). " -- Neon - Laughter and Tears". Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  11. ^ Mark Armstrong (2000-04-14). "E! News - Louie's Sex-Extortion Feud". Archived from the original on 2008-07-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 

External links

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