Comedian extraordinaire Louie Anderson graced the Weinberg Center for the arts stage on Sunday night. It was a stellar performance and a night full of fun.
The show opened on a video reel of highlights from Anderson’s extensive and diverse career. Showing clips from his first appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, movie roles like “Coming to America” with Eddie Murphy, his time as host of Family Feud and many other of his finest moments.
Anderson then took the stage in a bedazzled black jacket which led right into an early joke where he said, “Never stop at a Liberace garage sale.” One liners like this one had the crowd in hysterical laughter all night.
This was my first time at a comedy show and the Weinberg is a great place for it, especially to see Louie Anderson. There are only a select few comedians that make me laugh out loud during stand-up and seeing Louie live made me add him to my list.
I’ve been seeing shows at the Weinberg for years, as my parents have taken me to so many events the venue hosts. I was a little surprised to see the amount of empty seats at this one. The floor level had a good crowd but the balcony had little to no one. I made my best attempt to promote the show, even giving away a pair of tickets over on the “What is Frederick?” facebook page. Nevertheless, booking shows can be a hard bargain and it seems the people of Frederick are quite unpredictable in what they’ll buy tickets to.
Back to the show..
Many of the jokes were based around Anderson’s weight and eating habits. He’s clearly come to embrace his stature and uses it his comedic advantage. Here are just a few examples from the night: Liking the doughnut shops that put them in those jewelry cases, triple toasting your bread (toasting it once, putting butter on it and then repeating the method two more times) which he said you’d thank him for trying, bread addiction and in an interaction with an audience member, asking what percentage of foods were going on her Thanksgiving plate.
The crowd interaction made the show so intimate and Louie shined with the improv jokes, even pointing to three connected rings that were produced by stage lights and then asking, “Are they hosting the olympics here?” In another interaction someone brought up that they watched “Life with Louie” with their grandchildren and Anderson mentioned he is trying to revive the critically acclaimed animated series.
The audience may have laughed the hardest when Anderson joked about how serious commercials can be. “If you had the chcikenpox virus, shingles is already inside you. OH MY GOD! I’m freaking out and calling up my sister – “DID I HAVE CHICKENPOX AS A KID?”.
Anderson delivered many genuine and heartfelt jokes about his parents: His mom’s junk and garage sale problem, her stealing things from restaurants and forcing him to as well (especially butter packets) and his Dad’s noisy grunts when doing any every day action (sneezing, sitting down, etc.). He also joked about their little support of him but then said, “Ben Franklin’s parents never supported him. ‘BEN, stop flying kites and get in here!’ ‘Where’s our barn key?’”
The best part of the show was definitely Louie’s facial expressions and actions throughout. He has a physical arsenal to work with that adds so much depth to the jokes.
Toward the end of the night Anderson took a moment to get deep. He asked that everyone call their parents/loved ones after the show and make sure that they have a solid relationship with them while they’re still alive. Never getting to ask his mom the important things, the subject of his newest book “Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too”, he told the crowd to develop a bond with their parents and figure out details about them before they’re gone.
Referencing how crazy the world is, Anderson quipped, “Charge those cards up, live life to the fullest, AND.. BUY THE BATHTUB WITH THE DOOR!”
Celebrating his 48th year in comedy, Anderson’s experience, charisma and natural hilarity are all top qualities he will never lose; It doesn’t sound like he’s stopping any time soon.. But when he does he wants his funeral to be a party and asked sincerely,”Is there any possibility I can be buried in a baguette casket?”. Keep being you, Louie.