Life as Louie
For veteran funnyman Louie Anderson, “The world is right there for a good laugh”
by Leigh Ann Stuart

Actor, producer, author, standup comedian and all-around funny guy Louie Anderson will come to the Sellersville Theater ( in Bucks County for two shows on Friday, August 28. We had the opportunity to talk with him about the performances, as well as family, french fries and a host of other “F words.”

When did you discover you had a gift for making people laugh?
People always would laugh when I would talk and I would be serious. And then I would go, “You know, I’m being serious,” and then they would laugh even more.

Does it go back to when you were a kid?
Yeah, back when I was a kid, and I could make people laugh, too, if I wanted to.

That’s a powerful skill. When did you first start putting that to use?
When the bullies started picking on me. I would give them ammunition. … I was the bullies’ court jester.

Speaking of bullies, what is one of the biggest challenges to seeing life through a comedic lens?
I think comedy is always built with four corners of terror.

Four corners of terror?
Well, in one corner you have your family, in the other corner you have your bullies, in the other corner you have the unknown, and then the other corner you have, you know, the world. … I came from a family that was, you know, my dad drank and we were poor and there were lots of kids and we grew up in the projects—there were lots of things that weren’t exactly for me to begin with. And I still had a really good attitude in a lot of ways, but I was afraid … but then in other ways I was fearless because I hung around with the kids that were dangerous and I went home every night to my house, which was somewhat chaotic and crazy and dangerous. You know, I’m one of 11 kids so … you could be eaten at any time.

Coming from a family that big, I’d imagine it’d be tough not to lose a finger at dinnertime.
That’s really funny. You know, it was tough but when you have a big family with a 20-year lifespan in between, that means that you grow up in three different families. … I was kind of in the younger and middle group, so we were always told that we had it the best, and that Mom and Dad are nice now, and “You guys have everything” and “You don’t have to do anything; we had to do everything,” and you’re told how lucky you have it and you think, I have it lucky?

So who makes you laugh?
People always make me laugh. I’d say people are my main fuel. You know, we do the same thing over and over: We push on a “pull” door; we hesitate and then go on a four-way stop; we walk down the one-way at an airport; we constantly can’t find simple things like our keys, or nowadays we can’t find our phones. … Comics make me laugh, too, but really people make me laugh. The world is right there for a good laugh.

When I was a kid, “Life with Louie” was one of my favorite cartoons. Any chance we’ll ever see little Louie on the big screen, or the small screen, again?
I don’t know if they’ll ever bring “Life with Louie” back but we’re working on a movie; we’re writing a movie to kind of tie it all together. … Louie’s a little older, a little smarter, and he has a little brother.

You’ve written a few books over the years. Do you have any plans to write again?
I’m writing another one right now. … It’s going to be about really getting older. … I’m 62.

Do you have a title?
If I tell you the title, it kind of gives away the whole book. But I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s lighthearted, really lighthearted, and less serious than my other books. That’s what happens when you get older—you get more lighthearted and less serious. The world’s a serious enough place, so I think people need a little lighthearted laugh.

In some of your past works, both books and standup, you’ve brought up some very serious and, at times, dark topics. How do you take the dark and make it light?
I think you shine hope on it. I think you shine hope and things that matter right on it.

What’s in store for folks who will be attending your Sellersville shows later this month?
All the “F” words: Food, fun, fat, over 50, french fries—all the F words I’m going to talk about. And I’m going to shoot a new [DIRECTV] special this fall, and so I’m going to do a lot of my new material. … It’s an upbeat, fun special that I’m really, really excited about. So it’ll be some of that material, and I’m working on the book and I’m doing [standup] and I’m enjoying my performing.