Louis Perry Anderson (born March 24, 1953) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author and game show host. Anderson created the cartoon series Life with Louie and has written four books, including Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too, which was published in 2018. He was the initial host of the third revival of the game show Family Feud from 1999 to 2002.
For his performance on the FX comedy television series Baskets, Anderson received three consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations and won once in 2016.
Anderson performed a stand-up show called Louie: Larger Than Life in Las Vegas, Nevada from 2003 through 2012. The show originated at the Union Plaza hotel downtown, before moving to Excalibur, South Point, and Palace Station hotels.
Anderson was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the son of Ora Sherman (née Prouty) and Andy Andrew Mortimer Anderson. Anderson is the second youngest of 11 children in his family. In a 2016 interview on WTF with Marc Maron, Anderson revealed that his mother actually gave birth to 16 children, but five of them—the first baby and then two sets of twins—died in childbirth. Anderson has described his father as “abusive.”
Anderson went to Johnson Senior High in Saint Paul.
On November 20, 1984, Anderson made his network debut as a stand-up comedian on The Tonight Show.
In late 1985, Anderson was cast as Lou Appleton alongside Bronson Pinchot on the pilot episode of Perfect Strangers for ABC (which was known in this early stage as The Greenhorn). When the show was picked up, Anderson was replaced by Mark Linn-Baker in the role of Appleton (whose first name was then changed from Lou to Larry) as the producers didn’t think the chemistry between Anderson and Pinchot was quite right. The show ran for eight seasons on ABC.
In 1986, Anderson had a small role in the singing-telegram scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
In 1987, Anderson appeared in a comedy special on Showtime.
In 1988, Anderson played a role in John Landis’ film Coming to America, which starred Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, and starred in the camp comedy The Wrong Guys.
In 1989, Anderson guest-starred on the first episode of the MuppeTelevision segment of The Jim Henson Hour.
In 1995, Anderson created and produced a Saturday-morning animated series for Fox called Life with Louie. The series was based on Anderson’s childhood with 10 siblings, a sweet-hearted mother and a loud, war-crazed father. It also detailed how he was picked on for his weight, and how he used comedy to deal with the teasing. The show was a 3-year hit on Fox, and won two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
In 1996, Anderson created and starred in The Louie Show for CBS. The show had Anderson playing a psychotherapist in Duluth, Minnesota. The show ran six episodes and was cancelled.
In 1999, Anderson landed the role of host of the new version of Family Feud. Anderson asked former Feud host Richard Dawson to appear on the premiere show to give him his blessing, but Dawson declined. Anderson organized a 9/11-themed tournament week of Family Feud between the FDNY and the NYPD, putting up $75,000 toward both organizations for recovery from the September 11, 2001, attacks. Anderson was let go from the show in 2002 and was replaced by Richard Karn.
In 2000, Anderson appeared as a panelist on an episode of To Tell the Truth hosted by John O’Hurley.
In 2001, Anderson appeared on an episode of Weakest Link, winning $31,000. He has made appearances on network television in Scrubs, Grace Under Fire, Touched by an Angel (Then Sings My Soul, November 28, 1999) and Chicago Hope. He guest starred on the Adult Swim cameo-filled show Tom Goes to the Mayor.
Anderson played in the 2006 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2012, Anderson filmed a standup special entitled Louie Anderson: Big Baby Boomer. In it, Anderson poked fun at his bad habits, pesky family members, and aging body.
In 2013, Anderson appeared in the ABC reality television series Splash. After practicing several dives into a swimming pool then nearly drowning, he needed help getting out from co-star football player Ndamukong Suh.
In October 2014, Anderson signed on as the promotional spokesperson for his home state’s Land O’Lakes Sweet Cream butter brand. Anderson has since appeared in radio jingles, web ads, and television commercials promoting the product.
From 2016 to 2019, Anderson played the part of Christine Baskets on the FX comedy series Baskets. Anderson won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Christine Baskets in 2016.
On July 23, 2017, Anderson competed on an episode of Celebrity Family Feud (hosted today by Steve Harvey); his opponent was singer/actress Christina Milian. This makes him one of only a small number of individuals to have both hosted and been a contestant on the same game show, and also marks his first appearance on any form of Family Feud since his departure as host in 2002. As of September, 2018, he is a regular panelist on the TV game show Funny You Should Ask.
Dennis Miller has called him “one of the lightest on his feet comedians I know… There’s very few guys I’m going to leave my dressing room early (to watch). … (Louie has) a Fred Astaire, with a broken leg, approach. Very nimble, and he wouldn’t hammer points home, but he would do a ‘weave-back’ that was almost Pulp Fiction-like.”
A 1985 marriage to his high-school sweetheart lasted four weeks.
In 1997, Anderson was blackmailed by a man named Richard John Gordon. Gordon demanded money from Anderson, threatening to reveal to tabloids that Anderson reportedly sexually propositioned him in a casino in 1993.
Between 1997 and 1998, Anderson 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, Anderson’s lawyer informed federal authorities. Gordon, who was 31 at the time, was arrested after leading FBI agents on a high-speed chase along Santa Monica Boulevard. Gordon was fined and sentenced to 21 months in prison.
|1984||Cloak & Dagger||Taxi Driver #2|
|1986||Ferris Bueller’s Day Off||Flower Deliveryman|
|1988||The Wrong Guys||Louie|
|1988||Coming to America||Maurice|
|1992||Bébé’s Kids||Security Guard #1 (voice)|
|2002||Do It for Uncle Manny||Tow Truck Driver|
|2005||Back by Midnight||Game Show Host|
|2007||Cook Off!||Mayor Doug Halverson|
|2021||Coming 2 America||Maurice|
|1986–1988||The New Hollywood Squares||Himself||13 episodes|
|1986||Remington Steele||Bingham ‘Bing’ Perret||Episode: “Steele Spawning”|
|1987||Trying Times||Stu||Episode: “Bedtime Story”|
|1989||The Jim Henson Hour||Himself / Space Guy||Episode #1: “Outer Space/The Heartless Giant”|
|1994||Grace Under Fire||Dr. Andy Lewinson||Episode: “Tears of Joy”|
|1995–1998||Life with Louie||Andy Anderson / Little Louie (voice)||26 episodes
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (1996–97)
Nominated—Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
|1995||Love & War||James the Cat||Episode: “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and a Cat”|
|1996||The Louie Show||Louie Lundgren||6 episodes|
|1997||Chicago Hope||Louie Lickman||Episode: “Growing Pains”|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Uncle Dudley||Episode: “Then Sings My Soul”|
|1998–2002||Hollywood Squares||Himself||12 episodes|
|1999–2002||Family Feud||Himself / Host|
|2000||To Tell the Truth||Himself / Panelist|
|2000||Ally McBeal||Therapist||Episode: “Without a Net”|
|2001||Nash Bridges||Richard Reynolds||Episode: “Blood Bots”|
|2001||Scrubs||Himself||Episode: “My Two Dads”|
|2001||V.I.P.||Homeless Person||Episode: “Kayus Ex Machina”|
|2005||Half & Half||Louie||Episode: “The Big Credit Check Episode”|
|2005||Joey||Himself||Episode: “Joey and the Poker”|
|2006||The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy||Burt||Episode: “Fear and Loathing in Endsville”|
|2006||Tom Goes to the Mayor||Mining Team of Louie Andersons (voice)||Episode: “White Collarless”|
|2015||Pickle and Peanut||Gory Agnes (voice)||Episode: “Gory Agnes”|
|2016–2019||Baskets||Christine Baskets||39 episodes
Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (2017–18)
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2016||Drunk History||Winston Churchill||Episode: “The Roosevelts”|
|2017–present||Funny You Should Ask||Himself||105 episodes|
|2020||Young Sheldon||Ralph||Episode: “An Academic Crime and a More Romantic Taco Bell”|
|2020||Search Party||Bob Lunch||5 episodes|
Anderson has authored the following: